Welcome Qiuming Yu

CBE Professor Qiuming Yu
  • New Faculty Year: 2020

Qiuming Yu has joined the faculty of the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at Cornell. For Professor Yu, teaching at Cornell is a homecoming of sorts. After receiving her B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from China’s Nanjing University, she moved to Ithaca, where she earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering right here in Olin Hall. Yu was awarded a Ph.D. from Cornell in the Clancy group where she worked on rapid solidification in SiGe alloys, both experimentally and computationally.

That was in 1995. Since then, Yu has had a rich and productive career in research and teaching. That career has taken her from a post-doctoral fellowship in the Micro-Devices Lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to a research position at Kansas State University to a full professorship in chemical engineering at the University of Washington.

Yu officially joined the faculty of the Smith School on July 1, 2020.

At Cornell Yu’s research will focus on the fundamental studies of plasmonic and semiconductor materials and the development of devices for biosensing and optoelectronic applications. Yu’s approach to these fields is both computational and experimental. Scrolling through the titles of Yu’s papers on Google Scholar, one gets a sense of the breadth of her research interests.

That breadth is even more obvious when you read a description of the work her lab is doing today. Here are a few of the specific lines of research Yu is involved in currently:

  • Biosensing using surface plasmon resonance and surface-enhanced Raman scattering as transducing mechanisms
  • Developing biocompatible conducting polymers and organic electrochemical transistors
  • Studying structural and optoelectronic properties of halide perovskites, organic semiconductors, and nanocomposites, as well as fundamental physics of charge generation, separation, and transport in devices
  • Integrating plasmonic nanostructures into photovoltaic devices and photodetectors to utilize hot electrons, and to manipulate light absorption and electric field distribution, and
  • developing light and mechanical flexible photovoltaic devices and spectral-selective photodetectors for energy harvesting and light sensing.

Yu is excited to be back at Cornell. “I really enjoy teaching, both undergraduate and graduate students,” says Yu. “Also, I like to have undergraduates in my lab, working alongside my graduate students. The students at Cornell are so smart and they work hard to understand things.” As she says this, Yu gives a little laugh and adds parenthetically, “Both of my children attended Cornell as undergrads, so I have to say this. But also, it is true.”

Another advantage to being  back at Cornell for Yu is the many opportunities for collaboration with researchers in the Smith School as well as from other schools, departments, and colleges across campus. Her work covers a broad range of topics and interests and many of these overlap with work being done by materials scientists, biochemical engineers, and others. “Cornell is the perfect place for me to continue my work,” says Yu. “There are potential collaborators everywhere with so much knowledge.”

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