Boris Yakobson


Department: Department of Materials Science & NanoEngineering

Office Phone: (713) 348-3572


Research Areas

Research Description

Boris Yakobson is the Karl F. Hasselmann Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and professor of chemistry at Rice University. His research interests are in theory and modeling of the structure, kinetics and properties of materials based upon both the macroscopic and the fundamental interactions of molecules. His laboratory uses computational methods and simulations to visualize and enhance understanding of the underlying physics of materials and to identify the efficient degrees of freedom in complex systems, especially in connecting different length scales of description. Yakobson is an editorial board member of several journals and a member of the Materials Research Society. He is a recent recipient of the Department of Energy R&D Award, a Nano-50 Award and the Royal Society (London) Visiting Professorship award.


Boris I. Yakobson is an expert in theory and computational modeling of nanostructures and materials, of their synthesis, mechanics, defects and relaxation, transport and electronics. Presently, Karl F. Hasselmann Chair in Engineering, professor of Materials Science and Nano-Engineering, and professor of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas. Born in Moscow, Russia, received PhD 1982 in Physics and Applied Mathematics, from Russian Academy of Sciences. 1983-1989, Head of Theoretical Chemistry laboratory at the Institute of Solid Materials of the Russian Academy. 1990-1999, on the faculty of the Department of Physics, North Carolina State University. His research, sponsored over the years by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, NASA, Department of Defense, Army Research Office, Air Force Research Laboratory and AFOSR, Office of Naval Research, as well as private industry and foundations, resulted in over 270 publications and seven patents. Received Department of Energy Hydrogen Program Award, Nano 50 Innovator Award from Nanotech Briefs (Boston), Royal Society (London) Professorship Award, Department of Energy R & D Award, NASA Faculty Award. Yakobson has mentored a number of PhD students and postdoctoral associates, serves on the editorial boards of several journals and on steering committees.


Selected publications


  1. “Why do carbon nanotubes grow chiral?”, V.I. Artyukhov, E.S. Penev, and B.I. Yakobson, Nature Comm. 5:4892 doi: 10.1038/ncomms5892 (2014).
  2. “Two-dimensional mono-elemental semiconductor with electronically inactive defects: The case of phosphorus”, Y. Liu, F. Xu, Z. Zhang, E.S. Penev, and B.I. Yakobson, Nano Lett., DOI: 10.1021/nl5021393. Cover article.
  3. “Dislocation motion and grain boundary migration in two dimensional WS2”, A. Aziz, X. Zou, P. Ercius, Z. Zhang, A.L. Elías, N. Perea-López, G. Stone, M. Terrones, B.I. Yakobson, and N. Alem, Nature Comm., 5, 4867, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5867 (2014).
  4. “Assessing carbon-based anodes for lithium-ion batteries: A universal description of charge-transfer binding” Y. Liu, Y.M. Wang, B.I. Yakobson, and B.C. Wood, Phys. Rev. Lett., 113, 028304 (2014).
  5. "Mechanically induced metal-insulator transition in carbyne", V.I. Artyukhov, M. Liu, and B.I. Yakobson, Nano Lett., 14, 4224–4229, DOI: 10.1021/nl5017317 (2014).
  6. “Phase diagram of quasi-two-dimensional carbon, from graphene to diamond”, A.G. Kvashnin, L.A. Chernozatonskii, B.I. Yakobson, and P.B. Sorokin, Nano Lett., 14, 676–681 (2014).

Recent Publications