Group Members

Meet the Team!

Postdoctoral Scholars

Kyungsun Park

Kyung Sun Park

Kyung joined us since Spring 2017. She obtained her PhD from Hanyang University in Korea. She works on printing of conjugated polymers and understanding morphology transitions.


Gonzalo joined us in Fall 2020 as an Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow from the DRIVE program. He obtained his PhD from the University of Iowa. His research focuses on creating multi-functional single crystals for flexible electronics.

Jong-Hoon Lee

Jong-Hoon joined us in Spring 2021. He obtained his PhD from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. He works on fully-printed and self-optimized organic photovoltaics via autonomous printing.

Rui Zhang

Rui joined us in Fall 2021. She obtained her Ph.D from Iowa State University. She works on modular synthesis and characterization of conjugated molecules for plant health monitoring

Justin Kwok

Justin joined us in Fall 2015 from MSE. He graduated from University of Southern California and got his Ph. D. in our group. Justin focuses on developing printing methods to implement fluid-directed assembly of conjugated polymers.

Daniel Davies

Daniel joined us in Fall 2016, after obtaining his Bachelor degree from University of Iowa. His thesis will answer the fundamental question that how metastable polymorphs form and how to control their transformations.

Graduate Students

Zhuang Xu

Zhuang joined us in Fall 2019 from Chemistry. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Akron. His research focuses on understanding and control of assembly pathways of conjugated polymers.

Azzaya Khasbaatar

Azzaya joined us in Fall 2019. She received her Bachelor degree from University of Michigan. She investigates how assembly pathways and solution printing impact morphology and opto-electronic properties of organic solar cells.

Siqing Wang

Siqing joined us in Fall 2019. He received his Bachelor degree from Tsinghua University (MSE). His research focuses on developing wearable sensors for plants.

Kavinraaj Elangovan

Kavin joined us in Fall 2020 and received his Bachelor degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is currently working on developing wearable sensors to detect volatile organic chemicals emitted by plants, which will be used to monitor and control their growth.

Changhyun Hwang

Changhyun joined us in Fall 2020 after finishing his Bachelor degree from Korea University. He focuses on building an AI-guided autonomous additive manufacturing platform.

Sanghyun Jeon

Sanghyun joined us in Fall 2021. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Korea University. He focuses on developing wearable stomata sensors for plants.

Tiara Torres Flores

Tiara joined us in Fall 2021 after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. She is working on automated synthesis of mesopolymers used in organic photovoltaics.

Undergraduate Students


Caroline Kasprzak, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 01/2019 – present
Michael Bernhardt, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 05/2019 – present
Brandon Onusaitis, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 10/2019 – present
Bindu Edupulapati, Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors (UIUC), 08/2020 – present
Rachel Jamilyn Liu, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 09/2020 – present
Ibukun Ajifolokun, Materials Science and Engineering (UIUC), 01/21 – present
Jackie Hagel, Bioengineering (UIUC), 01/21 – present
Andrew Cheng, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 05/21 – present
Charlene Gopatta, Chemistry (UIUC), 06/21 – present
Ritin Joseph, Materials Science and Engineering (UIUC), 08/21 – present
Jessica Komar, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 08/21 – present

Ph.D. and Postdoc. Alumni

Erfan Mohammadi

Ph.D., 2014 – 2019

Now Productivity Engineer at Lam Research, after starting off as a Process Engineer at Intel Corporation.

Hyunjoong(Tim) Chung

Ph.D., 2014 – 2019

Now a Dry Etch Module Engineer at Intel Corporation.

Ge Qu

Ph.D., 2014 – 2019

Now a Postdoc Scholar at Penn State with Prof. Enrique Gomez.

Prapti Kafle

Ph.D., 2016 – 2021

Now a Senior Scientist at Merck

Fengjiao Zhang

Postdoc, 2015 – 2018

Now Professor at University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Sangkyu Park

Postdoc, 2017 – 2020

Now a Senior Researcher at Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Institute of Advanced Composite Materials, Functional Composite Materials Research Center.

Songsong Li

Postdoc, 2020 – 2021

Now a Postdoc Research Associate at University of Chicago.

Bijal Patel

Ph. D., 2016 – 2021

Now a NRC Postdoc Research Associate at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Polymers Processing Group in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Undergraduate and M.S. Alumni

Yifu Zhang, B.S., 1/2015 – 12/2016
Kurtis Niemeyer, B.S., 3/2015 – 12/2015
Reahman Afshar, B.S., 3/2015 – 4/2016
Adam Lui, B.S., 5/2015 – 5/2016
Rebecca Boehning, B.S., 8/2015 – 5/2017
Weikun Zhu, B.S., 8/2016 – 5/2018 (now pursuing PhD at MIT)
Shanwen Chen, B.S. 10/2016 – 5/2018
Samdisha Punjani, B.S. 02/2017 – 5/2018
Michelle Brown, B.S. 08/2017 – 05/2019
Nicole Jugovich, B.S. 08/2017 – 3/2018
Julian Fanghanel, M.S., 5/2017-7/2018 (now pursuing PhD at Penn State)
Anastasiya Lukiyanenko, B.S., 10/2017 – 12/2018
Rishabh Sanghavi, B.S., 10/2017 – 12/2018
Do Hoon Kim, B.S., 8/2018 – 5/2019 (now pursuing PhD at Michigan)
Angela Johnson, B.S. (Chicago State U., I-MRSEC REU program), 5/2019-7/2019
Dongqi Zhao, B.S. (Tianjin U.), 7/2019-10/2019 (will pursue PhD at UPenn from 2020)
Adithya Sundar, B.S., 8/2019 – 5/2020
Kush Patel, B.S., 01/2019 – 03/2021 (now pursuing PhD in Chemical Engineering at Northwestern)
Yilong (Larry) Chang, B.S., 01/2019 – 03/2021 (now pursuing MS in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford)
Giorgio Graziano, B.S., 05/2019 – 05/2021

Diao Research Group

164 Davenport Hall

607 S. Mathews Ave., 

Urbana, IL 61801

prof. Ying Diao



URBANA, IL 61801


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