Yuanbing Mao

  • Department of Chemistry Chair
  • Professor of Chemistry


Ph.D. in Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook
M.S. in Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, CAS
B.S. in Chemistry, Xiangtan University

Research Interests

My research centers around designing advanced nanomaterials, achieving desirable properties and functionalities, and tackling complex interdisciplinary material challenges. Current studies focus on the development of facile and reliable synthesis methods for complex metal oxide nanomaterials, the investigation of their novel properties, and the exploration of their application potentials in the areas of optoelectronics, energy conversion, and sustainability. Specifically, we are interested to:

  • Develop and investigate metal oxide-based nanophosphors and nanoscintillators for lighting, radiation detection, and biodiagnostics, and determine their electronic structure by complementary techniques, especially X-ray spectroscopies, as a critical step in learning how to control, design, and engineer these oxides.
  • Study and understand the underlying mechanism and parameters that govern the water splitting reduction/oxidation activities and ideally discover a convenient activity descriptor(s) of strongly correlated complex transition metal oxides, e.g. delafossite oxides CuIMIIIO2.
  • Design and evaluate oxide-based nanostructured photocatalysts for photodegradation and antibacterial wastewater treatment, understand the fundamental adsorption and reactive species generation kinetics and mechanisms, and develop quantitative relationship between activity and underlying mechanism.

In the past several years after I started my independent academic career, I have established the Multifunctionalized Applications of Oxides (MAO) research group and built a vigorous, competitive and well-funded research program with sufficient external funds (several million dollars). I have led many of my proposal development efforts and built teams to secure grant cross departments, colleges, and universities. As the Principal Investigator, I have secured grants from the National Science Foundation (both regular and MRI grants), the DoD Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA, Young Investigator Award), the DoD HBCU/MI program, the Air Force of Scientific Research (AFOSR), American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I have also served as co-PIs of an NSF PREM program and a DARPA project.

As a professor, I believe that great mentors are those who help his/her students remove barriers in their thinking and create boundaries to work within. It is our duty to advance our students’ careers and enhance their chances of success in whatever endeavors they choose to pursue. Moreover, my mentees always matter to me on a personal level. I was honored to receive the inaugural Outstanding Mentorship Award from the CUR Chemistry Division in 2019.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Chemical Society (ACS)
Materials Research Society (MRS)
American Ceramic Society (ACerS)
Electrochemical Society (ECS)


Outstanding Mentorship Award, the Council on Undergraduate Research 2019

Carlos & Stephanie Manrique de Lara Endowed Professorship, UTRGV 2018-2019

Faculty Excellence Award in Research, UTRGV 2018

Excellence in Research Award, College of Sciences, UTRGV 2017

Recipient of the Visiting Faculty Program at Ames National Laboratory, Department of Energy Summers 2013, 2014 & 2015

Young Investigator Award, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), DoD 2010

Lee Myers Award for Outstanding Doctoral Chemistry Student (highest honor), SUNY-Stony Brook 2006



Selected Journal Publications

  1. Swati Mohan, Santosh K. Gupta, and Yuanbing Mao, Morphology-oxygen evolution activity relationship of iridium(IV) oxide nanomaterials, New Journal of Chemistry, 2022, in press. DOI: 10.1039/D1NJ05133D
  2. Hongjuan Liu, Xianli Wang, Thulitha Abeywickrama, Forough Jahanbazi, Zefu Min, Zhengrong Lee, Jeffrey Terry, and Yuanbing Mao, Biomimetically Synthesized Luminescent Tb3+-Doped Fluorapatite/Agar Nanocomposite for Detecting UO22+, Cu2+, and Cr3+ Ions, Environmental Science: Nano, 2021, 8, 3711 - 3721. DOI: 10.1039/D1EN00648G
  3. Xianli Wang and Yuanbing Mao, Achieving UVC and UVB Dual-Band Persistent Luminescence by Manipulating the Garnet Structure, Advanced Optical Materials, 2022, in press. DOI: 10.1002/adom.202102157
  4. Alan Perez, Santosh K. Gupta, Madhab Pokhrel, and Yuanbing Mao, Up and Down convertible LaF3:Yb,Er Nanocrystals with very wide emission window (350 nm to 2.8 µm): Shape/Phase evolution and Improved Luminescence under thermal time modulation, ACS Applied Nanomaterials, 2021, 4(12), 13562–13572. DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.1c03023
  5. Forough Jahanbazi and Yuanbing Mao, Recent Advances on Metal Oxide-Based Luminescence Thermometry, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2021, 9, 16410-16439. DOI: 10.1039/D1TC03455C
  6. Bhupendra B. Srivastava, Santosh K. Gupta, Swati Mohan, and Yuanbing Mao, Molten Salt Assisted Annealing for Making Colloidal ZnGa2O4:Cr Nanocrystals with High Persistent Luminescence, Chemistry - A European Journal,2021, 27(44), 11398-11405. DOI: 10.1002/chem.202101234
  7. Hongjuan Liu and Yuanbing Mao, Graphene oxide-based nanomaterials for uranium adsorptive uptake, ES Materials & Manufacturing, 2021, 13, 3-22. DOI:10.30919/esmm5f453
  8. Santosh K. Gupta, Brindaban Modak, Pampa Modak, and Yuanbing Mao, White light emission from co-doped La2Hf2O7 nanoparticles with suppressed host→Eu3+ energy transfer via U6+ co-dopant, Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers, 20218, 3830 - 3842. DOI: 10.1039/D1QI00134E
  9. Santosh K. Gupta and Yuanbing Mao, Recent development on molten salt synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials: a review, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2021, 125(12), 6508-6533. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c10981
  10. Santosh K. Gupta, Hisham Abdou, and Yuanbing Mao, Pressure-induced site swapping, luminescence quenching, and color tunability of Gd2Hf2O7:Eu3+ nanoparticles, Optical Materials, 2021, 112, 110789. DOI: 10.1016/j.optmat.2020.110789
  11. Santosh K. Gupta and Yuanbing Mao, Molten-salt synthesis method for nanomaterials: Current status, opportunity and challenges, Progress in Materials Science, 2021, 117, 100734. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmatsci.2020.100734
  12. Santosh K. Gupta and Yuanbing Mao, Recent advances, challenges and opportunities of inorganic scintillators with a focus on nanoparticles, Opto-Electronics Reviews, 2020, 13(2), 156-187. DOI 10.1007/s12200-020-1003-5
  13. Bhupendra B. Srivastava, Santosh K. Gupta, Yang Li, and Yuanbing Mao, Bright Persistent Green Emitting Water-Dispersible Zn2GeO4:Mn Nanorods, Dalton Transactions, 2020, 49(22), 7328-7340. DOI: 10.1039/D0DT00361A
  14. Bhupendra B. Srivastava, Santosh K. Gupta, and Yuanbing Mao, Singular red emission from upconverting ZnGa2O4:Yb,Er nanoparticles co-doped by Cr3+, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2020, 8, 6370-6379. DOI: 10.1039/d0tc00411a
  15. Bhupendra B. Srivastava, Santosh K. Gupta, and Yuanbing Mao, Remarkable enhancement of photoluminescence and persistent luminescence of NIR emitting ZnGa2O4:Cr3+ nanoparticles, CrystEngComm, 2020, 22, 2491 - 2501. DOI: 10.1039/d0ce00182a
  16. Santosh K. Gupta, Jose P. Zuniga, Maya Abdou, Melonie P. Thomas, Manisha De Alwis Goonatilleke, Beth S. Guiton, and Yuanbing Mao, Lanthanide-doped lanthanum hafnate nanoparticles as multicolor phosphors for warm white lighting and scintillators, Chemical Engineering Journal, 2020, 379, 122314. DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2019.122314
  17. Santosh K. Gupta, Maya Abdou, Jose P. Zuniga, Alexander A. Puretzky, and Yuanbing Mao, Samarium activated La2Hf2O7 nanoparticles as multifunctional phosphors, ACS Omega, 2019, 4(19), 17956-17966. DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.9b01318


Complete List of Published Work in Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=bUO5jv4AAAAJ&hl=en


Yuanbing Mao, Hisham Abdou, Kusy Zarzosa, and Evan Braswell, Using insects to carry nanocides for therapeutics, U.S. Patent Provisional Appl. no. US 62816939 (filed on March 12, 2019).

Karen Lozano, Yuanbing Mao, Carlos Hernandez, Misael E. Martinez, Mark Anthony Ruiz, Jorge Ernesto Vidal, Jose Zuniga, Mechanoluminescence polymer doped fabrics and methods, PCT Int. Appl. (2019), WO 2019049085 A1 20190314.

Yuanbing Mao, Core@shell particles composed of sensitizing broadband long-persistent phosphor core, upconversion shell, and methods of making same, U.S. Patent Appl. Publication no. US 62/074,833, and PCT Int. Appl. (2016), WO 2016073447 A1 20160512.

Yuanbing Mao, Heterogeneous core@shell photocatalyst, manufacturing method therefor, and articles comprising photocatalyst, U.S. Patent Appl. Publication no. US 62/074,835, and PCT Int. Appl. (2016), WO 2016073449 A1 20160512.

Stanislaus S. Wong and Yuanbing Mao, Large-scale synthesis of perovskite nanostructures, U.S. Patent Appl. Publication no. US 2007/0254154 A1 and PCT Int. Appl. (2006), WO 2006085912 A2 20060817.

Stanislaus S. Wong and Yuanbing Mao, Titania and titanate nanostructures and methods of making same, U.S. 8,440,162, issued May 14, 2013.

Stanislaus S. Wong and Yuanbing Mao, Metal oxide and metal fluoride nanostructures and methods of making same, U. S.7,575,735, issued August 18, 2009.

Stanislaus S. Wong and Yuanbing Mao, Hydrothermal synthesis of perovskite nanotubes, US 7,147,834 B2, issued December 12, 2006.

Bizhong Li, Yuanbing Mao, Junhui Ji, Qing Yan, and Xiaoxu Dong, Preparation of antibacterial antifungal resin composition, Chinese Patent CN 1,294,145, issued May 9, 2001.


Design and development of synthesis methodologies for inorganic materials

Bottom-up synthesis of nanomaterials, mostly metal oxides

Exploration of optoelectronic, sensing, and catalytic properties of advanced (nano)materials

Meet interdisciplinary material challenges in energy, lighting, sensing, information storage, communication, security fields

Available for media interviews on the following topics:

For media inquiries, please contact

Petra Kelly
Communications Director