Goodenough Materials Innovation Lecture Series: Chad Mirkin

Friday, September 11, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Chad Mirkin
Northwestern University

Chad Mirkin

Mapping the Materials Genome with Megalibraries
Throughout history, the materials we have used and relied on have evolved over time, slowly becoming more and more complex. The progression from the stone tools used by early-man to the polyelemental materials used today has been relatively slow due to the massive parameter space that materials encompass. Indeed, when one considers the 91 metal elements in the periodic table, and all possible combinations, a nearly infinite number of possible materials exist. This is particularly true at the nanoscale where small changes in size or shape, even at a fixed composition, can dramatically change a material’s properties. Therefore, an approach to rapidly synthesize and subsequently screen materials for desired properties is needed. In this presentation, a cantilever-free scanning probe lithography approach to combinatorial nanoscience relying on “megalibraries” consisting of as many as 5 billion positionally encoded nanoparticles will be described. The libraries can be tailored to encompass a wide variety of alloy and phase-separated nanoparticles that are comprised of as many as 8 different elements. Importantly, one megalibrary contains more new inorganic materials than scientists cumulatively have produced and characterized to date and can be used to identify new materials and catalysts for important chemical transformations. For instance, we can synthesize complex hybrid materials, such as organic-inorganic halide perovskite nanocrystals, yielding multiplexed libraries of optoelectronic materials. Additionally, from these libraries, important insight into how thermodynamic phases form in polyelemental nanoparticles has been obtained, and design rules for engineering heterostructures in a polyelemental nanoparticle have been established. Therefore, this novel approach lays the foundation for creating an inflection point in the pace at which we both explore the breadth and discover the capabilities of the materials genome.


About Dr. Mirkin
Dr. Chad A. Mirkin is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, and Medicine at Northwestern University.  He is a chemist and a world-renowned nanoscience expert, who is known for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and SNA-based biodetection and therapeutic schemes, Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) and related cantilever-free nanopatterning methodologies, On-Wire Lithography (OWL) and Co-Axial Lithography (COAL), and contributions to supramolecular chemistry and nanoparticle synthesis.  Mirkin received his B.S. degree from Dickinson College (1986) and a Ph.D. degree from the Penn State University (1989).  He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the MIT prior to becoming a professor at Northwestern University in 1991.  He has authored over 780 manuscripts and over 1,200 patent applications worldwide (over 350 issued) and founded multiple companies, including AuraSense, Exicure, TERA-print, and Azul 3D. Mirkin has been recognized with over 230 national and international awards, including the Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine, the SCI Perkin Medal, the Wilhelm Exner Medal, the RUSNANOPRIZE, the Dan David Prize, and the Sackler Prize in Convergence Research.  He served for eight years on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology, and he is one of very few scientists to be elected to all three US National Academies.  Mirkin has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of over 20 scholarly journals, and he is the founding editor of the journal Small. At present, he is an Associate Editor of JACS and a PNAS Editorial Board Member.  He has given over 740 invited lectures and educated over 290 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, of whom over 110 are now faculty members at top institutions around the world.