2017 News

Prof. Jianyuan (Jason) Zhang

New Faculty Commencing Sept 1, 2017

Jianyuan Zhang v2Jianyuan (Jason) Zhang obtained his bachelor degree at Beijing Normal University, with his thesis research performed in the laboratory of Prof. Zhishan Bo on light-emitting polymers. After graduation, he continued to study functional polymers in Bo Lab for one additional year before he joined Virginia Tech for graduate school. At Virginia Tech, Jason investigated the synthesis, characterization, functionalization and medical applications of endohedral metallofullerenes under the supervision of Prof. Harry Dorn, one of the leaders in metallofullerene research. He then moved across the continent to Seattle for his post-doc research at University of Washington, where he studied organic opto-electronic materials in Prof. Alex Jen’s group. Later, excited by the proposed research of a new MIT faculty member, Prof. Robert Macfarlane, he moved back to east coast to become the first teammate of Robert at MIT. There he studied functional polymer coated nanoparticles later named nanocomposite tectons. Jason will start his independent research in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University at fall, 2017. The Zhang group will use synthetic and supramolecular approaches to control metal ions and clusters at the nanoscale for functional quantum materials and biomedical applications.

Research Interest

JZhang graphic 1Precise structural control is critical for scientists to harness the optical, electrical, magnetic, chemical and biological properties of nanomaterials and nanomedicines. The research in my group will focus on applying organic and polymer chemistry to control the behavior of inorganic (metal) ions, clusters, and nanoparticles. A central thematic building block in our research is endohedral metallofullerenes (EMFs), which are fullerene cages with metal atoms encapsulated inside. Other building blocks include nanoclusters and 2-5 nm quantum dots.

Our research include three areas, as depicted in the figures below: 1) building superlattices with metallofullerenes as “atoms” (left); 2) metallofullerene nanomedicines for MRI contrast agents and therapeutic agents (middle); and 3) supramolecular framework templated assembly of nanomaterials (right). Students interested in these topics are encouraged to contact Jason by email for further details and discussions.


  • B.S. 2007, Beijing Normal University
  • Ph.D 2013, Virginia Tech
  • Post-doc scholar 2014-2015 University of Washington
    2015-2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Selected Publications

  1. Zhang J.; Santos P. J.; Gabrys P. A.; Lee S.; Liu C.; Macfarlane R. J.: Self-assembling Nanocomposite Tectons. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 16228.
  2. Zhang, J.; Li C.-Z.; Williams S. T.; Liu, S.; Zhao T.; Jen A. K.-Y.: Crystalline Co-assemblies of Functional Fullerenes in Methanol with Enhanced Charge Transport. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 2167.
  3. Zhang, J.; Ye, Y.; Chen, Y.; Pregot, C.; Li, T.; Balasubramaniam, S.; Hobart, D. B.; Zhang, Y.; Wi, S.; Davis, R. M.; Madsen, L. A.; Morris, J. R.; LaConte, S. M.; Yee G. T.; Dorn, H. C.: Gd3N@C84(OH)x: A New Egg-Shaped Metallofullerene Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 2630.
  4. Zhang, J.; Bowles, F. L.; Bearden, D. W.; Ray, W. K.; Fuhrer, T.; Ye, Y.; Dixon, C.; Harich, K.; Helm, R. F.; Olmstead, M. M.; Balch, A. L.; Dorn, H. C.: A Missing Link in the Transformation from Asymmetric to Symmetric Metallofullerene Cages Implying a Top-down Fullerene Formation Mechanism. Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 880.
  5. Zhang, J.; Fuhrer, T.; Fu, W.; Ge, J.; Bearden, D. W.; Dallas, J.; Duchamp, J.; Walker, K.; Champion, H.; Azurmendi, H.; Harich, K.; Dorn, H. C.: Nanoscale Fullerene Compression of an Yttrium Carbide Cluster. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 8487.

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