skip to primary navigationskip to content

Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Department of Physics

Studying at Cambridge


Tianheng Zhao

Tianheng Zhao

Winton Scholar

Supervisor: Dr Silvia Vignolini and Dr Erika Eiser

Department of Chemistry and Optoelectronics Group


PhD in Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK (2016)
Masters in Materials Science, University of Cambridge, UK (2015)
Bachelor in Materials Science, Monash University, Australia (2012)
Bachelor in Materials Science and Engineering, Central South University, China (2010)

Research Interests

My research focuses on using natural bio-macromolecules to recreate the structure found in nature. I plan to use microfluidic devices to produce cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) suspension droplets. When drying, CNC will self-assemble into chiral nematic structure with periodicity similar to wavelength of visible light, which can selectively reflect light. Colourings with "structural colour" comparing to conventional dye are long-lasting, flexible, low-cost and safe. The solid photonic balls can be used as pigments, food colourings, bio-sensors, etc.