Jing Li is a distinguished professor at Rutgers University, She and her team are engaged in solid state, inorganic and inorganic-organic hybrid materials research. Her current research focuses on designing and developing new materials for applications in the field of renewable and sustainable energy.
Li’s research has resulted in 10 patents (three pending) and over 300 publications (articles, invited book chapters, feature and review papers), in high impact factor journals such as Nature Communications, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) and Angewandte Chemie International Edition. She was one of the “Highly Cited Researchers” by Thomson Reuters in both 2015 and 2016.
Li completed her undergraduate studies in China, and received her master's degree from the State University of New York at Albany. She obtained her PhD degree in January 1990 at Cornell University under the supervision of Professor Roald Hoffmann, the 1981 Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry. She continued to work at Cornell as a postdoc for two years (1989–1991) with Professor Francis DiSalvo before taking an academic position at Rutgers University.
Li joined the Rutgers Faculty as an assistant professor in 1991, where she was promoted to associate professor in 1996, full professor in 1999, and distinguished professor in 2006. Her current research group consists of nine graduate students, two postdoc associates, two visiting scientists, four visiting graduate students and several undergraduate students. Li has received multimillion dollars in external research funds. She has developed and taught 17 different undergraduate and graduate courses since her first appointment with the university.
Prof. Li’s interests and activities are primarily in the areas of solid-state inorganic and materials chemistry. Her current research focuses on the development of new and functional materials that are fundamentally important and relevant for clean and renewable energy applications. These include (a) metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for gas storage and separation, carbon dioxide capture, catalysis, waste remediation and sensing; These materials are made of a metal ion or metal cluster such as transition metals and organic ligands such as carboxylate groups and nitrogen containing molecules; (b) inorganic-organic hybrid semiconductors for photovoltaics and solid-state lighting. These compounds consist of both inorganic and organic structure motifs. They combine the good features of the two components, resulting in enhanced and improved properties. A possible application is to use these materials as phosphors for energy efficient LED’s.
Jing Li has received numerous awards for her academic achievements, including:
- Liu Memorial Award, Cornell University, 1987
- Howard Neal Wachter Prize, Cornell University, 1989
- Wentink Prize, Cornell University, 1989
- Henry Rutgers Research Fellow, Rutgers University, 1991–1993
- Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, 1994–1998
- The Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, Rutgers University, 1996
- Presidential Faculty Fellow, National Science Foundation, 1995–2000
- NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 1995
- Outstanding Achievement Award, Chinese Association of Science and Technology, US, 2002
- Cheung Kong Guest Chair Professor Award, The Ministry of Education, China, 2007
- The Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Award, The Department of Energy, 2012
- Elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2012
- The Humboldt Research Award (Humboldt Prize), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2013
- Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research, Rutgers University, 2013
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2015