Dr. Cao Receives NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Linyou Cao, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award, known as the NSF CAREER Award, is one of the highest honors given by NSF to young faculty in science and engineering.

NSF will provide $550,000 over five years to Cao’s research project, “Van der Waals Epitaxial Heterostructures: Beyond 2D Materials” The project is supported by NSF’s Electronic and Photonic Materials Program in the Division of Materials Research.

The project aims to the most fundamental challenge in an emerging cutting edge area of materials science: the controlled scalable synthesis of two-dimensional materials with atomic-scale dimension. It will study the synthesis of large-area, uniform, and high quality two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals epitaxial heterostructures with controlled bandstructures. The 2D heterostructure consists of multiple monolayers of dissimilar transition metal dichalcogenide materials (TMDC) epitaxially stacked together. Unlike all the existing approaches for the synthesis of 2D TMDC materials, this project explores a unique, self-limiting chemical vapor deposition process that the Cao group has recently developed. The success of this project can provide capabilities to rationally design a new class of artificial materials with compositions and structures tuned at the atomic scale. It can open up unexplored opportunities for a wide range of fields including information technology, solar energy, light emission diodes, and flexible electronic/photonic devices

Cao received his PhD from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University in 2010. He held a Miller Research Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley before he joined the faculty of NCSU in August 2011. His group focuses on the photophysics and photochemistry in two-dimensional materials and dielectric metamaterials.