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Peng Chen

Peter J. W. Debye Professor

Peng Chen

ST Olin, Room 782A
pc252@cornell.edu
607-254-8533

Educational Background

  • Postdoc, Harvard University, 2004-2005
  • PhD, Stanford University, 2004
  • BS, Nanjing University, 1997

Website(s)

Overview

Professor Chen's Group develops and applies single-molecule approaches to interrogate and understand the function and dynamics of nanomaterials and biomacromolecules, with the goal of acquiring fundamental chemical knowledge for developing better strategies for energy conversion as well as for curing and preventing diseases.

SELECTED HONORS

2019 Chemical Pioneer Award
2019 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2018 Bau Family Award in Inorganic Chemistry
2018 Sessler Distinguished Alumni Lecture, Stanford University
2017 Visiting Professor in the Debye Chair, Utrecht University
2017 Catalysis Forum Lecture, DICP, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2016 Excellence in Catalysis Award, Catalysis Society of Metro New York
2014 Early-Career Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry, ACS PHYS Division
2014 Coblentz Award
2013 Honorable Lecture, Applied Chemistry Lecture Series, CIAC, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2013 Lester S. Andrews Lecture, Mississippi State University
2011 CAPA Distinguished Junior Faculty Award
2010 Paul D. Saltman Memorial Award
2009 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
2007 NSF Career Award
2005 Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award

2002 Franklin Veatch Memorial Fellowship
1999 Gerhard Casper Stanford Graduate Fellowship

Keywords

Single-molecule super-resolution imaging, nanoscale (photo)(electro)catalysis, polymerization catalysis, bioinorganic/biophysical chemistry, bacterial cell imaging, energy conversion

Departments/Programs

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Biophysics

Research

Our research focuses on developing and applying single-molecule techniques to solve scientific problems of physical, bioinorganic, and biophysical in nature. Compared with traditional ensemble measurements, single-molecule approaches remove ensemble averaging, so that transient intermediates and heterogeneous subpopulations can be captured and characterized. Current projects are divided into two main areas:

  1. Single-molecule catalysis. Here we study the catalytic, electrocatalytic, and photoelectrocatalytic properties of nanoscale materials and small-molecule catalysts at the single-turnover temporal resolution and nanometer  spatial resolution. The goal here is to acquire chemical knowledge for developing better catalysts for chemical processing, fuel generation, and (solar) energy conversion.
  2. Single-molecule bioinorganic/biophysical chemistry. Here we study the dynamics and mechanisms of the protein machineries involved in cellular metal regulation, trafficking, and efflux both in vitro and in living cells, as well as of molecular processes related to protein folding in living cells. The goal here is to acquire chemical and biological knowledge for developing strategies to cure and prevent diseases.
  3. Method development. In pursuit of our scientific interests, sometimes we develop new methods or extend/improve existing methods to enable new experiments, especially single-molecule/particle level measurements.

Courses

Fall 2019

Spring 2020

Publications

See complete publication list at Group Website.