Principal Investigator:

Tian Li.jpg
Tian Li

Assistant Professor

Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University





1034 Ray W. Herrick Laboratories,

177 S Russell St, West Lafayette, IN 47907

​Selected publications

  1. Tian Li, C. Chen, A. H Brozena, J. Y. Zhu, L. Xu, C. Driemeier, J. Dai, O. J. Rojas, A. Isogai, L. Wågberg, L. Hu, “Developing Fibrillated Cellulose as a Sustainable Technological Material”, Nature, Feb 03, 2021.

  2. Tian Li, Y. Zhai, S. He, W. Gan, Z. Wei, M. Heidarinejad, D. Dalgo, R. Mi, X. Zhao, J. Song, J. Dai, C. Chen, A. Aili, A. Vellore, A. Martini, R. Yang, X. Yin, L. Hu, “A Radiative Cooling Structural Material”. Science 364, 6442, 2019.

  3. Tian Li, X. Zhang, S. Lacey, R. Mi, X. Zhao, S. Das, R. Yang, L. Hu, “Cellulose Ionic Conductors with High Differential Thermal Voltage for Low-Grade Heat Harvesting”. Nature Materials 18, 6, 2019.  

  4. Tian Li, A. Pickel, Y. Yao, Y. Chen, Y. Zeng, S. Lacey, Y. Li, Y. Wang, J. Dai, Y. Wang, B. Yang, M. Fuhrer, A. Marconnet, C. Dames, H. Drew, and L. Hu, “Thermoelectric properties and performance of flexible reduced graphene oxide films up to 3000 K”, Nature Energy, vol 3, 148-156, 2018.        

  5. Tian Li, X. Li, W. Kong, C. Chen, E. Hitz, C. Jia, J. Dai, X. Zhang, R. Briber, Z. Siwy, M. Reed, L. Hu. “A Nanofluidic Ion Regulation Membrane with Aligned Cellulose Nanofibers”. Science Advances 5, 2, 2019.

  6. Tian Li, J. Song, X. Zhao, Z. Yang, G. Pastel, S. Xu, C. Jia, J. Dai, C. Chen, A. Gong, F. Jiang, Y. Yao, T. Fan, B. Yang, L. Wågberg, R. Yang, L. Hu. “Anisotropic, Lightweight, Strong, and Super Thermally Insulating Nanowood with Naturally Aligned Nanocellulose”. Science Advances 4, 3, 2018.  

  7. Tian Li, M. Zhu, Z. Yang, J. Song, J. Dai, Y. Yao, W. Luo, G. Pastel, B. Yang, L. Hu. “Wood Composite as an Energy Efficient Building Material: Guided Sunlight Transmittance and Effective Thermal Insulation”. Advanced Energy Materials 6, 22, 2016.                                                                                                                                                                 

​Selected Awards

  • ​R&D 100 Finalist 2020

  • MRS Postdoctoral Award 2020

  • Forbes 30 under 30 (US) in energy category 2018

  • Finalist in "Energy Ideas to Change the World" Pitching Competition in ARPA-E 2016

  • ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship 2015

  • Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award in University of Maryland 2015

  • Dean’s Doctoral Research Award Finalist 2015

  • Distinguished Summer Research Scholarship 2013



02/01, 2021

We are grateful for the seed funding from Center for High Performance Buildings. 


02/01, 2021

Congratulations to Gabriella Schalm on receiving the H. William Bottomley Research Scholarship!


11/01, 2020

We are grateful for the 2020 Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Grant from ASME.

R&D 100 Finalist

09/21, 2020

Our Radiative Cooling Wood was selected as R&D 100 finalist 2020!

Welcome new student

08/11, 2020

The group welcomes Wenhui as Ph.D. student. Wenhui obtained his master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University. 

Welcome new student

07/28, 2020

The group welcomes Kevin Zhu as Ph.D. student. Kevin obtained his master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Welcome new student

07/28, 2020

The group welcomes Rohan to join the group. Rohan obtained his bachelor's degree from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology.

Welcome new student

07/28, 2020

The group welcomes Pengfei Deng as Ph.D. student. Pengfei obtained his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Welcome new student

07/28, 2020

The group welcomes Xiwei Shan to join the group. Xiwei obtained his bachelor's degree in Materials Science Engineering from UIUC.

Welcome new student

07/28, 2020

The group welcomes Dr. Yun Zhang to join the group. Yun obtained her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Tian's Interview on Nature index

12/11, 2019

Tian was interviewed by Nature index "Energy harvesters pick up power".
Tian's paper "Cellulose ionic conductors with high differential thermal voltage for low-grade heat harvesting" on Nature Materials was highlighted. 

Tian's Interview on Science Podcasts 

05/23, 2019

Tian was interviewed by Science Podcast.
Tian's paper "A radiative cooling structural material" on Science was highlighted. 


1034 Ray W. Herrick Laboratories

177 S Russell St West Lafayette IN 47907