Localized Physicochemical Phenomena
A general solution to the energy and environmental crisis is to develop sustainable energy systems that can produce and store energy inexpensively and efficiently. To this end, we are dedicated to studying the localized physicochemical phenomena at the materials interfaces, particularly the local composition gradient effect, local doping effect, local strain effect, local photothermal effect, etc.
Interface Electrochemical Process for Batteries and Catalysis
We are working on flexible and wearable thin-film electrodes for electronic and photonic devices. We develop self-standing, flexible, and robust inorganic films without supporting carbonaceous materials for flexible Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors. We are interested in using porous thin films for resistive memory and electrochromic smart windows.
We are also interested in using advanced materials and smart nanostructures for other applications, for example, ferroelectrics, electron field emission, sensor and photoluminescence. We are working to understand the nanoscale size effect on electric and optic properties of self-organized porous films.
We develop programmable nanomanufacturing techniques to precisely control the chemical composition and morphology of various nanostructured functional materials, including 2D materials, perovskite, and heterogeneous nanostructures.
Flexible Electronics and Photonics
We study the essential electrochemical processes that determine the activity and stability of materials in batteries, electrolyzers, and fuel cells. We especially have a strong interest in understanding the heterogeneous nucleation at the electrode-electrolyte interface in batteries and electrolyzers. We also explore the electron transfer across the catalyst-support interface in the fuel cells and metal-air batteries.
Programmable Nanomanufacturing of Functional Materials
The Yang group's research interests include surface and interface engineering of functional materials at the nano/atomic scale and their applications in renewable energy, sustainability, environmental science, and flexible electronics. At a fundamental level, we try to combine materials engineering, surface science, and electrochemistry into our research in designing new functional materials, studying interfacial interactions, and exploring localized physicochemical phenomena. We particularly want to transfer the fundamental knowledge of electrochemistry and photoelectrochemistry at the solid-gas-liquid interfaces gained from our basic research into device-level applications in many cutting-edge fields such as energy conversion and storage, solar energy harvesting, and decarbonization.