Watching atoms in a glass as it bends and breaks (Science, 2013)Understanding growth mechanisms in grapheneProbing soliton stacking faults in bilayer grapheneImaging the atomic structure of silica glass
Visualize moiré transformation atom by atom (Sci. Adv., 2024 )
Imaging down to the picometer scales with electron ptychography (Science, 2024)
Revealing how graphene bends (Nature Materials, 2019)
Imaging a patchwork of molybdenum disulfide (Nature Materials, 2013)
Watching atoms in a glass as it bends and breaks (Science, 2013)
Understanding growth mechanisms in graphene (Nature, 2011)
Probing soliton stacking faults in bilayer graphene (PNAS, 2013)
Imaging the atomic structure of silica glass (Nano Letters, 2012)

We are a nanoscience and electron microscopy group that works at the intersections of physics, chemistry, and materials research.  We seek to understand the structure and properties of materials, one atom at a time.  Our work is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, 3M, and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. We are headquartered at the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois. Learn more about our research here.

Our research has been featured in the popular press, news outlets, and more:

  • Manchester Museum of Science and Industry: an exhibit on Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond. “This ground-breaking show will combine science, art and history to reveal the inspiring story of one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials in the world. Made from a single, one-atom layer of carbon, graphene is invisible to the naked eye but has the potential to change the world in a host of areas from energy and electronics to healthcare and mobile phones.”
  • Lady Paragons: a podcast on women in science, technology, engineering, and math. Listen to Pinshane discuss what it’s like to try to image single atoms while contaminant atoms chase her “like a cloud of bees”.
  • Nova: Chasing the Elements: A television series from PBS on materials science in our lives.  We cut up a bell and put it in the microscope; our images are also featured on the section on determining atomic structures.

Our funding sources: 

We gratefully acknowledge support from the following sources