Jihui Yang

Kyocera Professor in Materials Science & Engineering
Chair, Department of Materials Science & Engineering

  • (206) 543-7090
  • ROB 302F
  • Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC)


A Kyocera Professor in MSE, Jihui provides leadership in the University of Washington Department of Materials Science & Engineering as department chair and, previously, chair of the undergraduate committee. His research focuses on thermoelectric and energy storage materials with an emphasis on the design, synthesis, testing, and understanding of advanced thermoelectric materials and Li-ion battery materials for energy conversion and storage.

He has authored 100 papers, holds 19 US patents, and has established strong research funding from DOE/EERE in recent years including the partnership on battery research with PNNL. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has received the Campbell award from GM R&D and the DOE INCITE award.


  • Ph.D. Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2000
  • M.S. Radiological Physics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1994.
  • M.S. Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1991
  • B.S. Physics, Fudan University, Shanghai, P. R. China, 1989.

Previous appointments

  • Lab Group Manager and Technical Fellow, Electrochemical Energy Research Lab, GM R&D Center, Warren, MI 1996-2011

Research Statement

Various experimental and theoretical techniques are used to study materials of great fundamental and application interest. Current research is primarily engaged in the design, synthesis, testing, and understanding of advanced thermoelectric materials and Li-ion battery materials for energy conversion and storage, which include:

  1. Electron and phonon transport of thermoelectric materials
  2. Thermodynamic stability, atomistic structural arrangement, electronic band structure, and lattice dynamics of nanocomposites
  3. Degradation mechanisms of advanced Li-ion battery materials

Current projects

Patents - Granted

  • Yang, J., Kelly B. Ledbetter, Francis R. Stabler, and David S. Scott, “Thermoelectric Methods to Control Temperature of Batteries”, US9,236,639 B2, January 12, 2016.
  • Yang, J. and Cai, S., “Batteries with Phase Change Materials”, US8,936,864 B2, January 20, 2015.
  • Yang, J. and Cai, S., "Battery Pack Thermal Management System and Method", US 8,658,299 B2, Feb. 25, 2014.
  • Meisner, G. P. and Yang, J., ""Thermoelectric Generator Incorporating Phase-Change Materials for Waste Heat Recovery from Engine Exhaust", US 8,646,261 B2, Feb. 11, 2014.
  • Yang, J., Verbrugge, M. W., and Major, G. A., “System and Method for Heating and Cooling A Vehicle”, US 8,316,650 B2, Nov. 27, 2012.
  • Chen, L., Shi, X., Yang, J., and Meisner, Gregory P., “Method of Improving Thermoelectric Figure of Merit of High Efficiency Thermoelectric Materials”, US 8,309,839 B2, Nov. 13, 2012.
  • Reynolds, M. G., Yang, J., Meisner, G. P., Stabler, F. R., De Bock, H. P. J., and Anderson, T. A., "Exhaust Gas Bypass Valve Control for Thermoelectric Generator", US 8,256,220 B2, Sep.4, 2012.
  • Ulicny, J. C., Yang, J., and Verbrugge, M. W., “Active Material Apparatus with Activating Thermoelectric Device Thereon and Method of Fabrication“, US 8,227,681 B2, Jul. 24, 2012.
  • Yang; Jihui, Shi; Xun, Bai; Shengqiang, Zhang; Wenqing, Chen; Lidong, Yang; Jiong, "Thermoelectric material including a multiple transition metal-doped type I clathrate crystal structure", US 8,097,802, January 17, 2012.
  • Yang, J. and Snyder, Dexter D., “High Performance Thermoelectric Nanocomposite Device”, US 8,044,293, Aug. 25, 2011.
  • Yang, J., and Meisner, Gregory P., “Filled Skutterudites for Advanced Thermoelectric Applications”, US 7,648,552 B2, Jan. 19, 2010.
  • Yang, J., Matouka, Michael F., and Stabler, Francis R., “Auxiliary Electrical Power Generation”, US 7,493,776 B2, Feb. 24, 2009.
  • Verbrugge, Mark W., Yang, J., Cheng, Yang T., Lukitsch, Michael J., Browne, Alan L., and Mankame, Nilesh D., “Reconfigurable Fixture Device and Methods of Use”, US 7,480,975 B2, Jan. 27, 2009.
  • Yang, J., Snyder, D. D., and Cheng, Y. T., “Shape Memory Alloy Information Storage Device”. US 7,443,003 B2, Oct. 28, 2008.
  • Yang, J., Verbrugge, M. W., and Herbst, J. F., “Thermoelectric Conversion of Heat Released During Use of a Power Plant or Hydrogen Storage Material”. US 7,405,013, B2, July 29, 2008.
  • Chen, L., Fan, J., Bai, S., and Yang, J., “CoSb3-based Thermoelectric Device Fabrication Method”. US 7,321,157, B2, Jan. 22, 2008.
  • Yang, J., Cai, M., and Stabler, F. R., “Thermoelectric Catalytic Converter Temperature Control”. US 7,051,522, B2, May 30, 2006.
  • Heremans, J. P. and Yang, J., “In-Plane Magnetoresistance Bridge”. US 6,075,437, Jan. 13, 2000.

Select publications

  1. Zhao, W., Liu, Z., Sun, Z., Zhang, Q., Wei, P., Mu, X., Zhou, H., Li, C., Ma, S., He, D., Ji, P., Zhu, W., Nie, X., Su, X., Tang, X., Shen, B., Dong, X., Yang, Jihui, Liu, Y., and Shi, J., “Superparamagnetic enhancement of thermoelectric performance”, Nature 549, 247–251 (2017), doi:10.1038/nature23667.
  2. Ren, G.-K., Wang, S., Zhu, Y.-C., Ventura, K. J., Tan, X., Xu, W., Lin, Y.-H., Yang, J., and Ce-Wen Nan, “Enhancing thermoelectric performance in hierarchically structured BiCuSeO by increasing bond covalency and weakening carrier–phonon coupling”, Energy Environ. Sci., DOI: 10.1039/c7ee00464h (2017).
  3. Wang, S., Sun, Y., Yang, J., Duan, B., Wu, L., Zhang, W., and Yang, Jihui, “High thermoelectric performance in Te-free (Bi,Sb)2Se3 by structural transition induced band convergence and chemical bond softening”, Energy & Environmental Science 9, 3436 (2016).
  4. Wu, L., Li, X., Wang, S., Zhang, T., Yang, Jiong, Zhang, W., Chen, L., and Yang, Jihui, “Resonant level-induced high thermoelectric response in indium-doped GeTe”, NPG Asia Materials 9, e343 (2017); doi:10.1038/am.2016.203.
  5. Zhao, W., Wei, P., Zhang, Q., Peng, H., Zhu, W., Tang, D., Yu, J., Zhou, H., Liu, Z., Mu, X., He, D., Li, J., Wang, C., Tang, X., and Yang, Jihui, “Magnetoelectric interaction and transport behaviors in magnetic nanocomposite thermoelectric materials under the intrinsic excitation”, Nature Nanotechnology, 10.1038/nnano.2016.182 (2016).
  6. Wu, B., Wang, S., Evans, W. J., Deng, D. Z., Yang, J, and Xiao, J., “Interfacial behaviours between lithium ion conductors and electrode materials in various battery systems”, J. of Mat. Chem. A, J. Mater. Chem. A 4, 15266 (2016) (invited review paper).
  7. Duan, B., Yang, Jiong, Salvador, J. R., He, Y., Zhao, B., Wang, S., Wei, P., Ohuchi, F. S., Zhang, W., Hermann, R. P., Gourdon, O., Mao, S. X., Cheng, Y., Wang, C., Liu, J., Zhai, P., Tang, X., Zhang, Q., and Yang, J., “Electronegative Guests in CoSb3”, Energy & Environmental Science 9, 2090 (2016).
  8. Pan, H., Shao, Y., Yan, P., Cheng, Y., Han, K. S., Nie, Z., Wang, C., Yang, J., Li, X., Bhattacharya, P., Mueller, K. T., and Liu, J., “Reversible aqueous zinc/manganese oxide energy storage from conversion reactions”, Nature Energy, 2016, Article Number: 16039, DOI: 10.1038/NENERGY.2016.39.
  9. Wei, P., Yang, Jiong, Guo, L., Wang, S., Wu, L., Xu, X. Zhao, W, Zhang, Q., Zhang, W., Dresselhaus, M. S., and Yang, J., “Minimum Thermal Conductivity in Weak Topological Insulators with Bismuth-based Stack Structure”, Adv. Funct. Mater. 26, 5360–5367 (2016).
  10. Wang, S., Yang, Jiong, Wu, L., Wei, P., Zhang, W., Yang, J., “On Intensifying Carrier Impurity Scattering to Enhance Thermoelectric Performance in Cr‐Doped CeyCo4Sb12”, Adv. Funct. Mater. 25, 6660–6670 (2015).
  11. Wang, S., Yang, J., Toll, T., Yang, Jihui, Zhang, W., and Tang, X., "Conductivity-limiting bipolar thermal conductivity in semiconductors", Scientific Reports, 5:10136, DOI: 10.1038/srep10136 (2015).
  12. Wu, Y., Ma, C., Yang, Jihui, Li, Z., Allard, L. F., Liang, C., and Chi., M., "Probing the initiation of voltage decay in Li-rich layered cathode materials at the atomic scale", J. Mater. Chem. A 3, 5385 (2015).
  13. Zhao, W., Wei, P., Zhang, Q., Peng, H., Zhu, W., Tang, D. Yu, J., Zhou, H., Liu, Z., Mu, X., He, D., Li, J., Wang, C., Tang, X., and Yang, Jihui, "Multi-localization transport behaviour in bulk thermoelectric materials", Nature Comm. 6, 6197, DOI: 10.1038 (2015).
  14. Wang, S., Yang, J., Wu, L., Wei, P., Yang, Jihui, Zhang, W., and Grin, Y., "Anisotropic Multicenter Bonding and High Thermoelectric Performance in Electron-Poor CdSb", Chem. Mater. 27, 1071 (2015).
  15. Wu, L., Yang, J., Wang, S., Wei, P., Yang, Jihui, and Zhang, W., "Two-dimensional thermoelectrics with Rashba spin-split bands in bulk BiTeI", Phys. Rev. B 90, 195210 (2014).
  16. Qiu, W., Xi, L., Wei, P., Ke, X., Yang, J., and Zhang, W., "Part-crystalline part-liquid state and rattling-like thermal damping in materials with chemical-bond hierarchy", PNAS 111, 15031-15035 (2014).
  17. Wang, S., Yang, Jiong, Wu, X., Li, Y., Gong, Z., Wen, W., Lin, M., Yang, Jihui, and Yang, Y., "Toward high capacity and stable manganese-spinel electrode materials: A case study of Ti- substituted system", J. of Power Sources 245, 570 (2014).
  18. Yang, Jihui, Yip, Hin-Lap, and Jen, Alex K.-Y., "Rational Design of Advanced Thermoelectric Materials", Adv. Energy Mater. 3, 549 (2013).
  19. Zhang, Y., Ke, X., Kent, P. R. C., Yang, J., and Chen, C., “Anomalous lattice dynamics near ferroelectric instability in PbTe”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 175503 (2011).
  20. Zhang, Y., Ke, X., Chen, C., Yang, J., Kent, P. R. C., “Nanodopant-Induced Band Modulation in AgPbmSbTe2+m-Type Thermoelectrics”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 206601 (2011).

Honors & awards

  • 2013 - U. S. National Academy of Engineering/Chinese Academy of Engineering China-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
  • 2008 - National Academy of Engineering U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
  • 2008 - US Department of Energy Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) award
  • 2007 - The John M. Campbell Award (outstanding contributions to pure or applied science), GM R&D Center
  • 2001 - Kent M. Terwilliger Prize (Best Doctoral Thesis), Department of Physics, University of Michigan