Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Institute for Shock Physics



Zhi-Gang Yu

Senior Scientist ISP/Applied Sciences Laboratory

Affiliate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

(509) 358-7780

Scientific Interests and Work

Electrical transport in complex electronic materials and novel devices.

Dr. Zhi-Gang Yu’s research interests focus on modeling spin and charge motions in a variety of complex materials including semiconductors, conjugated polymers, transition-metal oxides, and biological systems for understanding and predicting their unusual electronic, optical, and transport properties, as well as novel electronic, spintronic, and optoelectronic device structures based on them. Dr. Yu uses both analytical methods and large-scale numerical simulations in his modeling to elucidate the underlying physics. Practical applications of his work include infrared detection, magnetic sensing, solid-state lighting, and clean energy.


After obtaining his Ph.D. in 1996, Dr. Yu joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Director-funded postdoctoral fellow, working on electrical transport in conjugated polymers and charge-spin separation in transition-metal oxides. Additionally, he spent a few years at Iowa State University and University of Iowa, working on electron transfer in biological systems and spin-dependent electrical transport in semiconductors and devices before he joined SRI International in 2003.  At SRI International, Dr. Yu studied electronic, (nonlinear) optical, and transport properties of bulk and nanomaterials for novel applications. Dr. Zhi-Gang Yu joined the Applied Sciences Laboratory in 2014.


Ph.D. (Theoretical Physics), 1996, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
B.S. (Physics), 1991, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China

Representative Publications:

  1. Z. G. Yu, Impurity-band transport in organic spin valves, Nature Communications 5 (2014) 4842
  2. Z. G. Yu, Suppression of the Hanle Effect in organic spintronic devices, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (2013) 016601
  3. Z. G. Yu, Spin-orbit coupling, spin relaxation, and spin diffusion in organic solids, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 (2001) 106602
  4. Z. G. Yu, M. A. Berding, Haobin Wang, Spatially correlated fluctuations and coherence dynamics in photosynthesis, Phys. Rev. E 78 (2008) 050902(R)
  5. Y. Qi, Z. G. Yu, and M. E. Flatté, Spin Gunn Effect, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96 (2006) 026602
  6. Z. G. Yu, S. Krishnamurthy, and S. Guha, Photoexcited-carrier-induced refractive index change in small bandgap semiconductors , J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23 (2006) 2356
  7. Z. G. Yu, S. Krishnamurthy, Mark van Schilfgaarde, and N. Newman, Spin relaxation of electrons and holes in zinc-blende semiconductors Phys. Rev. B 71 (2005) 245312
  8. Z. G. Yu, C. E. Pryor, W. H. Lau, M. A. Berding, and D. B. MacQueen , Core-shell nanorods for efficient photoelectrochemical hydrogen production, J.  Phys. Chem. B 109 (2005) 22913
  9. C. Rüster, T. Borzenko, C. Gould, G. Schmidt, L. W. Molenkamp, X. Liu, T. J. Wojtowicz, J. K. Furdyna, Z. G. Yu, and M. E. Flatté, Very large magnetoresistance in lateral ferromagnetic (Ga,Mn)As wires with nanoconstrictions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 91 (2003) 216602
  10. Z. G. Yu and M. E. Flatté, Spin diffusion and injection in semiconductor structures: Electric field effects Phys. Rev. B 66 (2002) 235302
  11. Z. G. Yu, X. Song, Variable range hopping and electrical conductivity along the DNA double helix, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86 (2001) 6018
  12. Z. G. Yu, D. L. Smith, A. Saxena, R. L. Martin, A. R. Bishop, Molecular geometry fluctuation model for the mobility of conjugated polymers, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84 (2000) 721
  13. B. P. Stojkovic, Z. G. Yu, A. R. Bishop, A. H. Castro Neto, N. Gronbech-Jensen, Charge ordering and long-range interactions in layered transition metal oxides, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82 (1999) 4679
  14. Z. G. Yu, R. T. Fu, C. Q. Wu, X. Sun, K. Nasu,, Excitons, biexcitons, and the band gap in poly(p-phenylene vinylene) Phys. Rev. B 52 (1995) 4849
  15. M. E. Flatté, Z. G. Yu, E. Johnston-Halperin, and D. D. Awschalom, Semiconductor magnetic bipolar transistors, US Patent 7,719,071
  16. Xiao-Dong Xiang, Z. G. Yu, and Hua-hua Wang, RFID tags having ferromagnetic patches, US Patent 8,018,345