Dr. Ping Yu

Dr. Ping Yu, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at University of Missouri

Dr. Ping Yu received his B.Sc. degree and M.Sc. degree in 1987 (with Prof. Guangyin Zhang) in Physics from Nankai University. His master thesis studied ferroelectric commensurate-incommensurate phase transition and impurity states in the ferroelectric crystals using spectroscopic techniques. He then joined in Tianjin University as Assistant Lecturer/Lecturer, working on FTIR spectroscopy.

He got his Ph.D. degree (with Prof. George K. L. Wong) in Physics from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 1998. During his PhD studies, he had been working on short pulse laser techniques (ns, ps, and fs) including wavelength tunable OPO and OPA, and was involved in research on second harmonic generation (SHG) and four-wave mixing of polymers and inorganic nanostructures. In his dissertation entitled “room temperature ultra-violet stimulated emission and lasing of ZnO”, he had investigated various stimulated emission mechanisms (excitonic and electron-hole plasma) of ZnO epitaxial films. The result was the first demonstration of room temperature lasing of ZnO epitaxial film (reported in ICPS 1996 in Berlin), and inspired many groups around the world to do further research.

After two years in Technical University of Denmark (with Prof. Jorn Hvam working on polarization states of vertically coupled III-V semiconductor quantum dots) and Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen (with Prof. Jan Thompson on a laser system for magneto-optical trapping of Mg atoms) in Denmark, he went to Purdue University as a postdoctoral associate, where he studied biomedical optical imaging and optoelectronics in Prof. David D. Nolte's group. In Purdue University, he had been working on photorefractive quantum wells for biomedical imaging applications and laser based ultrasound detection.

He joined the faculty of Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Missouri in 2003. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2009 and professor in 2014.


  • Faculty Innovation Award, MU iCATS, 2014
  • Physics Alumni Faculty Fellow Award, Department of Physics and Astronomy, MU, 2010
  • National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, 2008