Photo of Baodan Zhao

Energy & sustainability

Baodan Zhao

Deciphering the codes of energy efficiency in perovskites

Year Honored


In 1991, Baodan Zhao was born in a small town in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province and has been a top student since her childhood. After the college entrance examination, she was admitted to the School of Physics, Nanjing University. At the end of her junior year, her academic performance qualified her for a potential Ph.D. admission to any universities in mainland China. However, after careful consideration, she decided to pursue Ph.D. studies abroad and finally became a doctoral student at the Physics Department of the University of Cambridge. It also provided her the opportunity to do research at the Cavendish Laboratory, one of the best research institutions for experimental physics in the world.

Baodan started her research in the field of perovskite-based optoelectronic devices under the guidance of Sir Richard H. Friend, the Cavendish Professor of Physics, Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), and Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng).

Since the first demonstration of perovskite-based LEDs working at room temperature in 2014 by the Friend group, tremendous efforts have been made to improve electroluminescence efficiency and to understand the underlying mechanisms. Electroluminescence efficiency has been improved from ~1% to 12% by Jan. 2018. Baodan's work reported some landmark results by pushing the electroluminescence efficiencies beyond 20% through the complete elimination of non-radiative decay processes. 20% electroluminescence efficiency is a critical milestone for extremely efficient electroluminescent devices, which allows perovskite-based LEDs to join the league of state-of-the-art organic LEDs and quantum-dot LEDs. The research was published as a cover article in Nature Photonics in 2018.

Additionally, toxicity is one of the main problems that prevent the large-scale application of perovskite materials. Baodan's work on lead-tin binary-metal perovskites was one of the very early demonstrations of high-performance photovoltaic devices based on tin-rich halide perovskites.

Now, Baodan has returned to China to continue her scientific research at the College of Optical Science and Engineering in Zhejiang University. Regarding future research, she mentioned that she would like to further explore device degradation mechanisms and realize operationally-stable perovskite light-emitting diodes.