Biography

Yu Zhong earned his B.S. in chemistry (2011) from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). In 2017, he received a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Columbia University under the supervision of Prof. Colin Nuckolls. His graduate research was centered on designing contorted molecules for electronic and energy applications ranging from organic solar cells, photodetectors to gas sensors. Afterward, he conducted his postdoctoral research in Prof. Jiwoong Park’s group at the University of Chicago, where he worked on the design and synthesis of 2D polymers for ultrathin electronic circuits and energy conversion. As of July 2022, He is an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University. His research interest is developing novel soft materials and nanomaterials (organic electronic materials, porous polymers, hybrid 2D materials, etc.) for electronics, energy, healthcare, and sustainability applications.

Research Interests

Our research focuses on the design and synthesis of new soft materials and nanomaterials to explore both novel scientific phenomena and new technological pursuits. The main research topics include: (1) mixed ionic-electronic materials and devices for electronics and healthcare applications, (2) synthesis and transport study of hybrid organic-inorganic 2D materials, (3) and ultrathin nanoporous membranes for separation and sustainability. We are interested in exploring new structural designs of soft materials on both molecular and nano-scale. In parallel, we develop and apply advanced technologies (laminar assembly polymerization, chemical vapor deposition, etc.) to the materials synthesis. Our research aims to uncover novel materials design principles and study structure-property relationships for the advancement of flexible electronics, energy devices, separation processes, and beyond.

  • Advanced Materials
  • Polymers and Soft Matter
  • Materials Synthesis and Processing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Semiconductor Physics and Devices

Selected Publications

  • Poddar, P. K.; Zhong, Y.; Mannix, A.; Mujid, F.; Yu, J.; Liang, C.; Kang, J.; Lee, M; Xie, S.; Park, J., “Resist-free lithography for monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides”, Nano Letters, 2021, 22, 726-732. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c04081
     
  • Zhong, Y.; Cheng, B.; Park, C.; Ray, A.; Brown, S.; Mujid, F.; Lee, J.; Zhou, H.; Suh, J.; Lee, K.; Mannix, A.; Kang, K.; Sibener, S.;  Muller, D.; Park, J., “Wafer-Scale Synthesis of Monolayer Two-Dimensional Porphyrin Polymers for Hybrid Superlattices.” Science 2019, 366, 1379-1384. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aax9385
     
  • Zhong, Y.; Sisto, T. J.; Zhang, B.; Miyata, K.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Zhu, X.-Y.; Ng, F.; Nuckolls, C., “Helical Nanoribbons for Ultra-Narrowband Photodetectors.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 5644-5647.  https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.6b13089
     
  • Sisto, T. J.; Zhong, Y.; Zhang, B.; Trinh, M. T.; Miyata, K.; Zhong, X.; Zhu, X.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Ng, F.; Nuckolls, C., “Long, Atomically Precise Donor-Acceptor Cove-Edge Nanoribbons as Electron Acceptors.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 5648-5651. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.6b13093
     
  • Zhang, B.; Trinh, M. T.; Fowler, B.; Ball, M.; Xu, Q.; Ng, F.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Zhu, X. Y.*; Nuckolls, C.*; Zhong, Y.*, “Rigid, Conjugated Macrocycles for High Performance Organic Photodetectors.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138,16426–16431. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.6b10276
     
  • Ball, M.; Zhong, Y.; Fowler, B.; Zhang, B.; Li, P.; Etkin, G.; Paley, D. W.; Decatur, J.; Dalsania, A. K.; Li, H.; Xiao, S.; Ng, F.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Nuckolls, C., “Macrocyclization in the Design of Organic n-Type Electronic Materials.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 12861–12867. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.6b05474
     
  • Zhong, Y.; Trinh, M. T.; Chen, R.; Purdum, P. E.; Khlyabich, P. P.; Sezen, M.; Oh, S.; Zhu, H.; Fowler, B.; Zhang, B.; Wang, W.; Nam, C.-Y.; Sfeir, M. Y.; Black, C.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Loo, Y.-L.; Ng, F.; Zhu, X. Y.; Nuckolls, C. “Molecular Helices as Electron Acceptors in High-Performance Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells.” Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 8242. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9242
     
  • Zhong, Y.; Trinh, M. T.; Chen, R.; Wang, W.; Khlyabich, P. P.; Kumar, B.; Xu, Q.; Nam, C.-Y.; Sfeir, M. Y.; Black, C.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Loo, Y.-L.; Xiao, S.; Ng, F.; Zhu, X. Y.; Nuckolls, C. “Efficient Organic Solar Cells with Helical Perylene Diimide Electron Acceptors.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 15215–15221. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja5092613
     
  • Zhong, Y.; Kumar, B.; Oh, S.; Trinh, M. T.; Wu, Y.; Elbert, K.; Li, P.; Zhu, X.; Xiao, S.; Ng, F.; Steigerwald, M. L.; Nuckolls, C. “Helical Ribbons for Molecular Electronics.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 8122–8130. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja503533y

Selected Awards and Honors

Pegram Award for Meritorious Graduate Research (Columbia University), 2016

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship (Dreyfus Foundation), 2016

Arun Guthikonda Memorial Fellowship (Columbia University), 2015

Jack Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching (Columbia University), 2014

 

Education

B.S. (Chemistry), University of Science and Technology of China, 2011

Ph.D. (Chemistry), Columbia University, 2017