Yao Zhai was born in Tianjin, China. He stayed in his hometown through his bachelor degree from Tianjin University. After obtaining his Master degree from the Institute of Semiconductors, Chinese Academy of Science, he decided to continue his education abroad.
Yao came to CU Boulder and joined Dr. Xiaobo Yin’s research group in the summer of 2014. He will be starting his 4th year of PhD research this September. In the past two years, Yao has spent most of his efforts on developing an optical metamaterial for day-time radiative cooling, which is a promising green energy technique for thermal management. In this coming year, he will focus on the scalable manufacturing of this metamaterial and investigate more applications for it.
Yao is a big sports fan and a foodie. When out of school, Yao loves to swim, snowboard, play soccer and cook. He also likes travelling and exploring different cultures and local food.