Group Members

Paul Alivisatos

Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering

Dr. Armand Paul Alivisatos is the University of California (UC) Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Research and Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. He is also the Founding Director of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute (ENSI), and Director Emeritus of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and holds professorships in UC Berkeley's departments of chemistry and materials science. In addition, he is a founder of two prominent nanotechnology companies, Nanosys and Quantum Dot Corp, now a part of Life Tech.

Groundbreaking contributions to the fundamental physical chemistry of nanocrystals are the hallmarks of Dr. Alivisatos' distinguished career. His research accomplishments include studies of the scaling laws governing the optical, electrical, structural, and thermodynamic properties of nanocrystals. He developed methods to synthesize size and shape controlled nanocrystals, and developed methods for preparing branched, hollow, nested, and segmented nanocrystals. In his research, he has demonstrated key applications of nanocrystals in biological imaging and renewable energy. He played a critical role in the establishment of the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy's Nanoscale Science Research Center; and was the facility's founding director. He is the founding editor of Nano Letters, a leading scientific publication of the American Chemical Society in nanoscience.

Dr. Alivisatos has been recognized for his accomplishments, with awards such as the Dan David Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Spiers Memorial Award, Axion Award, Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Von Hippel Award, the Linus Pauling Medal, Computation and Engineering's Nanoscience Prize, the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics, the Eni Award for Energy and Environment, Colloid and Surface Chemistry Award, Coblentz Award for Molecular Spectroscopy and the Thomas Wilson Memorial Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Dr. Alivisatos received a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in 1981 from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1986. He began his career with UC Berkeley in 1988 and with Berkeley Lab in 1991.

Graduate Students

Arunima Balan

Properties, Energy Applications

B.S. Chemistry and Physics, MIT

Hoduk Cho


B.Sc. Chemistry, Imperial College London

Alexandra Courtis

Biology Applications, Synthesis

B.A. Chemistry, Harvard University

Tina Ding

Properties, Energy Applications

B.S. Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Hyun Dong "Kenneth" Ha

DNA Mediated Self-Assembly

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Hanyang University
M.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Matt Hauwiller

Graphene Liquid Cell TEM

B.S. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota

Matthew Koc

Structural Properties

B.S. Chemistry, Westminster College of Salt Lake City

Brent Koscher

Energy Applications

B.S. Chemistry and Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina

John Lee

Synthesis, Catalysis

B.S. Chemistry, University of Southern California

David Litt

Plasmonics, DNA Mediated Self-Assembly

B.S. Chemistry, Brown University

David Nenon

Excited State Dynamics

B.S. Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Erin O'Brien

Surface Chemistry and Properties

B.S. Chemistry, MIT

Jacob Olshansky

Excited State Dynamics

B.S. Chemistry and Physics, Haverford College

Justin Ondry


B.S. Chemistry/Materials Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Wojciech Osowiecki

Energy Applications, CO2 Reduction

B.S./M.S. Chemistry, Yale University

Joseph Swabeck

Energy Applications

B.S. Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach


Yehonadav Bekenstein

Energy Applications, Properties

Ph.D. Physics & Chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Carissa Eisler

Energy Applications

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

Stefan Fischer

Energy Applications, Properties

Ph.D. Physics & Engineering, University of Freiburg & Fraunhofer ISE, Germany

M.Sc. Physics (German Diplom), University of Freiburg, Germany

Jianbo Gao

Energy Applications

Ph.D. Physics, University of Alberta, Canada

M. Sc. Physics, University of Alberta, Canada

Xun Wendy Gu

Properties, Sensors

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Caltech
B.S. Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley

Lindsey Hanson

Biological Applications

Ph.D. Chemistry, Stanford

B.S. Chemistry, Duke

Matt Jones

Plasmonic Properties, Self-Assembly

Ph.D. Materials Science & Engineering, Northwestern University

B.S. Materials Science & Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Jacob Kanady

Synthesis, Catalysis, Energy Applications

Ph.D. Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

B.S. Chemistry, University of California, Irvine

Son Nguyen


Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

B.S. Chemistry, University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Myounghwan Oh

Synthesis and Catalysis

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea

Xingchen Ye


Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania

B.S. Chemistry, University of Science and Technology, China

Starting as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Indiana University in January 2017

Visiting Scholar

Kwanghee Kim

Functional Materials

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology

Ph.D. Material Science & Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea

Undergraduate Students

Alex Powers

Energy Applications

Anna Wannenmacher

Structural Properties

Research Technician

Zach Nett

B.S. Chemistry, University of Southern California


Kate Nichols

Master of Fine Arts

B.A. Studio Art, Kenyon College


Negest Williams

Program Manager

Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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