Group Members

Paul Alivisatos

Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering

Dr. Paul Alivisatos is the University of California (UC) Berkeley's Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. He also directs the Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute (ENSI), and holds professorships in UC Berkeley's departments of materials science and chemistry. 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's distinguished career. His research breakthroughs include the synthesis of size- and shape-controlled nanoscrystals, and forefront studies of nanocrystal properties, including optical, electrical, structural and thermodynamic. 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 in nanoscience.

Dr. Alivisatos has been recognized for his accomplishments, with awards such as the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Linus Pauling Medal, the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, the Eni Italgas Prize for Energy and Environment, the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics, the Wilson Prize, the Coblentz Award for Advances in Molecular Spectroscopy, the American Chemical Society Award for Colloid and Surface Science, the Von Hippel Award of the Materials Research Society, the 2014 ACS Materials Chemistry Award, and the Dan David Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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

Marco Eres

Polymer-grafted Nanoparticle Thin Films

B.S. Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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

Matt Koc


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

Shilpa Raja


B.A. Chemistry, Harvard University

Joseph Swabeck

Energy Applications

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

Post-Docs and Visiting Scholars

Nawal Al Abass

Graphene Liquid Cell

Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Southampton, UK

Abdullah S. Abbas

Energy Applications

University of Waterloo, Canada

Yehonadav Bekenstein

Energy Applications, Properties

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

Noah Bronstein

Energy Applications

B.A. Chemistry, Whitman College

Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

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

Steve Hawks

Energy Applications

Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

B.S. Materials Engineering; B.A. Physics, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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

Christina Li

Synthesis, Catalysis

Ph.D. Chemistry, Stanford

B.A. Chemistry, Harvard

Zeke Liu

Properties, Energy Applications

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

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

Daeha Seo

Biology Applications

Ph.D. Chemistry, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

B.S. Chemistry Education, Pusan National University

Xingchen Ye


Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania

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

Undergraduate Students

Xiao Fu

Synthesis, Properties

Aditya Limaye


Alex Powers

Energy Applications


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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