Yimin Wu, DPhil

Yimin Wu, DPhil
Assistant Professor, Tang Family Chair in New Energy Materials and Sustainability
Location: E7 3418
Phone: 519-888-4567 x40185


Professor Yimin Wu is the inaugural Tang Family Chair in New Energy Materials and Sustainability. Professor Wu’s research focuses on the design of new energy materials for solar fuels 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. Wu is the director of the Materials Interfaces Foundry (MIF) at the University of Waterloo and serves on the board of directors in Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. Wu also serves on the editorial board of Energy and Environmental Materials. Wu has authored and co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed journal papers, which includes Nature, Nature Energy (x 2), Nature communications (x 2). Wu is also listed as an inventor on 7 US/international patents. Wu has delivered over 30 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 is also cross-appointed to the Department of Chemistry. He has been awarded several prizes including Nanoscale Emerging Investigator Award, WIN Research Leaders Award, MIT Technical Review 35 Innovators under 35 Award Finalist, 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. His research was featured in >350 international news outlets, including Canadian Press, CBC news, Fast company, BNN Bloomberg, and French Science Magazine.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Materials Interfaces
  • Energy Materials
  • Solar Fuels
  • CO2 reduction
  • Ammonia synthesis
  • Batteries
  • Plastic recycling and upcycling
  • In situ Multimodal Characterizations
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Connectivity and Internet of Things
  • Electronic and Photonic Materials
  • Responsive Materials
  • Neuromorphic Computing
  • Flexible Electronics and Soft Robotics
  • Sensing
  • Healthcare
  • Nanotechnology


  • 2014, SinBeRise Postdoc Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 2013, Doctor of Philosophy in Materials, University of Oxford, England, UK
  • 2008, Bachelor in Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, China


  • Inaugural Tang Family Chair in New Energy Materials and Sustainability
  • Nanoscale Emerging Investigator Award, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology (WIN) Research Leaders Awards


  • ME 435 - Industrial Metallurgy
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • ME 738 - Special Topics in Materials
    • Taught in 2022
  • MTE 111 - Structure and Properties of Materials
    • Taught in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • NANO 600 - Introduction to Nanotechnology
    • Taught in 2021

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Du, Cheng and Mills, Joel P. and Yohannes, Asfaw G. and Wei, Wei and Wang, Lei and Lu, Siyan and Lian, Jian-Xiang and Wang, Maoyu and Guo, Tao and Wang, Xiyang and Zhou, Hua and Sun Cheng-Jun and Wen, John Z. and Kendall, Brian and Couillard, Marin and Guo, Hongsheng and Tan, Zhongchao and Siahrostami, Samira and Wu, Yimin A., Cascade electroctalysis via AgCu single-atom alloy and Ag nanoparticles in CO2 electroreduction toward multicarbon products, Nature Communications, 14, 6142, 2023
  • Guo, Tao and Ge, Jiawei and Jiao, Yixuan and Teng, Youchao and Sun, Bai and Huang, Wen and Asgarimoghaddam, Hatameh and Musselman, Kevin P. and Zhou, Y. Norman and Wu, Yimin A., Intelligent matter endows reconfigurable temperature and humidity sensations for in-sensor computing, Materials Horizon, , 2023
  • Guo, Tao and Pan, Kangqiang and Jiao, Yixuan and Sun, Bai and Du, Cheng and Mills, Joel P. and Chen, Zuolong and Zhao, Xiaoye and Wei, Lan and Zhou, Norman and others, Versatile Memristor for Memory and Neuromorphic Computing, Nanoscale Horizon, 299, 2022
  • Guo, Tao and Ge, Jiawei and Sun, Bai and Pan, Kangqiang and Pan, Zhao and Wei, Lan and Yan, Yong and Zhou, Y. Norman and Wu, Yimin A., Soft Biomaterials Based Flexible Artificial Synapse for Neuromorphic Computing, Advanced Electronic Materials, 2200449, 2022
  • Chen, Zuolong and Wang, Xiyang and Wang, Lei and Wu, Yimin A., Ag@Pd Bimetallic Structures for Enhanced Electrocatalytic CO2 Conversion to CO: An Interplay between Strain Effect and Ligand Effect, Nanoscale, 11187, 2022
  • Bai Sun, Guangdong Zhou, Tao Guo, Norman Zhou, Yimin A. Wu, Biomemristors as the next generation bioelectronics, Nano Energy, , 2020
  • Cheng Du, Xiyang Wang, Wei Chen, Shouhua Feng, John Wen, Yimin A. Wu, CO2 transformation to multicarbon products by photocatalysis and electrocatalysis, Materials Today Advances, 100071, 2020
  • Bai Sun, Ming Xiao, Guangdong Zhou, Zhijun Ren, Y. Norman Zhou, Yimin A Wu, Non–zero-crossing current-voltage hysteresis behavior in memristive system, Materials Today Advances, 100056, 2020
  • Chen, Zhaowei and Zhang, He and Guo, Peijun and Zhang, Jingjing and Tira, Gregory and Kim, Yu Jin and Wu, Yimin A and Liu, Yuzi and Wen, Jianguo and Rajh, Tijana and others, Semi-Artificial Photosynthetic CO2 Reduction Through Purple Membrane Re-engineering with Semiconductor, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 11811, 2019
  • Yimin A. Wu, Ian McNulty, Cong Liu, Kah Chun Lau, Qi Liu, Arvydas P. Paulikas, Cheng-Jun Sun, Zhonghou Cai, Jeffrey R. Guest, Yang Ren, Vojislav Stamenkovic, Larry A. Curtiss, Yuzi Liu, Tijana Rajh, Facet-dependent active sites of a single Cu2O particle photocatalyst for CO2 reduction to methanol, Nature Energy, 957, 2019
  • Liu, Q. and Su, X. and Lei, D. and Qin, Y. and Wen, JG. and Guo, F. and Wu, YA. and Rong, Y. and Kou, R. and Xiao, X. and others, Approaching the capacity limit of lithium cobalt oxide in lithium ion batteries via lanthanum and aluminium doping, Nature Energy, 936, 2018
  • Nagaoka, Y. and Tan, R. and Li, R. and Zhu, H. and Eggert, D. and Wu, Y.A. and Liu, Y. and Wang, Z. and Chen, O., Superstructures generated from truncated tetrahedral quantum dots, Nature, 378, 2018
  • Wu, Yimin A. and Yin, Zuwei and Farmand, Maryam and Yu, Yong-Sang and Shapiro, David A and Liao, Hong-Gang and Liang, Wen-I and Chu, Ying-Hao and Zheng, Haimei, In-situ Multimodal Imaging and Spectroscopy of Mg Electrodeposition at Electrode-Electrolyte Interfaces, Scientific Reports, 42527, 2017
  • Wu, Yimin A. and Li, Liang and Li, Zheng and Kinaci, Alper and Chan, Maria K. Y. and Sun, Yugang and Guest, Jeffrey R. and McNulty, Ian and Rajh, Tijana and Liu, Yuzi, Visualizing Redox Dynamics of a Single Ag/AgCl Heterogeneous Nanocatalyst at Atomic Resolution, ACS Nano, 3738, 2016
  • Wu, Yimin A and Fan, Ye and Speller, Susannah and Creeth, Graham L and Sadowski, Jerzy T and He, Kuang and Robertson, Alex W and Allen, Christopher S and Warner, Jamie H, Large single crystals of graphene on melted copper using chemical vapor deposition, ACS nano, 5010, 2012
  • Robertson, Alex W and Allen, Christopher S and Wu, Yimin A and He, Kuang and Olivier, Jaco and Neethling, Jan and Kirkland, Angus I and Warner, Jamie H, Spatial control of defect creation in graphene at the nanoscale, Nature Communications, 1144, 2012

In The News

Graduate studies