Yuan Ping

TitleAssistant Professor
DivisionPhysical & Biological Sciences
DepartmentPBSci-Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
Phone831-459-1390 (Office),
831-459-2874 (Lab)
Web Site group website
OfficePhysical Sciences Bldg 354 (Office),
Physical Sciences Bldg 330 (Lab)
Campus Mail StopChemistry
Mail1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Yuan Ping

Research Interests

My research interests focus on developing and using computational physics/chemistry methods to solve problems related to energy applications, for example to understand and predict materials for photovoltaic, artificial photosynthesis (water splitting and CO2 reduction), battery and fuel cell applications. Specifically we are currently interested in: 1) Optical properties – study light absorption and excitonic effects for complex metal oxides and nanostructures 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 the carrier transport and optical properties of metal oxides from first principles (Density Functional Theory and beyond); 3) Complex solid/liquid interfaces – study structural, electronic structure 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 studies, 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

  •       “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