Research Interests

  The creation and transformation of new molecules with the original breakthrough and the prospect of industrial application is the basis of synthetic chemistry. New rare-earth organometallic complexes play crucial roles in synthetic chemistry. The study on the synthesis, structure and transformation of rare-earth metallacyclic complexes is significantly required because they lagged behind those of transition-metal congeners for decades. The synthesis and isolation of these rare-earth organometallic complexes are very challenging due to the facts: i) rare-earth metal-carbon bonds are predominantly ionic; ii) rare-earth metal ions have various coordination numbers; iii) the coordination geometry of rare-earth metal ions is less regular and predictable than that of d-block metal ions; and iv) rare-earth organometallic complexes easily undergo ligand redistribution.

  On the other hand, organophosphorus compounds (OPCs) play an important role in synthetic chemistry. The preparation of OPCs usually goes through the chlorination of white phosphorus (P4), which is costly and poses serious safety and environmental issues. Starting from the industrial raw material P4, we developed innovative methods without chlorination of P4 for direct, efficient, and highly selective synthesis of various OPCs.

  Our group adheres to the philosophy of “Synthetic Chemistry Based on Mechanism and Organometallic Reactive Intermediates”. The research focuses on the realm of rare-earth metallacyclic chemistry, the design and application of rare-earth photocatalysts, and the activation and transformation of white phosphorus. At the intersection of inorganic and organic chemistry, we seek convergence points for research, with a particular focus on exploring fundamental scientific questions in phosphorus chemistry, phosphorus chemical industry and the application of rare-earth organometallics. Our research interests span organometallic chemistry, elemento-organic chemistry, computational chemistry, machine learning driven by synthetic chemistry of organometallics and elemento-organic compounds, coordination chemistry, and crystallography. Balancing both foundational and applied aspects, our group places emphasis not only on fostering students’ research capabilities, but also on the holistic development of their personalities.






Our Logo


The logo was designed by all members of Zhang group which was established on January 27, 2021. This logo is composed of two degenerate arcs in the outside and one ellipse held by the inner arc, and possesses six layers of white and red. These elements as a whole symbolize youth, vitality, unity, justice, and roses all the way in the future. The "ZHANG·2021·GROUP" between two arcs and the "PKU" in the inner ellipse show that Wen-Xiong Zhang group at College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Peking University was established in 2021. The two degenerate arcs in the outside represent either the first letter (C) of "Chemistry" or the carbon (C) element of organic compounds. The “RE” moiety in the inner ellipse represents rare-earth metals, and the artistic “R” can also be regarded as "P4" (white phosphorus). These compositions suggest our research mainly focuses on the Chemistry of Carbon˗Rare-Earth Metals (CCREM = Confidence、Cooperation、Renovation、Enthusiasm、Mission) as well as the transformation of P4.
In summary, Zhang group was established in 2021, whose long-term goal is to make CCREM open a new avenue of our own and mushroom up shot. All members should constantly challenge and improve ourselves, and forge ahead!