Prof. Qian Chen (CV)

Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Chemistry (Affiliated), Materials Research Laboratory (Affiliated)

Prof. 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 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 Chemistry (affiliated) at UIUC since 2015.

 

metal-organic framework hexapods and their rollable packing
polymerization of multivalent nanoparticles
polymorphic assembly from beveled gold triangular nanoprisms
polyamide membranes structure reconstruction

  Research

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”. (click here to watch a recent video of Dr. Chen’s BP-ICAM webinar, and read more)

 

  News (more here)

September, 2019: Our paper on liquid-phase TEM imaging of nanoparticle crystallization pathways got accepted by Nature Materials! Congratulations to the group!

September, 2019: Johnny’s paper on the mechanism of polymer assisted fragmentation and association of amyloid fibrils got published on ACS Applied Nano Materials! Congratulations, Johnny!

August, 2019: Chang (Chris) Qian, 1st-year MatSE PhD student joined our group. Welcome, Chris!

July, 2019: Ahyoung Kim, 3rd-year PhD student in our group, won the PPG-MRL graduate student fellowship award. Congratulations, Ahyoung!

July, 2019: Our paper on tip-Patched nanoprisms from formation of ligand islands got accepted by Journal of the American Chemical Society! Congratulations to the group!

June, 2019: Our paper on effects of particle size on ion intercalation into cathode materials got accepted by Nano Letters! Congratulations to the group!

April, 2019: Binbin Luo, 4th-year PhD student in our group, won the Fall 2019 Racheff Teaching Fellowship. Congratulations, Binbin!

March, 2019: Our paper on how ordering can emerge from polydisperse building blocks got accepted by Nature Communications! Congratulations to the group!

March, 2019: Ahyoung Kim, 3rd-year PhD student in our group, won the MatSE Late Spring Fellowship in 2019. Congratulations, Ahyoung!

March, 2019: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at the Program in Polymers and Soft Materials (PPSM) seminar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology! Thank Prof. Rob Macfarlane for the invitation!

March, 2019: Zihao Ou, 4th-year PhD student in our group, won the MatSE Spring 2019 Travel Award. Congratulations, Zihao!

February, 2019: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at the Topics in Bioengineering Seminar at Harvard University! Thank Dr. Joshua Grolman for the invitation!

January, 2019: Our paper on unraveling the morphology–function relationships of polyamide membranes using quantitative electron tomography got accepted by ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces! Congratulations to the group!

December, 2018: Our paper on the reconfigurable nanoscale soft materials got accepted by Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science! Congratulations to the group!

December, 2018: Dr. Shan Zhou joined our group. Welcome!

November, 2018: Our paper on the colloidal metal-organic framework hexapods with enhanced catalytic activity and rollable packing got accepted by ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces! Congratulations to the group!

September, 2018: Chang passed the qualifying exam of MatSE. Congratulations to Chang for becoming a Ph.D. candidate!

September, 2018: Dr. Hyosung An joined our group. Welcome!

August, 2018: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at the 256th ACS meeting symposium on “Advances in Colloid & Surface Chemistry Enabled by Cryogenic & In Situ Liquid‐cell Electron Microscopy.” Thank Prof. Matt Jones and Dr. Nathan Burrows for the invitation!

August, 2018: Johnny Smith, who just finished his second year PhD in our group, got the prestigious 3M graduate student fellowship! Congratulations to Johnny!

June, 2018: Prof. Chen is awarded with a Unilever Award by Division of Colloid and Surface Science, American Chemical Society and presented an invited plenary talk in the 92nd ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium. Thanks to Unilever and ACS for the recognition!

June, 2018: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at the Noble Metal Nanoparticle Gordon Research Conference. Thank Prof. Stephan Link for the invitation!

May, 2018: Our paper on the reconfigurable polymer coating on shape-anisotropic gold nanoparticles got accepted by Macromolecular Rapid Communications! Congratulations to the group!

May, 2018: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at the Applied Physical Sciences in University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Thank Prof. Rich Superfine for the invitation!

May, 2018: Our group received a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) Award. Thanks to AFOSR for the support!

April, 2018: Prof. Chen gave two invited talks at the 2018 Spring MRS Meeting. Thank Prof./Dr. Hongyou Fan and Dr. Dongsheng Li for the invitation!

March, 2018: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at the Department of Materials Science and Nanoengineering of Rice University. Thank Prof. Jun Lou for the invitation!

March, 2018: Binbin Luo, 3rd-year PhD student in our group, won the MatSE Spring 2018 Travel Award. Congratulations, Binbin!

February, 2018: Prof. Chen is named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, Featured in New York Times. Read the news highlight here @ ILLINOIS NEWS BUREAU.

December, 2017: Our group received the NSF CAREER award on “Imaging and Understanding the Kinetic Pathways in Shape-Anisotropic Nanoparticle Self-Assembly”. Thank NSF for the support!

October, 2017: We got awarded with the ACS Petroleum Research Fund. Great thanks to ACS for the precious support!

September, 2017: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk in the Department of Chemistry at Ohio State University. Great thanks to Prof. Robert Baker for the invitation and hosting!

September, 2017: Dr. Wenxiang Chen and first-year MatSE PhD student Chang Liu joined our group. Welcome!

August, 2017: Our paper on liquid-phase TEM imaging of how multi-valent nanoparticles polymerize got accepted by Nature Communications! Congratulations to the group! Read the news highlight here @ ILLINOIS NEWS BUREAU.

August, 2017: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk in the “Responsive, Programmable Assembly of Active Colloids for Functional Materials” symposium at the 254th ACS National Meeting at Washington. Great thanks to Profs. Rob Hickey and Lauren Zarzar for the invitation and hosting!

July, 2017: Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at the topical workshop on “Active Matter at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences” held at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Great thanks to Dr. Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera for the invitation!

 

Join us!

We have openings for PhD student, undergrads and postdocs with background in TEM, nanoscience or biology. Interested candidates can send your CV to Dr. Chen at qchen20@illinois.edu