This image shows using a graphene nanoelectrode to measure pA-level spontaneous charge flow that is driven by a gold nanoparticle (AuNP) enlosed in an open-pore Archaeoglobus fulgidus ferritin and through the open pores. Based on the measurement, the sturcutre and function of the cage-like protein, conjugated to a nanoparticle, can be quatified. This research highlights the promise of low-cost, high-sensitivity biosensing systems enabled by atomic-layer nanomaterials, with applications in healthcare, diagnostics, and environmental monitoring.

A paper on this topic was published in Chemical Science and selected as one of the HOT artciles in Chemical Science Blog. It was also highlighted by myScience, Medium, TrendinTech, Penn News, etc.

Research Interests

Nanomaterials

Nanomaterials are materials with at least one of their three dimensions limited to nanometer, that is, a scale that quantum effects emerge. I am particularly interested in atomic-layer nanomaterials, or two-dimensional (2D) materials, with outstanding electrical, mechanical, and chemical properties. Using preparation methods based on chemical vapor depostion, 2D materials can be prepared in large scale (~ m) and high quality with tunable transparency, disorder density, and transport properties.

2D Nano-Bio Interface

Interfacing a biosystem with 2D materials provide significant opportunities for quantifying the biological/physiological properties (pH, electrostatic potential, structure & function, cocentration, etc.) of biosystems with high sensitivity and spatial resolution. Predictions based on theoreis for conventional solid-liquid interfaces, however, fail at nano-bio interfaces. I am interested in understanding the transduction properties of 2D materials at the interface to complex biosystems.

Nano-Enabled Biosensing Devices/Systems

Atomic-layer nanomaterials are promising to allow development of bio-sensing devices with unprecedentedly high sptial resolution, speed, sensitivity, and energy-efficiency. I am interested in developing 2D device structures and transltaiton them into miniaturerized biosensing systems that can be implemented at the point of use — a highly desired technology for global healthcare, remote diagnostics, and environmental monitroing.