Polymers for 

a Sustainable Future 

I am currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Department of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with Prof. T. Alan Hatton.  In early 2025, I will join the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an Assistant Professor in Department of Applied Physical Sciences.

Prior to coming to Cambridge, I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, advised by Prof. Guihua Yu, and received my M.S. & B.S. from the University of California San Diego. 

My research interests are developing polymer materials for applications in energy and environmental sustainability, especially in water purification, atmospheric water harvesting, carbon capture, solar energy conversion by leveraging fundamental principles of chemical engineering, polymer chemistry, surface engineering, photo/electrochemistry,  and materials science.  

Research Highlights


Sustainable carbon-capture hydrogels, Nano Letters 2023

Polymer film moisture harvester, Nature Communications 2022


Self-assembled templating (SAT) strategy, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2022

Antibacterial hydrogel tablets, Advanced Materials 2021

Biomass-derived hydrogel solar evaporator, Advanced Materials 2020


Surface engineering of hydrogels, Energy & Environmental Science 2020

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Recent Activities

Aug 2023 Youhong awarded 2023 ACS PMSE Future Faculty Scholar!

Nov 2022 Youhong was selected to the list of 2023 Forbes 30 under 30 - Science, North America! see MIT Alumni; UT TMI News; Forbes Profile

Oct 2022 Youhong was selected as one of the 2022 Stanford MechE Rising Stars!


Sep 2022 Youhong was selected as one of the 2022 MIT ChemE Rising Stars!


May 2022 Youhong's work on sustainable gel film moisture harvester (Nature Communications 2022) was featured by Nature Materials Community; UT News; etc

Oct 2021 Youhong's work on antibacterial hydrogel tablets (Advanced Materials 2021) was featured by UT News; Daily Texan; etc.