Dr. Yuanbing Mao, Assistant Professor

Dr. Yuanbing Mao, Assistant Professor

Contact Information

  • Yuanbing Mao, Ph.D.
  • Multifunctional Applications of Oxide (MAO) Laboratory
  • Department of Chemistry
  • University of Texas - Pan American
  • 1201 West University Drive
  • Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
  • Phone: 956-665 2417
  • Fax: 956-665 5006
  • Email: maoy at utpa dot edu
  • Blog:
Instructor CV

Research Summary:

The scientific expertise of the MAO Research Group is on the development of functional inorganic nanomaterials, investigation of their novel properties and exploration of their applications for environmental sustainability, energy, catalysis, and optoelectronic devices. Our current research focuses on the design and investigation of advanced materials, mainly transition metal oxides, with novel compositions, structures, architectures and functions, in some cases heterogeneous materials with multi-nanocomponents. The goal is to design advanced materials, achieve desirable properties and functionalities, and tackle complex interdisciplinary material challenges. We employ various synthetic routes to develop desirable targeted materials, and focus on different synthetic conditions, composition and microstructural controlling to fine-tune sensing, catalytic, electrochemical, magnetic, and gas storage properties.

Research Summary

Synthetic Strategies

The ability to synthesize and manipulate matter at the nanometer length scale is a powerful driving force in the global scientific and technological community. After a period of rapid development, a wide variety of nanomaterials have been made and a lot without knowing how. Our research emphasizes on the continuous development of novel and scalable synthetic strategies and the study of growth mechanisms for functional nanomaterials. In general, chimie douce synthetic routes are designed and employed for synthesizing functional nanomaterials. We are also interested in investigating and optimizing growth processes by ex situ and in situ characterization methods, e.g. diffraction, spectroscopic and microscopic techniques.

Representative Synthetic Methods for NanoOxides

Multifunctional Materials

Multifunctional nanomaterials are becoming increasingly important because of their optical, magnetic, electric, catalytic and mechanical properties that do not exist in single-phase materials. Trends toward device miniaturization have led to increased interest in combining various properties into multifunctional materials, so that a single device component can perform more than one task. Our targeted materials include single-phased multi-metallic oxides and nanocomposites. We fine-tune their electronic, magnetic, optical, and mechanical properties by focusing on different synthetic conditions, cation doping, composite structural systems, and microstructural controlling.

Synthesized Representative Nanomaterials

Devices and Applications

Application potentials of prepared (nano) materials are explored for national security, sanitation and alternative energy. Examples include the synthesis of luminescent core-shell nanostructures as radiation indicators, the design of hierarchical nanocomposites and three-dimensional electrodes for electrochemical energy storage devices, and the development of novel photocatalytic materials for water treatment and self-decontaminating coatings.

Applications of Functional Oxied Nanomaterials

Research Grants:

  1. AFOSR (PI, 2012 – 2017)
  2. DARPA (co-PI, 2012 – 2017)
  3. American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund (PI, 2011 – 2013)
  4. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (PI, 2011 – 2013)
  5. Defense Threat Reduction Agency of DoD: Young Investigator Award (PI, 2010 – 2014)
  6. NSF-PREM (co-PI, 2009 – 2014)
  7. UTPA Faculty Research Council fund (PI, 2011)

Research Group

Students, including graduate, undergraduate and high school students, are enthusiastic and responsible team players on our research projects, and are respectful of each other. Underrepresented minorities in our student body (more than 85 percent of Hispanic student population) are a feature of our research programs. I am firmly integrating research programs for underrepresented minorities and REU programs into the operation and keeping this fine tradition.

Get Involved in Research

Undergraduate Students

Involvement in research can be one of the most transformative and rewarding experiences of your college education. The undergraduate research program in Chemistry at UTPA is very active with plenty of opportunities. You may want to be proactive since most openings are not often advertised. If you are interested in inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry or nanoscience, please look at my group web page, read recent publications, talk to students already involved, and then schedule a time to meet with me. Research can be done for credit during the school year and for salary during the academic year.

Graduate Students

If you are considering the M.S. or MSIS program in Chemistry at UTPA or you are already in, and interested in inorganic materials chemistry and nanoscience, please schedule a time to meet with me. Additionally, the Graduate Advisor in Chemistry can assist you in obtaining information on degree options, financial aid, admissions requirements, application procedures, and research programs.

Postdoctoral position

We are occasionally looking for a dedicated postdoctoral scholar with expertise on chemical synthesis and characterization of inorganic nanomaterials. If you are interested, please send me your resume.


Read the latest news from the MAO Research Group at

Professional Education and Experience

Academic Training

  • Postgraduate: Postdoctoral Research, UCLA, 2006-2009
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2006
  • Graduate: M.S. in Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, CAS, 2000
  • Undergraduate: B.S. in Chemistry, Xiangtan University, 1997

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Texas-Pan American, 2010-present
  • Research Scientist, Applied Science Laboratory, WSU, 2010
  • Senior Research Associate, Applied Science Laboratory, WSU, 2009-2010
  • Postdoctoral Scholar of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA, 2006-2009
  • Lecturer of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA, Winter 2007
  • Research Assistant of Chemistry, Stony Brook University, 2002-2006
  • Teaching Assistant of Chemistry, Stony Brook University, 2001-2002

Honors and Recognition

  • 2012 Dean’s Award – Outstanding Achievement Award, COSM, UTPA (2012).
  • Supplemental Travel Funds for Junior Faculty, Office of Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, UTPA (2012).
  • Undergraduate Research Initiative Grant, UTPA (PI, 2012).
  • Faculty Development Fund Program Award, UTPA (PI, 2012).
  • Faculty Development Fund Program Award, UTPA (PI, 2011).
  • Dedicated Service and Excellence Award, College of Science and Mathematics, UTPA (2011)
  • Faculty Research Council Award, UTPA (PI, 2010).
  • Nomination to Chancellor’s Award for Exceptional Accomplishments in Postdoctoral Research (20 out of ~1000 postdoctoral fellows), UCLA (2008).
  • Lee Myers Award for Outstanding Doctoral Chemistry Student (highest honor), SUNY-Stony Brook (2006).
  • Sigma Xi Travel Award, Chapter of SUNY-Stony Brook, Sigma Xi Society (2005).
  • Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research, Sigma Xi Society (2004).

Selected Publications (Total citations as of Jan. 16, 2013: ~1270, H Factor: ~35)

  1. Y. Mao, J. Parsons, and J. McCloy, "Magnetic properties of double perovskite oxide La2BMnO6 nanocrystals," submitted (2013).
  2. Y. Tian, B. Chen, B. Tian, Y. Mao, and R. Hua, "Uniform NaEuF4 nano-/submicro-crystals: controllable synthesis, growth mechanism, size- and temperature-dependent luminescence," submitted (2013).
  3. Q. Li, and Y. Mao, "Manganese oxide-encased carbon composite nanofibers with enhanced electrochemical performance," submitted (2013).
  4. X. Sun, and Y. Mao, "Three-dimensional ZnO@MnO2 core/shell nanoforests with superior electrochemical performance," submitted (2013).
  5. Y. Mao, "Facile synthesis of ferromagnetic double perovskite oxide La2BMnO6 nanoparticles," RSC Advances, 2(33), 12675-12678 (2012).
  6. Altecor, Y. Mao, and K. Lozano, "Large-scale production of tin-doped indium oxide nanofibers by ForcespinningTM," Funct. Mater. Lett., 5, 1250020 (2012).
  7. S. Wei, P. Mavinakuli, D. Chen, R. Asapu, Y. Mao, Q. Wang, G. Liang, N. Haldolaarachchige, D. Young, and Z. Guo, "Polypyrrole-titania nanocomposites derived from different oxidation polymerization," J.
  8. Electrochem. Soc., 158, K205-K212 (2011). (IF: 2.24, citation: 8)
  9. J. Zhu, S. Wei, L. Zhang, Y. Mao, J. Ryu, N. Haldolaarachchige, D. Young, and Z. Guo, "Electrical and dielectric properties of polyaniline-Al2O3 nanocomposites derived from various Al2O3 nanostructures," J. Mater. Chem., 21, 3952-3959 (2011). (IF: 4.79, citation: 26)
  10. J. H. Choi, Y. Mao* and J. P. Chang, "Development of hafnium based high-k materials – a review," Mater. Sci. & Eng. R, 72, 97-136 (Invited Review, 2011). (IF: 19.750, citation: 33)
  11. J. Zhu, S. Wei, L. Zhang, Y. Mao, J. Ryu, N. Haldolaarachchige, A. Karki, D. Young, and Z. Guo, "Polyaniline-tungsten oxide metacomposites with tunable electronic properties," J. Mater. Chem., 21, 342-348 (2011). (IF: 4.79, citation: 30)
  12. J. Dorman, Y. Mao,* J. R. Bargar, and J. P. Chang, "In situ x-ray diffraction and absorption studies of the phase transformation from yttrium hydroxide nanotubes to its oxide counterparts," J. Phys. Chem. C 114, 17422-17427 (2010). (IF: 4.520, citation: 2)
  13. J. Zhu, L. Zhang, Y. Mao, P. Mavinakuli, D. Young, Z. Guo, S. Wei, J. Ryu and A. Karki, "Conductive polypyrrole/tungsten oxide metacomposites with negative permittivity," J. Phys. Chem. C 114, 16335-16342 (2010). (IF: 4.520, citation: 36)
  14. T. Lana-Villarreal, Y. Mao, S. S. Wong and R. Gómez, "Photoelectrochemical behavior of anatase nanoporous films: effect of the nanoparticles organization," Nanoscale 2, 1690-1698 (2010). (IF: 7.00, citation: 9)
  15. H. Zhou, J. A. Dorman, Y.-C. Perng, S. Gachot, J. Huang,Y. Mao, J. P. Chang and J. Liu, "Co/HfO2 Core-Shell Nanocrystal Memory," Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 1250, 1250-G01-09 (2010). (citation: 1)
  16. Y. Mao, H. Zhou and S. S. Wong, "Perovskite-phase metal oxide nanostructures: synthesis, properties, and applications," Mater. Matters 5(2), 50-53 (2010).
  17. S. Berweger, C. C. Neacsu, Y. Mao, H. Zhou, S. S. Wong and M. B. Raschke, "Optical nanocrystallography with tip-enhanced phonon Raman spectroscopy," Nat. Nanotech. 4, 496-499 (2009). (IF: 30.306, citation: 27)
  18. Y. Mao, X. Guo, T. Tran, K. L. Wang, C. K. Shih and J. P. Chang, "Luminescent properties of ensemble and individual erbium-doped yttrium oxide nanotubes," J. Appl. Phys. 105, 094329/1-094329/4 (2009). (IF: 2.062, citation: 5)
  19. Y. Mao, X. Guo, J. Huang, K. L. Wang and J. P. Chang, "Luminescent nanocrystals with A2B2O7 composition synthesized by kinetically modified molten salt synthesis," J. Phys. Chem. C 113, 1204-1208 (2009). (IF: 4.520, citation: 6)
  20. Y. Mao, T. Tran, X. Guo, J. Y. Huang, C. K. Shih, K. L. Wang and J. P. Chang, "Luminescence of nanocrystalline erbium-doped yttria," Adv. Funct. Mater. 19, 748-754 (2009). (IF: 8.486, citation: 38)
  21. J. Liu, Y. Mao, E. Lan, D. R. Banatao, G. J. Forse, J. Lu, H.-O. Blom, T. O. Yeates, B. Dunn and J. P. Chang, "Generation of oxide nanopatterns by combining self-assembly of S-layer proteins and area selective atomic layer deposition," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 16908-16913 (2008). (IF: 9.019, citation: 15)
  22. Y. Mao, J. Bargar, M. Toney and J. P. Chang, "Correlation between luminescent properties and local coordination environment for erbium dopant in yttrium oxide nanotubes," J. Appl. Phys. 103, 094316/1-094316/8 (2008). (IF: 2.062, citation: 6)
  23. Y. Mao, J. Huang, R. Ostroumov, K. L. Wang, J. P. Chang, "Synthesis and luminescence properties of erbium-doped Y2O3 nanotubes," J. Phys. Chem. C 112, 2278-2285 (2008). (IF: 4.520, citations: 59)
  24. F. Zhang, Y. Mao, T.-J. Park, S. S. Wong, "Green synthesis and property characterization of single-crystalline perovskite fluoride nanorods," Adv. Funct. Mater. 18, 103-112 (2008). (IF: 8.486, citations: 12)
  25. Y. Mao, T.-J. Park, F. Zhang, H. Zhou, and S. S. Wong, "Environmentally friendly methodologies for nanostructure synthesis," Small, 3, 1122-1139 (Invited Review Article, 2007). (IF: 7.333, citations: 123)
  26. H. Zhou, Y. Mao, and S. S. Wong, "Probing structure-parameter correlations in the molten synthesis of BaZrO3 perovskite submicron-sized particles," Chem. Mater. 19, 5238-5249 (2007). (IF: 6.397, citations: 29)
  27. S. K. Pradhan, Y. Mao, S. S. Wong, P. Chupas, and V. Petkov, "Atomic-scale structure of nanosize titania and titanate: particles, wires and tubes," Chem. Mater. 19, 6180-6186 (2007). (IF: 6.397, citations: 33)
  28. H. Zhou, Y. Mao, and S. S. Wong, "Shape control and spectroscopy of crystalline BaZrO3 perovskite particles," J. Mater. Chem. 17, 1707-1713 (2007). (IF: 4.79, citations: 32)
  29. Y. Mao, F. Zhang,* and S. S. Wong, "Ambient template-directed synthesis of single-crystalline alkaline earth metal fluoride nanowires," Adv. Mater. 18, 1895-1899 (2006). (IF: 10.857, citations: 31)
  30. Y. Mao and S. S. Wong, "Size- and shape-dependent morphological transformation of anatase nanostructures from those of titanate," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 8217-26 (2006). (IF: 9.019, citations: 166)
  31. Y. Mao, M. Kanungo, T. Hemraj-Benny, and S. S. Wong, "Synthesis and growth mechanism of titanate and titania one-dimensional nanostructures self-assembled into hollow micrometer-scale spherical aggregates," J. Phys. Chem. B 110, 702-710 (2006). (Impact Factor: 3.603, citations: 65)
  32. S. Banerjee, D.-I. Kim, R. D. Robinson, I. P. Herman, Y. Mao, and S. S. Wong, "Observation of Fano asymmetry in Raman spectra of SrTiO3 and CaxSr1-xTiO3 perovskite nanocubes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 223130 (2006). (IF: 3.726, citations: 18)
  33. Y. Mao, T.-J. Park, and S. S. Wong, "Synthesis of classes of ternary metal oxide nanostructures," Chem. Commun. (46), 5721-5735 (Invited Feature Article, Inside front cover, 2005). (IF: 5.787, citations: 62)
  34. V. Zorbas, M. Kanungo, S. A. Bains, Y. Mao, T. Hemraj-Benny, J. A. Misewich, and S. S. Wong, "Current-less photoreactivity catalyzed by functionalized AFM tips," Chem. Commun. (36), 4598-4600 (2005). (IF: 5.787, citation: 5)
  35. Y. Mao, S. S. Wong, "Reproducible composition and shape control of crystalline Ca1-xSrxTiO3 perovskite nanoparticles," Adv. Mater. 17, 2194-2199 (2005). (IF: 10.857, citations: 28)
  36. T.-J. Park, G. C. Papaefthymiou, A. R. Moodenbaugh, Y. Mao, S. S. Wong, "Synthesis and characterization of submicron single-crystalline Bi2Fe4O9 cubes," J. Mater. Chem. 15, 2099-2105 (Inside cover, 2005). (IF: 4.79, citations: 41)
  37. Y. Mao and S. S. Wong, "General, room-temperature method for the synthesis of isolated as well as arrays of single-crystalline ABO4-type nanorods," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126, 15245-15252 (2004). (IF: 9.019, citations: 46)
  38. T.-J. Park, Y. Mao, and S. S. Wong, "Synthesis and characterization of multiferroic BiFeO3 nanotubes," Chem. Commun. (23), 2708-2709 (2004). (IF: 5.787, citations: 38)
  39. Y. Mao, S. Banerjee, and S. S. Wong, "Large-scale synthesis of single-crystalline perovskite nanostructures," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 15718-15719 (2003). (IF: 9.019, citations: 159)
  40. Y. Mao, S. Banerjee, and S. S. Wong, "Hydrothermal synthesis of perovskite nanotubes," Chem. Commun. (3), 408-409 (2003). (IF: 5.787, citations: 79)

*equal contribution.


  1. K. Lozano, A. Altecor, and Y. Mao, "Large-scale and environmentally-friendly fabrication of metal oxide nanofibers," U. S. Provisional Patent submitted.
  2. S. S. Wong and Y. Mao, "Titania and titanate nanostructures and methods of making same," U. S. Provisional Patent submitted.
  3. S. S. Wong and Y. Mao, "Large-scale synthesis of ferroelectric perovskite nanostructures," PCT Int. Appl. Publication no. WO 2006/085912 A2.
  4. S. S. Wong and Y. Mao, "Metal oxide and metal fluoride nanostructures and methods of making same," U. S.7,575,735, issued August 18, 2009.
  5. S. S. Wong and Y. Mao, "Hydrothermal synthesis of perovskite nanotubes," US 7,147,834 B2, issued December 12, 2006.
  6. B. Li, Y. Mao, J. Ji, Q. Yan and X. Dong, "Preparation of antibacterial antifungal resin composition," Chinese Patent CN 1,294,145, issued May 9, 2001.

Synergistic Activities

  • Symposium Co-Organizer: Functional Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Properties and Applications, 2013 TMS Meeting, San Antonio, TX (2013).
  • Session Co-Chair: Energy Applications of Nanocomposites, AIChE Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA (2012).
  • Symposium Organizer: Nanostructured Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion, the 67th Southwest Regional Meeting (SWRM) of the ACS, Austin, TX (2011).
  • Session Chair: Energy Applications of Nanocomposites, AIChE Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN (2011).
  • Session Co-Chair: Processing of Nanocomposites, AIChE Annual Meeting, Salt Lake city, UT (2010).
  • Journal Reviewer: Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Journal of Solid State Chemistry, Chemistry-A European Journal, Materials Letters, Crystal Growth and Design, ACS Nano, Journal of Nanoparticle Research, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, and Macromolecular Materials & Engineering, etc.
  • Proposal Panelist/Reviewer: National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship program (2013), DOE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship program (2012), International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) projects (2012), DoD Defense Threat Reduction Agency proposals (2012 & 2011), ACS Petroleum Research Fund (2012 & 2010), DoD HBCU/MI program’s UTPA pre-proposals (2011), and Jeffress Research Grant from the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust (2011).
  • Workshops attended: the 24th Annual Short Course on Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy: Theory, Applications and Laboratory Instruction (Houston, TX, April 2012), NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) Workshop (University of Texas-Pan American, November 2011), Symposium of "The Origin, Development, and Future of the Lithium-ion Battery" (Center for Electrochemistry, University of Texas-Austin, October 2011), Effective Technical Writing (ACS Workshop, Denver, CO, in conjunction with the ACS Fall National Meeting, August 2011), Crystallography for Chemists (NSF-sponsored Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops & Communities of Scholars, California State University at Pomona, 2011), NSF Day at Texas State University-San Marcos (2011), and NSF’s Directorate for MPS CHE Information and Proposal Development Workshop (sponsored by the Quality Education for Minorities Network, 2011).
  • Science Fair Judge: Weslaco ISD (Rio Grande Valley, Southern Texas) Science Fair (2011 & 2012), DOE Regional Science Bowl (2011).
  • Memberships: American Chemical Society (ACS), Materials Research Society (MRS), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) , American Ceramic Society (ACerS), and Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).