Dr. Qian Chen

sample2-resized2Assistant Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Department of Chemistry  
Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory

Prof. Qian Chen received her BS in Chemistry from Peking University (China, 2007), and her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UIUC with Prof. Steve Granick (2012). She then won the prestigious 3-year Miller fellowship at UC Berkeley and worked with Prof. Paul Alivisatos on in situ TEM related energy studies and bio-imaging. She is an assistant professor of MatSE and an affiliated assistant professor of chemistry at UIUC since 2015.


We focus on the new paradigm of building, mesoscopic imaging, and understanding active soft matter, the artificial materials analogue of smart living systems. Although materials components involved (polymers, nanocrystals, colloids) are mesoscopic and physically diverse, they are unified by features of hierarchy and strong non-covalent interactions among building blocks. As such, they are amenable to similar design rules which generate new solutions to a variety of applications in energy conversion, tandem catalysis, capsulation and targeted delivery, and bio-sensing. The common goal is to emulate Nature intelligence, for example, to make artificial materials self-replicating, self-regenerating, and eventually “evolvable”.  (read more)


June, 2016: Dr. Nicole Ice, currently a math teacher in Wheeler High School (Marietta, GA) joined our group for the nano@illinois RET program this summer. Welcome, Nickey!

May, 2016: Dr. Chen was invited to give a talk in the CNST 14th Annual Nanotechnology Workshop, Urbana, IL.

May, 2016: Zihao passed the qualifying exam of MatSE. Congratulations to Zihao for becoming a PhD candidate!

April, 2016: Dr. Chen was invited to give a talk in CECAM workshop in EPFL, Switzerland.

Join us

We have openings for undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs with a background in chemistry, physics or materials science. Interested candidates can send your CV to Prof. Chen at qchen20@illinois.edu.