Guozhong Cao

Boeing-Steiner Professor
Materials Science & Engineering

Adjunct Professor
Chemical Engineering

Adjunct Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Program Coordinator


Dr. Guozhong Cao is the Boeing-Steiner Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. from Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands). Dr. Cao has published over 200 refereed papers, and authored and edited 4 books and 3 conference proceedings on nanotechnology. Dr. Cao serves as editor of Annual Review of Nano Research and associate editor of Journal of Nanophotonics. His current research is focused mainly on nanomaterials for energy related applications, such as solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, and hydrogen storage. Other research includes scintillation oxides, nanobiosensors, PZT-based microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices.


  • Ph.D., Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
  • M.S., Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Shanghai, China
  • B.S., East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

Research Statement

Current research is focused mainly on chemical processing, characterization, and applications of nanostructured materials and coatings and devices for energy conversion and storage as well as sensors and actuators. In general, our research can be grouped into the following directions:

  • Engineering nano and microstructures for excitonic solar cells: dye- and quantum dot-sensitized solar cells, inverted polymer solar cells and perovskite solar cells
  • Design and controlled synthesis of nanostructured electrodes for rechargeable batteries: alkaline-ion batteries, metal-oxygen betteries, and flow batteries
  • Electrodes for electric double layer capacitors and pseudocapacitors
  • Dielectrics, ferroelectrics, and piezoelectrics and devices
  • Template-based growth of nanorod, nanotube, and nanocable arrays
  • Dielectrics, ferroelectrics, and piezoelectrics and devices
  • Organic-inorganic hybrids and coatings for sensing, filtration, corrosion protection, and surface modification

Select publications

  1. Guozhong Cao and Ying Wang, "Nanostructures and Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Properties and Applications," 2nd edition, 596 pp, World Scientific Publisher Co., Singapore, January 2011. Chinese Edition: 438 pp, Higher Education Press, Beijing, China, January 2012. Russian Edition: 515 pp. Nauchy Mir Publishing House, Russia, December 2012.
  2. Glen E. Fryxell and Guozhong Cao, editors, "Environmental Applications of Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Sorbents and Sensors," 2nd edition, 735 pp, Imperial College Press, London, UK, 2012.
  3. D.W. Liu and G.Z. Cao, "Engineering Nanostructures and Surface Chemistry of Electrodes for Efficient Lithium-ion Intercalation," Energy and Environmental Science 3, 1218-1237 (2010).
  4. K.S. Park, Q.F. Zhang, B.B. Garcia, Y.H. Jeong, and G.Z. Cao, "Effect of Ultra-thin TiO2 Layer Coated on Submicron-sized Aggregates of ZnO Nanocrystallites by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) on the Performance of Dye-sensitized Solar Cells," Advanced Materials 22, 2329-2332 (2010).
  5. D.L. Lu, J.S. Cardiel, G.Z. Cao, and A.Q. Shen, "Nanoporous Scaffold with Enzymes Encapsulated during Flow Induced Gelation for H2O2 Biosensor," Advanced Materials 22, 2809-2813 (2010).
  6. Q.F. Zhang and G.Z. Cao, "Nanostructured Photoelectrodes for Dye-sensitized Solar Cells," Nano Today 6, 91-109 (2011).
  7. D.M. Yu, C.G. Chen, S.H. Xie, Y.Y. Liu, K.S. Park, X.Y. Zhou, Q.F. Zhang, J.Y. Li, and G.Z. Cao, "Mesoporous Vanadium Pentoxide Nanofibers with Significantly Enhanced Li-ion Storage Properties by Electrospinning," Energy and Environmental Science 4, 858-861 (2011).
  8. Y.Y. Liu, M. Clark, D.M. Yu, Q.F. Zhang, and G.Z. Cao, "Nanostructured Vanadium Pentoxide Film Electrodes for Efficient Lithium Ion Batteries," Advanced Energy Materials 1, 194-202 (2011).
  9. Q.F. Zhang and G.Z. Cao, "Dye-sensitized solar cells with photoanode made of nanoparticle aggregates," Advanced Energy Materials 1, 988-1001 (2011).
  10. S.L. Candelaria, R. Chen, Y.H. Jeong, and G.Z. Cao, "Highly porous chemically modified carbon cryogels and their coherent nanocomposites for energy applications," Energy and Environmental Sciences 5, 5619-5637 (2012).
  11. Z.Q. Liang, Q.F. Zhang, O. Wiranwetchayan, J.T. Xi, Z. Yang, K.S. Park, C.D. Li, and G.Z. Cao, "Effect of Morphology of ZnO Buffer Layer on Photovoltaic Performance of Inverted Polymer Solar Cells," Advanced Functional Materials 22, 2194-2201 (2012).
  12. L.F. Shen, X.G. Zhang, E. Uchaker, C.Z. Yuan, and G.Z. Cao, "Li4Ti5O12 Nanoparticles Embedded in Mesoporous Carbon Matrix as a Superior Anode Material for High Rate Lithium Ion Batteries," Advanced Energy Materials 2, 691-698 (2012).
  13. S.L. Candelaria, Y.Y. Shao, Y. Zhou, X.L. Li, J. Xiao, J. Liu, J.H. Li, and G.Z. Cao, "Nanostructured carbon for energy conversion and storage applications," Nano Energy 1, 195-220 (2012).
  14. Z.S. Hong, X.K. Ding, T.B. Lan, M.D. Wei, and G.Z. Cao, "Additive-Free Synthesis of Unique Rutile TiO2 Mesocrystals with Superior Lithium Insertion Performance," Energy and Environmental Sciences 5, 5408-5413 (2012).
  15. L.F. Shen, K.B. Yin, E. Uchaker, C.Z. Yuan, Y.W. Li, X.G. Zhang, and G.Z. Cao, "Design and Tailoring of a Li4Ti5O12/Carbon Core–Shell Nanostructure for High Power Lithium Ion Batteries," Nano Letters 12, 5673-5678 (2012).
  16. L.F. Shen, E. Uchaker, X.G. Zhang, and G.Z. Cao, "Hydrogenated Li4Ti5O12 Nanowire Arrays for High Rate Lithium Ion Batteries," Advanced Materials 24, 6502-6506 (2012).
  17. L.F. Shen, E. Uchaker, X.G. Zhang, and G.Z. Cao, "Hydrogenated Li4Ti5O12 Nanowire Arrays for High Rate Lithium Ion Batteries," Advanced Materials 24, 6502-6506 (2012).
  18. M. Zhang, Y.W. Li, E. Uchaker, S.L. Candelaria, L.F. Shen, T.H. Wang, and G.Z. Cao, "Homogenous Incorporation of SnO2 Nanoparticles into Carbon Cryogels via an Impregnation-Calcination Route and Their Enhanced Properties for Lithium-Ion Storage," Nano Energy 2, 769-778 (2013).
  19. R. Gao, Z.Q. Liang, J.J. Tian, Q.F. Zhang, L.D. Wang, and G.Z. Cao, "ZnO Nanocrystallite Aggregates Synthesized through Interface Precipitation for Dye-sensitized Solar Cells," Nano Energy 2, 40-48 (2013).
  20. J.J. Tian, Q.F. Zhang, E. Uchaker, S.G. Zhang, X.H. Qu, and G.Z. Cao, "Architecting mesoporous ZnO photoanodes for highly efficient quantum dot sensitized solar cells," Energy and Environmental Sciences 6, 3542-3547 (2013).

Honors & awards

  • Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science - 2014,2015
  • Chaire Saint-Gobain Lectureship (invited professor), Ecole Polytechnique–CNRS, Paris, 2010
  • Northwest Region Clean Tech Open Award, 2009
  • University Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Washington, 2000
  • College Outstanding Educator Award, College of Engineering, UW, 1999
  • European Union Research Fellowship, Netherlands, 1993
  • University of Washington Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow, UW, 2012