Contact Information

(404) 385-3209
(404) 385-7493
MoSE 3100J
Research Group
faculty picture

Younan Xia

Professor, Brock Family Chair and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine


B.S. University of Science and Technology of China, 1987; M.S. University of Pennsylvania, 1993; Ph.D. Harvard University, 1996.


Our research is organized into the following five major thrusts:

Nanocrystal synthesis, including mechanistic understanding, experimental control, and methodology development. The goal of this research is to build a scientific base for the large-scale production of nanocrystals with well-controlled compositions, structures, shapes, and other properties sought for applications in areas including optical sensing/imaging, biomedical research, photonics, electronics, and catalysis.

Nanomedicine, including targeted delivery and controlled release, molecular imaging for early cancer diagnosis, and effective treatment of cancer and other diseases. Specifically, we are developing gold nanocages as a multifunctional, platform material for an array of theranostic applications. We are also systematically investigating how cells interact with nanocrystals having well-controlled sizes, shapes, morphologies, and surface properties. 

Regenerative medicine, including bio-inspired design of novel scaffolds with well-controlled properties for manipulating stem cell differentiation, neurite outgrowth, tissue regeneration, and vascularization in a large tissue construct. We aim to advance this field by bringing precision, control, and quantification into the design and fabrication of scaffolds for a better understanding of the scaffold-cell interactions in an effort to fully recover the function of a damaged tissue or organ.

Structure-property relationship of shape-controlled nanocrystals, including localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), light harvesting, local field enhancement, plasmonic waveguiding, and metamaterials. Specifically, we seek to achieve a better understanding and control of the phenomena arising from light-matter interactions by taking advantage of the nanocrystals our group has synthesized with controlled properties.

Catalysis, including surface capping, facet-dependent catalytic activity and selectivity, sinter resistance, as well as more active and robust catalysts for the proton exchange membrane fuel cells. We aim to achieve a better understanding and control of some of the industrially important reactions (e.g., CO oxidation and oxygen reduction) by taking advantage of the nanocrystals our group has synthesized with a specific type of facet on the surface.