University of California, Riverside

Department of Chemistry




Pingyun Feng
Professor of Chemistry


University of California, Santa Barbara - Ph.D. (1998)
University of California, Santa Barbara - Postdoc. Fellow (1998-2000)
Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2003-2005)
Beckman Young Investigator (2003-2006)

Office: 336 Chemical Sciences
Phone O/L: (951) 827-2042/2043
Research Area: Inorganic Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Materials Chemistry
Group Site

Research Overview

Porous Coordination Polymers (PCP) or Metal Organic Framework (MOF) Materials for Gas Storage

The current need for renewable energy and clean environment fuels intensive efforts in search of functional porous materials for energy storage and applications. PCP or MOF are a family of crystalline porous materials with high surface area and uniform pore sizes. The diverse chemical properties make these materials unique for energy storage and gas adsorption. The objective of this research is to synthesize and characterize a family of crystalline microporous materials with low density, high porosity and high binding affinity for dihydrogen or other gases. Through ligand design, compositional, structural, and topological control, we seek to develop functional porous materials that have a great potential for achieving high gravimetric and volumetric energy storage densities, which are particularly desirable for applications as on-board hydrogen storage materials.

Metal chalcogenide clusters and their assembly into superlattices

Quantum confinement in size and dimension can lead to chemical, electrical, and optical properties that are substantially different from those observed for the bulk material. These new properties can lead to numerous technological applications. My research group is interested in exploring new synthetic methodologies to prepare nanoclusters with simultaneous control in size, surface features, and spatial arrangements from zero to three dimensions. We are particularly interested in crystalline nanoclusters with precisely defined compositions and sizes and in their superlattices with various connectivity. One of our recent successes in this area is the synthesis of the largest Cd-S cluster (by single crystal diffraction) containing as many as 54 metal sites.

New Visible-Light Driven Photocatalysts for hydrogen production

Semiconductor-based heterogeneous systems for photocatalytic splitting of water into H2 and O2 promise to be one of the simplest and most economical methods for solar energy conversion and storage. A major limitation to the practical application of these systems is the lack of stable semiconductor photocatalysts that can carry out the water splitting in the visible region of the solar spectrum with high conversion efficiency.Through compositional and structural control to achieve band gap engineering, templating approach to enhance surface area and catalytic performance, and systematic photocatalytic and photophysical measurements, we aim to create a family of stable, efficient, and visible light driven nanoporous photocatalysts for water splitting. These photocatalysts will be multi-functional materials that integrate semiconductivity, high crystallinity, and tunable porosity, and may have the potential to overcome the main limitations of known semiconductor photocatalysts. The key advantages offered by these materials include large interfacial surface areas, short electron-hole diffusion lengths to the internal interfaces, and multiple routes for band gap engineering.


Selected Publications


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Chemistry
Chemical Sciences
501 Big Springs Road

Tel: (951) 827-3789 (Chair's Assistant)
Fax: (951) 827-2435 (confidential)