Prof. Xiaodong Zou

Xiaodong Zou


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Works at Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry
Telephone 08-16 23 89
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 16 C
Room C 541
Postal address Institutionen för material- och miljökemi 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Xiaodong Zou is a full professor and chair of the Inorganic and Structural Chemistry Unit and deputy head of the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physics 1984 at Peking University and Master of Science in Metal Physics 1986 at Beijing University of Technology, under the supervision of Prof. K.H. Kuo. In 1987 she moved to Sweden to pursue her Ph.D. study and received her PhD in structural chemistry at Stockholm University in 1995. She carried out her postdoctoral research at Lund University, working with the Tage Erlander Professor David R. Veblen from John Hopkins University, USA. She joined the faculty at Stockholm University in 1996 and became professor 2005.

One of her main research interests is method development for accurate atomic structure determination of nano-sized crystals by electron crystallography. Her group has solved a number of complex structures of zeolites and mesoporous crystals by transmission electron microscopy. She is also working on synthesis, structure determination, topology analysis and applications of inorganic open-framework materials and metal-organic frameworks. In 2006, she received 100 MSEK from VR and VINNOVA to build up the Berzelii Center EXSELENT on Porous Materials and was the director 2006-2012. She has > 230 publications and four patents. Her group developed 9 software for quantitative analysis of high-resolution electron microscopy images and electron diffraction patterns. The software has been commecialized and used by > 200 laboratories.

She received several awards including Tage Erlander Prize for Science and Technology 2002 and Göran Gustafsson Prize in Chemistry 2008, both given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the K.H. Kuo Award for Distinguished Scientist 2010 and the Arrhenius medal 2012 given by the Swedish Chemical Society. She is the member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), the fellow of the Royal Chemical Society (FRCS), the council member of the International Zeolite Association, and the member of Structure Commission of International Zeolite Association. 



Supervision of Ph.D. students and post doctoral fellows:

Graduated Ph.D. students (as main supervisor):

Tony Conradsson, October 2002. Liqiu Tang, May 2005.
Kirsten E. Christensen, May 2008.
Daliang Zhang, June 2010, Mikaela Gustafsson, April 2012.
Andrew Kentaro Inge, June, 2012.

Present Ph.D. students (as main supervisor):

Peng Guo (April 2012), Fabian Carson (August, 2010), Yifeng Yun (August 2010), Xin Xia (October 2009), Tom Willhammar (February 2009), Bao-Lin Lee (June 2007, shared with Organic Chemistry).

Post doctoral fellows:

Thomas Weirich, 1997 - 1999. Kai Sun, 1998 - 2000. Zhimin Mo, 2000. Guo-Yu Yang, 2001. Mauro Gemmi, 2001 - 2002. Markus Doeblinger, 2002. Yafeng Li, 2002 - 2004. Lesya Demchenko, 2005. Tie-zhen Ren, 2005
- 2006. Lei Shi, Zhanbing He, 2005 - 2007. Junliang Sun, 2007 - 2008. Charlotte Bonneau, 2007 - 2008. Mingrun Li, 2007 - 2009.
Daniel Grüner, 2009. Huijuan Yue, 2007 - 2010. Lei Han, 2009 -2010. Max Peskov, 2008 - 2011. Suman Sahoo, 2009 -2011. Wei Wan, 2009 -. Qingxia Yao, 2009 -. Jie Su, 2010 -. Ana Eva Pletero Prats, 2012-. Haoquan Zheng, 2012-.


I am a full professor and head of the Inorganic and Structural Chemistry Division, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry at Stockholm University (SU). In 2006, I received 100 MSEK for ten-years from VR and VINNOVA to build up the Berzelii Center EXSELENT on Porous Materials and have been the direct or of EXSELENT October 2006- February 2012.

Electron microscopy has been one of the ma in techniques for my research for studying nanostructure materials – electron crystallogra phy. It has several unique advantages in studying atomic structures of nano-sized crystals. When I started my Ph.D. study in 1988 at SU, the term “electron crystallography” did not exist. It was commonly believed that electron microscopy could not be used for determination of unknown inorganic structures, see for example the textbooks Physical Chemistry, Atkins (1994) and Transm ission Electron Microscopy, Williams and Carter (1990). I have been working on developing electr on crystallography and become internationally leading in this field. We demonstrated that electron crystallography can be used for solving complex structures to high accuracy ( Nature 1996). Now structure determination by electron crystallography is generally accepted, and the textbooks are being revised.

In 1996, I was awarded a junior researcher position by VR and started to build up a new research direction on porous materials at SU. Porous materials have wide industrial applications in catalysis, sorption and separation. My group has been working both on developing new porous materials and methods for characterization of unknown porous crystals. We have developed more than 80 new porous and open-framework structures including the world-record in porous oxide crystals with the largest pores/lowest density (Nature 2005) and one of the few chiral zeolite structures (Nature Mater. 2008). This work has made it possible to build up the Berzelii Center EXSELENT on Porous Materials at SU. Now my research has been expanded into other porous materials and their applications for heterogeneous catalysis and CO2 separation in collaboration with people from MMK and Department of Organic Chemistry, SU and industrial partners.

Structural characterization has been very im portant for understanding the properties, and for developing new materials with unique properties and functions. It has been very challenging to characterize the structures of porous materials since most crystals are nano-sized. Using electron microscopy, we discovered the first chiral mesoporous zeolite (Nature 2009) and the first mesoporous silica with three-interwoven channels (Nature Chem. 2009). We also developed a general method for determine complex structures a nd solved the most complex zeolite catalyst that remained unsolved for ten years ( Science 2007). We have developed several new techniques to make this method more feasible for other scientists. One of them is 3D rotation electron diffraction (RED) method that allows for the first time to coll ect complete 3D electron diffraction data within an hour. The new techniques made it possible to solve the structure of the most complex intergrown zeolite ITQ-39 and identify an important catalytic a pplication of the material – converting naphtha to diesel ( Nature Chem. 2012). This discovery has gained wide interests and after just published on-line for one week, our paper has been one of the most downloaded articles in Nature Chemistry. I have written several books and book chapters on electron crystallography including the first text book on electron crystallography published by Oxford University Press in 2011. I made major contributions in the development of seven programs that are used in more than 150 electron microscopy laboratories all over the world.

Last updated: May 16, 2017

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