Sun, Luyi


Ph.D., The University of Alabama (2004)

Current Research

  • Multi-functional nanostructured materials for structural, functional, environmental, and energy related applications
  • Wearable electronics and soft robotics
  • Polymeric materials and new polymer processing development
  • Layered compounds
  • Green science and engineering
  • Hydrates and porous materials for energy storage and CO2 capture

Professional activities

Member: American Chemical Society (ACS)
Member: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Member: Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)

Research Statement

Our research covers a wide range of materials, including polymeric materials, ceramics and glasses, and composites. One of our main goals is to design materials with unique structure (down to nano- and molecular-scale) for specific applications, such as packaging, energy, catalysis, etc. In most cases, the structural design and control are the keys to the high performance of these materials.
Overall, we are engaged in four areas of materials research:

Multi-functional Nanostructured Materials
  • Polymer nanocomposites
  • Wearable electronics and soft robotics
  • Stimuli responsive materials
  • Synthesis of nanomaterials (nano-particles, tubes, platelets, porous materials, etc.)
  • Bio-nanocomposites
  • Layer-by-Layer self-assembly
  • Thin films and fibers
 Solid State Chemistry
  • Layered compounds and intercalation/exfoliation chemistry
  • Porous materials and pillared layered compounds
  • Functional ceramics and glasses
 Polymeric Materials and Polymer Processing
  • Fluoropolymers
  • Polyolefins and thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs)
  • Bio-polymers
  • Polymer composites/nanocomposites and blends
  • Polymer processing (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, thermoforming, biaxial stretching, new processing technique development, etc.)
  • Coatings
 Green Science
  • Synthesize/isolate/derive valuable materials from biomass
  • Polylactic acid and other bio-based polymeric materials
  • Ionic liquids and their applications

Previous Positions

2013 – 2018 Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut
2009 – 2013 Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University–San Marcos
2006 – 2009 Senior Research Engineer, Research and Technology Center, Total Petrochemicals USA, Inc.
2005 – 2006 Assistant Research Engineer/Associate Research Engineer, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Department of Chemistry & Polymer Technology Center, Texas A&M University; Supervisor: Profs. Hung-Jue Sue and Abraham Clearfield
2004 – 2005 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, The University of Alabama; Supervisor: Prof. Joseph S. Thrasher

Awards & Honors

2016 Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)
2015 The Director’s Award for Faculty Excellence, Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut
2012 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) P3–People, Prosperity, and the Planet Award
2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities, Texas State University
2010 Cottrell College Science Award, Research Corporation for Science Advancement

Recent Publications

  1. Wu, C.; Zeng, S.; Wang, Z.; Wang, F.; Zhou, H.; Zhang, J.; Ci, Z.; Sun, L. Efficient Mechanoluminescent Elastomers for Dual-Responsive Anticounterfeiting Device and Stretching/Strain Sensor with Multimode Sensibility. Advanced Functional Materials 2018, DOI: /10.1002/adfm.201803168.
  2. Wang, Z.; Smith, A. T.; Wang, W.; Sun, L. Versatile Nanostructures from Rice Husk Biomass for Energy Applications. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2018, DOI: 1002/anie.201802050.
  3. Xu, Y.; Lin, L.; Xiao, M.; Wang, S.; Smith, A. T.; Sun, L.; Meng, Y. Synthesis and Properties of CO2-Based Plastics: Environmentally-Friendly, Energy-Saving and Biomedical Polymeric Materials. Progress in Polymer Science 2018,80, 163-182.
  4. Yu, J.; Wang, Q.; O’Hare, D.; Sun, L. Preparation of Two Dimensional Layered Double Hydroxide Nanosheets and Their Applications. Chemical Society Reviews 2017, 46, 5950-5974.
  5. Ding, F.; Liu, J.; Zeng, S.; Xia, Y.; Wells, K. M.; Nieh, M.-P.; Sun, L. Biomimetic Nanocoatings with Exceptional Mechanical, Barrier, and Flame Retardant Properties from Large Scale One-Step Co-assembly. Science Advances 2017, 3, e1701212 (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701212).
  6. Zeng, S.; Li, R.; Freire, S. G.; Garbellotto, V. M. M.; Huang, E. Y.; Smith, A. T.; Hu, C.; Tait, W. R. T.; Bian, Z.; Zheng, G.; Zhang, D.; Sun, L. Moisture Responsive Wrinkling Surfaces with Tunable Dynamics. Advanced Materials 2017, 29, 1700828 (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201700828).
  7. Zeng, S.; Zhang, D.; Huang, W.; Wang, Z.; Freire, S. G.; Yu, X.; Smith, A. T.; Huang, E. Y.; Nguon, H.; Sun, L. Bio-inspired Sensitive and Reversible Mechanochromisms via Strain-dependent Cracks and Folds. Nature Communications 2016, 7:11802 (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11802).
  8. Yu, J.; Martin, B. R.; Clearfield, A.; Luo, Z.; Sun, L. One-Step Direct Synthesis of Layered Double Hydroxide Single Layer Nanosheets. Nanoscale 2015, 7, 9448-9451.

Recent Patents

  1. Patkar, M.; Musgrave, M.; Thierry-Mieg, J.; Sun, L.; Sun, L. K. Polypropylene for reduced plate out in polymer article production processes. S. Patent No. US 9,718,903, date of patent: August 1, 2017.
  2. Sun, L.; Coffy, T.; Daniels, L. Polymer Compositions for Injection Stretch Blow Molded Articles. International Patent Application Publication WO 2012/134951, publicationdate: October 4, 2012; U.S. Patent No. US 9,505,920, date of patent: November 29, 2016.
  3. Sun, L.; McLeod, M.; Ashbaugh, J.; Li, F.; Daniels, L. Solid-State Stretched HDPE. U.S. Patent No. US 9,505,161, date of patent: November 29, 2016.
  4. Sun, L.; Wang, W. Silica Nanoaggregates and Organosilicon Complexes and Methods of Forming Them from Biomass Materials. International Patent ApplicationPublication No. WO2012/148561,publicationdate: November 1, 2012. S. Patent No. US 9,359,214, date of patent: June 7, 2016.
  5. Patkar, M.; Musgrave, M.; Thierry-Mieg, J.; Sun, L.; Sun, L. K. Polypropylene for reduced plate out in polymer article production processes. International Patent Application Publication No. WO 2010/039726, publication date: April 1, 2010; U.S. Patent No. US 9,334,342, date of patent: May 10, 2016.
Professor Luyi Sun Photo
Phone (860) 486-6895
Mailing Address 97 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3136, Storrs, CT 06269-3136
Office Location Science 1 - MZ214