Faculty Profile

Pinshane Huang

Materials Science and Engineering
Pinshane Huang
Pinshane Huang
Assistant Professor
258 Seitz Materials Research Lab MC 230
104 S. Goodwin
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-2574

Primary Research Area

  • Nanoscale Science and Technology


  • PhD, Cornell University, Applied and Engineering Physics
  • MS, Cornell University, Applied and Engineering Physics
  • BA, Carleton College, Department of Physics

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 2015-present
  • Affiliate Faculty, University of Illinois, Materials Research Laboratory, 2015-present
  • Affiliate Faculty, University of Illinois, Beckman Institute, 2015-present
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, Department of Chemistry, 2014-2015

For more information

Professional Highlights

  • Pinshane Huang started as an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in August 2015.￿She holds a B.A. in Physics from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University. Her Ph.D. research focused around transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy of two-dimensional materials. This work produced iconic images showing how defects occur in atomically thin materials such as graphene, 2D dichalcogenides, and silica glass. Her awards include a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the William Nichols Findley Award for Exceptional Research from Cornell University, and conference awards from the Microscopy Society of America, American Ceramics Society, and Microbeam Analysis Society. Her research has been featured in National Geographic, BusinessWeek, CBS News, Discover Magazine, and the Guinness Book of World Records.

Research Statement

Our group uses transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy to understand nanomaterials and devices at the atomic scale. Using recent advances in aberration-corrected electron microscopy, we aim to image the structure, bonding, electronic, optical properties of materials with unprecedented precision—especially in 2D materials such as graphene. Studying this new class of nanomaterials offers a two-fold opportunity: first, 2D materials serve as model systems to directly correlate the structure and properties of individual atomic features. In these studies, the reduced dimensionality of 2D materials allow us to access new regimes in complex materials systems, such as the real-space, atomic-scale structure of glass.  Second, because defects, dopants, and interfaces have dramatic effects on the properties of materials that are only a single unit-cell thick, these studies allow for dramatic tuning of the properties of 2D materials. Together, this research aims to harness the incredible insights of atom-by-atom microscopy to design novel nanomaterials and devices.

Research Areas

  • Electronic Materials

Research Topics

Selected Articles in Journals

  • D. Rhodes, D. A. Chenet, B. E. Janicek, C. Nyby, Y. Lin, W. Jin, D. Edelberg, E. Mannebach, N. Finney, A. Antony, T. Schiros, T. Klarr, A. Mazzoni, M. Chin, Y.-c Chiu,W. Zheng, Q. R. Zhang, F. Ernst, J. I. Dadap, X. Tong, J. Ma, R. Lou, S. Wang, T. Qian, H. Ding, R. M. Osgood, Jr., D. W. Paley, A. M. Lindenberg, P. Y. Huang, A. N. Pasupathy, M. Dubey, J. Hone, and L. Balicas, Engineering the Structural and Electronic Phases of MoTe2 through W substitution, Nano Letters (2017) doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b04814
  • Raja, A., Montoya-Castillo, A., Zultak, J., Zhang, Z. Z., Ye, Z., Roquelet, C., Chenet, D., van der Zande, A. M., Huang, P. Y., Jockusch, S., Hone, J., Reichmna, D. R., Brus, L. E., Heinz, T. F., Energy transfer from quantum dots to graphene and MoS2: The role of absorption and screening in two-dimensional materials, Nano Letters, 6, 2328-2333 (2016)
  • Blees, M. K. Barnard, A. W., Rose, P., Roberts, S. P., McGill, K. L., Huang, P. Y., Ruyack, A. R., Kevek, J. W., Kobrin, B., Muller, D. A., & McEuen, P. L. Graphene kirigami, Nature 524, 204￿207 (2015).
  • Kang, K. Xie, S., Huang, L., Han, Y., Huang, P.Y., Mak, K.F., Kim, C.-J., Muller, D. A., & Park, J. High-mobility three-atom-thick semiconducting films with wafer-scale homogeneity, Nature 520, 656￿660 (2015).
  • Cui, X., Lee, G.-H., Kim, Y. D., Arefe, G., Huang, P. Y., Lee, C.-H., Chenet, D. A., Zhang, X., Wang, L., Ye, F., Pizzocchero, F., Jessen, B., S., Watanabe, K., Taniguci, T., Muller, D. A., Kim, P., & Hone, J. Multi-terminal transport measurements of MoS2 using a van der Waals heterostructure device platform, Nature Nanotechnology 10, 534￿540 (2015).
  • Chenet, D. A., Aslan, O. B., Huang, P. Y., Fan, C., van der Zande, A. M., Heinz, T. F. & Hone, J. C. In-Plane Anisotropy in Mono-and Few-Layer ReS2 Probed by Raman Spectroscopy and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy. Nano letters 15, 5667-5672 (2015).
  • David, S. N., Zhai, Y., van der Zande, A. M., O'Brien, K., Huang, P. Y., Chenet, D. A., Hone, J. C., Zhang, X. & Yin, X. Rapid, all-optical crystal orientation imaging of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers. Applied Physics Letters 107, 111902 (2015).
  • van der Zande, A. M., Kunstmann, J., Chernikov, A., Chenet, D.A., You, Y., Zhang, X., Huang, P.Y., Berkelbach, T.C., Want, L., Zhang, F., Hybertsen, M.S., Muller, D.A., Reichman, D.R., Heinz, T.F., Hone, J.C., ￿Tailoring the electronic structure in bilayer molybdenum disulfide via interlayer twist,￿ Nano Letters 14, 3869-3875 (2014).
  • Wang, L., Meric, I., Huang, P.Y., Gao, Y., Tran, H., Taniguchi, T., Watanabe, K., Campos, L. M., Muller, D.A., Gao, Q., Guo, J., Kim, P., Hone, J., Shepard, K.L., and Dean, C.R. ￿One-dimensional contact to a two-dimensional material,￿ Science 342, 614-617 (2013).
  • Huang, P. Y., Kurasch, S., Alden, J.A., Shekhawat, A., Alemi, A.A., McEuen, P.L., Sethna, J.P. Kaiser, U., and Muller, D.A. ￿Imaging atomic rearrangements in two-dimensional silica glass: watching silica￿s dance,￿ Science 342, 224-227 (2013).
  • van der Zande, A. M., Huang, P.Y., Chenet, D.A.*, Berkelbach, T.C., You, Y., Lee, G.-H., Heinz, T.F., Reichman, D.R., Muller, D.A., and Hone, J.C. ￿Grains and grain boundaries in highly crystalline monolayer molybdenum disulphide,￿ Nat Mater 12, 554￿561 (2013).
  • Alden, J. S., Tsen, A. W., Huang, P.Y., Hovden, R., Brown, L., Park, J., Muller, D.A., and McEuen, P.L. ￿Strain solitons and topological defects in bilayer graphene,￿ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 11256￿11260 (2013).
  • Huang, P.Y., Meyer, J. C., and Muller, D. A. ￿From atoms to grains: transmission electron microscopy of graphene,￿ MRS Bulletin 37, 1214￿1221 (2012).
  • Levendorf, M. P., Kim, C. J., Brown, L., Huang, P. Y., Havener, R. W., Muller, D. A. & Park, J. ￿Graphene and boron nitride lateral heterostructures for atomically thin circuitry,￿ Nature 488, 627-632 (2012).
  • Petrone, N., Dean, C. R., Meric, I., van der Zande, A. M., Huang, P. Y., Wang, L., Muller, D., Shepard, K. L. & Hone, J. ￿Chemical vapor deposition-derived graphene with electrical performance of exfoliated graphene,￿ Nano Letters 12, 2751-2756 (2012).
  • Brown, L., Hovden, R., Huang, P.Y., Wojcik, M., Muller, D. A. & Park, J. ￿Twinning and twisting of tri-and bilayer graphene,￿ Nano Letters 12, 1609-1615 (2012).
  • Tsen, A. W., Brown, L., Levendorf, M. P., Ghahari, F., Huang, P. Y., Havener, R. W., Ruiz-Vargas, C. S., Muller, D. A., Kim, P. & Park, J. ￿Tailoring electrical transport across grain boundaries in polycrystalline graphene,￿ Science 336, 1143-1146 (2012).
  • Wang, L., Travis, J. J., Cavanagh, A. S., Liu, X., Koenig, S. P., Huang, P. Y., George, S. M. & Bunch, J. S. ￿Ultrathin Oxide Films by Atomic Layer Deposition on Graphene,￿ Nano Letters 12, 3706-3710 (2012).
  • Huang, P. Y., Kurasch, S., Srivastava, A., Skakalova, V., Kotakoski, J., Krasheninnikov, A. V., Hovden, R., Mao, Q., Meyer, J. C., Smet, J., Muller, D. A. & Kaiser, U. ￿Direct imaging of a two-dimensional silica glass on graphene,￿ Nano Letters 12, 1081-1086 (2012).
  • Ruiz-Vargas, C. S., Zhuang, H. L., Huang, P. Y., van der Zande, A. M., Garg, S., McEuen, P. L., Muller, D. A., Hennig, R. G. & Park, J. ￿Softened elastic response and unzipping in chemical vapor deposition graphene membranes,￿ Nano Letters 11, 2259-2263 (2011).
  • Huang, P. Y., Ruiz-Vargas, C. S., van der Zande, A. M., Whitney, W. S., Levendorf, M. P., Kevek, J. W., Garg, S., Alden, J. S., Hustedt, C. J., Zhu, Y., Park, J., McEuen, P. L. & Muller, D. A. ￿Grains and grain boundaries in single-layer graphene atomic patchwork quilts,￿ Nature 469, 389-392, (2011).

Teaching Honors

  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for Spring 2017 - MSE 481: Introduction to Transmission Electron Microscopy (2017)
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for Fall 2016 - MSE 182: Introduction to Materials Science (2016)

Research Honors

  • Center for Advanced Studies Fellowship, UIUC (2018-2019)
  • Packard Fellowship (2017)
  • Albert Crewe Award, Microscopy Society of America (2017)
  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2017)
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award (2016)
  • William Nichols Findley Award for Exceptional Research (2013)
  • Presidential Scholarship Award, Microscopy Society of America (2012)
  • Castaing Award, Microanalysis Society (2012)