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Molecular Engineering of Next-generation Nanomaterials

Our group is interested in molecular engineering of novel nanomaterials beyond what are currently available and then demonstrating their exciting applications.  Examples of these nanomaterials include crumpled graphene (CG), vertically-oriented graphene (VG), and hybrid nanocrystals – graphene/carbon nanotube (CNT) structures.  Active hybrid nanomaterials represent a new class of nanomaterials that could potentially display not only the unique properties of nanocrystals and those of nanotubes or graphene, but also additional novel properties due to the interaction between the nanocrystal and the CNT or graphene.  These hybrid nanomaterials are promising for a wide range of applications including in nanoelectronic and optoelectronic devices, catalysis, nanomanufacturing, renewable energy harvest and storage, biomedical engineering, and environmental remediation.  The availability of affordable hybrid nanostructures and their fundamental properties will thus accelerate new discoveries and inventions in nanoscience and nanotechnology. We have developed several methods to produce hybrid nanostructures with considerable control.  We are interested in investigating the fundamental properties (e.g., interactions between nanoparticles and CNTs/graphene), molecular engineering, manufacture, and applications of the novel hybrid nanostructures through experiments as well as density functional theory (DFT) calculations.


Representative journal publications

  1. S. M. Cui, H. H. Pu, S. A. Wells, Z. H. Wen, S. Mao, J. B. Chang, M. C. Hersam, and J. H. Chen*, “Ultrasensitive Sensitivity and Layer-dependent Sensing Performance of Phosphorene-based Gas Sensors,” Nature Communications 6, No. 3632, 2015.

  2. Z. Bo, S. Mao, Z. J. Han, K. F. Cen, J. H. Chen*, and K. Ostrikov*, “Emerging Energy and Environmental Applications of Vertically-Oriented Graphenes,” Chemical Society Reviews 44(8), 2108-2121, 2015.

  3. S. Mao, Z. H. Wen, Haejune Kim, G. H. Lu, P. Hurley, and J. H. Chen*, “A General Approach to One-Pot Fabrication of Crumpled Graphene-Based Nanohybrids for Energy Applications,” ACS Nano 6(8), 7505-7513, 2012.

  4. K. H. Yu, P. X. Wang, G. H. Lu, K. H. Chen, Z. Bo, and J. H. Chen*, “Patterning Vertically Oriented Graphene Sheets for Nanodevice Applications,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2(6), 537-542, 2011.

  5. J. H. Chen and G. H. Lu, “Controlled Decoration of Carbon Nanotubes with Nanoparticles,” Nanotechnology 17(12), 2891-2894, 2006.  (Highlighted by Nanowerk Spotlight,

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