Zhengdong Cheng

Professor - Chemical Engineering

Contact Information

Phone: (979) 845-3413

Fax: (979) 845-6446

E-mail: zcheng@tamu.edu

Departmental Page


  • Ph.D. 1999, Physics, Princeton University
  • M.S. 1993, Institute of High Energy Physics, Particle Physics, Beijing, China
  • B.S. 1990, University of Science & Technology of China, Modern Physics, Hefei, China

Research Interests

Dr. Cheng studies complex fluids. His research focuses on the self-organization of intelligent colloids and anisotropic particles, the fabrication of photonic crystals and integrated photonic circuits, and the application of microfluidics to bio-encapsulation. The techniques developed will be applicable to the modeling of phase transitions and liquid crystal materials, the engineering of nano-composites and semiconductor of light, and a wide range of therapeutic treatments.


  • 2010 – Present           Associate Professor, Texas A&M University
  • 2005 – Present           Materials Science and Engineering
  • 2004 – Present           The Professional Program in Biotechnology
  • 2004 – 2010                Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
  • 2002 – 2004                Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
  • 2001 – 2002                Engineer, DiCon Fiberoptics
  • 2000 – 2001                Postdoctoral Fellow, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering
  • 1999 – 2000                Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton Materials Institute


  • “Dispersion and Assembly of Reduced Graphene Oxide in Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystals by Charged Two-Dimensional Nanosurfactants” P Lin, Q Yan*, Y Chen, X Li, Z Cheng, Chemical Engineering Journal, accepted.
  • “Graphene and Other 2D Colloids: Liquid Crystals and Macroscopic Fibers”, Y Liu, Z Xu, W Gao*, Zhengdong Cheng, Chao Gao, Advanced Materials, 29, 2017, 1606794.
  • “Polydispersity reduction of colloidal plates via size fractionation of the isotropic–nematic phase transition” F Chen*, M Chen*, YW Chang*, P Lin, Y Chen, Z Cheng, Soft Matter, 13, 2017, 3789-3793.
  • “Staged Phase Separation in IIN Tri-phase Region of Platelet–Sphere Mixtures” M Chen*, M He*, P Lin, Y Chen, Z Cheng, Soft Matter, 13, 2017, 4457-4463.
  • “Monodisperse droplets by impinging flow-focusing” T Wu*, Z Luo*, W Ding*, Z Cheng, L He, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics 21, 2017, 129.
  • “Aqueous exfoliation of graphite into graphene assisted by sulfonyl graphene quantum dots for photonic crystal applications” M Zeng*, SA Shah*, D Huang*, D Parviz*, YH Yu*, X Wang*, MJ Green, Z Cheng, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 9, 2017, 30797-30804.
  • “A review of nanomaterials for nanofluid enhanced oil recovery” B Peng, L Zhang*, J Luo, P Wang, B Ding, M Zeng*, Z Cheng, RSC Advances 7, 2017, 32246-32254.
  • “Thermal Stability of Optically Transparent Alpha-Zirconium Phosphate/Poly (methyl methacrylate) Nanocomposites with High Particle Loading” L. Hatanaka, A Diaz, Q Wang, Z Cheng, and MS Mannan, Polymers & Polymer Composites 25, 2017, 267.
  • “Efficient hydrogen production from glycerol photoreforming over Ag2OTiO2 synthesized by a sol–gel method” C Wang, X Cai*, Y Chen, Z Cheng, X Luo, S Mo, L Jia, R Shu, P Lin, International journal of hydrogen energy 42, 2017, 17063-17074.
  • “Study of thermal and mechanical behaviors of flame retardant polystyrene-based nanocomposites prepared via in-situ polymerization method” L Ahmed*, B Zhang, S Hawkins, MS Mannan, and Z Cheng, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 49, 2017, 228-239.
  • “Solidification behavior of hybrid TiO 2 nanofluids containing nanotubes and nanoplatelets for cold thermal energy storage” X Shao*, S Mo, Y Chen, T Yin, Z Yang, L Jia, and Z Cheng, Applied Thermal Engineering 117, 2017, 427-436.
  • “Improved hydrogen production from glycerol photoreforming over sol-gel derived TiO2 coupled with metal oxides” C Wang, X Cai*, Y Chen, Z Cheng, X Luo, S Mo, L Jia, P Lin, Z Yang, Chemical Engineering Journal, 317, 2017, 522-532.
  • “A novel investigation of a micropolar fluid characterized by nonlinear constitutive diffusion model in boundary layer flow and heat transfer” Jize Sui*, Peng Zhao, Zhengdong Cheng, Liancun Zheng, and Xinxin Zhang, Physics of Fluids, 29, 2017, 023105.
  • “Gamma-Cyclodextrin-Recognition-Responsive Characteristics of Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-Based Hydrogels with Benzo-12-crown-4 Units as Signal Receptors” Yun-Yan Wei, Zhuang Liu, Xiao-Jie Ju, Kun Shi, Rui Xie, Wei Wang, Zhengdong Cheng, and Liang-Yin Chu, Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 218, 2017, 1600386 (Joural Backcover).
  • “Facile polypyrrole thin film coating on polypropylene membrane for efficient solar-driven interfacial water evaporation” Xiayun Huang#, Yi-Hsin Yu*, Oscar L. de Llergo+, Samantha M. Marquez+ and Zhengdong Cheng, RSC Adv., 7, 2017, 9495.
  • “Phase change characteristics of ethylene glycol solution-based nanofluids for subzero thermal energy storage” Songping Mo, Kangda Zhu, Tao Yin, Ying Chen, and Zhengdong Cheng, Int. J. Energy Res. 41, 2017, 81–91. online 29 July 2016.
  • “Effect of trimethylolpropane triacrylate cross-linkages on the thermal stability and char yield of poly (methyl methacrylate) nanocomposites” Logan C. Hatanaka*, Qingsheng Wang, Zhengdong Cheng, and M. Sam Mannan, Fire Safety Journal, 87, 2017, 65-70.
  • “High-flux underwater superoleophobic hybrid membranes for effective oil–water separation from oil-contaminated water” Minxiang Zeng*, Baoliang Peng, Carlos Ybanez + (+ for Undergraduate student), Nian Wei Tan +, Ehab Abo Deeb +, Eric Bordovsky +, Chang-Hyun Choi +, Ian Echols +, Andrew Nguyen +, Alan Ye +, Nutchapol Dendumrongsup+, Lecheng Zhang*, Dali Huang*, Pingmei Wang, Jianhui Luo, Yue Situ and Zhengdong Cheng, RSC Adv., 7, 2017, 9051.
  • “Thermosensitive ZrP-PNIPAM Pickering Emulsifier and the Controlled-Release Behavior” Xuezhen Wang*, Minxiang Zeng*, Yi-Hsien Yu*, Huiliang Wang, M. Sam Mannan, and Zhengdong Cheng, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9, 2017, 7852-7858.
  • “Fractal aggregation kinetics contributions to thermal conductivity of nano-suspensions in unsteady thermal convection” Jize Sui*, Peng Zhao, Bandar Bin-Mohsin, Liancun Zheng, Xinxin Zhang, Zhengdong Cheng, Ying Chen, and Goong Chen, Scientific Reports, 6, 2016, 39446 .
  • “Increasing entropy for colloidal stabilization” Songping Mo, Xuefeng Shao*, Ying Chen, and Zhengdong Cheng, Scientific Reports, 6, 2016, 36836.
  • “Magnetically-active Pickering emulsions stabilized by hybrid inorganic/organic networks” Jeniree A. Flores*, Ashlee A. Jahnke, Adriana Pavia-Sanders, Zhengdong Cheng, and Karen L. Wooley, Soft Matter, 12, 2016, 9342-9354.
  • “Prediction of heat of formation for exo-Dicyclopentadiene ” Adithyaram Narayan*, Beibei Wang, Ilse Belen Nava Medina*, M. Sam Mannan, Zhengdong Cheng, and Qingsheng Wang, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 44, 2016, 433–439.
  • “Polarity-dependent bistable optical grating in chiral bent-core nematic liquid crystals” Hong-Zhen Jing, Ying Xiang, Ming-Ya Xu, Zhi-Dong Zhang, Zhengdong Cheng, Dong Shen, Zhi-Gang Zheng, Jian-Lin Li, Meng-jie Zhou, Everett Wang, Yan-Qing Wang, and Yin-Hua Cai,  Potical Materials Express, 6, 2016, 2584-2592.
  • “The Synthesis of Amphiphilic Luminescent Graphene Quantum Dot and Its Application in Miniemulsion Polymerization” Minxiang Zeng*, Xuezhen Wang*, Yi-Hsien Yu*, Lecheng Zhang*, Wakaas Shafi*, Xiayun Huang#, and Zhengdong Cheng, Journal of Nanomaterials, 2016, 
  • “Aspect ratio dependence of kinetics of isotropic-nematic phase separation of nanoplates in gravity” Abhijeet Shinde*, Xuezhen Wang*, Yi-Hsien Yu*, Zhengdong Cheng, Gravity and Space Research Journal, 4, 2016, 17-26.
  • “Surface modification of layered zirconium phosphate with PNIPAM” X. Wang*, D. Zhao, B. Nava Medina*,  A Diaz#,  H. Wang,  A. Clearfield,  M. S. Mannan, and Z. Cheng, Chem. Commun., 52, 2016, 4832-4835.
  • “Synthesis and exfoliation of nanodisks to make model suspensions for discotic liquid crystals” Y. Yu*, X. Wang*, A. Shinde*, Z. Cheng, J. Vis. Exp. (111), e53511, doi:10.3791/53511 (2016). Published: 5/25/2016.
  • “A Novel Equivalent Agglomeration Model for Heat Conduction Enhancement in Nanofluids” J. Sui*, L. Zheng*, X. Zhang, Y. Chen & Z. Cheng, Scientific Reports, 6, 2016, 19560.
  • “Investigation of Electron Transport Through Alkanedithoil of Functionalized Zn3P2 Nanowires for Hydrogen Production” Li H*, Yu YH*, Vasiraju V*, Vaddiraju S, Cheng Z, Int J Nano Stud. Technol, S1:001,2016, 1-5.
  • “Microwave-assisted rapid synthesis of hexagonal a-zirconium phosphate nanodisks as a Pickering emulsion stabilizer” Y. Yu*, Y. Chen*, M. Zeng*, Z., Materials Letters, 163, 2016, 158–161.
  • “Dispersion Stability of TiO2-H2O Nanofluids Containing Mixed Nanotubes and Nanosheets”, Shao*, Y. Chen, S. Mo, Z. Cheng, T. Yin, Energy Procedia, 75, 2015, 2049 – 2054.
  • “Effects of nanoparticles and sample containers on crystallization supercooling degree of nanofluids”, Mo, Y. Chen, Z. Cheng, L. Jia, X. Luo, X. Shao*, X. Yuan*, G. Lin*, Thermochimica Acta, 605, 2015, 1–7.
  • “Improving the Stability of TiO2 Aqueous Suspensions by Coupling TiO2 Nanoparticles on ZrP Nanoplatelets”, Z. Liu*, T. Yin, Y. Chen, Z. Cheng, S. Mo, L. Jia, Energy Procedia, 75, 2015, 2199 – 2204.
  • “Microwave-assisted synthesis of rod-like CuO/TiO2 for high-efficiency photocatalytic hydrogen evolution”, Y. Yu*, Y. Chen, Z. Cheng, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 40, 2015, 15994–16000.
  • “Dynamic emulsification via phase transition, interfacial transport and microfluidics”, S. Wong”, D. Luo#, G. Meng#, M. Marquez, Z., Science Letters, 2016, 5:230. (“Joseph Wang Award 2015” in Nano Materials dedicated to Prof. Joseph Wang (UCSD) by Cognizure-Publishing Division).
  • “Nano-encapsulated PCM via Pickering Emulsification”, Wang”, L. Zhang*, Y. Yu*, L. Jia, M. S. Mannan, Y. Chen & Z. Cheng, Scientific Reports 5, 2015, 13357.
  • “Observation of isotropic–isotropic demixing in colloidal platelet–sphere mixtures”, Chen*, H. Li*, Y. Chen, A. F. Mejia*, X. Wang*, Z. Cheng, Soft Matter, 28, 2015, 5775-5779.
  • “Graphene oxide liquid crystals for reflective displays without polarizing optics”, L. He, J. Ye*, M. Shuai*, Z. Zhu*, X. Zhou*, Y. Wang*, Y. Li*, Z. Su*, H. Zhang, Y. Chen, Z. Liu, Z. Cheng and J. Bao, Nanoscale 7, 2015, 1616-1622.
  • “Stability of TiO2 nanoparticles in deionized water with ZrP nanoplatelets”, Liu *; Y. Chen, S. Mo, Z. Cheng, W. Li*, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 15, 2015, 3271-3275.
  • “Synthesis of the graphene/nickel oxide composite and its electrochemical performance for supercapacitors”, Yiming Chen, Zhengdong Cheng, Zidong Huang*, Yaobing Zhong*, Haiyan Zhang, Yipeng Ye, Yuting Chen, Xianling Lei, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 39, 2014, 16171-16178.
  • “Influence of Particle Size and Crystalline Level on the Efficiency of Dust Explosion Inhibitors”, Diana Castellanos*, Arthur Lewandowski*, Agustín Diaz#, Andres F. Mejia*, Victor Carreto*, Chad Mashuga, Ali S. Rangwala, Zhengdong Cheng, and M. Sam Mannan, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 53, 2014, 11527–11537.
  • “The instability of monodisperse bubbles passing through a confined geometry”, Yuting Li*, Ping Wu*, Haifeng Zhang*, Zhaofeng Luo*, Yong Wang*, Zhengdong Cheng, and Liqun He, Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 2014, 201605.
  • “Application of Soft Matter and Weight-lose Social Work: New Horizon of Social Work”, Cheng, Social Work and Management 14, 2014, 5-17.
  • “Organic molecule-functionalized Zn3P2 nanowires for photochemical H2 production: DFT and experimental analysis”, G. Ramos-Sanchez*, M. Albornoz*, Y.H. Yu*, Z. Cheng, V. Vasiraju*, S. Vaddiraju, F. El Mellouhi, P.B. Balbuena, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 29, 2014, 19887-19898.
  • “Ultrahigh Specific Surface Area of Graphene for Eliminating Subcooling of Water”, X. Li*, Y. Chen, Z. Cheng, L. Jia*, S. Mo, Z. Li, Applied Energy 130, 2014, 824-829.
  • “Thermo-sensitive Discotic Colloidal Liquid Crystals” X. Wang*, Di Zhao*, A. Diaz#, I. B. Nava Medina*, H. Wang and Z. Cheng, Soft Matter 10, 2014, 7692-7695
  • “Temperature-dependent I-N Transition of Charged Nanoplates”, H. Li*, X. Wang*, Y. Chen and Z. Cheng, Physical Review E 90, 2014, 020504(R).
  • “Nanowire thermometers” P. Peng*, Z. Su*, Z. Liu*, Q. Yu, Z. Cheng, and J. Bao, Nanoscale 5, 2013, 9532-9535.
  • “Thermo-responsive discotic nematic hydrogels” ,A. F. Mejia*, Ratna Ng (Undergraduate), Peter Nguyen (Undergraduate),Min Shuai*, Hugo Y. Acosta, M. Sam Mannan and Z. Cheng, Soft Matter 9, 2013, 10257-10264.
  • “Observation of the photorefractive effects in bent-core liquid crystals” Y. Xiang, Y. Liu*, Z. Zhang, H. You, T. Xia, E. Wang and Z. Cheng, Optics Express, 21, 2013, 3434-3444.
  • “Hydrothermal synthesis of layered a-zirconium phosphate disks: control of aspect ratio and polydispersity for nano-architecture”, Shuai*, Andres F. Mejia*, Y. Chang* and Z. Cheng Cryst. Eng. Comm. 15, 2013, 1970-1977.
  • “Stabilization of Pickering Foams by High-aspect-ratio Nano-sheets” S. Guevara (undergraduate), A.F. Mejia*, Y. Chang*, M. Shuai*, M.S. Sam Mannan, Z. Cheng, Soft Matter 9, 2013, 1327-1336.
  • “Self-Oscillating Structutal Polymer Gels”, Srinivasa R. Pullela*, Q. Wang*, and Z. Cheng, Advances in Nanoparticles 2, 2013, 94-98.
  • “Pickering Emulsions Stabilized by Amphiphilic Nano-sheets” A.F. Mejia*, A. Diaz#, S. Pullela*, Y. Chang*, M.S. Mannan, A. Clearfield, and Z. Cheng, Soft Matter 8, 2012, 10245-10253 (Journal cover).
  • “Aspect Ratio and Polydispersity Dependence of Isotropic-nematic Transition in Discotic Suspensions” A.F. Mejia*, Chang*, R. Ng*(undergraduate), M. Shuai*, M.S. Mannan, and Z. Cheng, Physical Review E 85, 2012, 061708. Figure selected as part of PRE kaleidoscope images, June 2012.
  • “Uniform Yeast Cell Assembly via Microfluidics” Y. Chang*, H. Peng*, S.M. Marquez*(high school Student), and Z. Cheng, Biomicrofluidics 6, 2012, 024118. Selected for publication in "Virtual J. Nanoscale Sci. Technol", May 21, 2012 and in "Virtual J. Biol. Phys. Res. ", May 15, 2012.
  • “Gelation via Ion Exchange in Discotic Suspensions” Y. Chang,* A.F. Mejia,* Z. Cheng, D. Di*, and G.B. McKenna, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 2012, 247802.
  • “Supercapacitors based on Low-Temperature Partially Exfoliated and Reduced Graphite Oxide” Y. Jian,* H. Zhang, Y. Chen, Z. Cheng, L. Hu and Q. Ran, Journal of Power Sources, 212, 2012, 105-110.
  • Q. Wang, G. Wang, Z. Cheng, "Oscillatory swelling behavior of hydrogel incorporated with ion-exchange nanoparticles" Drug Delivery Letters,1, 2011, 58
  • “Signature of structure recovery in colloidal glasses” X. Di*, K. Z. Win*, G. B. Mc Kenna, T. Narita*, F. Lequeux*, S. Rao Pullela*, and Z. Cheng, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 2011, 095701.
  • “Study on flame characteristics in Aerosols by industry heat transfer fluids” P. Lian*, D. Ng*, A.F. Mejia*, Z. Cheng, M.S. Mannan, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 50, 2011, 7644-7652.
  • "Low-frequency ac electro-flow-focusing microfluidic emulsification", P. He*, H. Kim*, D. Luo#, M. Marquez, Z. Cheng, Applied Physics Letters 96: 174103 (2010).
  • "Surface-controlled shape design of discotic micro-particles", A. F. Mejia*, P. He*, M. Netemeyer*, D. Luo#, M. Marquez, and Z. Cheng, Soft Matter, 6: 4885-4894 (2010).
  • "Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production from water/methanol decomposition using Ag/TiO2 nanocomposite thin films" N. Alenzi*, W. Liao*, P. S. Cremer, V. Sanchez-Torres, T. K. Wood, C. Ehlig-Economides, and Z. Cheng, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 35:11768-11775 (2010).
  • "Target to spiral wave pattern transition in a discrete Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction driven by inactive resin beads", G. Wang*, Q. Wang*, P. He*, S. Pullela*, M. Marquez, and Z. Cheng, Physical Review E, 82: 045201(R) (2010). Exciting research news picked by President R. Bowen Loftin.
  • "Signature of structure recovery in colloidal glasses" X. Di, K. Z. Win, G. B. Mc Kenna, T. Narita, F. Lequeux, S. Rao Pullela*, and Z. Cheng, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 2011, 095701.
  • Hindrance Function for Sedimentation of Colloidal Disks, Peng He, Andres F. Mejia, Dazhi Sun, Hung-Jue Sue, Dean S. Dinair, Z. Cheng, Physical Review E, (81), 026310
  • Flammability of Heat Transfer Fluid Aerosols Produced by Electrospray Measured by Laser Diffraction Analysis, Peng Lian, Andres F. Mejia, Zhengdong Cheng, M. Sam Mannan, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, (23), 337-345