Relationships of microstructure and properties in materials; Mechanical properties of materials; Surface stress and surface energy of solids; Defects of crystals; Fracture of piezoelectric materials; Micro/nanomechanics of materials; Materials science and mechanics of thin films.
Prof Zhang has a strong background in materials science and engineering, and in solid mechanics as well. He has authored and co-authored over 166 SCI journal papers and three book chapters, which have been SCI-totally cited over 2845 times and over 2335 times by other researchers excluding himself and his co-authors. He has organized and co-organized three international conferences including the 8th International Conference on Fundamentals of Fracture. He has given 42 invited, keynote and plenary presentations at international and domestic conferences including the Plenary Lecture “Fracture of Piezoelectric Ceramics” at The 12th International Conference on Fracture, July 12-17, 2009, Ottawa, Canada. He has edited and co-edited eight special issues for international journals. He has been co-awarded two US patents. The honors he has received include second prize of the 1987 State Natural Science Award, second prize of the 2007 State Natural Science Award, and the 1988 National Award for Young Scientists in Mainland China. In 2001, Prof Zhang received the Fellow Award from ASM International, USA. This ASM Fellow Award was in recognition of Zhang’s distinguished contributions in the field of materials science and engineering. Zhang’s citation reads: "For significant contributions to knowledge of hydrogen diffusion, fracture of piezoelectric ceramics, intercalated graphite, and thin film systems using both analytical and state-of-the-art experimental techniques." In 2003, Prof Zhang was awarded the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship Award. Due to high citations of a paper published in 2002, Prof Zhang received a card in March 2005 from the Web of Science, congratulating him for “The number of citations your article places it in the top 1% within its field according to Essential Science IndicatorsSM. Your work is highly influential, and is making a significant impact among your colleagues in your field of study.” In Nov. 2007, Prof Zhang received four such greeting cards from the Web of Science.