Assistant Professor YEO Boon Siang Jason

photo of Dr Yeo

2009 –2012: Postdoctoral Fellow in the Chemical Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
2005 –2009: Dr. Sc. in Chemistry, ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich)
2004: M.Sc.; 2001: B.Sc. with Honors (First Class) in Chemistry, NUS

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry, NUS
3 Science Drive 3
Singapore 117543

Office: S8-02-05D
Tel: (65)-6516-2836
Fax: (65)-6779-1691

Research Interests

An urgent scientific goal for the 21st century is to develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy economy. To contribute to this objective, we aim to understand and develop efficient and robust materials to catalyze several energy conversion reactions. Systems of interest include the electrorereduction of CO2 to ethanol and propanol, and water splitting (HER and OER). The macroscopic aspects of these reactions are generally understood. However, we still do not comprehend them at the molecular level. This prevents us from building better systems with the required efficiency and sustainability to be economically viable. Our strategy to address this issue:

Obtain fundamental knowledge of these catalytic processes. We will elucidate the mechanistic (for example what is the identity of the active site?) and structural aspects of these reactions with high spatial and temporal resolutions.


We will establish the fundamental relationships between the structure/composition of the catalysts with their activities. This knowledge will then be exploited to design and synthesize systems with improved functionality.

We aim to synthesize catalysts from earth abundant materials, so that they can be used on a wide scale.

Develop prototype devices, for example, an integrated CO2 electroreduction cell powered by solar energy to produce liquid fuels.

The success of our research will be a critical step towards establishing an energy industry based on renewable feedstocks such as H2O and CO2. It means that we can move away from fossil fuels for our energy needs. Our success will also be a big boost to environmental protection. 

PUBLICATIONS (Can’t download these articles from your location? Email me for pdf copies.)

Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Y. Huang, Y. Deng, A.D. Handoko, G.K.L. Goh, B.S. Yeo. Rational Design of Sulfur‐Doped Copper Catalysts for the Selective Electroreduction of Carbon Dioxide to Formate. ChemSusChem. In Press. DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201701314

  2. D. Ren, N.W.X. Loo, L. Gong, B.S. Yeo. Continuous Production of Ethylene from Carbon Dioxide and Water Using Intermittent Sunlight. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. In Press. DOI:10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02110.

  3. A.D. Handoko, K.W. Chan and B.S. Yeo. –CH3 Mediated Pathway for the Electroreduction of CO2 to Ethane and Ethanol on Thick Oxide-Derived Copper Catalysts at Low Overpotentials. ACS Energy Lett. 2017, 2, 2103–2109. 2017.

  4. U. Joshi, S. Malkhandi and B.S. Yeo. Investigating synergistic interactions of group 4, 5 and 6 metals with gold nanoparticles for the catalysis of the electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 19, 20861. 2017.

  5. Z. Chen, K. Leng, X. Zhao, S. Malkhandi, W. Tang, B. Tian, L. Dong, L. Zheng, M. Lin, B.S. Yeo and K.P. Loh. Interface Confined Hydrogen Evolution Reaction in Zero Valent Metal Nanoparticles-Intercalated Molybdenum Sulfide. Nature Comm. 14548. 2017.

  6. Y. Huang, A.D. Handoko, P. Hirunsit and B.S. Yeo. Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 Using Copper Single-Crystal Surfaces: Effects of CO* Coverage on the Selective Formation of Ethylene. ACS Catal. 7, 1749-1756. 2017.

  7. D. Ren, B.S.H. Ang and B.S. Yeo. Tuning the Selectivity of Carbon Dioxide Electroreduction toward Ethanol on Oxide-Derived CuxZn Catalysts. ACS Catal. 6, 8239. 2016.

  8. Y.L. Deng, L.R.L. Ting, P.H.L. Neo, Y.J. Zhang, A.A. Peterson, and B.S. Yeo. Operando Raman Spectroscopy of Amorphous Molybdenum Sulfide (MoSx) during the Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Reaction: Identification of Sulfur Atoms as Catalytically Active Sites for H+ Reduction. ACS Catal. 6,7790.2016.

  9. A.D. Handoko, C.W. Ong, Y. Huang, Z.G. Lee, L. Lin, G.B. Panetti, and B.S. Yeo. Mechanistic Insights into the Selective Electroreduction of Carbon Dioxide to Ethylene on Cu2O-Derived Copper Catalysts. J. Phy. Chem. C. 120, 20058. 2016.

  10. U. Joshi, J. Lee, C. Giordano, S. Malkhandi and B.S. Yeo. Enhanced Catalysis of the Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Reaction using Composites of Molybdenum-Based Compounds, Gold Nanoparticles and Carbon. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18, 21548. 2016. 

  11. L. Gong, D. Ren, Y.L. Deng and B.S. Yeo. Efficient and Stable Evolution of Oxygen Using Pulse-Electrodeposited Ir/Ni Oxide Catalyst in Fe-Spiked KOH Electrolyte. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. 8, 15985. 2016.

  12. Y.L. Deng, A.D. Handoko, Y.H. Du, S.B. Xi and B.S. Yeo. In Situ Raman Spectroscopy of Copper and Copper Oxide Surfaces during Electrochemical Oxygen Evolution Reaction: Identification of CuIII Oxides as Catalytically Active Species. ACS Catal. 6, 2473. 2016
    (Featured in the
    ACS select virtual issue ‘The Way Forward in Molecular Electrocatalysis’, 2016)

  13. D. Ren, N.T. Wong, A.D. Handoko, Y. Huang and B.S. Yeo*. Mechanistic Insights into the Enhanced Activity and Stability of Agglomerated Cu Nanocrysals for the Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to n-Propanol. J. Phy. Chem. Lett. 7, 20. 2016

  14. L.R.L. Ting, Y.L. Deng, L. Ma, YJ. Zhang, A.A. Peterson, and B.S. Yeo. Catalytic Activities of Sulfur Atoms in Amorphous Molybdenum Sulfide for the Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Reaction. ACS Catal. 6, 861. 2016

  15. A.D. Handoko, S. Deng, Y. Deng, A.W.F. Cheng, K.W. Chan, Y. Pan, H.R. Tan, E.S. Tok, C.S. Sow and B.S. Yeo, Enhanced Activity of H2O2-treated Copper (II) Oxide Nanostructures during the Electrochemical Evolution of Oxygen. Catal. Sci. Technol. 6, 269. 2016.

  16. C.S. Chen, J.H. Wan and B.S. Yeo. Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Ethane using Nanostructured Cu2O-Derived Copper Catalyst and Palladium (II) Chloride. J. Phy. Chem. C. 119, 26875. 2015

  17. D. Ren, Y. Deng, A.D. Handoko, C.S. Chen, S. Malkhandi and B.S. Yeo. Selective Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Ethylene and Ethanol on Copper (I) Oxide Catalysts. ACS Catal. 5, 2814. 2015

  18. L. Ma, L.R.L. Ting, V. Molinari, C. Giordano and B.S. Yeo. Efficient hydrogen evolution reaction catalyzed by molybdenum carbide and molybdenum nitride nanocatalysts synthesized via the urea glass route. J. Mat. Chem. A. 3, 8361. 2015

  19. D. Ren, Y. Huang and B.S. Yeo. Electrocatalysts for the Selective Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Useful Products. Chimia. 69, 131. 2015

  20. C.S. Chen, A.D. Handoko, J.H. Wan, L. Ma, D. Ren and B.S. Yeo. Stable and Selective Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Ethylene on Copper Mesocrystals. Catal Sci. Tech. 5, 161. 2015

  21. D. Friebel, M. Bajdich, B.S. Yeo, M.W. Louie, D.J. Miller, H.S. Casalongue, F. Mbuga, T.C. Weng, D. Nordlund, D. Sokaras, R. Alonso-Mori, A.T. Bell and A. Nilsson. On the chemical state of Co oxide electrocatalysts during alkaline water splitting. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 15, 17460. 2013.

  22. B.S. Yeo and A.T. Bell. In Situ Raman Study of Nickel Oxide and Gold-Supported Nickel Oxide Catalysts for the Electrochemical Evolution of Oxygen. J. Phys. Chem. C.116, 94720. 2012.

  23. F. Somodi, S. Werner, Z.M. Peng, A.B. Getsoian, A.N. Milnar, B.S. Yeo and A.T. Bell. Size and Composition Control of Pt-In Nanoparticles Prepared by Seed-Meditated Growth Using Bimetallic Seeds. Langmuir. 28, 3345. 2012.

  24. H.K. Carlson, A.T. Iavarone, A. Gorur, B.S. Yeo, R. Tran, R.A. Melnyk, R.A. Mathies, M. Auer and J.D. Coates. Surface multiheme c-type cytochromes from Thermincola potens and implications for respiratory metal reduction by Gram-positive bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 109, 1702. 2012.

  25. B.S. Yeo and A.T. Bell. Enhanced Activity of Gold-Supported Cobalt Oxide for the Electrochemical Evolution of Oxygen. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 5587. 2011.

  26. B.S. Yeo, S.L. Klaus, P.N. Ross, R.A. Mathies and A.T. Bell. Identification of Hydroperoxy Species as Reaction Intermediates in the Electrochemical Evolution of Oxygen on Gold. ChemPhysChem. 11, 1854. 2010.

  27. T. Schmid, B.S. Yeo, G. Leong, J. Stadler and R. Zenobi. Performing Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Liquids. J. Raman Spectrosc. 40, 1392. 2009.

  28. B.S. Yeo, E. Amstad, T. Schmid, J. Stadler and R. Zenobi. Investigating the Surface of a Polymer Blend Thin Film with Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Small, 5, 952. 2009.

  29. B.S. Yeo, J. Stadler, T. Schmid, R. Zenobi and W.H. Zhang. Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy – Its Status, Challenges and Future Directions. Chem. Phys. Lett. 472, 1. 2009. (Cover) (Invited).

  30. T. Schmid, A. Messmer, B.S. Yeo, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. Towards Chemical Analysis of Nanostructures in Biofilms II: Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of Alginates. Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 391, 1907. 2008. (Cover).

  31. T. Schmid, J. Burkhard, B.S. Yeo, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. Towards Chemical Analysis of Nanostructures in Biofilms I: Imaging of Biological Nanostructures. Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 391, 1899. 2008. (Cover).

  32. B.S. Yeo, T. Schmid, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. A Strategy to Prevent Signal Losses, Analyte Decomposition and Fluctuating Carbon Contamination Bands in Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Appl. Spectrosc., 62, 708. 2008.

  33. B.S. Yeo, S. Mädler, T. Schmid, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Can See More: The Case of Cytochrome c. J. Phys. Chem. C, 112, 4867. 2008.

  34. W.H. Zhang, T. Schmid, B.S. Yeo and R. Zenobi. Near-Field Heating, Annealing and Signal Loss in Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. J. Phys. Chem. C, 112, 2104. 2008.

  35. W.H. Zhang, T. Schmid, B.S. Yeo and R. Zenobi. Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Reveals Rich Nanoscale Adsorption Chemistry of 2-Mercaptopyridine on Ag. Israel J. Chem., 47, 177. 2007. (Invited).

  36. W.H. Zhang, X.D. Cui, B.S. Yeo, T. Schmid, C. Hafner and R. Zenobi. Nanoscale Roughness on Metal Surfaces Can Increase Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering by an Order of Magnitude. Nano Lett., 7, 1401. 2007.

    (Featured in the analytical currents section of Anal. Chem. 79, 4742. 2007)

  37. X.D. Cui, W.H. Zhang, B.S. Yeo, R. Zenobi, C. Hafner and D. Erni. Tuning the Resonance Frequency of Ag-Coated Dielectric Tips. Opt. Express,15, 8309. 2007.  

  38. B.S. Yeo, T. Schmid, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. Towards Rapid Nanoscale Chemical Analysis Using Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with Ag-Coated Dielectric Tips. Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 387, 2655. 2007.

  39. W.H. Zhang, B.S. Yeo, T. Schmid and R. Zenobi.  Single Molecule Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with Silver Tips. J. Phys. Chem. C, 111, 1733. 2007.
    (First report of single molecule detection with TERS; one of the most downloaded articles in Jan-Mar 2007 of the journal; featured in TRAC-Trend. Anal. Chem. 26 (3), iv. 2007)

  40. T. Schmid, T.A. Schmitz, P.D. Setz, B.S. Yeo, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. Methods for Molecular Nanoanalysis. Chimia, 60, A783. 2006.  

  41. B.S. Yeo, W.H. Zhang, C. Vannier and R. Zenobi. Enhancement of Raman Signals with Silver-Coated Tips. Appl. Spectrosc., 60, 1142. 2006.

  42. C. Vannier, B.S. Yeo, J. Melanson and R. Zenobi. Multifunctional Microscope for Far-Field and Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.  Rev. Sci. Instrum., 77, 023104. 2006.

  43. B.S. Yeo, Z.H. Chen and W.S. Sim. Efficient Growth of Ordered Thin Oxide Films on Ni(111) by NO2 Oxidation. Surf. Sci., 557 (1-3), 201. 2004.

  44. B.S. Yeo, Z.H. Chen and W.S. Sim. Surface Functionalization of Ni(111) with Acrylate Monolayers. Langmuir, 19, 2787. 2003.

  45. W.S. Sim, T.C. Li, P.X. Yang and B.S. Yeo. Isolation and Identification of Surface-Bound Acetone Enolate on Ni(111). J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124, 4970. 2002.


Book Chapters

  1. B.S. Yeo, T. Schmid, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. Spectroscopic Imaging with Nanometer Resolution using Near-Field Methods. In Infrared and Raman Spectroscopic Imaging. Eds.: R. Salzer and H.W. Siesler.Wiley-VCH, Weinheim.2009.

  1. T. Schmid, B.S. Yeo, W.H. Zhang and R. Zenobi. Use of Tip-Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopy for Analytical Applications in Chemistry, Biology, and Materials Science. In Advances in Nano-Optics and Nano-Photonics. Eds.: S. Kawata and V.M. Shalaev. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 2007.



232nd Electrochemical Society Meeting – Oct 2017
231st Electrochemical Society Meeting – Jun 2017
253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition – Apr 2017
3rd International Conference on Molecular & Functional Catalysis (ICFMC-3) – Feb 2017
Materials Challenges in Alternative and Renewable Energy 2017 (MCARE 2017) – Feb 2017
QAFCO-Texas A&M at Qatar Chemistry Conference – Jan 2017
GSS Summer School Solvation Science (University of Bochum) – May 2016
228th Electrochemical Society Meeting – Oct 2015
247th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition – Mar 2014





  1. Speaker to students in the Methodist Girls School (April 2017) and CHIJ Katong (May 2017) on Sustainable Energy Research.
  2. Speaker for the Chemistry Master Class in the Faculty of Science Open House (2015, 2017).
  3. Speaker in ‘Dialogue in Chemistry Education’, NUS  (Nov 2016).
  4. Speaker in ‘One-North Festival’, Singapore (August 2016).



  1. Guest Editor (with Andrew A. Peterson) of a Special Issue in Catalysis Today (June 2017) on ‘Electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide by heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis: experiment and theory’.
  2. Founding member and Secretary of the Singapore Chapter of The Electrochemical Society.
  3. Organizer of the 1st Singapore ECS International Symposium on Energy Materials (Dec 2017)
  4. Member of the Executive Committee (2017-2020) of the Singapore Catalysis Society.



  1. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for AY2015/2016, National University of Singapore

  2. Annual Excellence Teaching Award for AY2014/2015, National University of Singapore

  3. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for AY2014/2015, National University of Singapore

  4. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for AY2013/2014, National University of Singapore

  5. Conference Grant, 2008. Huber Kudlich Foundation, Switzerland.

  6. Conference Grant, 2008. Division of Analytical Chemistry of the Swiss Chemical Society.

  7. Gold Medal for the Most Outstanding M.Sc. Thesis in Chemistry, 2005. Singapore National Institute of Chemistry.

  8. President’s Graduate Fellowship, 2002-2003. National University of Singapore.

  9. Laboratory Teaching Assistant Award for Excellent Performance, 2002. Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore.

  10. Research scholarship, 2001-2003. National University of Singapore.

  11. Faculty of Science Dean’s List in Semester 2, 1998-1999. National University of Singapore.

  12. Book Prize for Best Undergraduate in Level 2 Chemistry, 1999. Singapore National Institute of Chemistry.