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Yi Cui, PhD

Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Professor (By courtesy), Chemistry

Director, Precourt Institute for Energy

(650) 723-4613

I’m Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. My research interest lies in the nanoscale materials design for energy, environment, topological insulator and biotechnology.


2017 Blavatnik National Laureate

2015 Resonate Award, from California Institute of Technology’s Resnick Sustainability Institute.

2015 MRS Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience

2019 Dan Maydan Prize for Nanoscience Research

2019 Nano Today Award, Nano Today Journal

2019 ECS Battery Technology Award, Electrochemical Society

2019 Battery Research Award, International Automotive Lithium Battery Association

2021 E. O. Lawrence Award, from DOE

2021 Global Energy Prize


PhD, Harvard University


Research Interests

When the size of materials is reduced to the nanoscale dimension, physical and chemical properties can change dramatically. We are interested in a broad range of nanoscale properties including electronic, photonic, electrochemical, mechanical, catalytic and interfacial properties. We explore how these properties can be utilized to impact technological applications in solar cells, batteries, supercapacitors, biotechnology and environmental technology. We conduct research on the synthesis, characterization and device fabrication and testing of nanowires, colloidal nanocrystals and patterned nanostructures.



  • Advanced materials synthesis and fabrication
  • Energy storage
  • Photovoltaics
  • Topological insulators
  • Printable energy and electronic devices
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Nano-environmental technologies
  • Nanoscale tools



See Publications for Yi Cui, PhD