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Vivian Wing-Wah Yam


  • Advisor
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy




Over the past three decades, through a combination of molecular design and physical inorganic chemistry, Vivian Wing-Wah Yam has helped to create new classes of metal-containing chromophores and luminophores.

These are molecules that absorb or radiate light – and some of them may help to mitigate the growing global demand for energy.

Yam’s major interests are in the areas of inorganic/organometallic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, photochemistry and solar energy. Her major research focus involves the employment of molecular design and synthetic strategies to create novel classes of strong light-absorbing chromophoric and luminescent metal-based molecular materials with various functions, and the elucidation of their spectroscopic origins. She pursues these studies with the goal of designing innovative classes of solar-harvesting materials for organic photovoltaics, as well as phosphorescent materials for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and white OLED (WOLED) solid-state lighting. Yam’s research also focuses on various utilizations of non-covalent metal-metal interactions: for directed supramolecular assembly and stabilization of nanostructures, conformations, folded structures and organogels; as spectroscopic reporters of assembly – disassembly processes, and morphology and microenvironment changes; and as chemosensors/biosensors of aggregation phenomenon.


  • Royal Society of Chemistry Ludwig Mond Award
  • Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Laureate of the 2011 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award
  • Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Medal

Relevant Publications

  • Tang, M. C., Tsang, D. P. K., Wong, Y. C., Chan, M. Y., Wong, K. M. C., & Yam, V. W. W. (2014). Bipolar gold (III) complexes for solution-processable organic light-emitting devices with a small efficiency roll-off. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(51), 17861-17868.
  • Lee, S. H., Chan, C. T. L., Wong, K. M. C., Lam, W. H., Kwok, W. M., & Yam, V. W. W. (2014). Design and synthesis of bipyridine platinum (II) bisalkynyl fullerene donor–chromophore–acceptor triads with ultrafast charge separation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(28), 10041-10052.
  • Leung, S. Y. L., Lam, W. H., & Yam, V. W. W. (2013). Dynamic scaffold of chiral binaphthol derivatives with the alkynylplatinum (II) terpyridine moiety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(20), 7986-7991.
  • Wong, K. M. C., & Yam, V. W. W. (2012). Molecular design and synthesis of photofunctional materials. Molecular design and applications of photofunctional polymers and materials, 1, 245-286.
  • Po, C., Tam, A. Y. Y., Wong, K. M. C., & Yam, V. W. W. (2011). Supramolecular self-assembly of amphiphilic anionic platinum (II) complexes: A correlation between spectroscopic and morphological properties. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133(31), 12136-12143.

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