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UCLA solar-energy researcher Yang Yang named one of world's most influential scientist

27 January 2016

photo of Yang YangSPIE Fellow and solar cell scientist Yang Yang of University of California, Los Angeles was named one of 2015's "hottest researchers" in Thomson Reuters's latest release of "The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds."

The Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters announced the results of its citation analysis that identifies the scientists — as determined by their fellow researchers — who have made the most significant impact in their fields of study.

Yang and a significant number of the top 19 highly-regarded scientists from around the world are in photonics or fields closely related to it.

The "2015 Hottest Researchers" ranking spotlights 19 of the scientific community's greatest innovators, who have recently published at least 14 papers with notably high levels of citations. The list was identified by tabulating citations within the Web of Science, recorded during 2014 for papers published between 2012 and 2014.

Yang, the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas, Jr., Chair in Engineering and a professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, focuses on solar cell research and cancer genomics and was No. 14 on the list.

His work has led to the invention of inverted organic solar cells, the invention of transparent organic photovoltaic devices and greater understanding of polymer morphology and its influence on device performance. Along with fellow researchers, his lab has helped set several world records for power conversion efficiency in solar devices. His recent research includes development of perovskite solar cells and photodetectors.

In a plenary talk at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August 2015, Yang called perovskite a "dream material," with positive electron/hole transportation performance, low combination rate and high photoluminescence, long diffusion length, and long carrier lifetime. He has been a member of the program committee for the organic photovoltaics conference at SPIE Optics + Photonics for many years.

No. 2 on the Thomson Reuters list is Henry J. Snaith of Oxford University who also has been working on perovskite solar cells to advance solar-energy technology. Snaith is co-founder and chief scientific officer of Oxford Photovoltaics, a spinout company commercializing the solar technology developed at his university lab.

No. 7 is Michael Grätzel from EPFL (Switzerland), best known as the "father of artificial photosynthesis" and inventor of the dye-sensitized solar cell.

Zhang Hua of Singapore NTU's School of Materials Science & Engineering ranked No. 12 on the list. Hua is among the world's most respected materials scientists and chemists, having developed various types of nanomaterials for applications in biosensing, opto-electronic devices, water treatment and clean energy.

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