Chen, Jian

Associate Professor


Ph.D., Fudan University

Research Areas

My group's research is focused on fundamental understanding of organic nanomaterials and their applications in the areas of alternative energy, smart materials, and biomedical materials and devices. We seek to use Nature's assembling rules in conjunction with synthetic organic/polymer chemistry, supramolecular/bioconjugate chemistry and nanotechnology to design and synthesize nanostructured materials with synergistic multifunctionality.

Nanoengineering Stable Carbon Nanotube Aerogels

This research project aims to advance the fundamental knowledge and process technology for manufacturing of novel stable carbon nanotube (CNT) aerogels. By combining the extraordinary properties of CNTs with those of aerogels, a new class of materials becomes accessible with superior multifunctional material properties in a single material system, which will potentially lead to applications in multifunctional composites, fuel cells, super capacitors, 3-D batteries, advanced catalyst supports, energy absorption materials, chemical and biological sensors, etc. We have successfully prepared stable CNT aerogels with excellent electrical, mechanical, and porous texture properties.

Carbon Nanotube-Liquid Crystalline Elastomer Nanocomposites

This project aims to advance the fundamental understanding of novel CNT-liquid crystalline elastomer (LCE) nanocomposites. The major innovation is to couple the CNTs to the LCEs using a unique nanotube chemistry platform to achieve strong synergies among CNTs, mesogenic units, and LCE networks. The strong synergies between CNTs with various characteristics and LCEs could generate many novel properties and functions. The advances in fundamental understanding of CNT-LCE composites will have a significant impact on the field of smart materials and lead to potential applications such as artificial muscles, mini- and microrobots, "smart skins", pumps and valves in microfluidic systems for drug delivery, ventricular assist devices for failing hearts, and sensors for mechanical strain, humidity, and gases. Our recent study has demonstrated the reversible infrared actuation of CNT-LCE nanocomposite films with only 0.1-0.2 wt% nanotube loadings.

Advanced Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composite Infrared Sensors

Organic electronic materials offer ease of materials processing and integration, low cost, physical flexibility and large device area as compared to traditional inorganic semiconductors. Optoelectronic materials that are responsive at wavelengths in the near-infrared (NIR) region (e.g. 800-2000 nm) are highly desirable for various demanding applications such as telecommunication, biomedical imaging, remote sensing (e.g. night vision), thermal photovoltaics and solar cells. The objective of this research project is to develop a new class of advanced CNT-polymer composite IR sensors with ultra-high sensitivity at room temperature in the air. We have discovered that the IR photoresponse in the electrical conductivity of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) is dramatically enhanced by embedding SWNTs in an insulating polymer matrix. We also demonstrate that both SWNT types and nanotube-matrix polymer-nanotube (NT-P-NT) junctions have profound impact on the IR photoelectrical property of SWNT-polymer composites.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Space Act Award, 2008
  • Graduate School/UWM Foundation Research Award, 2007
  • NASA Space Act Tech Brief Award, 2007
  • Best 25 Micro- and Nanotechnologies, 2006; R&D 100 Award, 2005.

Selected Publications

Momtaz, Milad, and Chen, Jian. “High-Performance Colorimetric Humidity Sensors Based on Konjac Glucomannan.” ACS APPLIED MATERIALS \& INTERFACES 12.48 (2020): 54104-54116.
Oyefusi, Adebola, and Chen, Jian. “Mechanical approaches to dynamic, reversible mechanochromism based on thin film interference.” APPLIED MATERIALS TODAY 20. (2020): 100774.
Banisadr, Seyedali, Oyefusi, Adebola, and Chen, Jian. “A Versatile Strategy for Transparent Stimuli-Responsive Interference Coloration.” ACS APPLIED MATERIALS \& INTERFACES 11.7 (2019): 7415-7422.
Altan, Ali I., and Chen, Jian. “In situ chemical probing of hole defects and cracks in graphene at room temperature.” NANOSCALE 10.23 (2018): 11052-11063.
Oyefusi, Adebola, and Chen, Jian. “Reprogrammable Chemical 3D Shaping for Origami, Kirigami, and Reconfigurable Molding.” ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION 56.28 (2017): 8250-8253.
Kohlmeyer, Ryan R., Buskohl, Philip R., Deneault, James R., Durstock, Michael F., Vaia, Richard A., and Chen, Jian. “Shape-Reprogrammable Polymers: Encoding, Erasing, and Re-Encoding.” ADVANCED MATERIALS 26.48 (2014): 8114-8119.
Kohlmeyer, Ryan R., and Chen, Jian. “Wavelength-Selective, IR Light-Driven Hinges Based on Liquid CrystallineElastomer Composites.” ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION 52.35 (2013): 9234-9237.
Chen, Jian. “Actuators and Infrared Sensors Based on Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composites.” Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composites. Ed. Tasis, Dimitrios. Royal Society of Chemistry, (2013): 22-50.
Kohlmeyer, Ryan R., Lor, Maika, and Chen, Jian. “Remote, Local, and Chemical Programming of Healable Multishape MemoryPolymer Nanocornposites.” NANO LETTERS 12.6 (2012): 2757-2762.
Kohlmeyer, Ryan R., Lor, Maika, Deng, Jian, Liu, Haiying, and Chen, Jian. “Preparation of stable carbon nanotube aerogels with high electricalconductivity and porosity.” CARBON 49.7 (2011): 2352-2361.
Kohlmeyer, Ryan R., Javadi, Alireza, Pradhan, Basudev, Pilla, Srikanth, Setyowati, Kristina, Chen, Jian, and Gong, Shaoqin. “Electrical and Dielectric Properties of Hydroxylated CarbonNanotube-Elastomer Composites.” JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C 113.41 (2009): 17626-17629.
Pradhan, Basudev, Kohlmeyer, Ryan R., Setyowati, Kristina, and Chen, Jian. “Electron doping of small-diameter carbon nanotubes with exohedralfullerenes.” APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 93.22 (2008).
Yang, Liqiang, Setyowati, Kristina, Li, An, Gong, Shaoqin, and Chen, Jian. “Reversible infrared actuation of carbon nanotube-liquid crystallineelastomer nanocomposites.” ADVANCED MATERIALS 20.12 (2008): 2271+.
Pradhan, Basudev, Setyowati, Kristina, Liu, Haiying, Waldeck, David H., and Chen, Jian. “Carbon nanotube - Polymer nanocomposite infrared sensor.” NANO LETTERS 8.4 (2008): 1142-1146.
Setyowati, Kristina, Piao, Ming J., Chen, Jian, and Liu, Haiying. “Carbon nanotube surface attenuated infrared absorption.” APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 92.4 (2008).
Sankapal, Babasaheb R., Setyowati, Kristina, Chen, Jian, and Liu, Haiying. “Electrical properties of air-stable, iodine-dopedcarbon-nanotube-polymer composites.” APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 91.17 (2007).
Chen, Jian, Xue, Cuihua, Ramasubramaniam, Rajagopal, and Liu, Haiying. “A new method for the preparation of stable carbon nanotube organogels.” CARBON 44.11 (2006): 2142-2146.
Chen, Jian, Ramasubramaniam, R, Xue, C, and Liu, H. “A versatile, molecular engineering approach to simultaneously enhanced,multifunctional carbon-nanotube-polymer composites.” ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS 16.1 (2006): 114-119.
Ramasubramaniam, R, Chen, Jian, and Liu, HY. “Homogeneous carbon nanotube/polymer composites for electricalapplications.” APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 83.14 (2003): 2928-2930.
Chen, Jian, Liu, HY, Weimer, WA, Halls, MD, Waldeck, DH, and Walker, GC. “Noncovalent engineering of carbon nanotube surfaces by rigid, functionalconjugated polymers.” JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 124.31 (2002): 9034-9035.
Chen, Jian, and Weimer, WA. “Room-temperature assembly of directional carbon nanotube strings.” JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 124.5 (2002): 758-759.
Chen, Jian, Dyer, MJ, and Yu, MF. “Cyclodextrin-mediated soft cutting of single-walled carbon nanotubes.” JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 123.25 (2001): 6201-6202.
Chen, Jian, Rao, AM, Lyuksyutov, S, Itkis, ME, Hamon, MA, Hu, H, Cohn, RW, Eklund, PC, Colbert, DT, Smalley, RE, and Haddon, RC. “Dissolution of full-length single-walled carbon nanotubes.” JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B 105.13 (2001): 2525-2528.
Rao, AM, Chen, Jian, Richter, E, Schlecht, U, Eklund, PC, Haddon, RC, Venkateswaran, UD, Kwon, YK, and Tomanek, D. “Effect of van der Waals interactions on the Raman modes in single walledcarbon nanotubes.” PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 86.17 (2001): 3895-3898.
Andrews, R, Jacques, D, Rao, AM, Derbyshire, F, Qian, D, Fan, X, Dickey, EC, and Chen, Jian. “Continuous production of aligned carbon nanotubes: a step closer tocommercial realization.” CHEMICAL PHYSICS LETTERS 303.5-6 (1999): 467-474.
Chen, Jian, Hamon, MA, Hu, H, Chen, YS, Rao, AM, Eklund, PC, and Haddon, RC. “Solution properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes.” SCIENCE 282.5386 (1998): 95-98.

(selected from 61 publications with over 6500 citations; *as corresponding author)