LEI2Assistant Professor
Chemical and Materials Engineering


(256) 824-6527
(256) 824-6839

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Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, People's Republic of China


Yu Lei received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Nanjing University in China in 2004, and Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010. His doctoral work, which was partly carried out at Fritz Haber Institute of Max Planck Society in Germany, was experimental studies of model catalysis in the aim to build precise structure-reactivity relationship. After getting his Ph.D. degree, Yu joined Energy Systems Division at Argonne National Laboratory under Department of Energy as a postdoctoral researcher. His research focus was applying atomic layer deposition (ALD) to prepare nanostructured materials for energy conversion and storage. In 2013, Yu joined the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as an assistant professor. His research interest covers the development of new techniques and processes for a wide variety of applications such as nanoelectronics, catalysts, batteries, solar cells and other energy technologies.


Research Expertise

  • Tailor the surface chemistry and structure of functional materials at atomic level

  • Generate new concepts and designs for energy conversion and storage

  • Resolve reaction mechanisms in real time under realistic conditions


Honors & Awards

  • Kokes Travel Award, North American Catalysis Society, 2009

  • Max Planck Scholarship, Max Planck Society, 2008

  • L’Oreal Industrial Manufacturing Awards, L’Oreal Corporation, 2002


Recent Publications

Y. Lei, J. Lu, T.P. Wu, X.Y. Zhang, P. Du, Y. Ren, J.T. Miller, J.W. Elam, K. Amine, Synthesis of Porous Carbon Supported Palladium Nanoparticles by Atomic Layer Deposition: Application for Rechargeable Lithium-Air Battery, Nano Letters, online, DOI: 10.1021/nl401501j, 2013

Y. Lei, J.L. Lu, H.Y. Zhao, B. Liu, K.B. Low, T.P. Wu, J.A. Libera, J.P. Greeley, P.J. Chupas, J.T. Miller, J.W. Elam, Resolving Precursor Deligation, Surface Species Evolution, and Nanoparticle Nucleation during Palladium Atomic Layer Deposition, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117 (2013) 11141-11148

Y. Lei, B.Liu, J.L.Lu, R.Lobo, T.P.Wu, H.Feng, X.X.Xia, A.U.Mane, J.A.Libera, J.P.Greeley, J.T.Miller, J.W.Elam, Synthesis of Pt-Pd Core-Shell Nanostructures by Atomic Layer Deposition: Application in Propane Oxidative Dehydrogenation, Chemistry of Materials, 24 (2012) 3525-3533

Y. Lei, J. Jelic, L.C. Nitsche, R. Meyer, J.T. Miller, Effect of Particle Size and Adsorbates on the L3, L2 and L1 X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Structure of Supported Pt Nanoparticles, Topics in Catalysis, 54 (2011) 334-348

Y. Lei, F. Mehmood, S. Lee, J.P. Greeley, B. Lee, S. Seifert, R.E. Winans, J.W. Elam, R.J. Meyer, P.C. Redfern, D. Teschner, R. Schlögl, M.J. Pellin, L.C. Curtiss, S. Vajda, Increased Silver Activity for Direct Propylene Epoxidation via Subnanometer Size Effects, Science, 328 (2010) 224-228