Department Faculty

Yuan Ping
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences
  • Department
    • Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
  • Affiliations Physics Department
  • Phone
    831-459-1390 (Office), 831-459-2874 (Lab)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location Physical Sciences Bldg 354 (Office), Physical Sciences Bldg 330 (Lab)
  • Mail Stop Chemistry
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz California 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Chemistry, Material Science
  • Courses Taught 163A Quantum Mechanics and Basic Spectroscopy, 263 Quantum Mechanics for graduates

Summary of Expertise

Theoretical chemistry, materials chemistry, solar energy conversion, electronic structure, optical and catalytic properties of transition metal oxides and interfaces

Research Interests

My research interests focus on developing and employing theoretical and computational techniques to solve problems related to energy and quantum information applications, for example to understand and predict materials for photovoltaic, artificial photosynthesis (water splitting and CO2 reduction), and fuel cell applications. Specifically we are currently interested in: 1) Optical properties – study light absorption and excitonic effects for complex semiconducting oxides and low dimensional materials based on many body perturbation theory (GW-BSE), with a method avoiding explicit empty states, storage and inversion of dielectric matrix; 2) Doped metal oxides for solar-to-fuel conversion – study effects of dopant and structural modifications on carrier transport properties of metal oxides from first principles, especially concerning the presence of strong electron-phonon interactions; 3) Complex solid/liquid interfaces – study charge transfer and catalytic properties at solid/liquid interfaces by using implicit and explicit solvents. The key is to tightly connect theoretical and computational predictions with experimental observations, by identifying important theoretical questions whose answers will eventually provide guidance to experiments and suggestions for new materials/architecture design with superior functionalities.


Biography, Education and Training

  • 2007, B.S. Chemical Physics, University of Science and Technology of China
  • 2013, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of California, Davis (under supervision of Prof. Giulia Galli, currently at the University of Chicago)
  • 2016, Materials Postdoctoral Fellow, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis- a DOE energy innovation hub, California Institute of Technology/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (under supervision of Prof. William A. Goddard III)

Selected Publications

  •      “First-principles Engineering of Charged Defects for Two-dimensional Quantum Technologies" F. Wu, A. Galatas, R. Sundararaman, D. Rocca and Y. Ping, Physical Review Materials, 1, 071001(R), (2017).
  •      “First-principles Electrostatic Potentials for Reliable Alignment at Interfaces and Defects", R. Sundararaman and Y. Ping, The Journal of Chemical Physics, 146, 104109, (2017).
  •     “Modeling Heterogeneous Interfaces for Solar Water Splitting", T. Pham, Y. Ping and G. Galli, Nature Materials, doi:10.1038/nmat4803, (2017)
  •       “The Reaction Mechanism with Free Energy Barriers at Constant Potentials for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction at the IrO2 (110) Surface", Y. Ping, R.  Nielsen, W. Goddard III, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139, 149-155, (2017).
  •      “Energetics and Solvation Effects at the Photoanode/Catalyst Interface: Ohmic Contact versus Schottky Barrier ”, Y. Ping, W. Goddard III and G. Galli, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137, 5264, (2015).  
  •      “Simultaneous Enhancements in Photon Absorption and Charge Transport of BiVO4 Photoanodes for Solar Water Splitting”, T. Kim, Y. Ping, G. Galli and K. Choi, Nature Communications, 6, 8769, (2015). (Highlighted in News of University of Chicago) 
  •      “Solvation Effect on Band Edge Positions of Photocatalysts from First Principles", Y. Ping, R. Sundararaman and W. Goddard III, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17, 30499, (2015). (Highlighted in News of Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis)
  •     “Electronic Excitations in Light Absorbers for Photoelectrochemical Energy Conversion: First Principles Calculations Based on Many Body Perturbation Theory", Y. Ping, D. Rocca and G. Galli, Chemical Societry Reviews, 42, 2437, (2013). 
  •       “Synthesis, Photoelectrochemical Properties, and First Principle Study of n-type CuW1-xMoxO4 Electrodes Showing Enhanced Visible Light Absorption”, J. Hill, Y. Ping, G. Galli, K. Choi, Energy & Environmental Science (Communication), 6, 2440, (2013).
  •      “Optical Properties of Tungsten Oxide from First Principles”, Y. Ping, D. Rocca, G. Galli, Physical Review B, 87, 165203, (2013).
  •       “Ab-initio Calculations of Absorption Spectra of Semiconducting Nanowires within Many Body Perturbation Theory”, Y. Ping, D. Rocca, D. Lu and G. Galli, Physical Review B, 85, 035316, (2012).
  •      “Thermally Stable N2-intercalated WO3 Photoanodes for Water Oxidation”, Q. Mi, Y. Ping, Y. Li, B. Brunschwig,  G. Galli, H. Gray and N. Lewis, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134, 18318, (2012). (Highlighted in the feature article of CCI Solar)

Teaching Interests

Quantum Mechanics, Solid State Chemistry, Spectroscopy, Computational simulations of molecular and solid state systems