not because they are easy, but because they are hard

Welcome to Nan Zhang Research Group

My research vision is to apply multi-scale manufacturing technologies for mould tools and polymer micro/nano replication technologies to important fundamental and applied problems relevant to design, development and production of novel polymeric micro and nano devices, such as microfluidic devices for diagnostics and drug development, micro/nano-structured functional surfaces of implantable and prosthetic devices, such as polymeric bioresorbable stent.

Plastic Microfluidics 

Plastic materials are the most used materials for fabrication of microfluidic devices. 


Our group are developing full process chain for fabrication of plastic microfluidics. We aim to bridge laboratry researach with mass production by focusing on critical manufacturing challenges. 

We have three main tooling process development in our group:

  • Precision electroforming of nickel tools

  • Multi-scale tooling of bulk metallic glasses 

  • Large-area nanostructured tools

Functional Surface & Medical Device

Micro/nano structures have been proven to be improtant as anti-bacterial surfaces, anti-fogging, anti-reflection, friction reduction surfaces with broad applications in medical and optical devices. 

Our team focuses on development functional surfaces for various application in feild of medical devices. This would include:


  • Design-functionality relationship of functional surfaces 

  • Fabrication process chain development 

  • Multi-sacle tools fabrication

  • Precision replciation 

  • Functional validation and test 

ACSM: atomic & close to atomic scale manufacturing

Human beings have witnessed unprecedented developments since the 1760s using precision tools and manufacturing methods that have led to ever-increasing precision, from millimeter to micrometer, to single nanometer, and to atomic levels. The modes of manufacturing have also advanced from craft-based manufacturing in the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages to precision- controllable manufacturing using automatic machinery.

Our team is starting to work on atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing since 2019. 


UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Scoil na hInnealtóireachta Meicniúla agus Ábhar UCD

UCD Engineering and Materials Science Centre

UCD Centre of Micro/Nano Manufacturing Technology 

Nan Zhang Research Group


Congratulations to Dr. Nan Zhang for the paper published in Micromachines ( Volume 10, Issue 9, 2019). 

A new method, a 3D printing technique, in particular, selective laser melting (SLM), has been used to fabricate moulds for the injection moulding of thermoplastic microfluidic chips that are suitable for prototyping and early stage scale-up. The micro metallic patterns are printed on to a pre-finished substrate to form a microstructured mould. 


MiNAN Technologies is based on the Laboratory of Polymer Micro/Nano Manufacturing from Center of Micro/Nano Manufacturing Technologies, University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. 


We will assistant our customers to design, develop, and fabrication of small and precision plastic components and polymer-based functional devices, such as microfluidics, medical devices, functional surfaces and telecommunication.


The award ceremony for Moldex3D Global Innovation Talent Award 2018 was held in Shanghai on June 18th, 2019. The student category has seven winners in total. Group member Haoyang Zhang (PhD student) win the Special Prize with the project ‘Using Moldex3D to Design Microfluidic Features’.

The International Conference on Stents is organised by Technical Committee 14 “Integrity of Biomedical and Biological Materials” of the European Structural Integrity Society (ESIS).


The aim of this Conference is to bring together specialists in biomedical engineering, biomechanics, materials science, experimental mechanics, modelling and various aspects of processing and manufacturing as well as medical practitioners to discuss advances in stent technologies.


It is our great pleasure to invite you to the 6th International Polymer Replication on the Nanoscale Conference (PRN2019), to be held in Dublin by the UCD Centre of Micro/Nano Manufacturing Technology (MNMT-Dublin). 

This year, PRN2019 is chaired by Dr Nan Zhang at University College Dublin, Ireland. we have 9 invited presentations, 15 oral presentations, 10 poster presentations. We have overall more than 50 participates locally and internationally. 


Customer Discovery Programme, an intensive three-week programme, has kicked off at NovaUCD at University College Dublin’s (UCD) ,with seven early-stage ventures and a total of 18 team members.

MiNAN Technologies is attending this programme, and a clear description of our sweet spot customer will be defined, which will make it easier for us to research and list target customers.


Congratulations to Dr Nan Zhang, as project co-applicant, succesfully granted a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) project titled Harnessing Gene Editing to Treat Rare Diseases such as Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

Dr Nan Zhang, as a co-applicant, is closely working with Prof. Wenxin Wang from UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology, UCD School of Medicine on gene therapy for EB.


The UCD Engineering Graduates Association held the 2018 EGA Gold Medal & Award Ceremony on September 3rd 2018 in the UCD Engineering & Materials Science Centre. At this event, undergraduate and postgraduate awards were also celebrated, which Lorcan O’Toole, under the supervision and keen guidance of Dr. Nan Zhang, received the IMechE Project Award for his undergraduate research project as part of his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering in UCD.


"Our Research focuses on how to design, develop and manufacture small and precision components. We look to span the bridge between small-scale and large-scale production."

In part 3 of our 2019 researcher case studies we look at Dr Nan Zhang of the UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering.


Haoyang is a jointed PhD student between UCD (Ireland) and Tianjin University (China), and he has now accomplished his 2-years study in Ireland, and continue his study in China. Well done, and best wishes to his study and life in Tianjin!


Honggang is a PhD student under the surprvision of Nan Zhang.

His resterested insterest includes: 

Here is the list of equipment that we have for Polymer Micro/Nano Manufacturing Technologies and applications:

  • UV lithography 

  • Physical vapour deposition

  • Customized precision electroforming system

  • Fanuc roboshot S2000i micro injection moulding machine 

  • Nanoimprinter

  • Customized micro hot embossing system

  • Inverted microscope

  • Pressure/syringe pumps for microfluidics


You are warmly welcome to join in our group as a postgraduate ,postdoc, CSC PhD student, visiting scholar, or an internship student.


Contact Nan Zhang for more information:

+353 (0)1 716 1989

Centre of Micro/Nano Manufacturing Technology (MNMT-Dublin) 

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

University College Dublin,

Belfield Dublin 4, Dublin, Ireland