Yingjie Zhang

Yingjie Zhang
Yingjie Zhang
Assistant Professor
(217) 300-8443
256 Seitz Materials Research Lab

For More Information


  • BS in Physics (Summa Cum Laude), Nankai University (2010)
  • PhD in Applied Science and Technology, University of California, Berkeley (2015)


Dr. Zhang is an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Science and Technology from the University of California, Berkeley (2015). He received the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship from the American Vacuum Society in 2014, the Graduate Student Award from the Materials Research Society in 2015, the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad in 2015, the Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship at UIUC during 2015-2018, the ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award in 2019, the Beckman Young Investigator Award from the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation in 2021, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2024.

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, UIUC, 2019 - now
  • Faculty Affiliate, Materials Research Laboratory, UIUC, 2019 - now
  • Part-time Faculty, Beckman Institute, UIUC, 2023 - now

Research Statement

The Zhang group study complex interfaces and molecular systems, with the goal of: 1) understanding the fundamental atomic and molecular scale processes at solid-liquid interfaces, such as dynamic solvation, electrochemical energy conversion, and catalysis; 2) deciphering the structure, distribution, and function of various small molecules in liquid electrolytes and biological systems; and 3) bringing solutions to the society, in areas of renewable energy and healthcare.

Our research is highly interdisciplinary, spanning over areas of physical/materials/analytical chemistry, condensed matter physics, chemical engineering, and mechanical/electrical engineering. We are always looking for motivated graduate students, postdocs, and undergrads to join us.

Research Interests

  • Molecular Imaging and Spectroscopy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Electrochemistry and catalysis
  • Nanomaterials
  • Cell Biology

Research Topics

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings



  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2024)
  • Early Career Travel Award, The Electrochemical Society (2023)
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation (2021)
  • ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award (2019)
  • Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015-2018)
  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad (2015)
  • Graduate Student Award, Materials Research Society (2015)
  • Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship, American Vacuum Society (2014)
  • Best Poster Award, MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit (2014)
  • Anselmo Macchi Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley (2014)

Recent Courses Taught

  • MSE 461 - Electronic Materials II
  • MSE 466 - Electrochem Energy Conversion
  • MSE 466 - Materials in Electrochem Syst
  • MSE 582 - Surface Physics
  • MSE 595 - Materials Colloquium