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 a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, and dual M.S. degrees in Materials Science & Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University and Chemistry from Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology. He also has worked as an Intern in National Renewable Energy Laboratory from Oct. 2014 to May 2016.  His research has been funded by NSF, ONR, DURIP and Brown internal grants. Dr. Zhou has published 63 papers (46 as the first/co-first/corresponding authors) and filed 5 US patents with >2800 Google citations and 27 h-index. In addtion, Dr. Zhou has performed active research in the emerging field of perovskite optoelectronics, and served as Organizer of the influential MRS Meeting perovskite-focused symposia for 3 times. 

Research Interests:

Dr. Zhou's research focus on probing composition-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 probing materials and devices dynamics.

>> Zhou Group Website 

>> Zhou's Google Citations

Current Projects:

  1. Faculty Co-Investigator, “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). 
  2. 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).
  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)

Teaching Interests:

  • Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials
  • Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • Functional Materials and Devices
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry

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, etc. 
  • Reviewer for Nat. Commun., JACS, Adv. Mater., etc. (>40 journals)
  • Guest Editor for Solar RRL - Wiley

Conference/Symposium Organization:

Brown Affiliations