Research Expertise and Interest

materials chemistry, sensors, nanostructures, energy conversion, nanowires, miniaturizing optoelectronic devices, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, solid state lighting

Research Description

The Yang research group is interested in the synthesis of new classes of materials and nanostructures with an emphasis on developing new synthetic approaches and understanding the fundamental issues of structural assembly and growth that will enable the rational control of material composition, micro/nano- structure, property and functionality.  They are putting together a nanoscale toolbox where nanowires of different compositions and properties (metal, semiconductor) will be used as building blocks in their continuing efforts in miniaturizing optoelectronic devices. For example, semiconductor (Si, Ge, ZnO, GaN) nanowires are being synthesized using chemical vapor deposition/transport. Significant effort has also been placed on investigating the novel physical properties of the nanowire building blocks. Particularly they  are interested in the thermoelectrical, photovoltaic and optoelectronic properties. Due to their high surface area, low-dimensionality and potential quantum confinement, many new physical properties are expected. These novel properties serve as the basis for miniaturized devices such as laser, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics and solar-to-fuel conversion systems.

In the News

Scientists Grow Lead-Free Solar Material With a Built-In Switch

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics, rely on semiconductor devices, or solar cells, to convert energy from the sun into electricity. Manufacturers typically dope the solar cell with chemicals so that one layer of the device bears a positive charge and another layer a negative charge. But chemical doping and layered synthesis also add extra costly steps in solar cell manufacturing.

Five Berkeley top scholars named AAAS fellows

Five Berkeley scholars — four faculty members and one research scientist — have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the world’s largest scientific societies. The distinction was awarded this year to 489 scientists, engineers and innovators for their advancement of science and its applications.

Introducing a kinder, gentler way to blow holes in cells

A new technique developed by University of California, Berkeley uses inexpensive lab equipment to efficiently infuse large macromolecules into cells. Called nanopore-electroporation, or nanoEP, the technique gently creates fewer than a dozen tiny holes in each cell that are sufficient to let molecules into the cell without traumatizing it.

Big Step for Next-Generation Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers

A big step in the development of next-generation fuel cells and water-alkali electrolyzers has been achieved with the discovery of a new class of bimetallic nanocatalysts that are an order of magnitude higher in activity than the target set by the DOE.

UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab announce Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute

The Kavli Foundation has endowed a new institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to explore the basic science of how to capture and channel energy on the molecular or nanoscale and use this information to discover new ways of generating energy for human use.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
January 24, 2020
Jeff Hecht
An unprecedented blue light-emitting diode, or LED, using the inexpensive and natural mineral perovskite has been created by a team of Berkeley researchers led by chemistry professor Peidong Yang. Until now, perovskite LEDs have only put out red or green light, so the innovation offers new promise for electronic displays, but it also suggests potential instabilities in other applications, such as solar cells and transistors. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
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