Yu Zhong, 2D and organic materials scientist, to join MSE faculty

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Yu Zhong, a materials scientist specializing in hybrid 2D and organic materials, will join Cornell’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering as an assistant professor on July 1, 2022.

Yu ZhongZhong is the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow in the Park Group at the University of Chicago and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. His research interests include organic functional materials, molecular electronics, solar cells, nanotechnology, and 2D materials. At the core of his work is the structural design of organic materials on both the molecular and nano scales.

Zhong presented some of his research on Feb. 24 during a Cornell seminar, in which he detailed several types of molecular nano-architectures for energy conversion and electronic devices, including molecular contortion as a new design motif for novel electronic materials that can be used in solar cells, photodetectors, gas sensors, and more.

During the seminar, he introduced a new synthetic approach to synthesizing monolayer two-dimensional polymers (also known as 2D-MOFs and 2D-COFs) on a large scale. He noted that these 2D polymer films can serve as the thinnest semipermeable membranes for osmotic power generation.

He also showed the programmed assembly of hybrid organic-inorganic 2D heterostructures with monolayer precision. This approach allows for integrating versatile molecular building blocks into layered nanomaterials for the development of ultrathin electronic devices.

In an announcement to the department, Chair Lara Estroff described Zhong as “a wonderful addition to our faculty” and said she is looking forward to having him as a colleague.

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