Photo of Youyang Zhao

Youyang Zhao

Researcher III-Mechanical Engineering

Orcid ID

Dr. Youyang Zhao joined NREL’s concentrating solar power (CSP) group as a postdoctoral researcher in 2018 after studying high-temperature thermoelectric conversion based on molten-sulfide semiconductors for his Ph.D. thesis. Because of the general lack of theory for liquid materials, his work focused on making the connection between thermophysical properties of molten semiconductors and their liquid structures.

After earning his Ph.D., Youyang began at NREL working on:

  • Chemistry optimization and processing of molten chlorides as heat-transfer fluids for Gen3 CSP
  • High-temperature corrosion behavior of molten chlorides
  • The design of thermally insulated thermal energy storage tanks for both Gen2 nitrate and Gen3 chloride CSP plants.

Youyang is an avid cyclist, having raced for three years in graduate school and has continued his love of cycling in the challenging Colorado mountains.

Research Interests

Electrochemical and thermophysical properties of energy storage materials


Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Featured Publications

Experimental Study of Molten Tin Sulfide Thermal Conduction, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer (2019)

Radiative Thermal Conduction of Molten Tin Sulfide Estimated from Its Optical Emission Spectrum, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer (2019)

Comparing Life Cycle Energy and Global Warming Potential of Carbon Fiber Composite Recycling Technologies and Waste Management Options, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2018)

Molten Semiconductors for High Temperature Thermoelectricity, ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (2017)

Sulfur Infiltrated Activated Carbon Cathodes for Lithium Sulfur Cells: The Combined Effects of Pore Size Distribution and Electrolyte Molarity, Journal of Power Sources (2014)

Sulfur-Infiltrated Micro- and Mesoporous Silicon Carbide-Derived Carbon Cathode for High-Performance Lithium Sulfur Batteries, Advanced Materials (2013)