Contact Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, Room 3606
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, ON. N2L 3G1
+1 519 888 4567, ext.38654
Research interests: energy materials; electronic materials; photonic materials; responsive materials; in situ multimodal characterizations; interfacial science and engineering
Professor Yimin Wu’s research focuses on the design of new energy materials for artificial photosynthesis and batteries, and novel electronic, photonic, responsive materials for flexible electronics and soft robotics through a deep understanding of energy transduction processes at interfaces. Wu is responsible for the Materials Interfaces Foundry (MIF) at the University of Waterloo. Wu has authored and co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journal papers, which includes Nature, Nature Energy, Nature communications. Wu is also listed as an inventor on 1 US/international patent. Wu has delivered over 20 invited lectures across the world in last 5 years.
Wu obtained his DPhil in Materials from the University of Oxford in 2013, focusing on two dimensional quantum materials, thin film devices, and aberration corrected (scanning) transmission electron microscopy. He went to work as a SinBeRise Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and Materials Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, focusing on batteries and in situ multimodal characterizations using liquid phase transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron X-ray microscopy. Then, he joined the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Argonne National Laboratory under Argonne Integrated Imaging Initiative, focusing on catalysis, battery and in situ multimodal characterizations using gas/liquid phase transmission electron microscopy, synchrotron X ray nanoprobe, and ultrafast X ray microscopy and spectroscopy. After that, he joined the faculty of University of Illinois at Chicago as an assistant professor of physics (research) and held a joint appointment at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) at Argonne National Laboratory. In 2019, he joined the University of Waterloo as an assistant professor at Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. He has been awarded several prizes including UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Prize, Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad, and SinBeRise Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley.
- DPhil, Materials, University of Oxford, 2013
- BEng, Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, 2008
Professor Yimin Wu’s research focuses on the design of new energy materials for artificial photosynthesis and batteries, and novel electronic, photonic, responsive materials for flexible electronics and soft robotics, and energy efficient neuromorphic computing through a deep understanding of energy transduction processes at interfaces. This includes the following directions.
- Energy Materials for Solar Fuels and Batteries
Sustainable energy is one of the grand challenges in world because of the usage and depletion of fossil fuels. It is deeply linked with other problems in human kind, such as food, water, security, and environment. As quoted by Richard Smalley (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1996) “If we could solve Earth’s energy problem, most other problems we face: food, water, security, and others would also be solved.” Energy materials are the key for energy conversion and storage, which provides a vital route for sustainable energy from variety of sources. To design energy materials with high efficiency, high selectivity, and stability for energy conversion and storage is yet to come. By using the state-of-art synthesis, in situ multimodal characterization techniques, and machine learning, it is expected to design transformative energy materials for solar fuels and batteries.
- Flexible Electronics and Soft Robotics for Personalized Health
Personalized heath care is another grand challenge in human society. Health care must shift from its current reactive and disease centric system to a personalized, predictive, preventative, and participatory model with a focus on disease prevention and health promotion. As the world transforms into the era of internet of things (IoT) and 5G wireless, technology innovation enables industry to offer a more individually tailored approach to health care with more successful health outcomes, higher quality, and low cost. However, empowering the utility of IoT enable technology in personalized heath care is still significant challenge by the shortage of effective wearable sensors and soft robotics to continuously provide real time, personalized health data. Flexible electronics and soft robotics play a vital role in realizing personalized health care for real time monitoring, personalized diagnosis. To understand the design the flexible electronics with high selectivity and high sensitivity is yet to come. By using the state-of-art synthesis, in situ multimodal characterization techniques, and machine learning, it is expected to design disruptive electronic, photonic and responsive materials for flexible electronics and soft robotics.
- Electronic and Photonic Materials for Neuromorphic Computing
Nowadays, 5% to 15% of the world’s energy is spent in data manipulation, transmission, or processing. For future artificial intelligence and big data analysis by machine learning, it needs low power device with high power efficiency. Human brain is a million times more energy efficient than conventional CMOS computing. Neuromorphic computing is the new type of computing architecture to mimic the function of human brain. The goal of our research is to develop novel electronic and photonic materials and devices for energy efficient neuromorphic computing and invent processes and technologies to fabricate such devices and circuits.
• Y. A. Wu, T. Rajh, I. McNulty, Y. Liu, Controlled Photocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol or Carbon Monoxide Using Cuprous Oxide Particles, US Patent, 2019/0202762A1
• Z. Chen, H. Zhang, P. J. Guo, J. J. Zhang, G. Tira, Y. J. Kim, Y. A. Wu, Y. Liu, J. G. Wen, T. Rajh, J. Niklas, O. G. Puluektov, P. Laible, E. A. Rozhkova, Semi-Artificial Photosynthetic CO2 Reduction Through Purple Membrane Re-engineering with Semiconductor, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2019, 141, 30, 11811-11815
• Z. Chen, G. D. Q. Silveira, X. Ma, Y. Xie, Y. A. Wu, E. Barry, T. Rajh, C. Fry, P. Laible, E. A. Rozhkova, Light-Gated Synthesis Protocells for Plasmon-Enhanced Chemiosmotic Gradient Generation and Phosphorylation, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2019, 58, 4896–4900
• K. C. Mutyala, Y. A. Wu, A. Erdemir, A. V. Sumant, Graphene-MoS2 Ensembles to Reduce Friction and Wear in DLC-Steel Contacts, Carbon, 2019, 146, 524-527
• Z. Feng, P. Barai, J. Gim, K. Yuan, Y. A. Wu, Y. Xie, Y. Liu, V. Srinivasan, In Situ Monitoring of the Growth of Nickel, Manganese, and Cobalt Hydroxide Precursors during Co-precipitation Synthesis of Li-ion Cathode Materials. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2018, 165 (13), A3077-A3083
• Y. Nagaoka, R. Tan, R. Li, H. Zhu, D. Eggert, Y.A. Wu, Y. Liu, Z. Wang, O. Chen, Superstructures Generated from Truncated Tetrahedron Quantum Dots, Nature, 2018, 561, 378-382
• Q. Liu, X. Su, D. Lei, Y. Qin, J.G. Wen, F. Guo, Y. A. Wu, Y. Rong, R. Kou, X. Xiao, F. Aguesse, J. Bareno, Y. Ren, W. Lu, Y. X. Li, Novel Atomic Level Multiple-element Doping Method Opens Up New Perspective for Layered Cathode Materials in Lithium Ion Batteries. Nature Energy, 2018, 3, 936-943
• L. A. Solomon, M. E. Sykes, Y. A. Wu, R. Schaller, G. P. Wiederrecht, H. C. Fry, Tailorable Exciton Transport in Doped Peptide-Amphiphile Assemblies. ACS Nano, 2017, 11, 9112-9118
• Q. Liu, G. Q. Tan, P. Wang, S. C. Abeyeera, D. Zhang, Y. C. Rong, Y. A. Wu, J. Lu, C.J. Sun, Y. Ren, Y. Liu, R. T. Muehleisen, L.B. Guzowski, J. Li, X. H. Xiao, Y. Sun, Revealing Mechanism Responsible for Structural Reversibility of Single-Crystal VO2 Nanorods upon Lithiation/Delithiation. Nano Energy, 2017, 36, 197-205
• Y. A. Wu, Z. Yin, M. Farmand, Y. S. Yu, D. Shapiro, H. G. Liao, W. I. Liang, Y. H. Chu, H. M. Zheng, In-situ Multimodal Imaging and Spectroscopy of Mg Electrodeposition at Electrode-Electrolyte Interfaces, Scientific Reports, 2017, 7, 42527
• Y. A. Wu, L. Li, Z. Li, A. Kinaci, M. Chan, Y. Sun, J. Guest, I. McNulty, T. Rajh, Y. Liu, Visualizing redox dynamics of a single Ag/AgCl heterogeneous nanocatalyst at atomic resolution, ACS Nano, 2016, 10, 3738-3746.
• A. W. Robertson, B. Montanari, K. He, C. S. Allen, Y. A. Wu, N. M. Harrison, A. I. Kirkland, J. H. Warner, Structure Reconstruction of the Graphene Monovacancy, ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 4495-4502
• A. W. Robertson, B. Montanari, K. He, J. Kim, C. S. Allen, Y. A. Wu, J. Olivier, J. Neethling, N. M. Harrison, A. I. Kirkland, J. H. Warner, Dynamics of Single Fe Atoms in Graphene Vacancies, Nano Letters, 2013, 13, 1468-1475
• Y. A. Wu, Y. Fan, S. Speller, G. L. Creeth, J. T. Sadowski, K. He, A. W. Robertson, C. S. Allen, J. H. Warner, Large Single Crystals of Graphene on Melted Copper using Chemical Vapour Deposition. ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 5010-5017
• Y. A. Wu, J. H. Warner, Shape and Property Control of Mn doped ZnSe Quantum Dots: from Branched to Spherical. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2012, 22, 417-424
• A. W. Robertson, C. S. Allen, Y. A. Wu, K. He, J. Olivier, J. Neethling，A. I. Kirkland, , J. H. Warner, Spatial Control of Defect Creation in Graphene at the Nanoscale. Nature Communication, 2012, 3, 1144
• J. Moghal, Y. A. Wu, J. H. Warner, Mechanical Response of Few Layer Graphene on Copper Foils, Scripta Materialia, 2012, 67, 273-276
• B. Li, H. Cao, J. Yin, Y. A. Wu, J. H. Warner, Synthesis and Separation of Dyes via Ni @ Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanostructures. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2012, 22, 1876-1883
• Y. A. Wu, A. W. Robertson, F. Schäffel, S. Speller, J. H. Warner, Aligned Rectangular Few-Layer Graphene Domains on Copper Surfaces. Chemistry of Materials, 2011, 23, 4543-4547
• Y. A. Wu, A. I. Kirkland, F. Schäffel, K. Porfyrakis, N. P. Young, G. A. D. Briggs, J. H. Warner, Utilizing Boron Nitride Sheets as Thin Supports for High Resolution Imaging of Nanocrystals. Nanotechnology, 2011, 22, 195603-195612
(Selected as “IOP Highlights of 2011” by Institute of Physics Publishing group)
• C. J. Wang, Y. A. Wu, R. M. J. Jacobs, J. H. Warner, G. R. Williams, D. O’Hare, Reverse Micelle Synthesis of Co-Al LDHs: Control of Particle Size and Magnetic Properties. Chemistry of Materials, 2011, 23, 171-180
• G. Liu, Y. A. Wu, and K. Porfyrakis, Synthesis and Chemistry of Endohedral Fullerenes. Current Organic Chemistry, 2011, 15, 1197-1207
• A. W. Robertson, A. Bachmatiuk, Y. A. Wu, F. Schäffel, B. Rellinghaus, B. Büchner, M. H. Rümmeli, J. H. Warner, Atomic Structure of Interconnected Few Layer Graphene Domains. ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 6610-6618
• A. W. Robertson, A. Bachmatiuk, Y. A. Wu, F. Schäffel, B. Büchner, M. H. Rümmeli, J. H. Warner, Structural Distortions in Few Layer Graphene from Creases. ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 9984-9991
• E. J. Lawrence, G. G. Wildgoose, L. Aldous, Y. A. Wu, J. H. Warner, R. G. Compton, P. D. McNaughter, 3-Aryl-3-(Trifluoromethyl)diazirines as Versatile Photoactivated Linker Molecules for the Improved Covalent Modification of Graphite and Carbon Nanotube Surfaces. Chemistry of Materials, 2011, 23, 3740-3751
• L. Q. Mai, X. Xu, C. Han, Y. Luo, L. Xu, Y. A. Wu, Y. Zhao, Rational Synthesis of Silver Vanadium Oxides/Polyaniline Traxial Nanowires with Enhanced Electrochemical Property. Nano Letters, 2011, 11, 4992-4996
• M. Zaka, Y. Ito, H. Wang, W. Yan, A. Robertson, Y. A. Wu, M. H. Rümmeli, D. Staunton, T. Hashimoto, J. J. L. Morton, A. Ardavan, G. A. D. Briggs, J. H. Warner, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Investigations of Purified Catalyst-free Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes. ACS Nano, 2010, 4, 7708-7716
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