UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Yiyun Liu

Yiyun Liu is a PhD student in Materials and Catalysis Laboratory (MCL) led by Lecturer Ryan Wang in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCL. Her research focuses on heterogeneous catalysis and operando spectroscopy based on nanomaterials. Prior to joining the Department of Chemical Engineering in 9/2017, Yiyun Liu obtained her bachelor degree in chemistry at Peking University, and join as a research assistant in the Rare Earth Seperation and Inorganic Materials Group supervised by Professor Yawen Zhang, where she investigated the epitaxial growth of Ru over Pt nanocrystals and synthetic methodology of semiconductors.

Research Interests

Title: Operando EPR study of automotive catalysts for NOx removal

NOx  emission from diesel engines causes severe air pollution, and has a negative health effect  that is implicated in the equivalent to 23,500 deaths annually in the UK. This research program aims to identify the active site and study the reaction mechanisms by applying dedicated operando Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR). Operando EPR directly probes the active sites and can quantitatively measure the status/changes of the oxidation state and coordination environment, while recording the reaction kinetics simultaneously. A structure-activity relationship of the catalysts will be established. Such EPR facility will be one of the few operando EPR activities around world. It is important for both catalysis and materials discovery in scientific research. Together with operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and IR, the success of this program will provide fundamental understanding of the reaction and help optimize and develop next generation SCR catalysts


  • BSc in Chemistry, Peking University, China, 2013


  • “Triple-A” Student Award, Peking University, 2011
  • Award for Academic Excellents, Peking University, 2012
  • Award for Academic Excellents, Peking University, 2013