Dr.   Yu     Zhu

Dr. Yu Zhu

Associate Professor
Department of Polymer Science
Phone: 330-972-5945
Email: yzhu@uakron.edu

Dr. Zhu's Research Group Website


Contact Information

Dr. Yu Zhu
Department of Polymer Science
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio 44325-3909
E-mail: yzhu@uakron.edu
Phone: (330) 972-5945
Fax: (330) 972-5290


  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Cologne, Germany (2003-2007)
  • Post-doctoral research associate, Rice University (2008-2012)
  • Assistant Professor, The University of Akron (2012)

Research Interests

One of our research interests is controlled synthesis and assembly of nanomaterials for various applications. Many low dimensional materials, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNT) exhibit exceptional high carrier mobility, high electrical and thermal conductivity and large specific surface area. By controlling synthesis and assembly, those exotic properties are able to be extended to macro-scale, which is important for applications like solar cells, supercapacitors and lithium ion batteries. We are also interested in the synthesis of conjugated polymer, which is another type of semi-conductive materials suitable for flexible electronics. We focus on the patterning of conjugated polymers in nano-scale for organic electronics.

Current research projects:

  • Synthesis of low-dimensional materials for energy storage/conversion applications;
  • Graphene and carbon nanotubes for nanoelectronics;
  • Patterning conjugated polymer for organic electronics;
  • Carbon nanomaterial/polymer composites.

Recent Publications

  1. Zhu, Y.; Li, L.; Zhang, C.; Casillas, G.; Sun, Z.; Yan, Z.; Ruan, G.; Peng, Z.; Raji, A.-R. O.; Kittrell, C.; Hauge, R. H.; Tour, J. M., A seamless three-dimensional carbon nanotube graphene hybrid material. Nature communications 2012, 3, 1225.
  2. Zhu, Y.; James, D. K.; Tour, J. M., New Routes to Graphene, Graphene Oxide and Their Related Applications. Advanced Materials 2012, 24, 4924-4955.
  3. Zhu, Y.; Li, X.; Cai, Q.; Sun, Z.; Casillas, G.; Jose-Yacaman, M.; Verduzco, R.; Tour, J. M., Quantitative Analysis of Structure and Bandgap Changes in Graphene Oxide Nanoribbons during Thermal Annealing. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012, 134, 11774-11780.
  4. Zhu, Y.; Tour, J. M., ORGANIC LIGHT-EMITTING DIODES Non-oxide boost. Nature Photonics 2012, 6, 72-73.
  5. Zhu, Y.; Sun, Z. Z.; Yan, Z.; Jin, Z.; Tour, J. M., Rational Design of Hybrid Graphene Films for High-Performance Transparent Electrodes. ACS Nano 2011, 5, 6472-6479.
  6. Zhu, Y.; Lu, W.; Sun, Z. Z.; Kosynkin, D. V.; Yao, J.; Tour, J. M., High Throughput Preparation of Large Area Transparent Electrodes Using Non-Functionalized Graphene Nanoribbons. Chemistry of Materials 2011, 23, 935-939.
  7. Sun, Z.; Pint, C. L.; Marcano, D. C.; Zhang, C.; Yao, J.; Ruan, G.; Yan, Z.; Zhu, Y.; Hauge, R. H.; Tour, J. M., Towards hybrid superlattices in graphene. Nature Communications 2011, 2,559
  8. Tieke, B.; Rabindranath, A. R.; Zhang, K.; Zhu, Y., Conjugated polymers containing diketopyrrolopyrrole units in the main chain. Beilstein journal of organic chemistry 2010, 6, 830-845.
  9. Zhu, Y.; Tour, J. M., Graphene Nanoribbon Thin Films Using Layer-by-Layer Assembly. Nano Letters 2010, 10, 4356-4362.
  10. Sun, Z.; Yan, Z.; Yao, J.; Beitler, E.; Zhu, Y.; Tour, J. M., Growth of graphene from solid carbon sources. Nature 2010, 468, 549-552.
  11. Zhu, Y.; Zhang, K.; Tieke, B., Electrochemical Polymerization of Bis(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-Substituted 1,4-Diketo-3,6-diphenyl-pyrrolo 3,4-c pyrrole (DPP) Derivative. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2009, 210, 431-439.
  12. Zhu, Y.; Higginbotham, A. L.; Tour, J. M., Covalent Functionalization of Surfactant-Wrapped Graphene Nanoribbons. Chemistry of Materials 2009, 21, 5284-5291.
  13. Rabindranath, A. R.; Zhu, Y.; Zhang, K.; Tieke, B., Purple red and luminescent polyiminoarylenes containing the 1, 4-diketo-3, 6-diphenylpyrrolo [3, 4-c] pyrrole (DPP) chromophore. Polymer 2009, 50, 1637-1644.
  14. Zhu, Y.; Rabindranath, A. R.; Beyerlein, T.; Tieke, B., Highly luminescent 1, 4-diketo-3, 6-diphenylpyrrolo [3, 4-c] pyrrole-(DPP-) based conjugated polymers prepared upon Suzuki coupling. Macromolecules 2007, 40, 6981-6989.
  15. Zhu, Y.; Heim, I.; Tieke, B., Red emitting diphenylpyrrolopyrrole (DPP)-based polymers prepared by Stille and Heck coupling. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2006, 207, 2206-2214.
  16. Rabindranath, A. R.; Zhu, Y.; Heim, I.; Tieke, B., Red Emitting N-Functionalized Poly (1, 4-diketo-3, 6-diphenylpyrrolo [3, 4-c] pyrrole)(Poly-DPP): A Deeply Colored Polymer with Unusually Large Stokes Shift. Macromolecules 2006, 39, 8250-8256.


  1. Turbiez, M. G. R.; Janssen, R. A. J.; Wienk, M.M.; Kirner, H. J.; Düggeli, M.; Tieke, B. and Zhu, Y., Diketopyrrolopyrrole polymers as organic semiconductors. WO2008000664, 2008.
  2. Tour, J. M. and Zhu, Y., Transparent electrodes based on graphene and grid hybrid structures. WO 2011112589, 2011.
  3. Tour, J. M., Zhu, Y. and Volman V. Graphene-based thin films in heat circuits and methods of making the same, WO2012100178 and US20120208008, 2012.
  4. Tour, J. M., Zhu, Y. and Raji A.R. Graphene nanoribbon composites and methods of making the same, WO2012112435, 2012.