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, with the Outstanding Thesis Award, from Brown University, in May 2016. He earned B.S. & M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. He have also earned an M.S. in Chemistry from Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology. Dr. Zhou also performed research as an 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 75 papers, 52 out of which as the first/co-first/corresponding authors (Google Scholar: >3500 citations, 32 h-index, 9 papers with >100 citations). He has also co-filed 5 U.S. patents with 1 already issued. In the recent years, Dr. Zhou has been very active in the field of perovskite optoelectronics, and served as Organizers of the influential MRS Meeting perovskite-themed symposia for 3 times.

Research Interests

Dr. Zhou's research focuses on probing the relationships between multiple-length-scale structures, physicochemical properties, and device performance in solution-processed inorganic-based 'soft' semiconductors for energy, electronic, and quantum applications. The interesting science topics include, but are not limited to synthesis/processing, grain-boundary and interface phenomena, nanoscience, optoelectronic/ionic/mechanical properties, and emerging quantum behaviors.

The applications of these sciences are

  • Photovoltaics
  • Electronics (e.g. LEDs, radiation-detectors)
  • Ionotronics (e.g. memristers, batteries)
  • Future quantum systems (e.g. sensing and computing )

He is also interested in employing high-spatiotemporal-resolution characterizations (synchrotron, etc.) to gain insights into structures and dynamics of 'soft' semiconductors and devices.

Publication Record

(Please see List of Selected Publications in the Research subpage)

Google Scholar: >3500 citations; 32 h-index

Total 75 papers, 5 filed U.S. patents (1 Issued)

52 papers as the first/co-first/corresponding authors, 30 of which are on high-impact-factor journals:

  • 1 in Nature Communications (IF=11.878)
  • 1 in Chem (IF=18.205);
  • 2 in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (IF=14.695); 
  • 4 in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (IF=12.257)      
  • 1 in Adv. Mater. (IF=25.809)                                          
  • 4 in Adv. Energy Mater. (IF=24.884)                             
  • 1 in Adv. Funct. Mater. (IF=15.621)                        
  • 2 in Chem. Mater. (IF=10.159)                                   
  • 3 in J. Mater. Chem. A (IF=10.733)                    
  • 3 in Joule (IF~20)                                                                          
  • 1 in Energy Environ. Sci. (IF=33.250)                         
  • 7 in ACS Energy Lett. (IF=16.331)    

Research Grants

  1. Co-PI, “Grain Boundary Engineering in Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskites;” Office of Naval Research (ONR); $450,000; 3/1/2017 – 2/29/2020.                                     
  2. 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; 6/1/2018 – 5/30/2019.     
  3. Co-Investigator (Sennior Personnel), “Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Solar Cells for the Coming Clean Energy Revolution;” National Science Foundation (NSF); $4,000,000; 8/1/2015 – 7/31/2019.                         
  4. Co-PI, “Bridging Halide Perovskites from Nanocrystals to Thin-Film Solar Cells;” Brown University’s IMNI Seed Funding Program; $50,000; 7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018.

Selected Professional Activities

  • Organizer for MRS Meeting and Pacifichem symposia (5 times)
  • Invited Speaker at International Conferences (MRS, PVSEC-29, etc.; 8 times)
  • Invited Colloquium Speaker at International Institutes (Duke, Argonne, Univ. Tokyo, Tsinghua, etc.; 20 times)
  • Invited Proposal Reviewer for NSF, DoE, etc. 
  • Ad hoc Journal Reviewer for Nat. Energy, Nat. Commun., JACS, Adv. Mater., Joule, etc.
  • Invited Guest Editor for J. Appl. Phys.Solar RRL, etc.

Selected Honors and Awards

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

Conference/Symposium Organization

Brown Affiliations