Xiao Cheng Zeng, Ameritas Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is internationally known for his computational studies of new phases of ice, gold, and silicon clusters, and nanostructured materials. Zeng is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He has also held a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship and a fellowship of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He has received numerous awards and honors, including University of Nebraska Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Scientist Award, and an inaugural Willa Cather professorship at UNL.
Zeng has published 271 scientific papers in refereed journals including two in Nature, nine in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, and twenty-four in Journal of the American Chemical Society. The most significant scientific discoveries from the Zeng group include the two-dimensional hexagonal bilayer ice (“Nebraska ice”), two-dimensional ice clathrate, multi-walled helical ice, one-dimensional ferroelectric ice, and hollow cages of gold. These findings were featured in the New York Times, Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal-Star, Royal Society of Chemistry, American Scientist magazine, New Scientist magazine, and National Public Radio.
A faculty member since 1993 at UNL, Zeng has supervised 20 graduate students (16 PhD and 4 MS) and 19 postdoctoral fellows. Eight former PhD graduate students in the Zeng group received University of Nebraska, College of Arts & Science, and/or Department of Chemistry Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant awards. Zeng received his bachelor’s degree from Peking University in 1984 and his PhD from the Ohio State University in 1989. He pursued postdoctoral research at University of Chicago and UCLA from 1989 to 1993.