Dr Saifang Huang



Dr. Saifang Huang obtained two PhD degrees in July and September of 2015 respectively from China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and University of Auckland. The respective dissertation titles are "Preparation, Structure and Properties of Novel (Oxy)nitrides in Five-Component Ln–Si–Al–O–N Systems" and "Fabrication, Kinetics and Crystallography of Dental Glass-Ceramics".

In October 2013, Dr. Huang was funded by New Zealand Synchrotron Group (NZSG), as one of the two recipients, to attend the 7th Cheiron School at SPring-8 facilities where he received systematic training on synchrotron radiation science and technology. As a Principal Scientist or Co-Proposer, he has been using Neutron facilities (*9 projects) at ANSTO, Sydeny, Australia, and Synchrotron Radiation technologies (*6 Projects) at Australian Synchrotron Centre, to investigate ion-conducting garnet oxides, hydrogen release from titanium hydride, nucleation and crystallization of lithium disilicate glasses, and black anodised titanium oxide, and antimicrobial copper-based materials etc.

Currently, Dr. Huang is working as a Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at UoA. Dr. Huang treasures interdisciplinary collaborations, and he is actively collaborating with scholars and scientists domestically and internationally to do exciting collaborative research work. In the most recent contribution (@ Angewandte Chemie), he has prepared a novel compound in the "114" family with extremely unusual [AlN6] octahedral coordination, and elucidated the crystal structure through collaborative work with researchers from other six institutions.

In 2016, as Principal Investigator (PI), Dr Huang has been successfully granted with a prestigious three-year RSNZ Marsden Fast-Start Fund (Grant No. UOA1623; 2017-2020), a total award of $345,000 NZD funded by New Zealand government, to develop new phosphors for next-generation blue-pumped pc-WLEDs.  He is also managing two battery-related projects that led by Prof. Cao. He serves as a Person in Charge (PIC) of the Energy Materials Research Lab.

To date, Dr. Huang have published about 50 scientific papers in international journals, including Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Scientific Reports, Crystal Growth & Design, Inorganic Chemistry, Dalton Transactions, and Journal of the American/Asian/European Ceramic Society, etc. He also held two Chinese Invention Patents and several others in publication. Dr Huang has been invited to serve as regular/adjudicative referee for many international journals in the fields of chemistry, crystallography and materials science.

Dr. Huang has extensive research experiences in a variety of research fields below, where the first three are the present researches:

1) Highly ionic conductive inorganic solid electrolytes for lithium ion batteries;
2) Advanced electrode materials for battery and supercapacitor applications;
​3) Development of novel phosphors for white LEDs application;
4) Development of high-strength glass-ceramics for dental restorative applications;
5) Nucleation/crystallization kinetics of complex silicate glasses (synchrotron X-ray diffraction);
6) Preparation, crystallography and advanced characterization of novel inorganic materials;
7) Fabrication, toughening and characterization of advanced high-temperature ceramics.


Research | Current

Stream One: Electrolytes and Electrodes for Lithium Ion Batteries and Supercapacitors

- experimental development of ion-conducting Solid electrolytes and self-healing anodes;

- computational simulation of structures and ion transport paths in Solid electrolytes.

- structure and properties characterisation

- LIB assembly and its performance evaluation


Stream Two: New Down-Conversion Phosphors for White Light-Emitting Diodes

- preparation of new inorganic phosphors;

- characterisation of inorganic materials in terms of crystal structure and photoluminescence properties;

- computational calculations to interpret the structure-property relationship;

- Assembly and performance evaluation of phosphor-converted white LEDs.


Teaching | Current

1) CHEMMAT 754

Materials Engineering – Module 4: Glass-ceramics

2) CHEMMAT 755

Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications – Module 4: Energy storage materials and batteries

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students:  (Bolded names are current students.)

  • Mr Tingxuan Yang (2018-2021; Project: Novel phosphate phosphors for blue-pumped white LED application). As main supervisor.

  • Ms. Wen Zhang (2018-2021; Project: Nanostructured Electrode Materials for High Performance Energy Storage Devices), co-supervising with A/Prof. Peng Cao.

  • Mr. Timothy Christopher (2017-2021, SCS†; Project: solid-state electrolytes for lithium ion batteries), co-supervising with A/Prof. Tilo Soehnel.

  • Miss Huihua Zhou (2015-2019, SCS†; Project: Oxynitride phosphors for white LED application), co-supervising with A/Prof. Tilo Soehnel.

  • Mr. Xin Song (2018-2021, expected to enroll in November 2018; Project: Solid-state electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries), co-supervising with A/Prof. Peng Cao.

  • Mr. Yuguang Pu (2017-2020; Project: Self-healing silicon anode for lithium ion batteries), advising with Prof. Wei Gao and A/Prof. Peng Cao.

† SCS: School of Chemical Sciences.

Master students:

  • Mr. Timothy Christopher (2016-2017, SCS†), co-supervising with A/Prof. Soehnel

Visiting PhD students††:

  • Mr. Tianhang Zhang (2016-2019)

  • Mr. Ruilong Wen (2016-2018)

  • Mr. Fei Cheng (2017)

  • Mr. Can He (2017)

  • Mr. Xiaoguang Zhang (2016)

  • Mr. Yufei Xia (2016)

†† from China University of Geosciences (Beijing); co-supervising with A/Prof. Peng Cao.  

Final year project students†††:

  • Mr. M Arif Md YA'KOB (2018)

  • Mr. Radin Aiman Faiz RADIN SUKARNO (2018)

  • Mr. Yixing Peng (2017)

  • Mr. Haoxuan Yan (2016)

  • Miss Ying (Shirley) Li (2012)

  • Mr. Chenfei (Tony) Wang (2012)

††† Mentoring with A/Prof. Peng Cao or Prof. Wei Gao.

Summer project students†††:

  • Miss Si Pei (Kelly) Zhang (2018)

  • Miss Ying (Shirley) Li (2012)

  • Mr. Chenfei (Tony) Wang (2012)

††† Mentoring with A/Prof. Peng Cao.


Young Scientist Award, ICAMP-9, Shenyang, China, September 2018

Excellent Doctoral Thesis of CUGB. July 2015.

Spark Ideas Challenge Award, the University of Auckland, May 2013

Graduate Student Scientific Innovation Research Awards, CUGB. 2011-2014

CSC doctoral scholarship, May 2011-Apr 2015

The Second Prize of the Land & Resources Sci-Tech Award (2009), April 2010.

Top 10 Graduate Students of CUGB. December 2010


Areas of expertise

lithium ion batteries


glass crystallization and kinetics

dental materials

advanced ceramics


X-ray crystallography

synchrotron radiation science and technology

value-added utilization of minerals and industrial solid wastes


Committees/Professional groups/Services

regular/adjudicative referee for international journals in the fields of chemistry, crystallography and materials science, such as J Mater Chem B, J Mater Chem C, ChemComm, CrystEngComm, Dalton Transactions, J Phys Chem Solid, RSC Adv, Nanoscale, J Am Ceram Soc, etc.


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Huang, S., Huang, Z., Cao, P., Suzuki, F., Price, J. R., Avdeev, M., ... Kaji, H. (2017). "114"-Type Nitrides LnAl(Si4-xAlx)N7Oδ with Unusual [AlN6] Octahedral Coordination. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 56 (14), 3886-3891. 10.1002/anie.201612488
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33541
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tilo Söhnel, Peng Cao, Wei Gao
  • Huang, S., Li, Y., Wei, S., Huang, Z., Gao, W., & Cao, P. (2017). A novel high-strength lithium disilicate glass-ceramic featuring a highly intertwined microstructure. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 37 (3), 1083-1094. 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2016.10.020
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32397
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Shanghai Wei, Wei Gao, Peng Cao
  • Huang, S., Zujovic, Z., Huang, Z., Gao, W., & Cao, P. (2017). Crystallization of a high-strength lithium disilicate glass-ceramic: An XRD and solid-state NMR investigation. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 457, 65-72. 10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2016.11.015
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32407
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peng Cao, Wei Gao, Zoran Zujovic
  • Guan, M., Zheng, H., Mei, L., Molokeev, M. S., Xie, J., Yang, T., ... Huang, Z. (2015). Preparation, Structure, and Up-Conversion Luminescence of Yb 3+ /Er 3+ Codoped SrIn 2 O 4 Phosphors. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 98 (4), 1182-1187. 10.1111/jace.13415
  • Ouyang, X., Cao, P., Huang, S., Zhang, W., Huang, Z., & Gao, W. (2015). Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of High Dielectric Constant CaCu3Ti4O12 from Sol–Gel Precursor. Journal of Electronic Materials10.1007/s11664-015-3680-1
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31165
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peng Cao, Wei Gao
  • Huang, S. F. (2015). Ln–Si–Al–O–N 五元体系新型氧氮化物材料的制备、结构和性能研究 (Preparation, Structure and Properties of Novel (Oxy)Nitrides in Five-Component Ln–Si–Al–O–N System) 中国地质大学(北京) = China University of Geosciences (Beijing). 中国地质大学(北京) = China University of Geosciences (Beijing). Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/38271
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wei Gao
  • Huang, S. (2015). Fabrication, Kinetics and Crystallography of Lithium Disilicate Glass-Ceramics The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26525
  • Huang, S., Huang, Z., Gao, W., & Cao, P. (2015). Trace phase formation, crystallization kinetics and crystallographic evolution of a lithium disilicate glass probed by synchrotron XRD technique. Scientific reports, 510.1038/srep09159
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peng Cao, Wei Gao