Dr. Will Y. K. PENG

Assistant Professor of Department of Chemistry

Contact Information
Office: YEUNG-B6704
Phone: +852 3442-7824
Fax: +852 3442-0522
Web: Personal Homepage
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9590-6902
Author ID:
Research Interests
  • Nanomaterial Science
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • MRI Bio-imaging

Dr. Will Yung-Kang Peng (彭詠康) obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2009 from National Chung Cheng University (Taiwan) and graduated as a Master of Science in 2011 from National Taiwan University. After a year of military service (R.O.C.) and research assistant (NTU), he started a PhD in 2013 at Wolfson Catalysis Centre of Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at University of Oxford (UK) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. S. C. Edman Tsang, for which he received a Clarendon scholarship from University of Oxford (top 3% graduate of 2013 year). He obtained his PhD degree in 2017 and stayed in the same group for postdoc (2017-2018). He joined the City University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor in May 2018.

His current research interest is working on the understanding of nanomaterial surface chemistry for the design of hetero(photo) catalysts and MRI contrast agents.

Hetero(photo) nanocatalysts:
Probe-assisted NMR is employed as a major surface tool to qualitatively and quantitatively investigate catalysts’ surface for the activity correlation and the understanding of catalytic mechanism in hetero(photo) catalysis. For further information in this field please refer to our recent review paper: “Facet-dependent Photocatalysis of Nanosize Semiconductive Metal Oxides and Progress of their Characterization”, Nano Today 2018, 18, 15.

MRI nanocontrast agents:
Multifunctional T1-, T2-weighted and dual-modal MRI nanocontrast agent design for in-vivo/in-vitro biomedical applications. For further information in this field please refer to our recent review paper: “Chemical Design of Nanoprobes for T1-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging”, Mater. Today 2016, 19, 336.

Selected Publications

(†equal contribution, *corresponding author)

link for the full publication list:

  • Y.-K. Peng*, S. C. E. Tsang*, “Probe-assisted NMR: Recent progress on the surface study of crystalline metal oxides with various terminated facets” Magnetic Resonance Letters, 2, 9–16 (2022). INVITED REVIEW
  • J. Zhang, T.‐S. Wu, H. V. Thang, K.‐Y. Tseng, X. Hao*, B. Xu, H.‐Y. T. Chen*, Y.‐K. Peng*, “Cluster Nanozymes with Optimized Reactivity and Utilization of Active Sites for Effective Peroxidase (and Oxidase) Mimicking” Small, 18, 2104844 (2022).
  • B. Yuan, H.-L. Chou, Y.-K. Peng*, “Disclosing the Origin of Transition Metal Oxides as Peroxidase (and Catalase) Mimetics” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, (2021). EARLY CAREER FORUM COLLLECTION
  • Q. Wang, X. Yi, Y.‐C. Chen, Y. Xiao, A. Zheng*, J. L. Chen, Y.‐K. Peng*, “Electronic‐State Manipulation of Surface Titanium Activates Dephosphorylation Over TiO2 Near Room Temperature” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 133, 16285–16291 (2021).
  • X. Deng, F. Li, Q. Wang, D. Liu, F. Lin, D. Shen, D. Lei, Y.-K. Peng*, Z. Zhu*, A. K.-Y. Jen*, “Highly efficient and stable perovskite solar cells enabled by a fluoro-functionalized TiO2 inorganic interlayer” Matter, 4, 3301–3312 (2021).
  • Z. Tan, J. Zhang, Y.-C. Chen, J.-P. Chou, Y.-K. Peng*, "Unravelling the Role of Structural Geometry and Chemical State of Well-Defined Oxygen Vacancies on Pristine CeO2 for H2O2 Activation" J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 11, 5390–5396 (2020).
  • J. Zhang, Z. Tan, W. Leng, Y.-C. Chen, S. Zhang, B. Lo, K. Yung, Y.-K. Peng*, "Chemical State Tuning of Surface Ce Species on Pristine CeO2 with 2400% Boosting in Peroxidase-like Activity for Glucose Detection", Chem. Commun. 56, 7897–7900 (2020).
  • Z. Tan, G. Li, H-L. Chou*, Y. Li, X. Yi, A. Mahadi, A. Zheng*, S. C. E. Tsang, Y.-K. Peng*, "Differentiating Surface Ce Species Among CeO2 Facets by Solid-State NMR for Catalytic Correlation", ACS Catal10, 4003–4011 (2020).
  • Z. Tan, T.-S. Wu Y.-L. Soo, Y.-K. Peng*, "Unravelling the True Active Site for CeO2-catalyzed Dephosphorylation", Applied. Catal B. 264, 118508 (2020).
  • Y.-K. Peng*, B. Keeling, Y. Li, J. Zheng, T. Chen, H.-L. Chou, T. J. Puchtler, R. A. Taylor, S. C. E. Tsang*, “Unravelling the Key Role of Surface Features Behind Facet-dependent Photocatalysis of Anatase TiO2”, Chem. Commun. 55, 4415–4418 (2019).


Before Joining CityU

  • Y.-K. Peng, H.-L. Chou*, S. C. E. Tsang*, “Differentiating Surface Titanium Chemical States of Anatase TiO2 Functionalized with Various Surface Groups”, Chem. Sci. 9, 2493–2500 (2018).
  • Y.-K. Peng, S. C. E. Tsang*, “Facet-dependent Photocatalysis of Nanosize Semiconductive Metal Oxides and Progress of their Characterization”, Nano Today 18, 15–34 (2018).
  • Y.-K. Peng, Y. Hu, H.-L. Chou, Y. Fu, I. F. Teixeira, H. He, S. C. E. Tsang*, “Mapping Surface-modified Titania Nanoparticles with Implications for Activity and Facet Control”, Nat. Commun. 8, 675 (2017).
  • Y.-K. Peng, C. N. P. Lui, Y.-W. Chen, S.-W. Chou, P.-T. Chou, K. K. L. Yung*, S. C. E. Tsang*, “Engineering of Single Magnetic Particle Carrier for Living Brain Cell Imaging: A Tunable T1-/T2-/Dual-Modal Contrast Agent for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Application”, Chem. Mater. 29, 4411–4417 (2017).
  • Y.-K. Peng, L. Ye, J. Qu, L. Zhang, Y. Fu, I. F. Teixeira, I. J. McPherson, H. He, S. C. E. Tsang*, “Trimethylphosphine-assisted Surface Fingerprinting of Metal Oxide Nanoparticle by 31P Solid-state NMR: A Zinc Oxide Case Study”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 2225–2234 (2016).
  • Y.-K. Peng, S. C. E. Tsang*, P.-T. Chou*, “Chemical Design of Nanoprobes for T1-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging”, Mater. Today 19, 336–348 (2016).
  • Y.-K. Peng, C.-L. Liu, H.-C. Chen, S.-W. Chou, W.-H. Tseng, Y.-J. Tseng, C.-C. Kang, J.-K. Hsiao*, P.-T. Chou*, “Antiferromagnetic Iron Nanocolloids: A New Generation in Vivo T1 MRI Contrast Agent”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 18621−18628 (2013).
  • Y.-K. Peng, C.-W. Lai, C.-L. Liu, H.-C. Chen, Y.-H. Hsiao, W.-L. Liu, K.-C. Tang, Y. Chi, J.-K. Hsiao*, K.-E. Lim, H.-E. Liao, J.-J. Shyue, P.-T. Chou*, “A New and Facile Method to Prepare Uniform Hollow MnO/Functionalized mSiO(2) Core/Shell Nanocomposites”, ACS Nano 5, 4177−4187 (2011).