Duan Research Group

Hetero-integrated Nanostructures and Nanodevices


  • The Duan Lab’s research interests include nanoscale materials, devices and their applications in future electronics, energy technologies and biomedical science. Our research focuses on rational design and synthesis of highly complex nanostructures with precisely controlled chemical composition, structural morphology and physical dimension; fundamental investigation of new chemical, optical, electronic and magnetic properties; and exploration of new technological opportunities arising in these nanoscale materials. A strong emphasis is placed on the hetero-integration of multi-composition, multi-structure and multi-function at the nanoscale, and by doing so, creating a new generation of integrated nanosystems with unprecedented performance or unique functions to break the boundaries of traditional technologies.

  • Colloidal Nanocrystal Synthesis. To control the composition, shape, and material properties of nanostructures, we utilize biomimetic and chemical approaches that dictate crystal nucleation and growth, creating various and complex nanoparticle shapes and heterostructures.
  • Functional Nanodevices. Semiconductor electronics and photonics have been the key driving force of the information technology revolution, but are facing substantial challenge for future growth. We are using synthetic chemistry to produce a wide variety of low-dimensional nanostructures, and further assembling them into functional electronic and photonic systems. 
  • Catalysis and Energy Nanomaterials. Nanotechnology has become an indispensable element of material engineering for energy related applications, and in particular catalysis. Efficient and effective energy harvesting and storage greatly benefit from advantages of controlling materials at the nanoscale.
  • Fundamental Phase Transformations. In order to probe the underlying principles that govern the way nanocrystals are synthesized, and then further manipulated, we use our expertise in chemistry, physics, thermodynamics and diffusion to find a greater understanding of how these nanostructures are formed, and how we can manipulate them with greater control and more advantageous properties.
  • Synthesis of 2D crystals/heterostructures. Synthesis of 2D materials with precisely controlled composition, dimension and heterostructure interface is central for exporing science and technology at the limit of single atomic thickness.
  • High speed flexible electronics. 2D atomic layers (e.g., graphene, MoS2) can enable a new generation of atomically thin electronics with unprecedented speed and flexiblity.
  • van der Waals heterostructure device. van der Waals interation between 2D layers can allow flexible integration of distinct materials to enable novel electronic and optoelectronic devices not otherwise possilble.
  • 3D graphene for energy storage. 3D graphene framework can function as a high surface area electrode for creating diverse energy storage devices with unprecedented combination of energy and power density.
  • Nanoscale catalysis. Nanoscale integration of highly disparate materials and molecules of distinct electronic structure or chemical function, can open exciting possibllity to tailor the chemical reactivity and enable novel catalysts for the reduction of O2, CO2 or N2. 
  • Nanoprobes for chemistry and biology. With the critical dimension matching well with the fundamental functional units in chemistry and biology, nanoscale structures and devices can fofer powerful ways to probe molecular pathway in chemistry and biology.
UCLA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
607 Charles E. Young Drive East, Box 951569
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569
E-mail: xduan@chem.ucla.edu