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Research Interests

  • Renewable Energy Harvesting, Conversion & Storage: Processing technologies of high-performance nanostructured electrode materials for solar cells, supercapacitors, rechargeable batteries & fuel cells, and high-temperature proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for electrochemical processes (e.g., low-pressure ammonia production, hydrogen/ethanol fuel cells, etc.); Performance characterization & modeling of new concept fuel cells; emerging technologies for renewable energy harvesting, conversion and storage.
  • Multifunctional Nanofibers & Nanostructures: Processing technologies including fabrication of high-strength & multifunctional nanofibers by electrospinning, melt-force spinning & solution-blowing & related scale-up technologies; Hierarchal multifunctional carbon structures; CNTs by CVD; Structural, mechanical & electrochemical characterization of nanomaterials; Biomimetic materials; Issues of applications of nanofibers & other nanomaterials in structural nanocomposites, multifunctional membranes, sensing, bioengineering, energy harvesting/conversion/storage (e.g., nanostructured electrode materials for solar cells/supercapacitors/rechargeable batteries, & polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cells), gas/liquid filtration, water-oil & gas separation, etc.
  • Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs) & Joining Technologies: Manufacturing technologies; Interface toughening & delamination suppression technologies; Continuous nanofibers/core-shell nanofiber based interface damage/cracking self-sensing & self-healing technologies; Mechanical properties (quasi-static, dynamic, impact, & fatigue) of advanced PMCs and adhesively bonded multimaterial joints (ABMJs); Fracture & impact mechanics; Durability of PMC structures & NDE; Fracture & damage; Stress analysis & design of PMCs & ABMJs; Smart materials & structures, etc.
  • Applied Mechanics, Micro/Nanomechanics & Computational Materials Science: Multiphysics modeling of nanomanufacturing (e.g., electrospinning, force-spinning, electrical lithography, etc.) & structural evolution in energy storage materials (e.g., electrodes of supercapacitors, rechargeable batteries, & fuel cells), surface patterning via molecular self-assembly & electromechanical lithography; Electrohydrodynamics of liquid films & jets; Deformation, dynamics, adhesion, contact, friction, buckling, wrinkling, collapse & damage of micro/nanofibrous materials, nanofiber-based devices, & soft matters; Size effect in mechanical properties of nanofibers & nanocomposites; Micro/nanofluidics; Liquid wetting & spreading in fibers & fibrous materials, etc.

Research Projects Are Sponsored by NSF, DOE, DOD, NCMS, ND DOE/NASA EPSCoR, ND EPSCoR, ND Renewable Energy Council, ND Corn Utlization Council, ND Soybean Council, Asland Co., NDSU, etc. 

Recent Research Grants & Awards

  • National Center for Manufacturing Sciences/DOD GVSC: Advanced membrane electrode assembiles for fuel cells  (PI) ($842,795) (05/01/2021-12/12/2022) (PI: Xiangfa Wu, co-PIs: Adam Gladen, Qifeng Zhang, Oksana Zholobko)

  • ND Corn Utilization Council: Catalyst-based oxidation of corn-based bioethanol for high-efficiency electricity generation-Direct bioethanol fuel cell (PI) ($118,818) (07/01/2020-06/30/2022) (PI: Xiangfa Wu, co-PIs: Oksana Zholobko, Adam Gladen)
  • ND Corn Utilization Council: Biochemical synthesis of corn-based biomaterials for making edible bale net wrap (co-PI) ($59,430) (07/01/2020-06/30/2022) (PI: Ademola Hammed, co-PIs: Nurun Nahar, Ewumbua Monono, Xiangfa Wu)
  • ND EPSCoR: Acquisition of a fuel cell test system for the interdisciplinary research and education of renewable energy conversion and storage technology at NDSU (PI) ($35,000) (09/30/2019-05/31/2020) (PI: Xiangfa Wu, co-PIs: Oksana Zholobko, Adam Gladen, Qifeng Zhang, Wenfang Sun, Andriy Voronov)
  • Centennial Endowment Fund, NDSU Development Foundation: High-temperature polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for direct bioethanol fuel cells (PI) ($3,750) (04/16/2019-09/01/2020) (PI: Xiangfa Wu)

  • DOE EERE/NDIC: Low-pressure electrolytic ammonia production (co-PI) ($3,164,010) (DOE:$2,497,983, North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC)-Renewable Energy Program:$437,000, match funds: $229,027) (06/15/2018-06/14/2021) (PI: Ted Aulich-UND EERC, co-PIs: Xiangfa Wu-NDSU (20% effort), Jivan Thakare-UND EERC, John Hurley-UND EERC, Julia Zhao-UND Chemistry, Katherine Ayers-Proton Onsites, CT) UND News 
  • NSF CMMI: Multi-physics modeling and experimental characterization of needleless electrospinning for scalable nanofiber production (PI) ($218,324) (10/01/2012-09/30/2016) (PI: Xiangfa Wu) Abstract, NDSU News
  • ND EPSCoR Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship: Ternary hierarchical porous electrodes of supercapacitors and batteries based on electrospun nanofibers ($19,000) (PhD Advisee: Zhengping Zhou) (04/01/2013-02/28/2014) (PhD Advisor: Xiangfa Wu)
  • North Dakota Soybean Council: Mass production of soy protein nanofiber mats-Toward industrial production and evaluation (co-PI) ($39,822) (07/01/2013-06/30/2014) (PI: Jiang Long; co-PIs: Xiangfa Wu (15% effort), Chad Ulven)
  • Centennial Endowment Fund, NDSU Development Foundation: Fabrication and characterization of superoleophobic nanofibers used for high-efficiency water-oil separation  (PI) ($5,000) (04/23/2013-04/22/2014) (PI: Xiangfa Wu)
  • ND NASA EPSCoR: Biobased carbon nanofibers with novel structures for advanced applications (co-PI) ($35,000) (10/15/2012-06/30/2013) (PI: Long Jiang; co-PIs: Xiangfa Wu (15% effort), Robert Pieri)
  • North Dakota Soybean Council: Mass production of continuous soy protein nanofibers by needleless electrospinning (co-PI) ($36,074) (07/01/2012-06/30/2013) (PI: Jiang Long; co-PIs: Xiangfa Wu (40% effort), Chad Ulven)
  • NASA EPSCoR Seed Research Grant: Hybrid high-strength graphite/epoxy composites reinforced with self-healing coaxial nanofibers at interfaces (PI) ($40,769) (04/16/2011-04/15/2012) (PI: Xiangfa Wu)
  • Centennial Endowment Fund, NDSU Development Foundation: Bio-inspired hybrid composites reinforced with self-healing interfaces (PI) ($3,100) (05/12/2010-06/30/2011) (PI: Xiangfa Wu)
  • DoE EPSCoR IIP Program - Sustainable Energy Seed Grants Initiative (SUNRISE): Hybrid CNT-grafted carbon nanofibers for porous electrodes of supercapacitors (PI) ($38,000) (08/16/2010-06/30/2013) (PI: Xiangfa Wu)
  • Industry (Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients, Inc., Wilmington, DE ): Wetting properties of hair-care liquids (PI) ($2,741) (05/20/09-06/30/09) (PI: Xiangfa Wu). 

Patents

 

  • Ted Aulich, Jivan Thakare, John Hurley, Xiangfa Wu, Oksana Zholobko, & Zhengping Zhou, "Proton-exchange membrane," U.S. Utility Patent Application No. 16/922,160, July 7, 2020.
  • Ted Aulich, Jivan Thakare, John Hurley, Xiangfa Wu, & Oksana Zholobko, "Ultraphosphate proton conductor-based proton exchange membrane," Provisional Patent Application Applicatioin No. 62/871,5111, October 2, 2019.
  • Ted Aulich, Jivan Thakare, John Hurley, Xiangfa Wu, & Zhengping Zhou, "Proton-exchange membrane," Provisional Patent Application No. 62/871,5111, July 8, 2019.
  • Xiangfa Wu, Arifur Rahman, Zhengping Zhou, & Youhao Zhao, “Self-healing nanofibers, composites and methods for manufacturing,” International Patent No. WO 2014/120321, August 7, 2014. PDF
  • Xiangfa Wu & Zhengping Zhou, “Nanostructured materials,” International Patent No. WO 2014/078423, May 22, 2014. PDF
  •  Douglas L. Schultz, Justin Hoey, Xiangfa Wu, Iskander Akhatov, Philip Boudjouk, Xuliang Dai, Larry Pederson, Jeremiah Smith, Arumugasamy Elangovan, & Sijin Han, “Liquid silane-based compositions and methods for producing silicon-based materials,” U.S. Patent No. 2013/0093122, April 18, 2013. PDF
  • Douglas L. Schultz, Justin Hoey, Xiangfa Wu, Iskander Akhatov, Philip Boudjouk, Xuliang Dai, Arumugasamy Elangovan, Larry Pederson, Jeremiah Smith, & Sijin Han, “Liquid silane-based compositions and methods for producing silicon-based materials,” International Patent No. WO 2011/127218, October 13, 2011. PDF

Recent Postdoctoral Research Fellows, Research Scientists, & Visiting Scholars

  • Dr. Oksana Zholobko (Research Assistant Professor, 9/2020-). PhD in Coatings and Polymeric Science (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 2019); PhD in Chemistry of High Molecular Weight Compounds (Lviv Polytechnic National University, Lviv, Ukraine, 2014)

  • Marta Bukartyk (Visiting Graduate Student, 6/2021-9/2021). MS in Chemical Technologies and Engineering (Lviv Polytechnic National University, Lviv, Ukraine, 2021)

  • Dr. Oksana Zholobko (Postdoctoral Research Associate, 9/2019-9/2020). PhD in Coatings and Polymeric Science (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 2019); PhD in Chemistry of High Molecular Weight Compounds (Lviv Polytechnic National University, Lviv, Ukraine, 2014)

  • Dr. Zhengping Zhou (Research Assistant Professor, 8/2018-9/2019). PhD in Materials and Nanotechnology (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 2014)
  • Current Position: Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), TN.
  • Dr. Chengxiang Ruan (Visiting Professor, 4/2018-4/2019). PhD in Chemical Technology and Biomaterials (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 2004)
  • Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China

Recent PhD/MS-Degree Students

  • Muhammad Muzamal Ashfaq (Ph.D. in ME, 08/2021-)
  • Research Topic: Energy harvesting and storage 
  • Md. Shariful Islam (Ph.D. in ME, 01/2021-)
  • Research Topic: Theoretical and experimental studies of proton exchange membranes 
  • Jacob S. Wieber (MS in ME, 01/2018-)
  • Research Topic: Computational electrohydrodynamics of nanofiber manufacturing
  • Mojtaba Ahmadi (Ph.D. in ME, 08/2017-07/2020)
  • PhD Dissertation: Mechanics of surface instabilities of soft nanofibers and nonlinear contacts of hydrogels
  • Uraching Chowdhury (MS in ME, 01/17-12/2018)
  • MS Thesis: Theoretical and computational studies of the mechanical strength and fracture toughness of adhesively bonded joints and polymer nanoclay composites
  • Josh Borglum (MS in ME, 08/13-12/2015)
  • MS Thesis: Numerical simulations of electrohydrodynamic evolution of thin polymer films
  • Xiao Wang (MS in ME, 08/2013-12/2015)
  • MS Thesis: Stress-function variational methods for stress analysis of composite laminates and adhesively bonded composite joints
  • Zhengping Zhou (Ph.D. in MNT/ME, 08/2010-12/2014)
  • PhD Dissertation: Synthesis and characterization of novel hierarchically functionalized carbon nanofibers for energy conversion and storage applications (Winner of the Graduate Researcher of the Year Award of the College of Engineering, NDSU 2013; Winner of the North Dakota EPSCoR Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2013-2014), NDSU, 2013; 2nd Place, Research Post Presentation Competition of the Graduate Research and Arts Forum, North Dakota State University, 2013
  • Youhao Zhao (MS in ME, 08/12-12/2014)
  • MS Thesis: Stress-function variational method for stress analysis of adhesively bonded joints
  • Meng Yu (MS in ME, 08/12-12/2013)
  • MS Thesis: Theoretical and experimental studies of droplets wetting on micro/nano-fibrous materials and their applications in oil-water separation
  • Arifur Rahman (MS in ME, 08/10-05/12)
  • MS Thesis: Fabrication and mechanical characterization of novel hybrid carbon-fiber/epoxy composites reinforced with toughening/self-repairing nanofibers at interfaces
  • Robert A. Jenson (MS in ME, 08/09-05/11)
  • MS Thesis: Stress-function variational method and its applications in the stress analysis of bonded joints and hard coatings
  • Amol Bedarkar (MS in ME, 08/08-05/10)
  • MS Thesis:  Computational simulation of droplets wetting on micro and nano filaments

Recent Non-Degree Graduate Research Assistants

  • Oksana Zholobko (Summer graduate researcher, PhD student in Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, NDSU, August 2019)
  • Zheng Fang (ME Department, NDSU, 08/2015-12/2017)
  • Xiaoyi Zhou (Department of Statistics, NDSU, 09/2014-12/2014)
  • Yichun Ding (MNT/ME Department, NDSU, 01/2014-06/2014)

Recent Undergraduate Research Assistants

 

  •  Andrew Mahoney (ME undergraduate, NDSU, 09/2019)
  • Jiahui Chen (ME undergraduate, NDSU, 05/2019-12/2019)
  • Brandon Baatz (ME undergraduate, NDSU, 09/2018-05/2019)
  • Zheng Fang (IME undergraduate, NDSU, 05/2015-06/2015)
  • Yusheng Chen (ME undergraduate, NDSU, 01/2015-06/2015)
  • Jeremy J. Jenniges (ME undergraduate, NDSU, 05/2013-05/2014)
  • Nicole Reilly (ME  undergraduate, NDSU, 01/2013-12/2013)
  • Youhao Zhao (ME undergraduate, NDSU, 06/2011-07/2011)
  • Michael Denow (ME undergraduate, NDSU, 10/2008-12/2008) 

 

Awards & Honors

 

  • The 2020 College of Engineering Excellence in Research Award ($1,000), North Dakota State University, 2020
  • Research Award ($3,750), Centennial Endowment Fund, North Dakota State University, 2019
  • Research Award ($5,000), Centennial Endowment Fund, North Dakota State University, 2013
  • Nominee, The Researcher of the Year Award, College of Engineering and Architecture, North Dakota State University, 2013
  • The Graduate Researcher of the Year Award (Ph.D. Advisee: Zhengping Zhou, $800), College of Engineering and Architecture, North Dakota State University, 2013
  • 2013-2014 Graduate School Ph.D. Dissertation Fellowship (Ph.D. Advisee: Zhengping Zhou) ($19,000), North Dakota State University, 2013
  • 2nd Place (Ph.D. Advisee: Zhengping Zhou), Research Post Presentation Competition of the Graduate Research and Arts Forum, North Dakota State University, 2013
  • Research Award ($3,100), Centennial Endowment Fund, North Dakota State University, 2010
  • Faculty Travel Award,  North Dakota State University ($300), 2010
  • NDSU President’s Professional Development Award ($550), North Dakota State University, 2009
  • The Engineering Mechanics Outstanding Research Fellowship Award ($1,000), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE, 2003
  • The Milton E. Mohr Research Fellowship Award ($1,000), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE, 2002
  • The Milton E. Mohr Research Fellowship Award ($1,000), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE, 2001
  • PhD Graduate Research Assistantship, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE, Fall 1999-Summer 2003 
  • Excellent Technical Paper Award, Beijing Institute of Technology, China, 1998
  • Excellent Master Thesis Award, Beijing Institute of Technology, China, 1995
  • Excellent Graduate Award, Beijing Institute of Technology, China, 1993
  • “SAN-HAO XUE-SHENG” Award, Jilin University of Technology, China, 1989
  • Undergraduate Scholarships, Jilin University of Technology, China, 1986-1990

Invention Disclosures

  • Xiangfa Wu and Oksana Zholobko, "A multi-grade sedimentation tube,"NDSU Technology Transfer Office, June 4, 2020.

  • Xiangfa Wu and Mojtaba Ahmadi, "A compact rotary nanofiber collector," NDSU Technology Transfer Office, October 11, 2019.

  • Ted Aluich (UND), Jivan Thakare (UND), John Hurley (UND), and Xiangfa Wu, “High-efficiency high-temperature gas-impermeable polymer-inorganic composite (PIC) proton exchange membrane,” UND/NDSU Technology Transfer Office, July 30, 2018.

  • Xiangfa Wu, Jared Ellis, Shautel Barnes, Megan Velo, & Casey Orgon, “Linkage mechanism for pipe connection and clamping of tubular parts in tension,” NDSU Technology Transfer Office, April 30, 2013. 

  • Xiangfa Wu, Zhengping Zhou, & Youhao Zhao, “Dual-wire emulsion-electrospinning for mass production of ultrathin core-shell and hollow fibers,” NDSU Technology Transfer Office, July 6, 2012.

  • Xiangfa Wu, Arifur Rahman, & Zhengping Zhou, “Hybrid high-strength carbon-fiber/epxoy composites reinforced with ultrathin toughening and self-healing core-shell fibers at interfaces,” NDSU Technology Transfer Office, Feburary 2, 2012.

  • Xiangfa Wu & Zhengping Zhou, “Carbon/nickel-nanostrucure-grafted porous carbon nanofiber electrodes for supercapacior-battery hybrids,” NDSU Technology Transfer Office, Auguest 22, 2011.

  • Douglas L. Schultz, Justin Hoey, Xiangfa Wu, & Iskander Akhatov, “Silicon nanowires by electrospinning liquid silane-containing precursors,” NDSU Technology Transfer Office, October 6, 2009.

Computer/Technical Skills

  • Material testing, characterization & manufacturing facilities: DMTA, MTS, Nano UTM, TGA, AFM, FE-SEM, TEM, X-ray diffractometer (XRD), Acoustic emission (AE), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR),  Ultrasonic C-scanner, Infrared imaging system, Turbidimeter, UV crosslinker, Rheometer, Tensionmeter, Electrochemical impedance analyzer, Battery tester, Hopkinson pressure/tension bar, Weight-drop impact machine, Thermal chamber, Spin-coater, Nanofiber fabrication by electrospinning/needleless electrospinning/melt & solution-force spinning/solution-blowing, Chemical vapor deposition (CVD), Solution in-situ polymerization; Thin polymeric films by solutoin casting, Micro-mechanical testing stage, High-speed camera system, PMCs manufacturing & machining facilities, etc.
  • Numerical methods: Finite element, finite difference, finite-difference spectral, etc.
  •  CAD/FEA packages: Solidworks, HyperMesh, AutoCAD, ANSYS, LS-DYNA, Evolver, ADINA/ADINAT, etc.
  • Software packages: MatLab, Maple, Mathematica, OriginPro, Sigma-Plot, MS-Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Photoshop, etc.
  • Programming languages: Fortran, C/C++, BASIC, VB, MatLab, Maple, Mathematica, etc.
  • Operating systems: DOS, MS-Windows, X-windows, UNIX, etc.

 

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