Yan Yao
Dr. Yan Yao
Assistant Professor
Office Location: N324 Engineering Building 1
Phone: 713-743-4432 | Fax: 713-743-5961
Email: yyao4 [at] uh [dot] edu


B.S. Materials Science, Fudan University, (2000; honors)
M.S. Materials Science, Fudan University, (2003)
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, (2008)
Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University, (2010-2012)

Professional Experience: 

Assistant Professor (2012- Present). Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Materials Science Engineering Program, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA
Robert A. Welch Assistant Professor (2012-Present), Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA
Postdoctoral Scholar (2010-2012), Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Senior Research Scientist (2008-2010), Polyera Corporation, Skokie, IL, USA
Research & Teaching Assistant (2003-2008), University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Research & Teaching Assistant (2000-2003), Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Symposium organizer for ECS 2106, MRS 2015, TMS 2015, ACS 2014.
Proposal reviewer for NSF, ACS PRF, NASA, AAAS Center, European Research Council proposals
Treasure, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Magnetic Society and Nanotechnology Council Houston Chapter (2015- present).


ECE5319/6319 Introduction to Nanotechnology
ECE6397 Advanced Batteries
ECE6397 Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability

Awards & Honors: 

ARPA-E RANGE Award, Principal Investigator, Washington DC, USA, 2013
US Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award, Arlington, USA, 2013
Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Ass. Univ., USA, 2013
Robert A. Welch Endowed Professorship, TcSUH, 2012
Excellence in Graduate Polymer Science Research, American Chemical Society, USA, 2008
Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad, China, 2007
ICI Student Award Finalist in Applied Polymer Science, American Chemical Society, USA, 2007
Dissertation Year Fellowship, UCLA, USA, 2007
Chun-Tsung Scholar, Chun-Tsung Endowment, 2000
Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award, Shanghai Education Council, China, 2000

Editorial Boards: 

Nature Scientific Reports

Research Interests: 

Advanced materials and nanostructures for applications in energy storage

Magnesium and sodium ion battery electrode and electrolyte

Design and synthesis of high-energy-density organic and polymeric battery electrode materials

Aqueous organic flow battery for grid energy storage

Solid state electrolyte and all-solid-state-sodium-ion battery

Funded Research: 

For the last three years my group’s research budget was ~ $1M per year to support 7 PhD graduate students and 2 postdocs. Total external funding of ~$3.0 million since 2012.
ARPA-E FOA 2015 (2016-2019): “Low Cost, Safe, and Efficient All Solid State Sodium Batteries for Grid-scale Energy Storage and Other Applications” co-PI: $889,000 (total project: 2,949,872, PI: Steve Martin, ISU) (41 projects were funded out of over 2400 proposals)
DOD ONR DURIP (2015-2017): “Physical Property Measurement System for Research on Advanced Materials for Energy and Electronic Applications” co-PI: $121,500 (total project: $810,000, PI: Venkat Selvamanickam, UH)
NSF (2015-2017): “SusChEM: Design and Manufacture of Electrodes for High Energy Density Rechargeable Sodium Batteries” single PI: $353, 297
DOD ONR Young Investigator Program (2013-2017): “Developing Multivalent Ion Intercalation Batteries as High Energy and Safe Marine Distributed Power Sources” single PI: ~$660,000 (16 awardee out of 310 applications)
ARPA-E RANGE Plus-up (2015): “Aqueous Lithium-Ion Batteries with High-Energy Novel Organic Anodes for Safe and Robust Energy Storage” single PI: $200, 000
ARPA-E RANGE (2013-2015): “Aqueous Lithium-Ion Batteries with High-Energy Novel Organic Anodes for Safe and Robust Energy Storage” PI: $760, 000 (the only RANGE project funded in Texas)
Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award (2014): “Understanding the High Efficiency Origin of Two-Dimensional Conjugated Polymer Based Solar Cells” single PI: $5,000

Selected Publications: 

I am an author of ~50 technical journal papers in top journals such as Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, Nano Letters, JACS, Nano Energy, etc. and 14 patent and patent applications.

My Google Scholar h-index 29. The total number of citations of my publication is above 12,000. 16 papers are cited more than 200 times. Google Scholar Citation Report can be found here.

For most recent updated publication list, please check yaoyangroup.com. (* indiciates equal contribution)

[1] Yanliang Liang, Zhihua Chen, Yan Jing, Yaoguang Rong, Antonio Facchetti*, and Yan Yao*, Heavily n-dopable π-conjugated redox polymers with ultrafast energy storage capability J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 4956-4959.

[2] Yanliang Liang,† Hyun Deog Yoo,† Yifei Li, Jing Shuai, Hector A. Calderon, Francisco Carlos Robles Hernandez, Lars C. Grabow, and Yan Yao* Interlayer-expanded molybdenum disulfide nanocomposites for electrochemical magnesium storage, Nano Lett. 2015, 15, 2194-2202.

[3] Hyun Deog Yoo, Yanliang Liang, Yifei Li, and Yan Yao* High areal capacity hybrid magnesium−lithium-ion battery with 99.9% Coulombic efficiency for large-scale energy storage, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 7001-7007.

[4] Qinyou An, Fangyu Xiong, Qiulong Wei, Jinzhi Sheng, Liang He, Dongling Ma, Yan Yao,* and Liqiang Mai*, Nanoflake-assembled hierarchical Na3V2(PO4)3/C microflowers: superior Li storage performance and insertion/extraction mechanism, Adv. Energy. Mater. 2015, 1401963.

[5] Qinyou An, Yifei Li, Hyun Deog Yoo, Shuo Chen, Qiang Ru, Liqiang Mai*, and Yan Yao*, Graphene decorated vanadium oxide nanowire aerogel for long-cycle-life magnesium battery cathodes, Nano Energy 2015, 18, 265-272.

[6] Saman Gheytani, Yanlaing Liang, Yan Jing, Jeff Xu, and Yan Yao*, Chromate conversion coated aluminium as light-weight and corrosion-resistant current collector for aqueous lithium-ion batteries, Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C5TA07366A.

[7] Mohammad M. Tavakoli, Kwong-Hoi Tsui, Siu-Fung Leung, Qianpeng Zhang, Jin He, Yan Yao, Dongdong Li, and Zhiyong Fan*, Fabrication of efficient planar perovskite solar cells using a one-step chemical vapor deposition method, ACS Nano 2015, 9, 10287-10295.

[8] Yaoguang Rong, Zhongjia Tang, Yufeng Zhao, Xin Zhong, Swaminathan Venkatesan, Harrison Graham, Matthew Patton, Yan Jing, Arnold M. Guloy* and Yan Yao*, Solvent engineering towards controlled grain growth in perovskite planar heterojunction solar cells Nanoscale 2015, 7, 10595-10599.

[9] Yifei Li, Yanliang Liang, Francisco C. Robles Hernandez, Hyun Deog Yoo, Qinyou An, Yan Yao*, Enhancing sodium-ion battery performance with interlayer-expanded MoS2–PEO nanocomposites Nano Energy 2015, 15, 453-461.

[10] Jingjing Fan, Yifei Li, Hang N. Nguyen, Yan Yao* and Debora F. Rodrigues*, Toxicity of exfoliated-MoS2 and annealed exfoliated-MoS2 towards planktonic cells, biofilms, and mammalian cells in the presence of electron donor, Environmental Science: Nano 2015, 2, 370-379.

[11] Mohammad M. Tavakoli, Leilei Gu, Yuan Gao, Claas Reckmeier, Jin He, Andrey L. Rogach, Yan Yao, Zhiyong Fan*, Fabrication of efficient planar perovskite solar cells using a one-step chemical vapor deposition method, Scientific Reports 2015, 5, 14083.

[12] Zelang Jian, Mingbo Zheng, Yanliang Liang, Xiaoxue Zhang, Saman Gheytani, Yucheng Lan, Yi Shi, Yan Yao* Li3VO4 Anchored Graphene Nanosheets for Long-Life and High-Rate Lithium-Ion Batteries, Chem. Comm., 2015, 51, 229-231.

[13] Dan Sun, Yifan Jiang, Haiyan Wang*, Yan Yao, Guoqing Xu, Kejian He, Suqin Liu, Yougen Tang, Younian Liu, Xiaobing Huang, Advanced aqueous rechargeable lithium battery using nanoparticulate LiTi2(PO4)3/C as a superior anode, Scientific Reports 2015, 5, 10733.

[14] Zelang Jian, Wenze Han, Yanliang Liang, Yucheng Lan, Zheng Fang, Yongsheng Hu, Yan Yao, * Carbon-Coated RhombohedralLi3V2(PO4)3 as Novel Electrode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries: Electrochemical Performance and Storage Mechanism, Journal of Material Chemistry A, 2014, 2, 20231-20236.

[15] Jiabo Zeng, Fusheng Zhao, Ji Qi, Yifei Li, Chien-Hung Li, Yan Yao, T. Randall Lee, and Wei-Chuan Shih* Internal and external morphology-dependent plasmonic resonance in monolithic nanoporous gold nanoparticles, RSC Advances, 2014, 4, 36682-36688.

[16] Qingfeng Lin, Hongtao Huang, Yan Jing, Huiying Fu, Paichun Chang, Dongdong Li,* Yan Yao*, and Zhiyong Fan*, Flexible photovoltaic technologies, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2014, 2, 1233-1247.

Articles/Book Chapters: 

Y. Yang, Y. Yao, G. Li, Routes toward Efficient Polymer Solar Cells, in Organic Electronics: Materials, Physics, Processing and Device Applications, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 319-358 (2010). Editor Franky So.

Patent/Patent Applications: 

[1] JP Patent 5,588,559, Pyrrolo[3,2-b]pyrrole semiconducting compounds and devices incorporating same, issued on 9/10/2014.
[2] EP Patent 2432817, Conjugated polymers and their use in optoelectronic devices, issued on 2/11/2015
[3] CN Patent 102439059, Conjugated polymers and their use in optoelectronic devices, issued on 6/11/2014
[4] US Patent 8,748,739, Conjugated polymers and their use in optoelectronic devices, issued on 6/10/2014
[5] US Patent 8,598,450, Conjugated polymers and their use in optoelectronic devices, issued on 12/3/2013
[6] US Patent 8,598,449, Conjugated polymers and their use in optoelectronic devices, issued on 12/3/2013
[7] US Patent 8,598,448, Pyrrolo[3,2-b]pyrrole semiconducting compounds and devices incorporating same, issued on 12/3/2013.
[8] US Patent 8,334,456, Conjugated polymers and their use in optoelectronic devices, issued on 12/18/2012.
[9] Yan Yao, Yanliang Liang, Non-lithium metal ion battery electrode materials architecture, US Application 2014/037502.
[10] Yan Yao, Yanliang Liang, Aqueous energy storage devices with organic electrode materials, US Application 2014/033652.
[11] Yan Yao, Yanliang Liang, Rechargeable Alkaline Battery Using Organic Materials as a Negative Electrode, US Application14/825,802, August 13, 2015.
[12] Yan Yao, Yanliang Liang, Rechargeable Lead Acid Batteries Using Polymer Negative Electrodes, US Provisional 62/165,377, May 22, 2015.
[13] Yan Yao, Hyun Deog Yoo, Method of Activating Two-Dimensional Materials for Multivalent-Ion Intercalation Battery Electrodes, US Provisional 62/181873, June 19, 2015.


Invited Talk, Nanostructure Design for Efficient Energy Devices, Workshop on Materials Science and Materials Chemistry for Energy, Beijing, China, 9/16-18/2012.
Invited Talk, High Energy Density Silicon Anodes for Lithium-ion Batteries: Combining Hollow Nanospheres with Conductive Polymer Binder, 245th ACS National Meeting, Division of Energy and Fuels, New Orleans, LA, 4/7-11/2013.
Invited Talk, Nanostructure Engineering of Layered Metal Chalcogenides for Magnesium Battery Cathode, TMS Meeting, San Diego, CA, USA, 2/20/2014.
Invited Talk, Atomic-Level Manipulation of Magnesium Ion Intercalation Materials for High-Density Energy Storage, 2014 Electrochemical Conference on Energy & the Environment, Shanghai, China, 3/13/2014.
Invited Talk, Modification of Magnesium Ion Cathode and Electrolyte for Mg Rechargeable Batteries, ECS Meeting, Orlando, FL, USA 5/15/2014.
Contributed talk: Tailoring Lithium-intercalation Host Structure for Rechargeable Magnesium Ion Cathodes, ACS Meeting, San 
Francisco, CA, USA, 8/12/2014.
Invited talk, Modification of Magnesium Ion Cathode and Electrolyte for Mg Rechargeable Batteries, TMS Meeting, Orlando, FL, USA, 3/16/2015.
Invited talk, Rational Nanostructure Design for Efficient Mg Rechargeable Batteries, The 10th Sino-US Nano Forum, Wuhan University of Technology, China, 6/26/2015.
Contributed talk, Heavily n-Dopable π-Conjugated Redox Polymers with Ultrafast Energy Storage Capability, MRS Meeting, Boston, MA, 12/2/2015
Invited talk in symposium of “Interplay of Structure & Transport Properties in Materials for Energy Applications”, Rational Nanostructure Design for High Performance Mg Rechargeable Batteries, ACS Meeting, San Diego, 3/2016 (programmed)
Invited talk in symposium of “ACS Award for Creative Invention: Symposium in honor of Antonio Facchetti”, Heavily n-Dopable π-Conjugated Redox Polymers for Ultrafast Energy Storage, ACS Meeting, San Diego, 3/2016 (programmed)