The 2015 MacArthur Foundation geniuses have just been revealed, with seven prolific scientists receiving the prestigious title. Of those scientists, inorganic chemist Peidong Yang was named as one of this year’s geniuses for his pioneering work in nanomaterials science. His work is not only transformative for the science of semiconductor nanowires and nanowire photonics, it is also opening new paths for clean, renewable energy.
His research has led to innovative commercial productions for the conversion of waste heat to electricity, chemical sensors, and optical switches. Currently, Yang’s focus is directed toward artificial photosynthesis, where he and his research group have created a synthetic “leaf” that is a hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria.