Photo of Jie YANG

Nanotechnology & materials


Achieving atomic spatiotemporal resolution and direct observation of molecular structural transformations.

Year Honored

Tsinghua University

Breakthroughs in microscopic observation technology often brings important scientific revolution, as demonstrated over and over in the past century. However, by far, the majority of these technologies have one challenge in common—they can only capture the static structure, not the dynamic motion, of matter. Since our world is dynamic in nature, a deeper understanding about how molecules perform their function requires direct observation of molecular structural transformation in real time, i.e., making “molecular movies”.

Jie Yang received his Ph.D. from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2016, and then joined the MeV-UED team at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford.

Yang led the development of scientific application of MeV-UED technology in the area of gas and liquid phase chemistry. His achievements include the first capture of non-adiabatic structural dynamics, the first simultaneous observation of nuclear and electronic dynamics, and the first observation of hydrogen bond motion in liquid water.

In addition, the experimental technique Yang’s team developed at SLAC was promoted to an official User Facility under US Department of Energy in 2019.

In 2021, Yang joined the Department of Chemistry at Tsinghua University as a Tenured Associate Professor. On the next phase, he plans to focus on complex solution systems, combining “molecular movie” technique with solution phase chemistry, contributing to a better understanding of those fields.