Donglei Fan

Headshot of Dr. Donglei FanDr. Donglei Fan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin since January 2010. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Department of Intensive Instruction, an honor program for gifted youth, in Nanjing University (NJU) in 1999, master's (2003) and doctorate (2007) degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

She also obtained another master's degree in Electrical Engineering from JHU in 2005. Between 2007 and 2009, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at JHU.

Dr. Fan has won the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2012 for her work on investigation of innovative mechanisms for assembling large arrays of rotary nanomotors from nanoscale building blocks. She also received scholarship from NSF for summer program at the California Institute of Technology, Postdoctoral Fellowship in JHU, multiple Scholarships for Academic Excellence from NJU, and early admission to NJU with Freshman Scholarship waived of National College Examination.

Dr. Fan's research aims at investigating innovative approaches to bridge the fabrication of nanomaterials with their applications in biochemical sensing, MEMS/NEMS, and energy conversion and storage devices. Extensive researches on nanomaterials have revealed that they often exhibit unique electronic, mechanical, optical and magnetic properties. In most cases, these properties are far superior to those of the bulk materials due to the Quantum Confinement Effect and large surface areas. However, the applications of nanomaterials are still largely hindered by the difficulties in manipulation and integration of them into useful devices. Dr. Fan invented a powerful and non-destructive technique, called "Electric Tweezers", for the manipulation of nanoentities in suspension by electric fields. The manipulation includes transport and rotation that can lead to separation, concentration, joining and assembly etc. Dr. Fan's work has spurred a series of publications on journals including Nature Nanotechnology, The Proceedings of National Academy of Science, Nano Today, Physical Review Letters, Advanced Materials, as well as three patent disclosures. Her work was widely reported by the academic news media such as Nano Today, MRS Bulletin,, APS news, World Gold Council, and had been selected multiple times by Virtual Journals of Nanoscale Science and Technology.