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Chris Li

Christopher Li


Contact Information

LeBow 443
Soft Materials Lab


  • PhD (Polymer Science)
    The University of Akron, Akron, OH 12/1999
    Topic: Structure and Phase Behavior of a Series of Main-Chain Chiral Liquid Crystalline Polyesters
    Advisor: Prof. Stephen Z. D. Cheng
  • BS (Polymer Chemistry)
    University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, P. R. China 06/1995
    Topic: Synthesis and Characterization of Dimers of Biphenyl Derivatives

Professional History

  • Professor
    Drexel University
    2011 – present
  • Visiting Associate Professor
    Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research
    02/2010 – 07/2010
  • Associate Professor
    Drexel University
    2007 – 2011
  • Assistant Professor
    Drexel University
    01/2002 – 2007
  • Visiting Assistant Professor
    Air Force Research Laboratory
    6/2004 – 8/2004
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of Akron, Akron, OH
    1/2000 – 12/2001

Honors and Awards

  • APS Fellow, 2012
  • Invited Attendee, National Academy of Engineering Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2012
  • Outstanding Research Award, College of Engineering, Drexel University, 2012
  • National Science Foundation Creativity Award 2011
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers 2010
  • Editorial advisory board member, POLYMER, 2010-
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, MSE, Drexel University 2007
  • Invited attendee, Interdisciplinary, globally leading polymer science and engineering, NSF Polymer workshop, 2007
  • ASM Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers 2006
  • Outstanding Research Award, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University 2006
  • DuPont Young Faculty Award 2005-2007
  • PERKIN ELMER – ICTAC (international confederation for thermal analysis and calorimetry) Young Scientist Award 2004
  • NRC/US (National Research Council/US) AFOSR (Air Force of Scientific Research) Summer Faculty Fellowship Award 2004
  • Mettler-Toledo Thermal Analysis Educational Award 2003
  • NSF-CAREER Award 2003-2008
  • 3-M Non-Tenured Faculty Award 2003-2005
  • The Excellence Award from the North Coast Thermal Analysis Society (NCTAS), 1999

Research Interests

  • Structure and morphology of polymeric materials;
  • Soft matter (polymers, liquid crystals) and hybrid materials:
    develop novel methods to synthesize polymer / low-dimensional materials
    complexes and study their electrical, mechanical and optical responses;
  • Polymer single crystal enabled nanoparticle functionalization and patterning;
  • Block copolymer hierarchical self-assembly: structure, morphology and applications;
  • Multifunctional polymeric photonic crystals using hierarchical nanomanufacturing (holographic polymerization and self assembly);
  • Nanotailored polyurethane: structures, morphology, properties and applications;
  • Electro-spinning of polymer/nanocomposite nanofibers: nanoscale functional fibers;
  • Polymer thermal analysis: sophisticated thermal analysis techniques for nanostructured materials characterization.