In the fall semester of 2022, Cornell Engineering welcomed eleven new faculty members. While their fields of study run the gamut from gauging financial risk to understanding and controlling quantum... Read more about Cornell Engineering welcomed eleven new faculty in the fall 2022 semester
Yu Zhong: Crafting materials on the molecular- and nano-scale
- New Faculty Year: 2022
Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Academic focus: Organic materials, 2D materials, materials for electronics and sustainability.
Research summary: My research focuses on the design and synthesis of new soft materials and nanomaterials. 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 explore new structural designs and develop new synthesis technologies. 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.
What inspired you to pursue a career in this field? Innovations in materials have profoundly transformed every aspect of society. As a material scientist trained in chemistry, I was intrigued by the unlimited flexibility of designing materials at the bottom, i.e., tailoring the structure and properties of materials at the molecular- and nano-scale. For this reason, I started my research career in organic electronics to develop next-generation flexible and wearable devices. I then continued to explore ultrathin 2D membranes for energy harvesting and separation. I am motivated to make new materials that will broadly impact energy, electronics, and sustainability.
What are you most looking forward to as a Cornell Engineering faculty member? Cornell has a supportive and collaborative research culture created by many world-leading researchers. I very much look forward to working with Cornell colleagues and students to explore highly interdisciplinary research at the interface of materials, chemistry, physics, etc.
What do you like to do when you’re not working? I like to enjoy the food and explore new restaurants with my wife around our neighborhood.