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Prof Edman Tsang



Contact details


+44 (0) 118 378 6346


+44 (0) 118 378 6332




School of Chemistry,

University of Reading,






Professor Tsang obtained his PhD from University of Reading (1988-1991) and undertook post-doctoral research at University of Oxford (1991-1993) and later becoming a departmental fellow at Oxford (1993-1995). He obtained a Royal Society University Research Fellowship Award (1995-2000). In 1996, he returned to Reading as a Lecturer (1996-2000) at the School of Chemistry and then promoted as a Reader In Materials and Catalysis (2000-2004). Recently, he has been appointed as Professor in Nanomaterials and Catalysis (Aug 2004- present) heading the Surface and Catalysis Research Centre and is Director of Research at the same school.

Research Activities

Novel Nano-Materials for Catalysis, Sensor and Bio-medical applications

Nanoscience is the study of phenomena at the dimension of 1-100 nm but little has been achieved to tailor such small nanomaterials for catalytic applications. By making use of unique combination of expertise in both material chemistry and catalysis, Prof. Tsang and his team are developing a leading expertise at Reading in nano-arechitecture of catalyst particles. Their recent research has identified new directions leading to rational designs of fundamentally more active and cost effective catalytic materials.
In particular, the new concept has been on the appliance of novel chemically-functionalised coatings onto nano-catalysts, rendering the nano-composite catalysts highly active but separable from product. The precise manipulation of individual catalyst particles at molecular level may lead to a new design of modern catalysts (reviewed by iAc Newletter 2003 and The Chemical Engineer, 2004 etc).
As a result, a new class of carbon coated magnetic separable nano-sized catalysts has been developed at Reading (Angew Chem. in press). In a related subject, an account of new silica coated nano-magnet of controlled dimensions to host biocatalysts with many unique advantages is disclosed (Chem Comm, 2003). His team has also developed new encapsulated nano-catalysts that control the composition/size of the core (J Phys Chem, Chem Comm 2003). This time, the core contains catalytically active sites, which are protected by a porous oxide coating of tailored size. It offers an exciting possibility of independently optimising the important local metal to oxide (coating) interactions that has never been achieved, for catalytic reactions.
His team also work on development of micro-emulsion nano-catalysts in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) as a new environmental friendly process that represents a new but greener approach for the production of chemicals (Chem. Comm 2002, Langmuir 2004).
In nano-sensor and biomedical areas, their interests include using hollow carbon nanotube as nano-scale test tube (two articles in Nature, 1994) for catalysis, separation, storage, magnetic, electronic applications. Research on attachment, testing and characterizations of enzymes and DNA in opened carbon nanotubes at Reading are underway (Angrew. Chem; Chem Comm, 1997-1998). These studies open up promising lines allowing developments of biosensors or drug or gene-delivery/ storage methods (patents & ongoing projects with Astrazeneca 2002-2004) as well as nano-surgerical devices. Also, very recently, Prof. Tsang is working on new synthesis of materials (magnetic, radionuclides) encapsulated in nano-carbon onions. By teaming up with Manchester hospital important applications of these encapsulated radioisotopes in onions for medical diagnosis are being developed (Advanced Materials 2004).







Nanosized magnetic (core) coated separable catalysts








Opening and filling of carbon nanotubes with catalyst/enzyme for catalysis







Filling Nano-size Carbon Onions with Radioisotope (99mTc) as new lung imaging and medical bio-tracers

Knowledge Transfer of Reading’s Nanomaterials

A number of international patents have been filed in collaborations with companies, which will enable Reading to commercially exploit their patents on nanomaterials.

Further information can be found here.

Selected Publications

  1. Magnetically Separable Carbon Supported Nano-Catalysts For Fine Chemical Manufacture, S.C. Tsang, V. Caps, I. Paraskevas, D. Chadwick, D. Thompsett, Angew Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 43, 2004, 5643-5645.

  2. Molecular guided catalytic hydrogenation by micelle-hosted Pd nanoparticle in supercritical CO2, P. Meric, K.M.K. Yu, S.C. Tsang, Catal Lett., 95 (1-2): 39-43 2004

  3. Carbon-encapsulated radioactive Tc-99m Nanoparticles, H.B.S. Chan, B.L. Ellis, H.L. Sharma, W. Frost, V. Caps, R.A. Shields, S.C. Tsang, Adv. Mater, 16 (2): 144, 16 2004.

  4. Colloidal Stable Silica Encapsulated Nano-Magnetic Composite As A Novel Bio-Catalyst Carrier, X. Gao, K.M.K. Yu, K. Tam, S.C. Tsang, Chem. Commun., 24, 2998-2999 2003.

  5. Ultra-thin Porous Silica Coated Silver-Platinum Alloy Nano-particle As A New Catalyst Precursor, K. M. K. Yu, D. Thompsett, S. C. Tsang, Chem. Commun. 1522 – 1523 2003.

  6. Aqueous emulsion containing fluorous cobalt species in supercritical CO2 for catalytic air oxidation of toluene, J. Zhu, A. Robertson, S.C. Tsang, Chem Commun., (18): 2044-2045 2002.

  7. A Simple Method of Opening and Filling Carbon Nanotubes, S.C. Tsang, Y.K. Chen, P.J.F. Harris and M.L.H. Green, Nature, 372, 159-162 1994.

Prof John Blackman
Dr Roger Bennett
Prof Mark Matsen
Prof Geoff Mitchell
Dr Paul Mulheran
Dr Mike Tinker
Prof Howard Colquhoun
Dr Joanne Elliott
Dr Rebecca Green
Dr Wayne Hayes
Prof Edman Tsang
Dr Richard Bonser
Prof George Jeronimides
Dr Peter Harris
Prof Leszek Frasinski
Dr Tim Richardson
Page last updated June 01, 2006
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