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SQI: Simpson Querry Institute

Mark C. Hersam

  • Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Professor of Chemistry, Medicine, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science
  • Director, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)

PhD (2000), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Hersam research group explores the interface between chemistry and nanomaterials with an eye toward applications in electronics, medicine, and renewable energy. Of particular interest are atomically precise chemical functionalization and separation methods for nanomaterials that enable scalable isolation of high-purity samples with uniform properties.

Since the sizes of nanomaterials are comparable to biological macromolecules, the separation methodologies and characterization methods developed in the Hersam lab are often adapted from biochemistry. For example, density gradient ultracentrifugation has been utilized to isolate carbon nanotubes, graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides, boron nitride, and phosphorene in aqueous solution with electronic grade purities.

The resulting dispersions are then deterministically deposited onto substrates into arbitrary geometries using a variety of printing methodologies including inkjet, gravure, and screen printing. Through sequential deposition of disparate nanomaterials, heterostructures are fabricated that concurrently exploit the desirable properties of multiple nanomaterials.

Application areas for these nanomaterial heterostructures include thin-film transistors, light-emitting diodes, transparent conductors, solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, water filtration, drug delivery, and biomedical imaging. This highly interdisciplinary work spans the fields of materials science and engineering, chemistry, medicine, applied physics, electrical engineering, and computer science.

Areas of Interest

Medicine, Nanomaterials for Electronics