Cao Thang Dinh PhD

Assistant Professor, Awards/Scholarship Adjudication, CMAS Coordinator

Faculty, Chemical Engineering
Phone: 613-533-6618
Fax: 613-533-6637
Dupuis Hall, Room: Room 403

Website: Dinh Lab

Expertise: Renewable Fuels and Chemicals, CO2 conversion, Catalysis, Electrochemical Engineering, Energy Storage, Nanofabrication, Energy Systems
Cao Thang Dinh
Biography Research Teaching Publications Awards & Grants Graduate Students Open Positions


  • Postdoctoral Fellow:  University of Toronto (2014-2019) 
  • PhD:  Université Laval (2014) 
  • MASc:   Université Laval (2010) 
  • BEng:  Hanoi University of Mining and Geology (2004) 

Research Interests 

Our research group develops technologies for conversion of carbon dioxide, air and water into valuable chemicals and fuels using renewable energy. Our goal is to provide solutions for fossil-fuel-free energy and chemical industry. Currently, we are working on developing high performance electrochemical devices for the conversion of carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals such as ethylene, ethanol and propanol. To achieve these goals, we focus on two major areas: (i) electrode design, and (ii) reactor design and system integration. 

In our group, we investigate the transport phenomena of the reactants, ions and electrons within the electrodes. We also study how these elements interact with one another at the reaction interfaces. Based on the insights gained from these studies, we develop high performance electrodes for CO2 conversion by engineering three main components of the electrodes: the catalyst, the gas diffusion layer and the electrolyte, using various nanofabrication tools. 

We also focus on reactor design and system integration with the aim of standardizing the CO2 electroreduction processes and bringing this technology to practical applications. By investigating different reactor configurations, operating conditions, types of reaction, and sources of energy input, our goals are to improve the efficiency of CO2 conversion processes at a system level and to make it work effectively using intermittent renewable electricity.   


CHEE 371: Mitigation of industrial pollution 

CHEE 463: Electrochemical Energy Systems 

Selected publications

Please visit Google Scholar for full publication list

  • Ross MB, De Luna P, Li Y, Dinh CT, Kim D et al., Designing Materials for Electrochemical Carbon Dioxide Recycling. Nature Catalysis 2019. DOI: 10.1038/s41929-019-0306-7
  • Pang Y, Li J, Wang Z, Tan C-S, Hsieh P-L et al., Efficient Electrocatalytic Conversion of Carbon Monoxide to Propanol Using Fragmented Copper. Nature Catalysis 2019, 2, 251-258.
  • Kibria MG, Edwards JP, Gabardo CM, Dinh CT, Seifitokaldani A et al., Electrochemical CO2 Reduction into Chemical Feedstocks: From Mechanistic Electrocatalysis Models to System Design.  Advanced Materials, 2019, 31, 1807166. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201807166
  • Narouz MR, Osten KM, Unsworth PJ, Man RWY, Salorinne K et al., N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Functionalized Magic-Number Gold Nanoclusters. Nature Chemistry 2019, 11, 419-425. (Front Cover)
  • Dinh CT, Li YC, Sargent EH, “Boosting the Single-Pass Conversion for Renewable Chemical Electrosynthesis.” Joule 2019, 3, 13-15.
  • Dinh CT, Jain A, de Arquer FPG, De Luna P, Li J et al., Multi-Site Electrocatalysts for Hydrogen Evolution in Neutral Media by Destabilization of Water Molecules. Nature Energy 2019, 4, 107-114. (Media: Tribology & Lubrication Technology, ScienceDaily, R&D, and others)
  • Zhuang T-T, Pang Y, Liang Z-Q, Wang Z, Li Y et al., Copper Nanocavities Confine Intermediates for Efficient Electrosynthesis of C3 Alcohol Fuels from Carbon Monoxide. Nature Catalysis 2018, 1, 946-951. (Front Cover).
  • Zhuang T-T, Liang Z-Q, Seifitokaldani A, Li Y, De Luna P et al., Steering Post-C–C Coupling Selectivity Enables High Efficiency Electroreduction of Carbon Dioxide to Multi-Carbon Alcohols. Nature Catalysis 2018, 1, 421-428.
  • Seifitokaldani A, Gabardo CM, Burdyny T, Dinh CT, Edwards JP et al., Hydronium-Induced Switching between Co2 Electroreduction Pathways. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018, 140, 3833-3837.
  • Liang Z-Q, Zhuang T-T, Seifitokaldani A, Li J, Huang C-W et al., Copper-on-Nitride Enhances the Stable Electrosynthesis of Multi-Carbon Products from CO2. Nature Communications 2018, 9, 3828.
  • Li J, Che F, Pang Y, Zou C, Howe JY et al., Copper Adparticle Enabled Selective Electrosynthesis of N-Propanol. Nature Communications 2018, 9, 4614.
  • Kibria MG, Dinh CT, Seifitokaldani A, De Luna P, Burdyny T et al., A Surface Reconstruction Route to High Productivity and Selectivity in CO2 Electroreduction toward C2+ Hydrocarbons. Advanced Materials 2018, 30, 1804867.
  • García de Arquer FP, Bushuyev OS, De Luna P, Dinh CT, Seifitokaldani A et al., 2D Metal Oxyhalide-Derived Catalysts for Efficient Co2 Electroreduction. Advanced Materials 2018, 30, 1802858.
  • Dinh CT, García de Arquer FP, Sinton D, Sargent EH, High Rate, Selective, and Stable Electroreduction of CO2 to CO in Basic and Neutral Media. ACS Energy Letters 2018, 3, 2835-2840.
  • Dinh CT, Burdyny T, Kibria MG, Seifitokaldani A, Gabardo CM et al., CO2 Electroreduction to Ethylene Via Hydroxide-Mediated Copper Catalysis at an Abrupt Interface. Science 2018, 360, 783-787. (Media: C&E News, ScienceDaily,, EurekAlert!, and others)
  • De Luna P, Quintero-Bermudez R, Dinh CT, Ross MB, Bushuyev OS et al., Catalyst Electro-Redeposition Controls Morphology and Oxidation State for Selective Carbon Dioxide Reduction. Nature Catalysis 2018, 1, 103-110. (Media:, Newsweek, and others)
  • Bushuyev OS, De Luna P, Dinh CT, Tao L, Saur G et al., What Should We Make with CO2 and How Can We It? Joule 2018, 2, 825-832.
  • Tian Y, García de Arquer FP, Dinh CT, Favraud G, Bonifazi M et al., Enhanced Solar-to-Hydrogen Generation with Broadband Epsilon-near-Zero Nanostructured Photocatalysts. Advanced Materials 2017, 29, 1701165.
  • Ross MB, Dinh CT, Li Y, Kim D, De Luna P et al., Tunable Cu Enrichment Enables Designer Syngas Electrosynthesis from CO2. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2017, 139, 9359-9363.
  • Zhang B, Zheng X, Voznyy O, Comin R, Bajdich M et al., Homogeneously Dispersed Multimetal Oxygen-Evolving Catalysts. Science 2016, 352, 333-337. (Media: ScienceDaily,, and others)
  • Saberi Safaei T, Mepham A, Zheng X, Pang Y, Dinh CT et al., High-Density Nanosharp Microstructures Enable Efficient Co2 Electroreduction. Nano Letters 2016, 16, 7224-7228.
  • Ooms MD, Dinh CT, Sargent EH, Sinton D, Photon Management for Augmented Photosynthesis. Nature Communications 2016, 7, 12699.
  • Liu M, Pang Y, Zhang B, De Luna P, Voznyy O et al., Enhanced Electrocatalytic CO2 Reduction Via Field-Induced Reagent Concentration. Nature 2016, 537, 382. (Media: ScienceDaily,, and others)
  • Dinh CT, Yen H, Kleitz F, Do T-O, Three-Dimensional Ordered Assembly of Thin-Shell Au/TiO2 Hollow Nanospheres for Enhanced Visible-Light-Driven Photocatalysis. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2014, 53, 6618-6623. (Frontispiece)
  • Dinh CT, Seo Y, Nguyen T-D, Kleitz F, Do T-O, Controlled Synthesis of Titanate Nanodisks as Versatile Building Blocks for the Design of Hybrid Nanostructures. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2012, 51, 6608-6612. (Back Cover)
  • Nguyen T-D, Dinh CT, Do T-O, Shape- and Size-Controlled Synthesis of Monoclinic ErOOH and Cubic Er2O3 from Micro- to Nanostructures and Their Upconversion Luminescence. ACS Nano 2010, 4, 2263-2273.
  • Dinh CT, Nguyen T-D, Kleitz F, Do T-O, Shape-Controlled Synthesis of Highly Crystalline Titania Nanocrystals. ACS Nano 2009, 3, 3737-3743.


2022 - Prize for Excellence in Research for Outstanding Emerging Researchers from Queen’s University 

2022- Emerging Investigators by the Journal of Materials Chemistry A 

2021 - Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology Rising Star Award 

2021 - Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate (Web of Science)



NSERC Discovery Grant 

NSERC Alliance  


NSERC-OCE VIP program 

NFRF – Exploration 


Mitacs Accelerate 

Dean Research Fund – Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Queen’s University 

Queen’s University (Research Initiation Grant, Wicked Ideas, Postdoctoral Funds) 

Luke Kuo – MSc student 

Trong Huy Pham – MSc student 

Mohammadreza Azarshab – MSc student 

Guorui Gao – PhD student 

Cornelius Obasanjo – PhD student 

Behnam Nourmohammadi Khiarak – PhD student 

We are seeking highly motivated graduate students for both Master and PhD degrees. Please email ( with your CV and transcripts to initiate a conversation about the opportunities in our group. 

4th year undergraduate students interested in performing research projects in Dinh’s group are encouraged to email for more details. 

Back to Main Directory