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Guozhong Cao

Faculty Photo

Boeing-Steiner Endowed Professor
Materials Science & Engineering

Boeing-Steiner Endowed Professor
Chemical Engineering

Adjunct Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Research Statement

Current research is focused mainly on chemical processing and characterization of nanostructured materials and coatings for energy related applications as well as biosensors and biomedical applications. Emphasis of our research is on the control and tailoring the crystallinity, surface chemistry, bulk and surface defects and morphology to attain desired electrochemical or optoelectrochemical properties of the active materials for energy conversion and storage applications. Our recent research can be grouped into following directions:

  • Nanostructured electrodes for alkaline-ion batteries and pseudocapacitors
  • Perovskite, dye- or quantum dot-sensitized and inverted polymer solar cells
  • Nanostructured catalytic membranes and solid electrolytes for efficient ion transport
  • Nanostructured materials for chemical and bio-sensors
  • Nanostructured materials for catalysis applications
  • Dielectrics, ferroelectrics, and piezoelectric films and devices

Past research experiences:

  • Coherent porous carbon – hydride nanocomposites for hydrogen storage
  • Oxide scintillation films for neutron, ɤ-ray and X-ray detection
  • Growth of homoepitaxial and textured diamond films by chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
  • Electrochemical vapor deposition (EVD) of complex oxide films on porous substrates as electrolyte and electrode for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs)
  • Porous and dense organic-inorganic hybrid xerogels, aerogels, and films by sol-gel processing
  • Mixed ionic-electronic oxide conductors and oxygen permeable ceramic membranes
  • Silicon oxynitride structural ceramics

Select publications

  1. C.F. Liu, Z.G. Neale, and G.Z. Cao, “Understanding the electrochemical potential of electrodes in rechargeable batteries,” Materials Today 19, 109-123 (2016).
  2. J.J. Tian and G.Z. Cao, “Design, fabrication and modification of metal oxide semiconductor for improved conversion efficiency of excitonic solar cells,” Coordination Chemistry Reviews 320-321, 193-215 (2016).
  3. C.F. Liu, C.K. Zhang, X.H. Nan, H.Y. Fu, and G.Z. Cao, “MnNCN: a promising anode for Li ion batteries and capacitors,” Advanced Energy Materials 7, 1601127 (2017).
  4. C.B. Fei, H.Y. Fu, J.J. Tian, and G.Z. Cao, “Highly efficient and stable perovskite solar cells based on monolithically grained CH3NH3PbI3 film,” Advanced Energy Materials 7, 1602017 (2017).
  5. J.H. Yao, Y.W. Li, R. Masse, E. Uchaker, and G.Z. Cao, “Revitalized interest in vanadium pentoxide as cathode material for alkaline-ion batteries,” Energy Storage Materials 11, 205-259 (2018).
  6. R. Zhou, Z. Yang, J.Z. Xu, and G.Z. Cao, “A perspective of synergistic combination of between quantum dots and organic-inorganic halide perovskites for hybrid solar cells,” Coordination Chemistry Reviews 374, 279-313 (2018).
  7. F. Huang, M.J. Li, P. Siffalovic, J.J. Tian, G.Z. Cao, “From large-scale solution fabrication of perovskite films towards commercialization of solar cells,” Energy and Environmental Science 12, 518-549 (2019).
  8. Y. Wang, X.W. Fu, M. Zheng, W.-H. Zhong, G.Z. Cao, “Traffic System of Charges for Advanced Energy Storage Devices: A Focus on Composite Electrodes,” Advanced Materials 31, 1804204 (2019).
  9. C.F. Liu, Z. Neale, J.Q. Zheng, X.X. Jia, J.J. Huang, M.Y. Yan, M. Tian, M.S. Wang, J.H. Yang, and G.Z. Cao, “Expanded Hydrated Vanadate for High-Performance Aqueous Zinc-ion Batteries,” Energy and Environmental Science 12, 2273-2285 (2019).
  10. L.H. Liu, M.C. Li, L.H. Chu, B. Jiang, R.X. Lin, X.P. Zhu, and G.Z. Cao, “Layered ternary metal oxides: performance degradation mechanisms as cathodes, and design strategies for high-performance batteries,” Progress in Materials Science 111, 100655 (2020).
  11. T.F. Yi, J.J. Pan, P.P. Peng, Y.G. Liu, S.H. Luo, Y.W. Li, and G.Z. Cao, “NiCo2S4-based nanocomposites for energy storage in supercapacitors and batteries,” Nano Today 33, 100894 (2020).
  12. Y.M. Sui, C.F. Liu, R.C. Masse, Z.G. Neale, M. Atif, M. AlSalhi, and G.Z. Cao, “Dual-ion batteries: the emerging alternative rechargeable batteries” Energy Storage Materials 25, 1-32 (2020).
  13. X.X. Jia, et al., “Active Materials for Aqueous Zinc Ion Batteries: Synthesis, Crystal Structure, Morphology, and Electrochemistry,” Chemical Reviews 120, 7795–7866 (2020).
  14. C.F. Liu, J.F. Yuan, R. Masse, X.X. Jia, W.C. Bi, Z. Neale, T. Shen, M. Xu, M. Tian, J.Q. Zheng, J.J. Tian, and G.Z. Cao, “Interphases, Interfaces, and Surfaces of Active Materials in Rechargeable Batteries and Perovskite Solar Cells,” Advanced Materials 33, 1905245 (2021).
  15. Q. Zong, C.F. Liu, H. Yang, Q. Zhang, and G.Z. Cao, “Tailoring nanostructured transition metal phosphides for high-performance hybrid supercapacitors,” Nano Today 38, 101201 (2021).
  16. C.G. Ban, Y.Y. Duan, Y. Wang, J.P. Ma, K.W. Wang, J.Z. Meng, X. Liu, C. Wang, X.D. Han, G.Z. Cao, L.Y. Gan, and X.Y. Zhou, “Isotype Heterojunction-Boosted CO2 Photoreduction to CO”, Nano-Micro Letters 14, 1-13 (2022).
  17. Q. Zong, Y.Z. Wu, C.F. Liu, Q.Q. Wang, Y.L. Zhuang, J.Y. Wang, D.W. Tao, Q.L. Zhang, and G.Z. Cao, “Tailoring Layered Transition Metal Compounds for High-Performance Aqueous Zinc-Ion Batteries,” Energy Storage Materials 52, 250-283 (2022).
  18. T.T. Wei, Y.K. Ren, Y.F. Wang, L.E. Mo, Z.Q. Li, H. Zhang, L.H. Hu, and G.Z. Cao, “The Addition of Dioxane in Electrolyte Promotes (002) Textured Zinc Growth and Suppressed Side-reactions in Zinc-ion Batteries,” ACS Nano 17, 3765-3775 (2023).
  19. Y.F. Wang, L.E. Mo, Y.K. Ren, T.T. Wei, Z.Q. Li, Y. Huang, H. Zhang, G.Z. Cao, and L.H. Hua, “Facet-Termination Promoted Uniform Zn (100) Deposition for High-Stable Zinc-Ion Batteries,” Advanced Energy Materials 13, 2301517 (2023).
  20. Q. Zong, B. Lv, C.F. Liu, Y.F. Yu, Q.L. Kang, D.Y. Li, Z.J. Zhu, D.W. Tao, J.J. Zhang, J.Y. Wang, Q.L. Zhang, and G.Z. Cao, “Dendrite-free and highly stable Zn metal anode with BaTiO3/P(VDF-TrFE) coating,” ACS Energy Letters 8, 2886-2896 (2023).

Honors & awards

  • CoE Faculty Appreciation for Career Education & Training (FACET) recipient, 2023
  • Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • College of Engineering Faculty Award: Research, 2021
  • Outstanding Associate Editor Award, Science China Materials, 2017, 2019, 2021
  • University of Washington Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow, UW, 2012
  • University Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Washington, 2000
  • College Outstanding Educator Award, College of Engineering, UW, 1999