• Research

    Biological structural materials
    Bio-inspired materials
    Crystal growth and design
    Mechanical behavior of materials
    Multifunctional materials
  • Publications

    1. C.N. Kaplan, W.L. Noorduin, L. Li, J. Aizenberg, L. Mahadevan, Controlled growth and form of precipitating microsculptures, Science, (2017) 355, 1396-1399.
    2. L. Li*, M. J. Connors*, M. Kolle, G. England, D. Speiser, X. Xiao, J. Aizenberg and C. Ortiz,
    Multifunctionality of chiton biomineralized armor with an integrated visual system, Science,
    (2015) 350, 952-956. Featured in Front Cover.
    3. L. Li^ and C. Ortiz, A Natural 3D interconnected laminate composite for enhanced damage
    resistance, Advanced Functional Materials, (2015) 25, 3463-3471. Featured in Front Cover.
    4. L. Li*, S. Kolle*, M. Kolle, J. C. Weaver, C. Ortiz and J. Aizenberg, A highly conspicuous
    mineralized composite photonic architecture in the translucent shell of the blue-rayed limpet,
    Nature Communications, (2015) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7322.
    5. L. Li^, J. C. Weaver, and C. Ortiz, Hierarchical structural design for fracture
    resistance in the shell of a pteropod Clio pyramidata, Nature Communications, (2015) DOI:
    6. L. Li and C. Ortiz, Pervasive nanoscale deformation twinning as a catalyst for the efficient
    energy dissipation in a bioceramic armor, Nature Materials, (2014) 13, 501-507.
    7. L. Li and C. Ortiz, Biological design for simultaneous optical transparency and mechanical
    robustness in the shell of Placuna placenta, Advanced Materials (2013) 25, 2344-2350.
    8. L. Li, Y. Yang, J. Ding, and J. Xue, Synthesis of magnetite nanooctahedra and their magnetic
    field-induced two-/three-dimensional superstructures, Chemistry of Materials (2010) 22,
    9. X. Tang, E. S. G. Choo, L. Li, J. Ding, and J. Xue, Synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles with
    tunable emission colors and their cell labeling applications, Chemistry of Materials (2010)
    22, 3383-3388.
    10. L. Li, E. S. G. Choo, X. Tang, J. Ding, and J. Xue, Ag/Au-decorated Fe3O4/SiO2 composite
    nanospheres for catalytic applications, Acta Materialia (2010) 58, 3825-3831.
    11. L. Li, D. Jun, and J. Xue, A facile green approach for synthesizing monodisperse magnetite
    nanoparticles, Journal of Materials Research (2010) 25, 810-813.
    12. L. Li, E. S. G. Choo, X. Tang, J. Ding, and J. Xue, A facile one-step route to synthesize cagelike
    silica hollow microspheres loaded with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in
    their shells, Chemical Communications (2009) 8, 938-940.
    13. X. Tang, E. S. G. Choo, L. Li, and J. Xue, One-Pot synthesis of water-stable ZnO
    nanoparticles via a polyol hydrolysis route and their cell labeling applications, Langmuir
    (2009) 25, 5271-5275.
    14. L. Li, J. Ding, and J. Xue, Macroporous silica hollow microspheres as nanoparticles
    collectors, Chemistry of Materials (2009) 21, 3629-3637.
    15. L. Li, E. S. G. Choo, X. Tang, J. Ding, J. Yi, and J. Xue, Superparamagnetic silica composite
    nanospheres (SSCNs) with ultra-high loading of iron oxide nanoparticles via an oil-in-DEG
    microemulsion route, Chemistry of Materials (2008) 20, 6292-6294.
    16. L. Li, E. S. G. Choo, Z. Liu, D. Jun, and J. Xue, Double-layer silica core-shell nanospheres
    with superparamagnetic and fluorescent functionalities, Chemical Physics Letters (2008)
    461, 114-117.

    Under review or in preparation:
    1. L. Li^, M. J. Connors, J. Weaver, C. Ortiz and J. Aizenberg^, On the intrinsic mechanical properties of biogenic calcite, in preparation.
    2. L. Li, Q. T. Zhang, L. Han, M. Kolle, J.-H. Lee, J. Yin, J. Weaver, C. Ortiz, J. Aizenberg^ and P. Vukusic^, Coupling between mechanical protection and photonic coloration leads to
    structural optimization in a beetle’s exoskeleton, in preparation.
    3. W. Noorduin, L. Li, A. J. Fijneman, J. Aizenberg, Balancing interfacial free energy and local supersaturation to direct nucleation and growth, in preparation.

  • Professional History

    2016-Present, Virginia Tech, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Assistant Professor
    2014-2016, Postdoctoral Fellow, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University
    2009-2014, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Awards and Honors

    2016 – Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award
    2015 – 3rd place, Poster Contest in Center for Nanoscale Systems, Harvard University
    2013 – Global Fellows Program Fellowship, MIT
    2010 – Top Prize ($10,000 award) MADMEC Competition, MIT
    2010 – Best Entry, Research Image Competition, DMSE, MIT
    2008 – Lijen Industrial Development Medal (best academic senior thesis in the discipline)
    2008 – Materials Research Society (Singapore) Gold Medal


Ph.D., Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014
B.S., Material Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, 2008

(540) 231-9594
431 Goodwin Hall – 0238
635 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Ling Li

Assistant Professor