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.

Songsong Li

Songsong joined us in summer 2020. He obtained PhD from the Schroeder group here at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He innovates interfacial materials chemistry for molecular electronics and organic electronics.


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.

Graduate Students

Justin Kwok

Justin joined us in Fall 2015 from MSE. He graduated from University of Southern California. 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.

Prapti Kafle

Prapti joined us in Fall 2016, after completing a chemistry & math double major at Connecticut College. Her work focuses on understanding crystal polymorphism and inventing new printing methods for pharmaceuticals.

Bijal Patel

Bijal joined us in Fall 2016. He received his Bachelor degree from the University of Texas at Austin. His research is on the topic of bottlebrush block copolymer self-assembly during additive manufacturing, with a focus on polymer photonics.

Zhuang Xu

Zhuang joined us in Fall 2019 from Chemistry. He received his Master 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 optoelectronic 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 works on building AI-guided autonomous material development system.

Undergraduate Students

Kush Patel, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 01/2019 – present
Yilong (Larry) Chang, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 01/2019 – present
Caroline Kasprzak, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 01/2019 – present
Giorgio Graziano, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 05/2019 – 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

Ph.D. and Postdoc. Alumni

Fengjiao Zhang

Postdoc, 2015 – 2018

Now Professor at University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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.

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

Undergraduate and MS. 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

Diao Research Group

164 Davenport Hall

607 S. Mathews Ave., 

Urbana, IL 61801

prof. Ying Diao



URBANA, IL 61801


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