Assistant Professor of Engineering (Research)


Yuanyuan 'Alvin' Zhou joined Brown University as Assistant Professor (Research) of Engineering in July 2016. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Brown University, with the Oustanding Thesis Award, in June 2016. He holds B.S. & M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. He have also earned M.S. in Chemistry from Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, with the highest honor. During his Ph.D. career, Dr. Zhou has performed research as Intern in National Renewable Energy Laboratory from 2014 to 2016.  His research has been funded by NSF, ONR, DURIP, and Brown internal grants. Dr. Zhou has published 68 SCI papers (49 as the first/corresponding authors) and filed 5 US patents with >3000 Google citations and 28 h-index. Dr. Zhou has recently performed active research in the emerging field of perovskite optoelectronics, and served as Organizer of the influential MRS and Pacifichem Meeting perovskite-focused symposia for 4 times.

Research Interests

Dr. Zhou's research focus on probing microstructure-property-performance relationships of new-generation functional inorganic materials (halide perovskites and beyond) for energy and quantum applications. The interesting science topics include, but are not limited to, synthesis/processing, grain-boundary  phenomena, nanoscience, electronic/optical/ionic/mechanical properties, and emerging quantum behaviors.

The applications of these sciences are

  • Photovoltaics
  • Optoelectronics (e.g. LEDs, photo-/radiation detectors)
  • Electrochemical devices (e.g. batteries, memristers)
  • Future quantum systems

He is also interested in employing high-spatiotemporal-resolution characterization (e.g. microscopy, synchrotron) for gaining insights into materials and devices dynamics.

(see selected publications in the Research page)

Research Grants

  1. Co-PI, “Grain Boundary Engineering in Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskites;” Office of Naval Research (ONR); $450,000; 36 months (March 1, 2017 – Feb. 29, 2020).
  2. Co-Investigator (Sennior Personnel), “RII Track-2 FEC: Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Solar Cells for the Coming Clean Energy Revolution;” National Science Foundation (NSF); $4,000,000; 48 months (Aug. 1, 2015 – Jul. 31, 2019). 
  3. Co-PI, “Bridging Halide Perovskites from Nanocrystals to Thin-Film Solar Cells;” Brown University’s Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation Seed Funding Program; $50,000; 12 months (Jul. 1, 2017 – Jun. 30, 2018).
  4. Co-PI, "Acquisition of In Situ and Operando Capabilities in Transmission Electron Microscopy for Materials Research and Education," Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) - Department of Defense (DoD); $230,000; 12 months (Jun. 1 2018 – Apr. 30, 2019)

Selected Honors and Awards

  • The Outstanding Thesis Award, Brown University, 2016
  • Chinese Goverment Award for Outstanding Student Aboard, 2016
  • Brown University Graduate Fellowship, 2012

Selected Professional Activities

  • Invited Speaker in International Conferences/Institutes (>25 times) 
  • Proposal Reviewer for NSF, DoE, NSERC-Canada, FNP-Polish, etc. 
  • Reviewer for Nat. Commun., JACSAdv. Mater., Appl. Phys. Lett., etc. (~50 journals)
  • Guest Editor for Solar RRL - Wiley and MRS Advances. 

Conference/Symposium Organization

Brown Affiliations