College Introduction

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has been established at Shenzhen University to provide both undergraduate and postgraduate education, focusing on interdisciplinary teaching and research. As a special platform at Shenzhen University, IAS seeks to


Zheng Li

Ph.D., Assistant Professor


Address: Room 421 IAS Building, Southern Campus, Shenzhen University, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, 518060

Departmental Profile:

Group Page:



2017.4: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chemistry, Ph.D.

Mentor: Prof. Kenneth S. Suslick

2012.6: Nanjing University, Kuangyaming Honors School, Chemistry, B.S.

Mentor: Prof. Weiyin Sun

Working Experience:

2019.11-, IAS, Shenzhen University, Assistant Professor

2018.3-2019.10, North Carolina State University, Postdoc

Supervisor: Prof. Qingshan Wei

2017.3-2018.2, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Postdoc

Supervisor: Prof. Kenneth S. Suslick

Research Interests:

Our research goal is to develop novel point-of-care diagnostic tools for automated “sample-to-answer” biomarker analysis, to empower the capability on disease detection and management. These portable and connected chemosensors will be integrated with new assay methods to facilitate early diagnosis, personalized medicine, and bring healthcare closer to the patients. We will apply interdisciplinary approaches to create these detection systems, including smartphone-based sensors, molecular assays, lab-on-a-chip devices, microfluidics, and plasmonic nanomaterials.

Publication summary:

Over 30 papers as the first/corresponding authors in high-impact journals, including Chem. Rev., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Nat. Plants, Matter, and Anal. Chem.

4 Chinese or U.S. patents or patents pending;

H-index = 20 (i.e., 20 publications each with 20 or more citations);

Total citations = 1500, i10-index = 24 (24 papers with >10 citations).


2021 Shenzhen University “Liyuan” Outstanding Youth

2020 Shenzhen “Kongque” Plan B Talent

2019 Postdoctoral Travel Award, North Carolina State University

2017 TS Piper the Best Dissertation Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2015 Eastman Travel Award, ACS 250th National Meeting

2013 Ullyot Fellowship, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2012 Award of Sciences and Arts, Department for Intensive Instruction, Nanjing University

Academic Affiliations:

Guest editor of Frontier in Chemistry and Sensors;

Member of the American Chemical Society (ACS);

Reviewer of Anal. Chem., ACS Sens., Chem. Commun., Sens. Actuators B, etc.

Selected Publications

19. Sun, L.; Zhang, R.; Hu, L.; Chen, X.; Lu, X.; Li, Z.* “Hydrophobic and Rapid-Response Sensor Inks: Array-Based Fingerprinting of Perfumes.” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 27339-27346.

18. Fan, S.; Wang, X.; Li, Y.; Chen, X.; Chen, H.; Schultz, Z. D.; Li, Z.* “High-Throughput Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering for Screening Chemical Sensor Candidates Enabled by Bipolar Electrochemistry.” ACS Sens. 2022, 7, 1431-1438.

17. Lu, X.; Yao, C.; Sun, L.; Li, Z.* “Plasmon-enhanced Biosensors for MicroRNA Analysis and Cancer Diagnosis.” Biosens. Bioelectron. 2022, 203, 114041.

16. Li, Z.;* Zhang, R.; Lu, X.; Hu, L.; Wang, X.; Liu, W.; Cui, C.; Liu, X. “Multiplexed Analysis of Photochemical Oxidants Using a Nanoparticle-Based Optoelectronic Nose.” Anal. Chem. 2021, 93, 13990-13997.

15. Li, Z.;# Liu, Y.;# Hossain, O.; Paul, R.; Yao, S.; Wu, S.; Ristaino, J. B.; Zhu, Y.;* Wei, Q.;* “Real-time Monitoring of Plant Stresses via Chemiresistive Profiling of Leaf Volatiles by a Wearable Sensor.” Matter 2021, 4, 2553-2570.

14. Li, Z.;* Suslick, K. S.* “The Optoelectronic Nose.” Acc. Chem. Res. 2021, 54, 950-960 (cover).

13. Li, Z.;* Wang, Z.; Khan, J.; LaGasse, M. K.; Suslick, K. S.* “Ultrasensitive Monitoring of Museum Airborne Pollutants using a Silver Nanoparticle Sensor Array.” ACS Sens. 2020, 5, 2783-2791 (cover).

12. Li, Z.; Yu, T.; Paul, R.; Fan, J.; Yang, Y.; Wei, Q.* “Agricultural Nanodiagnostic Techniques: Recent Advances and Challenges.” Nanoscale Adv. 2020, 2, 3083-3094.

11. Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S.* “Chemically-induced Sintering of Nanoparticles.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 14193-14196.

10. Li, Z.; Paul, R.; Tis, T. B.; Saville, A. C.; Hansel, J. B.; Yu, T.; Ristaino, J. B.; Wei, Q.* “Non-invasive Plant Disease Diagnostics Enabled by Smartphone-Based Fingerprinting of Leaf Volatiles.” Nat. Plants 2019, 5, 856-866 (ESI highly cited paper).

9. Li, Z.; Zhang, S.; Tao, Y.; Dai, Z.; Wei, Q.* “Aptamer-Based Fluorescent Sensor Array for Multiplexed Detection of Cyanotoxins on a Smartphone.” Anal. Chem. 2019, 91, 10448-10457 (cover).

8. Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S.* “Colorimetric Sensor Array for Monitoring of CO and Ethylene.” Anal. Chem. 2019, 91, 797-802.

7. Li, Z.; Askim, J. R.; Suslick, K. S.* “The Optoelectronic Nose: Colorimetric and Fluorometric Sensor Arrays.” Chem. Rev. 2019, 119, 231-292 (ESI highly cited paper).

6. Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S.* “Ultrasonic Preparation of Porous Silica-Dye Microspheres: Sensors for Quantification of Urinary Trimethylamine N-Oxide.” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2018, 10, 15820-15828.

5. Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S.* “An Hand-Held Optoelectronic Nose for the Identification of Liquors.” ACS Sens. 2018, 3, 121-127 (cover).

4. Li, Z.; Fang, M.; LaGasse, M. K.; Askim, J. R.; Suslick, K. S.* “Colorimetric Recognition of Aldehydes and Ketones.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 9860-9863 (ESI highly cited paper).

3. Li, Z.; Li, H.; LaGasse, M. K.; Suslick, K. S.* “Rapid Quantification of Trimethylamine.” Anal. Chem. 2016, 88, 5615-5620.

2. Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S.* “Portable Optoelectronic Nose for Monitoring Meat Freshness.” ACS Sens. 2016, 1, 1330-1335.

1. Askim, J. R.;# Li, Z.;# Rankin, J. M.; LaGasse, M. K.; Suslick, K. S.* “An Optoelectronic Nose for Identification of Explosives.” Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 199-206.

Book Chapters

1. Li, Z.* “Chapter 00045: Chemical Sensors: Gas Sensors; Optical Sensors" from “Encyclopedia of Sensors and Biosensors.” Elsevier: 2021, DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-822548-6.00045-5.

2. Li, Z.* “Chapter 12: Optoelectronic Sensors for Health Monitoring” from “Optoelectronic Organic-Inorganic Semiconductor Heterojunctions.” CRC press: 2020, p 315-342.

3. Li, Z.; Zhang, S.; Wei, Q.* “Smartphone-Based Flow Cytometry, in Smartphone Based Medical Diagnostics.” (Ed: J.-Y. Yoon), Elsevier: 2019, p 67-88.


1. Li, Z.; Lu, X.; Zhang, R. The fabrication of An Optical Gas Sensor Array and Its Applications,Invention Patent, CP121010464C, under review.

2. Suslick, K. S.; Li, Z.; LaGasse, M. K. “Methods and Devices for Detection of Trimethylamine (TMA) and Trimethylamine Oxide (TMAO).” U. S. Patent 20170336379, Nov. 23, 2017.

3. Wei, Q.; Li, Z.; Ristaino, J. B. “Method and device for plant disease diagnosis by leaf volatile detection.” U. S. Patent application, 62873561, 2019.