Qing Cao

Qing Cao
Qing Cao

Administrative Titles

Associate Professor
(217) 300-8327
1008 Superconductivity Center

For More Information


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.

Professional Highlights

  • Qing Cao is an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering and, by courtesy, of Chemistry and Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining Illinois in 2018, Cao was a research scientist in the Department of Physical Sciences at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Nanjing University in 2004 and his Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009. Cao’s interdisciplinary research focus on developing functional nanomaterials for unconventional electronic systems, high-performance logic devices, and low-cost energy harvesting. He has published over thirty research papers; is co-inventor on fifty patents and patent applications. Cao’s research has received recognitions including the IBM Pat Goldberg Memorial Best Paper Award (2017), IBM Master Inventor Award (2016), IBM Research Division Award (2016), US Frontiers of Engineering by National Academy of Engineering (2016), IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (2015), and IBM Invention Achievement Awards (2011-2018, 17 times). He made Forbes’s list of “30 Under 30” for 2012 in the Science category, as “the field’s brightest stars under the age of 30 representing the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation”, and further received the distinction of this list’s “Most Influential All-Star Alumni” in 2016. MIT Technology Review listed him in 2016 as one of the top thirty-five global innovators under the age of thirty-five (TR35). The Atlantic Council selected him in 2017 as one of 21 “rising leaders and innovators around the world committed to achieving transformational change with a global impact” (Millennium Fellow).

Graduate Research Opportunities

We are always looking for the best and most qualified potential graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to join the group. Interested applicants, please contact Professor Cao (qingcao2@illinois.edu) with your CV and research interests.

Research Interests

  • The Cao group seeks to exploit new materials and processing techniques to develop novel electronic and optoelectronic devices and systems exhibiting enhanced performance and functionality with more custom form factors. More specifically, we work on developing 1) nanoelectronic devices based on novel nanomaterials, 2) next-generation memory devices for neuromorphic and in-memory computing, 3) monolithic 3D integration for high performance electronics, 4) high-performance printable electronic materails for fabricating electronics at scale, and 4) bioelectronics for healthcare and neuroscience applications.

Research Areas

  • Electronic Materials

Research Topics

Selected Articles in Journals

Journal Editorships

  • Deputy Editor of Science Advances

Research Honors

  • Millennium Fellow of the Atlantic Council (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, 2019)
  • I.B.M. Research Division Award (2016)
  • “All-Star Alumni” of Forbes 30 Under 30s (2016)
  • I.B.M. Corporation Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (2015)
  • Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" list of rising stars in Science and Healthcare (2012)

Recent Courses Taught

  • MSE 403 - Synthesis of Materials
  • MSE 460 - Electronic Materials I
  • MSE 488 - Optical Materials