Luping Yu Professor

Born Zhejiang Province, China, 1959.
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, B.S., 1982; M.S., 1984.
University of Southern California, Ph.D., 1989.
Postdoctoral Associate, 1989-1991.
The University of Chicago, Professor, 1991-.


2004 Special Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation.
1998 Mr. and Mrs. Sun Chan Memorial Award in Organic Chemistry.
1994-1999 National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award.
1993-1995 Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award.
1991-1996 Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award.

OFFICE: 929 E. 57th St., GCIS E 419 A, Chicago, IL 60637

PHONE: (773)702-8698

FAX: (773)702-0805




My research is focused on the interfacial area between organic chemistry and materials science. This area has rich opportunities for organic chemists both in fundamental science and practical technologies.

1. Polymer Chemistry:
We are especially interested in exploring reactions that require mild reaction conditions for syntheses of functional polymers and materials.

1.1. Palladium-mediated coupling reactions (The Heck reaction, the Stille coupling reaction)for polycondensation;
1.2. Living ring-opening polymerization for the synthesis of biocompatible polyesters;
1.3. Exploring new polycondensation reactions as an alternative method to the Stille reaction.
1.4. Ladder polymer chemistry.

2. Functional Polymers:
2.1 Solar cell polymers: Our group is engaged in research effort to develop low bandgap polymers that can efficiently harvest and convert solar energy into electricity. Two types of polymers are being designed and synthesized. a. p-Type low bandgap semiconducting polymers. Both Linear and 2 dimensional polymers are pursued. b. n-Type semiconducting polymers as electron-acceptors. This project requires development of synthetic approaches to new monomer and polymer structures. In addition to the synthetic work, extensive research effort is devoted to the elucidation of light conversion mechanism, charge separation dynamics and structure/property relationship.
2.2 Chiral polymers and Helical molecules. This project concerns the effect of chirality of polymers on their properties, such as electron-optic properties and self-assembly.
2.3 Functional polymers containing metal complexes. Metal complexes exhibit rich electro-magnetic and optical properties, which can be explored for electro-optic materials and catalysis. One of our projects is to combine organic conjugated polymers with transition metal complexes to investigate new physical properties, such as photorefractive effects, photoconductivity, light emission and novel redox properties. These polymers exhibit promising potential for applications in solar energy conversion, sensors, polymer-supported electrodes, nonlinear optics, photorefraction and electroluminescence.
2.4 Molecular Electronics. This project explores the power of organic chemistry in designing and synthesizing molecular electronic components, such as molecular diodes, molecular switches and information storage material. A typical example is the synthesis of molecular diodes and demonstration of their rectification effect. The molecular diode consists of conjugated diblock. These materials present the unlimited opportunity to further fundamental knowledge of the electronic and structural properties of organic electroactive materials.

Selected References

1. Bridget Carsten, Jodi M. Szarko, Hae Jung Son, Luyao Lu, Wei Wang, Brian S. Rolczynski, Sylvia J. Lou, Lin Chen and Luping Yu “Examining the Effect of the Dipole Moment on Charge Delocalization in Donor-Acceptor Polymers for Organic Photovoltaic Applications”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011 133, 20468-20475.

2. He, Feng; Wang, Wei; Chen, Wei; Xu, Tao; Darling, Seth; Strzalka, Joseph; Liu, Yun; Yu, Luping, Tetrathienoanthracene-based Copolymers for Efficient Solar Cells, J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2011, 133(10), 3284-3287.

3. Hae Jung Son, Wei Wang, Yongye Liang, Gang Li and Luping Yu*, Synthesis of Fluorinated Polythienothiophene-co-thienobenzothiophene (PTBF) and Effect of Fluorination on the Photovoltaic Properties, J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2011, 133(6), 1885-1894.

4. Bridget Carsten, Feng He, Hae Jung Son, Tao Xu and Luping Yu, “The Stille Polycondensation for Synthesis of Functional Materials”, Chem. Rev. , 2011, 111(3), 1493-1528.

5. Yongye Liang and Luping Yu, A New Class of Semiconducting polymers for High Performance Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells, Accounts of Chem. Research, 2010, 43(9), 1227-1236.

6. Yongye Liang, Zheng Xu, Jiangbin Xia, Szu-Ting Tsai, Yue Wu, Gang Li, Claire Ray, Luping Yu, “For the Bright Future- Bulk Heterojunction Polymer Solar Cells with Power Conversion Efficiency of 7.4%”, Adv. Mater. , 2010, 22(20), E135-E138.

7. Yongye, Liang, Danqin Feng, Yue Wu, Szu-Ting Tsai, Gang Li, Claire Ray and Luping Yu, “ High Efficient Solar Cell Polymers Developed via Fine-tuning Structural and Electronic Properties”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2009 131(22), 7792-7799.

8. Yongye Liang, Yue Wu, Danqin Feng, Szu-Ting Tsai, Hae-Jun Son, Gang Li, Luping Yu, Novel Semiconducting Polymers for High Performance Solar Cells, J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2009 131, 56-57.

9. Hsiang-Yu, Jianhui Hou, Shaoqing Zhang, Yongye Liang,Guanwen Yang, Yang Yang, Luping Yu,Yue Wu, Gang Li, “Polymer solar cells with enhanced open-circuit voltage and efficiency.” Nature Photonics, 2009, 3(11), 649-653.

10. Ismael Díez-Pérez, Joshua Hihath, Youngu Lee, Luping Yu, Ivan Oleynick and Nongjian Tao, Rectification behavior on single-molecular junctions Diode behavior on single-molecular junctions: current density limit? Nature Chemistry, 2009 1, 635-641.