Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor Cao received his B.S. degree in 2004 from Nanjing University, and his Ph.D. in 2009 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After working at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center as research scientist for 9 years, he returned to the University of Illinois as an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Affiliate of the Department of Chemistry and of the Department of Electrical Engineering. 

Research Interests

Advanced materials for electronics and optoelectronics

Professional Information

The Cao group seeks to exploit new materials and processing techniques to develop novel electronic and optoelectronic devices exhibiting enhanced performance and functionality with more custom form factors.  This includes high performance extremely-scaled devices for future technology nodes, and low-cost printed electronics for macroelectronics and energy harvesting.  These efforts are highly multidisciplinary, requiring a combined expertise in materials science, chemistry, electrical engineering, and device physics.

Honors & Awards

Fellow of the World Innovation Organization Sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2017)
Millennium Fellow of the Atlantic Council (2017)
I.B.M. Pat Goldberg Memorial Best Paper Award (2017)
I.B.M. Master Inventor Recognition (2016)
35 Innovators under 35 (TR35) by MIT Technology Review (2016)
U.S. Frontiers of Engineering by National Academy of Engineering (2016)
I.B.M. Research Division Award (2016)
“All-Star Alumni” of Forbes 30 Under 30 (2016)
I.B.M. Corporation Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (2015)
Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" list of rising stars in Science (2012)
I.B.M. Corporation Invention Achievement Award (17 times) (2009-17)

Office Address

1304 W. Green Street
M/C 246
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone


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