Group Members

Meet the Team!

Postdoctoral Scholars

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

Pravini Fernando

Pravini joined us in Fall 2023. She obtained her PhD in Physics from State University of New York at Binghamton. She works on probing chirality induced spin selectivity and its impact on optoelectronic properties.

Xiao Huan

Xiao joined us in Fall 2023. He obtained his PhD from Hong-Kong University. He focuses on developing 4D photonic structures using bottlebrush block copolymer.

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. His research focuses on understanding and control of assembly pathways of conjugated polymers.

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.

Janice Baek

Janice joined us in Fall 2022 after finishing her Bachelor’s degree from UIUC. She is now working on understanding assembly pathways of polymers through solution processing.

Johnny Austin Lomas

Austin joined us in the Fall of 2022 after earning his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University. His research focuses on autonomous experimentation and its applications to the 3D printing of structure color.

Priyotosh Bairagya

Priyotosh joined us in Fall 2022. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in 2020 from Jadavpur University. He is interested in understanding assembly pathways of chiral polymers for OPV applications.

Yen-Chi Chen

Yen-Chi joined us in Fall 2022 after finishing his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in National Taiwan University. He investigates how printing flow affect and control the chirality of organic electronics.

Alec Matthew Damron

Alec joined us in Fall 2023 and received his Bachelor degree from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is currently working on understanding general assembly pathways of organic solar cells and how that determines efficiency, stability and processibility.

Undergraduate / Visiting Students

Jasmine Williams, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 03/2023 – present
Shubham More, Engineering Physics (UIUC), 03/2023 – present
Piyush Pahuja, Computer Science and Engineering (UIUC), 05/2023 – present
Aishwarya Kuzhiyil, Computer Science and Engineering (UIUC), 09/2023 – present
Frank Lu, Computer Science and Engineering (UIUC), 10/2023 – present
Chloe Lin, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 01/2024-present
Xipin Nina Chen, Material Science and Engineering (UIUC), 01/2024-present
Luna Ahn, Chemistry (UIUC), 02/2024-present
Ayse Senlik, Chemistry (UIUC), 02/2024-present
Alwan Kameron Jacob Nuval, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (UIUC), 02/2024-present
Ming Creekmore, Computer Science (RIT), 05/2024-present
Lyuwei Su, Computer Engineering (UIUC), 05/2024-present
Bowen Hao, Chemistry (UIUC), 06/2024-present

Ph.D. and Postdoc. Alumni

Jong-Hoon Lee

Postdoc, 2021 – 2024

Now an Assistant Professor at Kyonggi University, South Korea.

Kyungsun Park

Kyung Sun Park

Postdoc, 2017 – 2023

Now an Account Technologist at Applied Materials


Postdoc, 2020 – 2022

Now an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Reed College in Portland, OR.

Justin Kwok

Ph. D., 2015-2022, Postdoc, 2022

Now a Etch Engineer at Lam Research.

Daniel Davies

Ph. D., 2016-2022, Postdoc, 2022

Now a Postdoc  Researcher for Milliron group at UT Austin.

Bijal Patel

Ph. D., 2016 – 2021

Now an associate researcher at national institute of standard and technology (NIST)

Prapti Kafle

Ph.D., 2016 – 2021

Now a Senior Scientist at Merck

Songsong Li

Postdoc, 2020 – 2021

Now a Postdoc Research Associate at University of Chicago.

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.

Ge Qu

Ph.D., 2014 – 2019

Now a process engineer in Applied Materials.

Erfan Mohammadi

Ph.D., 2014 – 2019

Now a PCB Engineer at Apple.

Hyunjoong(Tim) Chung

Ph.D., 2014 – 2019

Now a Dry Etch Module Engineer at Intel Corporation.

Fengjiao Zhang

Postdoc, 2015 – 2018

Now Professor at University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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)
Caroline Kasprzak, B.S., 01/2019 – 05/2020
Brandon Onusaitis, B.S., 10/2019 – 05/2021 (now pursuing PhD at Northwestern University)
Ibukun Ajifolokun, B.S., 01/21 – 05/2021
Giorgio Graziano, B.S., 05/2019 – 05/2021
Ritin Joseph, B.S., 08/2021 – 12/2021
Bindu Edupulapati, B.S., 08/2020 – 05/2022

Charlene Gopatta, B.S., 06/21 – 05/2022
Jessica Komar, B.S., 08/21 – 05/2022
Michael Bernhardt, B.S., 05/2019 – 06/2022
Andrew Cheng, B.S., 05/2021 – 08/2022
Rachel Jamilyn Liu, B.S., 09/2020 – 12/2022
Jackie Hagel, B.S., 01/2021 – 05/2023
Rishabh Jois, B.S., 09/2022 – 05/2023
Gabriella Synadinos, B.S., 09/2021 – 05/2023
Raymond Susilo, B.S., 01/2022 – 05/2023
Michael Tiran, B.S., 03/2023 – 05/2023
Adi Taire, B.S., 03/2023 – 05/2023
Nikhil Jose, M.S., 05/2023 – 05/2024
Allison Lau, B.S., 02/23 – 05/2024
Ziming Wang, visiting student, 09/2023 – 05/2024

Diao Research Group

164 Davenport Hall

607 S. Mathews Ave., 

Urbana, IL 61801

prof. Ying Diao



URBANA, IL 61801


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