Vivian Wing-Wah Yam



  • Advisor
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy


  • University of Hong Kong
Department of Chemistry


  • Hong Kong


PhD (Chemistry), The University of Hong Kong
BSc (First Class Hons.), The University of Hong Kong


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. et al. “Bipolar Gold(III) Complexes for Solution-Processable Organic Light-Emitting Devices with a Small Efficiency Roll-Off.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, no. 51 (December 2014): 17861–17868.

Lee, S.H. et al. “Design and Synthesis of Bipyridine Platinum(II) Bisalkynyl Fullerene Donor-Chromophore- Acceptor Triads With Ultrafast Charge Separation.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, no. 28 (July 2014): 10041–10052.

Leung, S.Y.L et al. “Dynamic Scaffold of Chiral Binaphthol Derivatives with the Alkynylplatinum(II) Terpyridine Moiety.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, no. 20 (May 2013): 7986–7991.

Wong, K.M.C., and V.W.W. Yam. "Molecular Design and Synthesis of Photofunctional Materials." In Molecular Design and Applications of Photofunctional Polymers and Materials, edited by W. Wong and A. S. Abd-El-Aziz. Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012.

Po, C. et al. “Supramolecular Self-Assembly of Amphiphilic Anionic Platinum(II) Complexes: A Correlation between Spectroscopic and Morphological Properties.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, no. 31 (July 2011): 12136–12143.

Wong, K.M.C., and V.W.W. Yam. “Self-Assembly of Luminescent Alkynylplatinum(II) Terpyridyl Complexes: Modulation of Photophysical Properties Through Aggregation Behavior.” Acc. Chem. Res. 44, no. 6 (April 2011): 424–34.

Yam, V.W.W., ed. WOLEDs and Organic Photovoltaics: Recent Advances and Applications. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2010.

Yam, V.W.W., ed. Photofunctional Transition Metal Complexes. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2010.