Research Interests

AIEgen application, nanocomposites, personal health monitoring

Youhong’s research focuses on structure-process-property relationships, especially those of composite materials, biomaterials, and aggregation induced emission fluorogens. See below for some example projects from Youhong’s research group.

  • Nanocomposites

    This research uses nanomaterials to enhance the properties of materials. One example is the use of commercially available nanosilica for toughening fibre reinforced polymer laminates, or the use of polydopamine to improve the interface between fibres and the polymer matrix. These materials are being explored for their use in maritime applications.

  • AIEgen Application

    Most fluorescent dyes have higher photoemission efficiencies in solution than in the solid state. Aggregation-induced emission fluorogens (AIEgens) are the reverse however, emitting more light when in the solid state. By controlling when AIEgens clump together into solid aggregates, selective and quantitative sensors may be developed. Youhong’s group contains several projects working on applying these novel molecules to develop new sensors for a range of problems.

  • Personal Health Monitoring

    This project is developing a smartphone-based urinalysis device for chronic kidney disease patients. An aggregation-induced emission fluorogen (see above) is being used to develop a sensor to rapidly monitor human serum albumin in urine.

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Australia-China Research Centre for Personal Health Technologies

The primary goal for the Australia-China Centre for Personal Health Technologies is to develop a consumer device capable of measuring a wide range of biomarkers from bodily fluids (e.g. sweat, saliva, blood or urine) which can be incorporated into a smartphone platform and link to e-health services for further analysis by medical professionals.

Funding and eligibility

The fund provides grants of up to $1 million. The maximum grant period is 3 years.

Applicants must:

  • demonstrate a clear path to how research outcomes will be used
  • have an Australian industry or other end-user partner in addition to a Chinese partner

Find out if you are eligible for ACSRF-JRC funding on business.gov.au.

Current projects

The government invested $4.7 million in April 2019 for Round 3 of the ACSRF-JRCs. The projects are addressing research priorities and challenges in these sectors:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
  • resources and energy


This project developed cost-effective technologies for sensing and removal of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) from water.

The team has developed a simple sensor for monitoring PFAS. There is potential to use this as a robust and portable smart-phone interface. This research was published in a peer-reviewed journal (Analytical Methods, 2019, 163-170), and led by team members Cheng Feng, Youhong Tang and collaborators.


Research Grants

  • Chief investigator for Australian Research Council-Industrial Transformation Training Centres (ARC-IC) (Grant No.: IC190100034), 2020-2023 (AUD: 3740K)

Title: Green Chemistry in Manufacturing

  • Chief investigator for Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF) – Joint Research Centre on Personal Health Technologies, 2019-2022 (AUD 0.97M)

Title: Joint Research Centre on Personal Health Technologies

  • Chief investigator for contract research with Nano6C Pty Ltd (Perth, Australia), 2018-2019 (AUD: ~250K)

Title: Innovation on vehicle components with nanotechnology and lightweight structural design

  • Chief investigator for International Research Grant, South Australia, 2018-2021 (AUD: 600K)

Title: International Laboratory for Health Technologies

  • Chief investigator for Defense Innovation Partnership Collaborative Research Grant, South Australian Government and Defence Science and Technology Group, 2018-2019 (AUD 150K)

Title: Economical technologies for the detection and remediation of water contaminated with perfluorinated substances.

  • Chief investigator for Australian Research Council- Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (ARC-LIEF) (Grant No.: LE180100136), 2018 (AUD: 400K)

Title: Mciro-CT

  • Chief investigator of Flinders University-Ecole Centrale De Nantes Collaboration Grant, 2017-2018 (EUR: 100K)

Title: On-line performance monitoring and damage assessment in marine composite propellers

  • Chief investigator for Australian Research Council- Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (ARC-LIEF) (Grant No.: LE150100094), 2015 (AUD: 400K)

Title: Development of a world-class facility for three-dimensional dynamic testing

  • Chief investigator for The Premier’s Research and Industry Fund Catalyst Research Grant, Government of South Australia, Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, 2015-2016 (AUD: 60K)

Title: Nanoparticle-enabled value-add performance of fibre reinforced composites: green manufacturing for large-scale harsh environmental applications

  • Chief investigator for Australian Research Council- Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (ARC-LIEF) (Grant No.: LE140100082), 2014 (AUD: 500K)

Title: An Australian facility for the automated fabrication of high-performance bespoke components

  • Chief investigator for Australian Research Council-Industrial Transformation Training Centres (ARC-IC) (Grant No.: IC140100003), 2014-2016 (AUD: 2390K)

Title: Transforming Australia’s Naval Manufacturing Industry

  • Sole Chief investigator for Australian Research Council -Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (ARC-DECRA) (Grant No.: DE120102784), 2012-2014 (AUD: 375K)

Title: Water-swellable rubber with nanoparticle-enabled super capacity as smart water-leakage

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