Inorganic Chemist Named MacArthur Genius

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.

The award consists of a no-strings attached $625,000 grant that is paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.

Take a look at some of Yang’s research published in the Digital Library:

The other scientists award this honor include chemist William Dichtel, computational biologist John Novembre, computer scientist Christoper Ré, neuroscientist Beth Stevens, stem cell biologist Lorenz Studer, and environmental engineer Krtik Chandran.

“These delightfully diverse MacArthur Fellows are shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their field, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Their work, their commitment, and their creativity inspire us all.”

PS: Yang will be at the 228th ECS Meeting to give a talk entitled “Phonon Transport in Holey Silicon Nanostructures.” Make sure to register for the meeting today!

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