Yifan was born in Jinan (China). He completed his bachelor degree at the University of Jinan in 2008. He then moved to France and received his master degree at University of Lyon 1. Starting in 2012, he worked with Prof J. Waser in Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (epfl, Switzerland), focusing on domino reactions to alkynylate heterocycles. He obtained his PhD in 2016. He joined Prof. Swager's group in May 2016 as an SNF postdoctoral fellow. His research involves the synthesis of graphene nanoribbons.