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Dr Xunyu (Rain) Lu

+61 2 93859793

Professional Experience

  •   Senior Lecturer, UNSW Sydney (01 July 2019 - now).
  •   Scientia Fellow, UNSW Sydney (01 Jan 2019 - now)
  •   Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, UNSW Sydney (01 Jan 2017 - now)
  •   Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UNSW Sydney (01 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2016)


  • CEIC2009 Materials and Energy Balances in the Chemical Process Industry.
  • CEIC2000 Materials and Energy Systems.

Research activities

Research Activities and Current Projects 

  • 1. Development of cost-effective and active catalyst for electrochemical energy conversion reactions. 
  • 2. Fundamental study of electrocatalysis with combined computational and experimental techniques. 
  • 3. Design and fabrication of energy devices (water/CO2 electrolysers, fuel cell stacks, metal-air batteries) for potential industrial applications.
  • 4. Control the geometric and electronic effects of single atom catalysts for selectivity and activity enhancements. 
  • 5. Integration of the energy devices with state-of-the-art photovoltaic (PV) cells to produce renewable chemicals and fuels.

Recent Selected Publications:

  • Q. Zhang, X. Tan, N. M. Bedford, Z. Han, L. Thomsen, S. Smith, R. Amal*, X. Lu*, Nat. Commun., 2020, accepted.
  • R. Daiyan#, X. Zhu#, Z. Tong, L. Gong, A. Razmjou, R.S. Liu*, Z. Xia, X. Lu*, L. Dai, R. Amal*, "Transforming active sites in nickel–nitrogen–carbon catalysts for efficient electrochemical CO2 reduction to CO", Nano Energy, 2020, 105213.
  • R. Daiyan#, E. C. Lovell#, B. Huang, M. Zubair, J. Leverett, Q. Zhang, S. Lim, J. Horlyck, J. Tang, X. Lu, K. Kalantar‐Zadeh, J. N. Hart, N. M. Bedford*, R. Amal*, “Uncovering Atomic‐Scale Stability and Reactivity in Engineered Zinc Oxide Electrocatalysts for Controllable Syngas Production”, Adv. Energy Mater., 2020, 2001381.
  • X. Zhu, D. Zhang, C. J. Chen, Q. Zhang, R. S. Liu*, Z. Xia, L. Dai, R. Amal*, X. Lu*, “Harnessing the interplay of Fe–Ni atom pairs embedded in nitrogen-doped carbon for bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysis”, Nano Energy, 2020, 71, 104597.
  • R. Daiyan, W. H. Saputera, H. Masood, J. Leverett, X. Lu*, R. Amal*, “A Disquisition on the Active Sites of Heterogeneous Catalysts for Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Value‐Added Chemicals and Fuel”, Adv. Energy. Mater., 2020, 10, 1902106.
  • E. C. Lovell, X. Lu*, Q. Zhang, J. Scott, R. Amal*, “From passivation to activation–tunable nickel/nickel oxide for hydrogen evolution electrocatalysis”, Chem. Commun., 2020, 56, 1709-1712.
  • Q. Zhang, N. M. Bedford, J. Pan, X. Lu*, R. Amal*, “A Fully Reversible Water Electrolyzer Cell made up from FeCoNi (Oxy)hydroxide Atomic Layers”, Adv. Energy Mater. 2019, 1901312.  
  • R. Daiyan#, E. C. Lovell#, N. M. Bedford, W. H. Saputera, K. H. Wu, S. Lim, J. Horlyck, Y. H. Ng, X. Lu*, R. Amal*, “Modulating Activity through Defect Engineering of Tin Oxides for Electrochemical CO2Reduction”, Adv. Sci. 2019, 1900678.
  • X. Zhu, X. Tan, K. H. Wu, C. L. Chiang, Y. C. Lin, Y. G. Lin, D. W. Wang, S. Smith, X. Lu*, R. Amal*, “N,P co-coordinated Fe species embedded in carbon hollow spheres for oxygen electrocatalysis”, J. Mater. Chem. A 2019, 7, 14732-14742.
  • X. Zhu, R. Amal*, X. Lu*, “N,P Co-Coordinated Manganese Atoms in Mesoporous Carbon for Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction”, Small 2019, 1804524.
  • S. Zhao, X. Lu, L. Wang, J. Gale, R. Amal*, “Carbon-Based Metal-Free Catalysts for Electrocatalytic Reduction of Nitrogen for Synthesisof Ammonia at Ambient Conditions”, Adv. Mater. 2019, 1805367.
  • X. Lu#, X. Tan#, Q. Zhang, R. Daiyan, J. Pan, R. Chen, H. A. Tahini, D. W. Wang, S. C. Smith*, R. Amal*, “Versatile electrocatalytic processes realized by Ni, Co and Fe alloyed core coordinated carbon shells”, J. Mater. Chem. A 2019, 7, 12154-12165.
  • R. Daiyan, X. Tan, R. Chen, W. H. Saputera, H. A. Tahini, E. Lovell, Y. H. Ng, S. C. Smith, L. Dai, X. Lu*, R. Amal*, “Electroreduction of CO2 to CO on a Mesoporous Carbon Catalyst with Progressively Removed Nitrogen Moieties”, ACS Energy Lett. 2018, 3, 2292-2298.
  • X. Lu*, J. Pan, E. Lovell, T. H. Tan, Y. H. Ng, R. Amal*, “A sea-change: Manganese doped nickel/nickel oxide electrocatalysts for hydrogen generation from seawater”, Energy Environ. Sci. 2018, 11, 1898-1910.


Ph.D. positions and Honours projects are available, please contact Dr. Lu for further discussions. 

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Daiyan R; Chen R; Kumar P; Bedford NM; Qu J; Cairney JM; Lu X; Amal R, 2020, 'Tunable Syngas Production through CO2 Electroreduction on Cobalt-Carbon Composite Electrocatalyst', ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 12, pp. 9307 - 9315,

Daiyan R; Saputera WH; Masood H; Leverett J; Lu X; Amal R, 2020, 'A Disquisition on the Active Sites of Heterogeneous Catalysts for Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Value-Added Chemicals and Fuel', Advanced Energy Materials, vol. 10, pp. 1902106 - 1902106,

Daiyan R; Lovell EC; Bedford NM; Saputera WH; Wu KH; Lim S; Horlyck J; Ng YH; Lu X; Amal R, 2019, 'Modulating Activity through Defect Engineering of Tin Oxides for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction', Advanced Science, vol. 6, pp. 1900678 - 1900678,

Daiyan R; Lu X; Tan X; Zhu X; Chen R; Smith SC; Amal R, 2019, 'Antipoisoning nickel-carbon electrocatalyst for practical electrochemical co2 reduction to CO', ACS Applied Energy Materials, vol. 2, pp. 8002 - 8009,

Zhang Q; Bedford NM; Pan J; Lu X; Amal R, 2019, 'A Fully Reversible Water Electrolyzer Cell Made Up from FeCoNi (Oxy)hydroxide Atomic Layers', Advanced Energy Materials, vol. 9,