Born in Jinjiang , Fujian Province in 1953. Received Ph.D. from The University of Tokyo , Japan in 1993. Research Professor, Institute of Chemistry , Chinese Academy of Sciences. Elected as CAS Academician in 2005.
Yao has been engaging in the fundamental study and applied exploration of novel opto-functional materials. Yao made great achievements and breakthrough on the size-tunable photophysical and photochemical properties of organic nanoparticles, photochromism of inorganic and organic/inorganic hybrid materials, for which he was, conferred the “ Second-class prize from the National Awards for Natural Science ” in 2004. Yao has been honored the "Excellent Supervisor Award” of CAS for several times. He got the award of the “National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars” in 1995. As the group leader, the work on “Design, preparation and characterization of novel opto-functional materials” was funded “Science Fund for Creative Research Groups” in 2003. He has authored, or coauthored 148 scientific papers in international journals such as Nature , J.Am.Chem.Soc ., Angew.Chem.Int.Ed. , Adv.Mater. , and so on (cited 560 times by others). He also coauthored a book and a translated book.