Kai Leng 冷凯

  • Croucher Tak Wah Mak Innovation Award in 2023 at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

About Kai Leng’s work

Dr Kai Leng is a materials scientist whose research interests include: Molecularly thin 2D organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites - a family of materials named after the mineral perovskite (calcium titanium oxide, CaTiO3). She pioneers the research on molecularly thin 2D hybrid perovskites from physics to nano-device fabrications. Molecularly thin 2D hybrid perovskites are a new type of 2D material with rich physical properties. For example, they possess tailorable structures, softness, ferroic properties and tunable spin-orbit physics.

Dr Leng’s team current research looks at 2D van der Waals (vdW) epitaxy, a process where a thin film of crystalline material is grown on a crystalline substrate without the constraints of lattice matching. The challenge is that growth on important semiconductor substrates often produces polycrystalline films, hindering 2D electronics development. Dr Leng’s research looks at interface seeding strategy that enables large area, single crystalline 2D hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HOIPs) to be grown on semiconductors such as SiO2/Si substrate, as well as a wide range of other substrates. Dr Leng also explores the growth of various 2D HOIPs with ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties on 3D and 2D substrates, targeting nanometer-thick single crystalline HOIP films for large scale electronic and spintronic device applications.


Dr Kai Leng is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor under the Strategic Hiring Scheme at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, with the title of Presidential Young Scholar. Most recently, she was awarded China’s Excellent Young Scientist Fund 2023 and won the PolyU Young Innovative Researcher Award for 2023. She graduated from Nankai University in 2014 with an MSc in materials science and obtained her PhD degree in physical chemistry from the National University of Singapore in 2018. In the same year, she won a Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Student Abroad, followed by a Prof Lee Soo Ying Early Career Gold Award from the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry in 2020. She pursued her postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge before joining The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2020. She was the recipient of an Early Career Award from the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong in 2022. Her current research is being supported by a Croucher Tak Wah Mak Innovation Award.