Materials Science

Dr. Hongjie Dai – 2016 MRS Mid-Career Researcher Award Winner

The Materials Research Society (MRS) has named Dr. Hongjie Dai, professor of chemistry at Stanford University, as the recipient of the Mid-Career Researcher Award “for seminal contributions to carbon-based nanoscience and applications in nanoelectronics, renewable energy, and biological systems.” The MRS Mid-Career Researcher Award, endowed by Aldrich Materials Science, recognizes exceptional achievements in materials research made by mid‑career professionals.

About Dr. Dai

Dr. Dai earned his PhD in applied physics/physical chemistry from Harvard University, and is the J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. He is the Honorary Chair Professor of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the editorial boards of eight publications. Dr. Dai has written more than 250 papers and is ranked as one of the most cited chemists in the field of materials chemistry by Thomson Reuters.

Dr. Dai pioneered the controlled growth of carbon nanotubes using metal-catalyzed chemical vapor deposition, showing for the first time that high-quality single-walled nanotubes could be synthesized using a method that enables control over the growth process. He used his knowledge of nanotube growth to demonstrate hierarchical organization over multiple length scales. Dr. Dai also exploited this unique control over nanotube growth to uncover basic electronic properties of metallic and semiconducting nanotubes.

In the past decade, Dr. Dai and his group have defined the fundamental limits of nanotube transistors and, consequently, have raised the level of awareness of nanomaterials to some of the largest semiconductor companies. He pioneered the use of nanotubes as intracellular molecular transporters for biological molecules and cancer drugs, demonstrating that key spectroscopic properties unique to nanotubes and other carbon nanostructures make them ideal for biological detection, fluorescence imaging in the second near-infrared window, drug delivery, and cancer therapy via in vivo photothermal tumor destruction.