Hanbo Yang

Role: PhD student, Department of Physics, Imperial College London

Subject area:  Materials that can manipulate and harvest light for a more sustainable future.

Nationality: Australian

I’m an Australian currently undertaking a PhD degree in Physics at Imperial. I work with materials that can manipulate and harvest light for a more sustainable future.



GCSE/A-levels (or equivalent): During my final years in High school, I studied Physics, Advanced Mathematics, Mathematics, English, Indonesian and a research project in Robotics (South Australian education system)

• BSc in Chemistry, University of Melbourne, Australia
• MSc in Chemistry, University of Melbourne, Australia
• PhD in Physics (ongoing), Imperial College London

Detail about Hanbo


My research

Our current silicon solar cells can only harvest the bluer (higher energy) region of our solar spectrum. The redder (lower energy) region gets transmitted through and is wasted as heat. My research looks at how to make better use of the lower energy region to improve the efficacy of solar cells. 

My inspiration

My inspiration

A string of reasons but most notably my parents who are also in the field and my high school physics teacher.

My STEM hero

Who is your STEM hero?

Professor Jenny Nelson – a pioneer in the field of organic solar cells here at Imperial. Her enthusiasm and perseverance in a male-dominated field is very inspiring to me.

Calculus equations on a blackboard

Most significant discovery/invention?

Calculus – without this mathematical tool that looks at the rates of change no physics would be possible!

Pieces of a chocolate bar

Career options after study

Chemistry is extremely versatile! 

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Materials engineering consulting
  • Water and soil analyst
  • Food developement e.g. Cadbury (chocolate!)

My hobbies

I do Taekwondo and enjoy scouting for good pastries.