Zhenan Bao

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Zhenan Bao
Native name 鲍哲楠
Born 1970 (age 46–47)
Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Citizenship United States
Fields Polymer science
Institutions Stanford University
Alma mater Nanjing University, University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Luping Yu
Known for organic semiconductors

Zhenan Bao (simplified Chinese: 鲍哲楠; traditional Chinese: 鮑哲楠; pinyin: Bào Zhénán; born 1970), Ph.D., is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Material Science and Engineering at Stanford University. She is known for her work developing technologies with organic field-effect transistors and organic semiconductors. She is one of the laureates of the 2017 L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science.[1]


She was enrolled at Nanjing University before transferring directly into her Ph.D. in Chemistry from The University of Chicago.[2] She was one of the early students of Luping Yu and did initial work on liquid-crystalline polymers.[3][4]

Academic career[edit]

Upon the completion of her Ph.D., she had an offer to join the University of California, Berkeley as a postdoc but instead joined the Materials Research department of Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies. During that time, she was behind the development of the first all plastic transistor, or organic field-effect transistors which allows for its use in electronic paper.[5][6][7] It was also during this time when Jan Schön produced a series of papers, two of which with Bao as one of the coauthors. Schön's papers were ultimately retracted due to fraud. Bao was exonerated of any misconduct.[8] She was named a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff. She was named one of MIT Technology Review's TR35[9] and C&EN 12 rising stars[2] for her work with organic semiconductors.

In 2004, she returned to academia by joining the faculty at Stanford University where she is now focusing on studying organic semiconductor and carbon nanotubes using new fabrication methods. Recent work in the lab includes developing electronic skin[10] and all-carbon solar cells.[11]

She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering since 2016. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society and SPIE and serves on the advisory board for ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, Chemical Communications, Chemistry of Materials, Materials Today, Nanoscale, and NPG Asia Materials and the board of directors for the Materials Research Society and the Polymers Materials Science and Engineering division of the American Chemical Society. She was also awarded the ACS Cope Scholar Award in 2011.[12]

She was awarded the Beilby Medal and Prize in 2009.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Bao immigrated to the United States from China in 1990. Both of her parents were professors at Nanjing University where she initially learned about polymer chemistry in her mother's lab. One of her major mentors was Elsa Reichmanis who was the department director at Bell Labs.[2] She is married and has two children.[14]


  1. ^ Announcement of Laureates of 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards
  2. ^ a b c MacDermott, Kevin (25 March 2002). "TAKING AN EARLY LEAD". C&EN. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Movers: Zhenan Bao". Nature. 428 (6983): 678–678. 8 April 2004. doi:10.1038/nj6983-678c. 
  4. ^ Bao, Zhenan; Chen, Yongming; Cai, Rubing; Yu, Luping (1 September 1993). "Conjugated liquid-crystalline polymers - soluble and fusible poly(phenylenevinylene) by the Heck coupling reaction". Macromolecules. 26 (20): 5281–5286. doi:10.1021/ma00072a002. 
  5. ^ Dagani, Ron (30 November 1998). "AN INNOVATION ENGINE FOR LUCENT". C&EN. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Bao, Zhenan; Dodabalapur, Ananth; Lovinger, Andrew J. (1 January 1996). "Soluble and processable regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) for thin film field-effect transistor applications with high mobility". Applied Physics Letters. 69 (26): 4108. doi:10.1063/1.117834. 
  7. ^ Bao, Zhenan; Feng, Yi; Dodabalapur, Ananth; Raju, V. R.; Lovinger, Andrew J. (1 June 1997). "High-Performance Plastic Transistors Fabricated by Printing Techniques". Chemistry of Materials. 9 (6): 1299–1301. doi:10.1021/cm9701163. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Elizabeth (19 December 2011). "Molecular Electronics: Schön's Fraud". C&EN. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Zhenan Bao, 32". MIT TR. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Arnaud, Celia (19 November 2012). "Electronic Skin Heals Itself". C&EN. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Ramuz, Marc P.; Vosgueritchian, Michael; Wei, Peng; Wang, Chenggong; Gao, Yongli; Wu, Yingpeng; Chen, Yongsheng; Bao, Zhenan (27 November 2012). "Evaluation of Solution-Processable Carbon-Based Electrodes for All-Carbon Solar Cells". ACS Nano. 6 (11): 10384–10395. doi:10.1021/nn304410w. 
  12. ^ Halford, Bethany (28 February 2011). "Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards: Zhenan Bao". C&EN. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Beilby Medal and Prize Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Wang, Linda (8 October 2007). "Rising Stars Reunite". C&EN. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 

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