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- Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2016
- M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2012
- B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, 2009
- Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2019 - date
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2018
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 2016 - 2018
- Flame synthesis, nanomaterials, energy conversion and storage, smart wearables
- Applied Physics
- Solid Mechanics and Materials
- Thermo and Heat Transfer
Selected Articles in Journals
- A. Manjarrez, K. Zhou, Y.-K. Tzeng, C. Q. Chen, L. Cai, "Atmospheric-Pressure Flame Vapor Deposition of Nanocrystalline Diamonds: Implications for Scalable and Cost-Effective Coatings ", ACS Applied Nano Materials, 5, 10715-10723 (2022).
- H. K. Woo, K. Zhou, S.-K. Kim, A. Manjarrez, M. J. Hoque, T.-Y. Seong and L. Cai, "Visibly Transparent and Infrared Reflective Coatings for Personal Thermal Management and Thermal Camouflage", Advanced Functional Materials, 32, 2201432 (2022).
- J. Fei, D. Han, J. Ge, X. Wang, S. W. Koh, S. Gao, Z. Sun, M. P. Wan, B. F. Ng, L. Cai, H. Li, "Switchable Surface Coating for Bifunctional Passive Radiative Cooling and Solar Heating", Advanced Functional Materials, 32, 2203582 (2022).
- K. Zhou, W. Li, B. B. Patel, R. Tao, Y. Chang, S. Fan, Y. Diao, L. Cai, "3D Printable Nanoporous Polymer Matrix Composites for Daytime Radiative Cooling", Nano Letters, 21, 1493-1499 (2021).
- K. Zhou, N. Miljkovic, L. Cai, "Performance analysis on system-level integration and operation of daytime radiative cooling technology for air-conditioning in buildings", Energy and Buildings, 235, 110749 (2021).
- Vaziri, S., V. Chen, L. Cai, Y. Jiang, M. E. Chen, R. W. Grady, X. L. Zheng, Eric Pop, "Ultrahigh Doping of Graphene Using Flame-Deposited MoO3", IEEE Electron Device Letters, 41, 1592-1595 (2020).
- Wang, H., Y.-K. Tzeng, Y. Ji, Y. Li, J. Li, X. Zheng, A. Yang, Y. Liu, Y. Gong, L. Cai, Y. Li, X. Zhang, W. Chen, B. Liu, H. Lu, N. A. Melosh, Z. X. Shen, K. Chan, T. Tan, S. Chu, Y. Cui, “Synergistic enhancement of electrocatalytic CO 2 reduction to C 2 oxygenates at nitrogen-doped nanodiamonds/Cu interface”, Nature Nanotechnology, 15, 131-137 (2020).
- Cai, L., Y. Peng, J. Xu, C. Zhou, C. Zhou, P. Wu, D. Lin, S. Fan, Y. Cui, "Temperature regulation in colored infrared-transparent polyethylene textiles", Joule, 3, 1478-1486 (2019).
- Cai, L., A. Y. Song, W. Li, P.-C. Hsu, D. Lin, P. B. Catrysse, Y. Liu, Y. Peng, J. Chen, H. Wang, J. Xu, A. Yang, S. Fan, and Y. Cui, "Spectrally Selective Nanocomposite Textile for Outdoor Personal Cooling", Advanced Materials, 30, 1802152 (2018).
- Peng, Y., J. Chen, A. Y. Song, P. B. Catrysse, P. C. Hsu, L. Cai, B. Liu, Y. Zhu, G. Zhou, D. S. Wu, H. R. Lee, S. Fan, and Y. Cui, "Nanoporous polyethylene microfibres for large-scale radiative cooling fabric", Nature Sustainability, 1, 105-112 (2018).
- Shi, X., L. Cai, I. Y. Choi, M. Ma, K. Zhang, J. Zhao, J. K. Kim, J. K. Kim, X. Zheng, J. H. Park, “Epitaxial growth of WO3 nanoneedles achieved using a facile flame surface treatment process engineering of hole transport and water oxidation reactivity”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 6, 19542-19546 (2018).
- Hsu, P. C., C. Liu, A. Y. Song, Z. Zhang, Y. Peng, J. Xie, K. Liu, C. L. Wu, P. B. Catrysse, L. Cai, S. Zhai, A. Majumdar, S. Fan, and Y. Cui, "A dual-mode textile for human body radiative heating and cooling", Science Advances, 3 (2017).
- Kim, J. K., S. U. Chai, Y. Cho, L. Cai, S. J. Kim, S. Park, J. H. Park, and X. Zheng, "Ultrafast Flame Annealing of TiO2 Paste for Fabricating Dye-Sensitized and Perovskite Solar Cells with Enhanced Efficiency", Small, 13, 1702260 (2017).
- Cai, L., A. Y. Song, P. Wu, P.-C. Hsu, Y. Peng, J. Chen, C. Liu, P. B. Catrysse, Y. Liu, A. Yang, C. Zhou, C. Zhou, S. Fan, and Y. Cui, "Warming up human body by nanoporous metallized polyethylene textile", Nature Communications, 8, 496 (2017).
- Zhao, J., L. Cai, H. Li, X. Shi, and X. Zheng, "Stabilizing Silicon Photocathodes by Solution-Deposited Ni–Fe Layered Double Hydroxide for Efficient Hydrogen Evolution in Alkaline Media", ACS Energy Letters, 2, 1939-1946 (2017).
- Cai, L., C. J. McClellan, A. L. Koh, H. Li, E. Yalon, E. Pop, and X. Zheng, "Rapid Flame Synthesis of Atomically Thin MoO3 down to Monolayer Thickness for Effective Hole Doping of WSe2", Nano Letters, 17, 3854-3861 (2017).
- Yang, A., L. Cai, R. Zhang, J. Wang, P.-C. Hsu, H. Wang, G. Zhou, J. Xu, and Y. Cui, "Thermal Management in Nanofiber-Based Face Mask", Nano Letters, 17, 3506-3510 (2017).
- Crampton, A. S., L. Cai, N. Janvelyan, X. Zheng, and C. M. Friend, "Methanol Photo-Oxidation on Rutile TiO2 Nanowires: Probing Reaction Pathways on Complex Materials", The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121, 9910-9919 (2017).
- Li, H., S. H. Ahn, S. Park, L. Cai, J. Zhao, J. He, M. Zhou, J. Park, and X. Zheng, "Molybdenum disulfide catalyzed tungsten oxide for on-chip acetone sensing", Applied Physics Letters, 109, 133103 (2016).
- Allen, P., L. Cai, L. Zhou, C. Zhao, and P. M. Rao, "Rapid Synthesis of Thin and Long Mo17O47 Nanowire-Arrays in an Oxygen Deficient Flame", Scientific Reports, 6, 27832 (2016).
- Cai, L., J. Zhao, H. Li, J. Park, I. S. Cho, H. S. Han, and X. Zheng, "One-Step Hydrothermal Deposition of Ni:FeOOH onto Photoanodes for Enhanced Water Oxidation", ACS Energy Letters, 1, 624-632 (2016).
- Zhao, J., Y. Guo, L. Cai, H. Li, K. X. Wang, I. S. Cho, C. H. Lee, S. Fan, and X. Zheng, "High-Performance Ultrathin BiVO4 Photoanode on Textured Polydimethylsiloxane Substrates for Solar Water Splitting", ACS Energy Letters, 1, 68-75 (2016).
- Li, H., C. Tsai, A. L. Koh, L. Cai, A. W. Contryman, A. H. Fragapane, J. Zhao, H. S. Han, H. C. Manoharan, F. Abild-Pedersen, J. K. Nørskov, and X. Zheng, "Activating and optimizing MoS2 basal planes for hydrogen evolution through the formation of strained sulphur vacancies", Nature Materials, 15, 48 (2015).
- Shi, X., L. Cai, M. Ma, X. Zheng, and J. H. Park, "General Characterization Methods for Photoelectrochemical Cells for Solar Water Splitting", ChemSusChem, 8, 3192-3203 (2015).
- Cho, I. S., J. Choi, K. Zhang, S. J. Kim, M. J. Jeong, L. Cai, T. Park, X. Zheng, and J. H. Park, "Highly Efficient Solar Water Splitting from Transferred TiO2 Nanotube Arrays", Nano Letters, 15, 5709-5715 (2015).
- Zhou, M., L. Cai, M. Bajdich, M. García-Melchor, H. Li, J. He, J. Wilcox, W. Wu, A. Vojvodic, and X. Zheng, "Enhancing Catalytic CO Oxidation over Co3O4 Nanowires by Substituting Co2+ with Cu2+", ACS Catalysis, 5, 4485-4491 (2015).
- Rao, P. M., L. Cai, C. Liu, I. S. Cho, C. H. Lee, J. M. Weisse, P. Yang, and X. Zheng, "Simultaneously Efficient Light Absorption and Charge Separation in WO3/BiVO4 Core/Shell Nanowire Photoanode for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation", Nano Letters, 14, 1099-1105 (2014).
- Cho, I. S., M. Logar, C. H. Lee, L. Cai, F. B. Prinz, and X. Zheng, "Rapid and Controllable Flame Reduction of TiO2 Nanowires for Enhanced Solar Water-Splitting", Nano Letters, 14, 24-31 (2014).
- Cai, L., I. S. Cho, M. Logar, A. Mehta, J. He, C. H. Lee, P. M. Rao, Y. Feng, J. Wilcox, F. B. Prinz, and X. Zheng, "Sol-flame synthesis of cobalt-doped TiO2 nanowires with enhanced electrocatalytic activity for oxygen evolution reaction", Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 16, 12299-12306 (2014).
- Luo, R., I. S. Cho, Y. Feng, L. Cai, P. M. Rao, and X. Zheng, "Morphological control of heterostructured nanowires synthesized by sol-flame method", Nanoscale Research Letters, 8, 347 (2013).
- Feng, Y., I. S. Cho, P. M. Rao, L. Cai, and X. Zheng, "Sol-Flame Synthesis: A General Strategy To Decorate Nanowires with Metal Oxide/Noble Metal Nanoparticles", Nano Letters, 13, 855-860 (2013).
- Ohkura, Y., J. M. Weisse, L. Cai, and X. Zheng, "Flash Ignition of Freestanding Porous Silicon Films: Effects of Film Thickness and Porosity", Nano Letters, 13, 5528-5533 (2013).
- Cho, I. S., C. H. Lee, Y. Feng, M. Logar, P. M. Rao, L. Cai, D. R. Kim, R. Sinclair, and X. Zheng, "Codoping titanium dioxide nanowires with tungsten and carbon for enhanced photoelectrochemical performance", Nature Communications, 4, 1723 (2013).
- Weisse, J. M., C. H. Lee, D. R. Kim, L. Cai, P. M. Rao, and X. Zheng, "Electroassisted Transfer of Vertical Silicon Wire Arrays Using a Sacrificial Porous Silicon Layer", Nano Letters, 13, 4362-4368 (2013).
- Cai, L., P. M. Rao, and X. Zheng, "Morphology-Controlled Flame Synthesis of Single, Branched, and Flower-like α-MoO3 Nanobelt Arrays", Nano Letters, 11, 872-877 (2011).
Articles in Conference Proceedings
- Feng, Y., I. S. Cho, L. Cai, P. M. Rao, and X. Zheng, "Sol-flame synthesis of hybrid metal oxide nanowires", Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34, 2179-2186 (2013).
- Cai, L., P. M. Rao, Y. Feng, and X. Zheng, "Flame synthesis of 1-D complex metal oxide nanomaterials", Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34, 2229-2236 (2013).
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2022
- Member, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2022
- Member, Materials Research Society, 2022
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students (Fall 2022 )
- SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award (2023)
- NSF CAREER Award (2022)
- MIT Technology Review Innovators 35 under 35 (2020)
- Rising Stars in Mechanical Engineering (2018)
- Sustainable Energy & Fuels Poster Award, Materials Research Society Fall Meeting (2017)
Recent Courses Taught
- ME 330 AL1 (ME 330 AL2, ME 330 AL3, ME 330 ZJ1, ME 330 ZJ2, ME 330 ZJE, ME 330 ZJU) - Engineering Materials
- ME 498 LC3 (ME 498 LC4) - NanoMFG for Sustainable Energy
February 6, 2023
For CAREER award, Cai proposes novel method for fabricating nanocrystalline diamonds
- December 8, 2022
August 22, 2022
New nanophotonic coating could aid thermal management and counter-surveillance efforts
- July 7, 2022
- May 24, 2022
May 12, 2021
Yee Fellow continues work on radiative cooling for wearable technology