Zhe Cheng

Zhe Cheng, PhD
Assistant Professor
(305) 348-1973

Dr. Zhe Cheng research group on Advanced Ceramics

Dr. Zhe Cheng is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in Florida International University.  Before that, he worked in the area of advanced metallization materials for silicon solar cells at the Central Research & Development department of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) in Wilmington, Delaware.  Dr. Cheng’s expertise is in the design, synthesis, processing, and characterizations of advanced functional ceramic and ceramic-metal hybrid materials for solid-state energy conversion. During his Ph.D. study, he revealed the fundamental behaviors and underlying mechanism for sulfur poisoning of solid oxide fuel cells using a combination of advanced experimental and theoretical tools.  In addition, he developed multiple sulfur-tolerant anode materials, which eventually led to the discovery of a new class of SOFC materials combining high electrochemical performance with significantly improved sulfur and coking tolerance.  Dr. Cheng’s current research focuses are on advanced ceramic electrode and electrolyte materials for solid-state electrochemical energy conversion including solid oxide fuel cells, advanced ceramic materials and processing for electronic applications including photovoltaics (solar cells), and continued development of advanced high-temperature in situ characterizations tools for materials research.

Honors & Awards

  • Ross Coffin Purdy Award, American Ceramic Society, 2010


  • Functional ceramic, ceramic-metal, ceramic-polymer hybrid materials for electrochemical energy conversion (fuel cells) and storage (battery or electrolyzer)
  • Novel inorganic materials for solar cells
  • Fundamental mechanism study of functional ceramic materials including their degradation under harsh environment through advanced in-situ characterization techniques
  • Nanosized ceramic materials synthesis, characterization, and mechanism study


1. Cheng, Zhe; Wang, Jeng-Han; Choi, Yong-Man; Lin, M. C.; Liu, Meilin. “From Ni-YSZ to sulfur-tolerant anode materials for SOFCs: electrochemical behavior, in situ characterization, modeling, and future perspectives,” Energy & Environmental Science (2011), 4(11), 4380-4409. (Invited perspectives)

2. Yang, Lei; Cheng, Zhe; Liu, Meilin, and Wilson, Lane.  “New insights into sulfur poisoning behavior of Ni-YSZ anode from long-term operation of anode-supported SOFCs,” Energy & Environmental Science, (2010), 3, 1804-1809.

3. Yang, Lei; Wang, Shizhong; Blinn, Kevin; Liu, Mingfei; Liu, Ze; Cheng, Zhe; Liu, Meilin. “Enhanced sulfur and coking tolerance of a mixed ion conductor for SOFCs: BaZr0.1Ce0.7Y0.2-xYbxO3-δ,” Science (2009), 326(5949), 126-129.  (American Ceramic Society Ross Coffin Purdy Award)

4. Yang, Lei; Zuo, Chendong; Wang, Shizhong; Cheng, Zhe; Liu, Meilin. “A novel composite cathode for low-temperature SOFCs based on oxide proton conductors,” Advanced Materials (2008), 20(17), 3280-3283.