Wang’s research focuses on surface physics; the approach is a combination of atomistic simulation of nonequilibrium growth, chemical vapor deposition of light-element nanomaterials, and water behaviors in confinement system. One of the original contributions is the development of the Reaction-Limited-Aggregation (RLA) theory. Within this model, a fractal-to-compact island shape transition can be induced by either decreasing the growth temperature or increasing the deposition flux. This counterintuitive finding is just the opposite to the prediction of the classic Diffusion-Limited-Aggregation (DLA) model, and is in excellent qualitative agreement with experimental observations in the presence of surfactant. He and his coworkers also predicted a three-dimensional Ehrlich-Schwoebel barrier; attracted News and Views in Nature (June 2002). Another contribution is the model proposal and experimental validation of a true upward atomic diffusion; attracted Physics News Update in June 2003 and News and Views in Nature as well as Science Week in June 2004. His group experimentally realized tubular graphite cone and polymerized CN nanobells; attracted News reports of Materialstoday (June 2003) and Analytical Chemistry (July 2003). He also developed a method to synthesize single-walled boron-carbon-nitrogen nanotubes. Recently, he researches water behaviors in confinement. He proposed a two-dimensional tessellation ice, which has attracted a lot of interest and has finally been observed in experiments. His work on the water-surface coupling and the strength of the hydrogen bonds at the interfaces provides a fundamental understanding of water on surface at molecular level.
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