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  • Professor Younan Xia
    10/09/18 - 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM

    Etter Memorial Lecture: Professor Younan Xia

    Margaret C. Etter Memorial Lecture in Materials Chemistry

Predictable and deterministic synthesis of colloidal metal nanocrystals

Recent studies suggest that reduction kinetics play an important role in determining the outcome of a synthesis of colloidal metal nanocrystals. The reduction rate not only controls the internal defect structure, including single-crystal, singly-twinned, multiply-twinned, and stacking-fault lined, of a seed formed in the nucleation step but also dictates the growth pattern (symmetric vs. asymmetric) or mode (island vs. layer-by-layer) of the seed in the following steps. In this talk, I will start with a brief introduction to our recent success in quantifying the kinetic parameters, including the rate constants and activation energies, for a number of systems and then illustrate how this knowledge can be applied to deepen our understanding of the nucleation and growth processes, moving towards the ultimate goal of achieving predictable and deterministic synthesis, together with an easy and quantitative control. The quantitative measure and control allow us to precisely and reproducibly tailor the properties of colloidal metal nanocrystals for a broad range of applications in catalysis, photonics, electronics, energy conversion, sensing, imaging, and biomedicine.


  1. Yang, T.-H.; Zhou, S.; Gilroy, K. D.; Figueroa-Cosme, L.; Lee, Y.-H.; Wu, J.-M. and Xia, Y. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2017, 114, 13619-13624.
  2. Yang, T.-H.; Peng, H.-C.; Zhou, S.; Lee, C.-T.; Bao, S.; Lee, Y.-H; Wu, J.-M. and Xia, Y. Nano Letters 2017, 17, 334-340.
  3. Peng, H.-C.; Park, J.; Zhang, L. and Xia, Y. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015, 137, 6643-6652.
  4. Wang, Y.; Peng, H.-C.; Liu, J.; Huang, C. Z. and Xia, Y. Nano Letters 2015, 15, 1445-1450.

Professor Younan Xia

Professor Younan Xia is the Brock Family Chair and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1987, master's degree in inorganic chemistry from University of Pennsylvania (with Professor Alan G. MacDiarmid) in 1993, and doctorate in physical chemistry from Harvard University (with Professor George M. Whitesides) in 1996. He started as an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1997, and was promoted to associate professor with tenure and professor in 2002 and 2004, respectively. He moved to Washington University in St. Louis in 2007, and held the position of James M. McKelvey Professor in Advanced Materials in the Department of Biomedical Engineering until his group was relocated to Georgia Tech in 2012.

His group has invented a myriad of nanomaterials with well-defined and controllable properties. These nanomaterials have found widespread use in applications related to plasmonics, catalysis, fuel cell technology, electronics, photonics, photovoltaics, display, nanomedicine, and regenerative medicine. His technology on silver nanowires has been licensed for the manufacturing of flexible, transparent, and conductive coatings and further commercialized for touch screen display, flexible electronics, and photovoltaics. Xia has co-authored more than 730 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with a total citation of more than 128,000 and an h-index of 183. He has been named a Top 10 Chemist and Materials Scientist based on the number of citations per publication. He has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Materials Research Society Medal (2017), American Chemical Society National Award in the Chemistry of Materials (2013), National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award (2006), David and Lucile Packard Fellow in Science and Engineering (2000), National Science Foundation CAREER (2000), and Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2000). 

Margaret C. Etter Memorial Lecture in Materials Chemistry

Margaret “Peggy” Cairns Etter was born on September 12, 1943. She died on June 10, 1992, from cancer. In 1974, she received her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Minnesota under the direction of Jack Gougoutas. She taught organic chemistry at Augsburg College in 1975-76, and worked at the 3M Company from 1976 to 1983. She returned to the University of Minnesota as a postdoctoral fellow with Robert Bryant in 1984 and, within a year, had secured an independent academic appointment. Peggy rose rapidly through the ranks and in 1990 was promoted to full professor. Peggy’s outstanding characteristics as a scientist were her infectious enthusiasm, uncompromising scientific standards, and creativity. Her research group made major contributions in the applications of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the design and properties of organic non-linear optical materials, and most significantly, in the understanding and utilization of hydrogen-bonding interactions in crystals. This was reflected in nearly 80 research papers and in several landmark review articles in prestigious journals. Outside recognition in the form of fellowships from the Sloan and Bush Foundations and an Iota Sigma Pi Award for Excellence in Chemistry represent incomplete reflections of the impact of this work. One of her extramural “side projects” was to found a company called “Rochelle Crystal Corporation,” for which Peggy was named St. Paul Businessperson of the Year in 1986.

  • Event Details

    Location: 331 Smith Hall
    Host: Professor Andreas Stein
    • Professor Younan Xia
    • Younan Xia
    • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Georgia Tech
    • Atlanta