Department of Materials


Dr Zhaoxia Zhou BEng, MSc, PhD

Photo of Dr Zhaoxia Zhou

Senior Research Fellow

TEM specialist – Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre


Zhaoxia is a Research Fellow in materials characterisation. Her research focus on heterogeneous integration of materials in electronic packaging for optimised thermal, electrical and mechanical performance. Specialising in transmission electron microscopy (TEM), she is responsible for the TEM daily operation at the Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre, Department of Materials, providing research support to academic researchers across Loughborough University and consultancy service to industrial clients.

Zhaoxia joined Loughborough University in 2010 as an Experimental Officer, then Research Fellow in 2015, after completing a couple of major EPSRC and European Framework projects as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield. She has 20+ years’ experience of materials characterisation and failure analysis using electron, ion, X-ray and laser based techniques, with regular access to Diamond Light Source and SuperSTEM since 2004. She collaborates with academics in both physical and life sciences disciplines, covering engineering alloys, functional ceramics thin films, Li-ion battery, semiconductors, tribological PVD coatings, nanoparticles, Pb-free solders, polymer composites, bacteriophages and human muscle biopsies. She has 50+ journal papers and holds several research grants as an independent investigator.


  • BSc Harbin Institute of Technology, China
  • MSc Harbin Institute of Technology and Institute of Metal Research, China
  • PhD Institute of Metal Research, University of Sheffield
  • FRMS Fellow of the Royal Microscopy Society

Outline of main research interests:

Application of advanced electron microscopy and associated analytical techniques to investigate materials microstructure and properties.

These have included:

  1. Interface and surface: oxidation, wear and friction, wettability.
  2. Materials resilience in a system: heterogeneous integration of polymers, ceramics and metals and their mechanical, thermal and electrical reliability (in-situ characterisation at micron and nanometre scale).
  3. Microplastics and particulate matter: morphology, chemistry and statistics.


1, Underpinning Power Electronics 2017: Heterogeneous Integration. ERSRC, (EP/R004501/1), 11/2017-10/2020,

2, Quasi-ambient bonding to enable cost-effective high temperature Pb-free solder interconnects. EPSRC (EP/R032203/1; EP/R031711/1; EP/R031770/1), 7/2018-6/2021.

3, 3D CTE controlled integration supporting/encapsulation materials. EPSRC Challenge Network in Automotive Power Electronics, Feasibility Award from University of Nottingham EP/P00136X/1. 7/2018-3/2019, £90k.

4, Santander mobility award, Loughborough University 2018.

5, Diamond Light Source 12 shifts on proposal SP4591 and MG24151 and ePSIC facility 10 days on proposals EM18971 and MG22358, SuperSTEM regular visits since year 2004.

Current teaching:

  • MPB209 Materials Characterisation
  • MPP551 Advanced Characterisation Techniques
  • MPP010 MSc project

Wang, J., Lisco, F., Hutt, D.A., Jones, L.C.R., Bowers, J.W., Isherwood, P.J.M., Zhou, Z., Conway, P.P. (2020) Laser sintering and patterning of gallium-doped zinc oxide/indium-tin oxide nanoparticle films with tailorable electrical and optical properties. Materials and Design, 194. 10.1016/j.matdes.2020.108865

Abdulridha, S , Jiang, J , Xu, S. , Zhou, Z. , Liang H , Mao B , Zhou Y , Garforth A.A , Jiao, Y , Fan, X. (2020) Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as hard templates for preparing mesoporous zeolite Y assemblies with high catalytic activity. Green Chemistry, 22. 10.1039/d0gc01070g

Sachdev, S., Maugi, R., Davis, S., Doak, S.S., Zhou, Z., Platt, M. (2020) Droplet factories: Synthesis and assembly of metal nanoparticles on magnetic supports. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 569. 10.1016/j.jcis.2020.02.087

Zhu, W., Wang, X., Liu, C., Zhou, Z., Wu, F. (2019) Formation and homogenisation of Sn–Cu interconnects by self-propagated exothermic reactive bonding. Materials and Design, 174. 10.1016/j.matdes.2019.107781

Wang, J., Chen, G., Sun, F., Zhou, Z., Liu, Z.-Q., Liu, C. (2018) Combined effects of surface oxidation and interfacial intermetallic compound growth on solderability degradation of electrodeposited tin thin films on copper substrate due to isothermal ageing. Corrosion Science, 139. 10.1016/j.corsci.2018.05.020

März, B., Jolley, K., Marrow, T.J., Zhou, Z., Heggie, M., Smith, R., Wu, H. (2018) Mesoscopic structure features in synthetic graphite. Materials and Design, 142. 10.1016/j.matdes.2018.01.038

Liu, L., Chen, Z., Zhou, Z., Chen, G., Wu, F., Liu, C. (2017) Diffusion barrier property of electroless Ni-W-P coating in high temperature Zn-5Al/Cu solder interconnects. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 722. 10.1016/j.jallcom.2017.06.122

View central publications database

LMCC research capability

External Collaborators:

  • University of Manchester
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Sheffield
  • The Manufacturing Technology Centre: MTC
  • Dynex Semiconductor Ltd