6th Yungu Lectureship | Younan Xia: Nanomaterials Research: Curiosities, Fundamental Studies, and Commercial Applications

Time: 13:30-15:00, Thursday, May 16, 2024

Venue: E10-201, Yungu Campus, Westlake University 

Host: Jianjun Cheng, Chair Professor, School of Engineering, Westlake University

Language: English


Prof. Younan Xia

Professor and Brock Family Chair,

Georgia Institute of Technology


Younan Xia is the Brock Family Chair and Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree in chemical physics from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 1987, M.S. degree in chemistry from University of Pennsylvania (with Alan G. MacDiarmid) in 1993, and Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from Harvard University (with George M. Whitesides) in 1996. His group invented many nanomaterials with well-controlled properties for use in applications related to plasmonics, electronics, display, catalysis, energy conversion, controlled release, nanomedicine, and regenerative medicine. For example, the silver nanowires invented by his group has found use in commercial production of flexible, transparent, and conductive coatings pivotal to applications such as touchscreen display, flexible electronics, and photovoltaics. His technology on the fabrication of aligned nanofibers has been commercialized for multiple clinical products related to regenerative medicine, including those for the management of surgical and trauma wounds, along with pressure, diabetic, venous, and chronic vascular ulcers. Xia has co-authored more than 880 publications in peer-reviewed journals, together with a total citation of over 200,000 and an h-index of 218. He has been named a Top 10 Chemist and Materials Scientist worldwide based on the number of citations per publication. He has received a number of awards, including ACS National Award for Creative Invention (2023), MRS Medal (2017), ACS National Award in the Chemistry of Materials (2013), NIH Director's Pioneer Award (2006), and NSF CAREER (2000). More information can be found at http://www.nanocages.com.


Nanomaterials have found widespread use in many applications, including photonics, electronics, catalysis, energy conversion, sensing, imaging, and medicine. For more than 25 years, we have been working diligently to develop chemical methods for the synthesis and fabrication of novel nanomaterials with controlled properties. Some of these nanomaterials have been successfully commercialized. In this talk, I will briefly review my journey into this exciting field of research. Specifically, I want to illustrate how a simple idea driven by curiosity was able to enable a productive career for almost three decades. I will also discuss some of the recent developments, with a focus on the rational design and controlled synthesis of various types of nanomaterials for catalysis, fuel cell technology, drug delivery, and cancer theranostics. If time allows, I will discuss how to scale up the synthesis of these nanomaterials without losing control to produce samples with the quality, quantity, and reproducibility needed for a systematic study of their fundamental properties as a function of size, shape, and internal structure, and for the exploration of translational/commercial applications.


Ms. Linh Chu, School of Engineering