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 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 current research has been funded by NSF, ONR, and DURIP awards.

Research Interests:

Dr. Zhou's research focuses on probing composition-microstructure-property-performance relationships of new-generation functional inorganic materials (perovskites and beyond) for energy harvesting, storage and conversion. The topics include, but are not limited to, synthesis/processing, grain-boundary phenomena, nanoscience, crystal chemistry, properties (optoelectronic, electrochemical, dielectric, mechanical, etc.), and device functions.

The main device applications of the research interests are:

  • Photovoltaics
  • Other optoelectronics (LEDs, photo-/radiation detectors, etc.)
  • Electrochemical devices (batteries, supercapacitors and memristers,etc.)

He is also interested in employing in-situ/operando techniques (transmission electron microscopy and synchron-based characterization) to gain insights into the functional inorganic materials and devices.

Check Zhou Group Website and Zhou's Google Citations for a complete list of publications. 

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
  • Functional Materials and Devices

Honors and Awards:

  • Chinese Goverment Award for Outstanding Student Aboard, by Chinese Scholarship Concil, 2016
  • The Outstanding Thesis Award, by School of Engineering at Brown University, 2016

Conference Organization:

Brown Affiliations