Nan Yao

Professor of the Practice in the Princeton Materials Institute; Director, Imaging and Analysis Center; Senior Research Scholar at the Princeton Materials Institute.


Office: Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, 33

Phone: 609-258-6394

Research interests: Utilizing advanced imaging, diffraction, spectroscopy and in-situ techniques, in tandem with theoretical simulations, to study fundamentals of the structure-composition-processing-property-performance relations in complex materials such as nanostructured materials, biomaterials, organic/inorganic interfaces, block copolymers, catalysts, quasicrystals and functional nanomaterials.


  • Woman handles strings to extract lithium salts.

    Better lithium production on a string

  • Iron's electron orbits are thicker and dimmer than cobalt's, allowing identification of each element

    Like facial recognition for atoms, image distinguishes elements by electron orbitals

  • Microscope images of iron phthalocyanine molecules before and after removal of carbon monoxide

    Researchers measure the breakup of a single chemical bond

  • Portrait of researcher

    Yao, director of Imaging and Analysis Center, named AAAS fellow

  • Three researchers examine a dish of cells in the laboratory

    Innovation funds propel research to improve health, computing and sustainability

  • Graduate students discuss research at conference poster session

    Data tools give microscopes unprecedented views of living and physical systems


  • Materials Science and Engineering


  • Researchers, dressed in white suits, work in "clean room" lab under yellow light.

    Princeton Materials Institute