Academic Profile : Faculty

Hu Xiao.jpg picture
Prof Hu Xiao
Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering
Programme Director, Sustainable Chemistry & Materials, Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI)
External Links
Hu obtained his BEng degree from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University in Beijing in 1985. He went on to receive his MSc and PhD degrees from the Materials Science Centre, University of Manchester in the United Kingdom in 1998 and 1990 respectively. He worked as an SERC (UK) postdoctoral associate at Manchester University from December 1990, before joining Nanyang Technological University in April 1992 as a founding faculty member of the Materials Science & Engineering program. He co-founded the Polymer Laboratory in the School of Materials Science & Engineering, and served as Director of Graduate Programs in the School and as its inaugural Head of Division of Materials Technology. He is now a full professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering.
Composites and Nanocomposites
Functional Polymers: Synthesis and Assembly
Nanocrystals Synthesis and Modification (including rods, dots and tubes)
Organic-inorganic Hybrid Materials
  • Advanced Sustainable Materials for Targeted Nutrient Delivery in Urban Farming
  • Bioengineering-enabled Precision Farming: A Semi-closed Agri-food System
  • Catalytic Active Catalyst Support Using Incineration Ash
  • Development of SiC precursors with near stoichiometric variations and investigation of these precursors for electrospinning SiC fibers
  • Israel-Singapore Urban Farm (iSURF): Data-Intensive Autonomous Intelligent Urban Farming For Whole-Plant Yield Optimization
  • Materials and Process Development for High Performance, Green and Sustainable Flexible Food Packaging
  • Micronutrient Doped Carbon Dots as High efficiency Delivery Platform for Agriculture Applications
  • RGE-NTU Sustainable Textile Research Centre
  • RGE-NTU Sustainable Textile Research Centre (PI- Dalton Tay)
  • RGE-NTU Sustainable Textile Research Centre (PI: Prof Hu Xiao)
US 2019/0258093 A1: Non-Volatile Thermotropic Optical Switches Based On Ionic Liquid(S) And Polymer Blends (2021)
Abstract: The present disclosure is related to a non-volatile thermotropic composite material comprising a first component comprising a non-aqueous and non-volatile proton donating material; a second component comprising a monomer, an oligomer or a polymer as a proton accepting material; a non-volatile polymeric matrix; and wherein the non-volatile polymeric matric, the first component and the second component are configured to maintain at least one property which is reversibly changeable based on thermal energy received by or given out from the non-volatile thermotropic composite material. Proton donating materials include ionic liquid, poly(ionic liquid) and deep eutectic salt. The proton accepting material comprises at least an ether, a phenyl ester, an amide and an acrylate functional group. Also disclosed is a method of making said composite material comprising providing the first and second components and a non-volatile polymeric matrix and curing the mixture to form the non-volatile thermotropic composite material. The non-volatile thermotropic composite material can be used in smart windows.

US 2016/0082391 A1: A Draw Solute And An Improved Forward Osmosis Method (2021)
Abstract: A draw solute for forward osmosis comprising a semi-interpenetrating (semi-IPN) hydrogel which comprises a thermally responsive polymer and a hydrophilic polymer, such that the semi-IPN hydrogel is capable of switching between a hydrophilic and hydrophobic state in response to changes in temperature is provided. Also provided is a draw solute comprising a hydrogel of a polyionic thermally responsive polymer, wherein the hydrogel switches between a hydrophilic state to allow absorption of water osmosed from a feed solution and a hydrophobic state to allow release of the absorbed water in response to changes in temperature. There is also provided a forward osmosis method comprising: contacting a feed solution and the draw solute via a semi-permeable membrane, such that feed water in the feed solution passes through the membrane by osmotic pressure and moves into the draw solute; and separating the water from the draw solute to form a purified water product.

US 2019/0179176 A1: Composite Film, Device Including, And Method Of Forming The Same (2021)
Abstract: In present invention, various embodiments provide a photothermotropic composite film. The composite film comprises a matrix and one or more nanostructures comprising a metal oxide semiconductor which is configured to convert radiant energy to thermal energy. The matrix has a property which is changeable based on the thermal energy received by the matrix from the metal oxide semiconductor. In a preferred embodiment, hybridization of the poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) hydrogel and antimony-tin oxide (ATO) is provided as the composite film. In this film, the ATO absorbs at near-infrared (NIR) region and acts as nanoheater to induce the optical switching of the hydrogel. The behaviour of this composite film can be used as a new generation of autonomous passive smart windows for climate-adaptable solar modulation.

US 2016/0106093 A1: Antibacterial Cryogel And Porous Hydrogel, Their Preparation Method, And Their Use For Disinfecting Water (2021)
Abstract: The invention relates to an antibacterial cryogel, its preparation method, and its use for disinfecting water. The invention further relates to an antibacterial porous hydrogel.

US 2019/0003465 A1: Method Of Osmotic Energy Harvesting Using Responsive Compounds And Molecules (2020)
Abstract: The present invention discloses and claims a more efficient and economical method and system for osmotic energy production and capture using responsive compounds and molecules. The present invention is an energy harvest system enabled by stimuli responsive draw solutions that are competent in terms of energy production, geographic location flexibility, and the affordable, efficient and economical production and delivery of osmotic power. Specifically, the present invention is a novel osmotic power system that uses stimuli responsive draw solutions, economically feasible larger permeable membranes, and low grade heat sources to deliver osmotic power more efficiently and economically with less negative environmental impact, greater power output, and located in more geographically diverse areas of the world than previously thought possible for supporting such a power source.

US 2018/0015414 A1: Regenerable Draw Solute For Osmotically Driven Processes (2020)
Abstract: Disclosed herein is a use of an inorganic salt to form and regenerate a draw solute for forward osmosis, wherein the inorganic salt is selected from one or more of the group selected from sodium sulfate, calcium lactate, disodium phosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, and hydrates thereof. Also disclosed herein is a method of forward osmosis using said inorganic salt.

US 2016/0074810 A1: A Draw Solute For Forward Osmosis (2020)
Abstract: The present invention provides a draw solute for forward osmosis comprising a carbon dioxide responsive structural unit and a thermally responsive structural unit, wherein the draw solute is capable of reversibly switching between a protonated state and a deprotonated state. The present invention also provides a forward osmosis method utilising the draw solute.

US 2018/0008933 A1: A Draw Solute For A Forward Osmosis Process (2022)
Abstract: A draw solute for a forward osmosis process, the draw solute comprising: a thermally responsive ionic compound having at least one of: a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) and an upper critical solution temperature (UCST), the draw solute being regeneratable from a diluted aqueous draw solution after forward osmosis via one of: liquid-liquid phase separation and solid-liquid phase separation, the draw solute being regeneratable when the diluted aqueous draw solution is at a temperature selected from one of: above the LCST and below the UCST.

US-2019-0317026-A1: Non-Destructive Testing Methods And Apparatus (2022)
Abstract: A non-destructive testing method of analyzing a sample comprising a composite material is disclosed. The method comprises: emitting an electromagnetic signal onto the sample, the electromagnetic signal having a range of frequencies; detecting a response signal transmitted and/or reflected by the sample in response to the electromagnetic signal; processing the response signal to determine variation with frequency of a dielectric permittivity of the sample over the range of frequencies; and determining an indication of a structural characteristic of the sample from a measure of the variation with frequency of the dielectric permittivity of the sample.
Courses Taught
MS722M Processing of Organic Materials