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Vivian Wing-Wah Yam

Over the past three decades, through a combination of molecular design and physical inorganic chemistry, Vivian Wing-Wah Yam has helped create new classes of metal-containing chromophores and luminophores—molecules that absorb or radiate light and some of which may help mitigate the growing global demand for energy.

Yam’s major research interests are in the areas of inorganic/organometallic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, photochemistry and solar energy research. 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. These fundamental studies and understanding are purused with the goal of designing innovative classes of solar-harvesting materials for organic photovoltaics, and phosphorescent materials for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and white OLED (WOLED) solid-state lighting. Her research also focuses on the utilization of non-covalent metal-metal interactions for directed supramolecular assembly and stabilization of nanostructures, conformations, folded structures and organogels, and 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, 2015.

Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, 2012.

Laureate of the 2011 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award

Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2001.

Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Medal

Relevant Publications

M.C. Tang et al, “Bipolar Gold(III) Complexes for Solution-Processable Organic Light-Emitting Devices with a Small Efficiency Roll-Off ,“ J. Am. Chem. Soc., vol 136, no. 51, pp. 17861-17868, Dec 2014.

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

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

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

K.M.C. Wong and V.W.W. Yam, “Self-Assembly of Luminescent Alkynylplatinum(II) Terpyridyl Complexes: Modulation of Photophysical Properties Through Aggregation Behavior,” Acc. Chem. Res., vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 424-434, Apr 2011.


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

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

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



Advisor Bio-inspired Solar Energy


The University of Hong KongDepartment of Chemistry


PhD (Chemistry) The University of Hong Kong

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


Hong Kong

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