Nikolay Kornienko

I am currently a Royal Society Newton Fellow at the University of Cambridge, studying biological energy converting processes. Before my time at Cambridge, I received my Ph.D in the University of California, Berkeley, working in the laboratory of Professor Peidong Yang. Prior to this, I attended the University of Pittsburgh, where I attained a B.S. in chemistry.

My overarching motivation is to discover and implement the chemistry necessary to transition to a sustainable energy-based society. Specifically, I am developing materials to convert solar energy to chemical fuels as an energy storage media. Transforming solar energy into chemical bonds requires efficient, synchronous function of multiple processes as well as a fundamental understanding of the underlying chemistry at work. Currently, catalysts that utilize solar-derived electricity to generate chemical fuels lack the performance necessary to render this technology practical. Within this framework, my research entails both the design of novel electrocatalytic materials and in situ spectroscopic investigations. The aim here is to establish an iterative cycle where novel materials are first synthesized and systematically tested then subsequently probed through spectroscopic methods to develop a comprehensive understanding of the materials' structure/function relationships. The lessons generated can then be feed into the next cycle of design, synthesis, and understanding to accelerate the rate at which the pressing challenges in energy and materials can be met.


Royal Society Newton Fellow


PhD, Chemistry

Research areas

Chemistry, Energy Science, Nanotechnology, Biotech


University of Pittsburgh, University of California, Berkeley, University of Cambridge