School of Civil Engineering

Dr Zhen Chen

Adjunct Research Fellow
Office: 49-447:06
Phone: +61 7 3365 3525

Dr. Zhen Chen joined the University of Queensland in 2013 as a research fellow. After receiving his PhD in physical chemistry from Beijing Normal University in China (2007), he joined Southern Medical University in China as a lecturer. He then worked as postdoctoral research associate in Hokkaido University in Japan (2008-2011) and Arizona State University in US (2011-2012), where he expanded his expertise in the characterization of various materials by means of dielectric spectroscopy.


Dr. Chen’s research has been focused on the application of dielectric spectroscopy to various scientific fields since 2004. During his doctoral course study, his research was centred on concentrated particle suspensions; In Japan, he focused his research on molecular dynamics in complex fluids including surfactant solution, ionic liquid microemulsion, and liquid crystals; In US, his research work was concentrated on the dynamics of organic glass forming materials.

His current research work in the University of Queensland is to utilise dielectric spectroscopy to characterise a number of geo-materials such as tailing and soil and to link their dielectric properties to other geomechanic properties.

Teaching and Learning

Physical Chemistry and Physical Chemistry lab for second-year undergraduates (2007-2008)

General Chemistry lab for Biochemistry undergraduates (2005-2007)


  • Dielectric spectroscopy instrumentation

  • Dielectric properties acquisition

  • Relating dielectric properties of soils to geomechanic properties

  • Real-time monitoring consolidation of tailings

Key Publications

  1. Z. Chen, A. Seulveda, M.D. Ediger, and R. Richert, Dynamics of glass-forming liquids. XVI. Observation of ultrastable glass transformation via dielectric spectroscopy. J. Chem. Phys. 138 (2013) 12A519;

  2. Z. Chen and R. Richert, Dynamics of glass-forming liquids. XV. Dynamical features of molecular liquids that form ultra-stable glasses by vapor deposition. J. Chem. Phys. 135 (2011) 124515;

  3. Z. Chen and R. Nozaki, Dielectric spectroscopy study on ionic liquid microemulsion composed of water, TX-100, and BmimPF6. J. Chem. Phys. 136 (2012) 244505;

  4. Z. Chen, X.W. Li, K.S. Zhao, J.X. Xiao, and L.K. Yang, Dielectric Spectroscopy Investigation on the Interaction of Poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride) with Sodium Decyl Sulfate in Aqueous Solution. J. Phys. Chem. B 115 (2011) 5766;

  5. Z. Chen, K.S. Zhao, L. Guo, and C.H. Feng, Dielectric relaxation behavior of colloidal suspensions of palladium nanoparticle chains dispersed in PVP/EG solution. J. Chem. Phys. 126 (2007) 164505.