Carnegie Mellon University

Rongchao Jin

Rongchao Jin

Professor, Chemistry

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Area of Expertise

Chemical Processes, Energy Storage


1999–2003     Ph.D. Chemistry, Northwestern University


Research includes the chemical synthesis, X-ray crystallographic structure determination, and catalytic application of atomically precise metal nanoclusters. This unique class of materials provides opportunities for tailoring the catalytically active sites at the single-atom and single-electron level. Also in areas involving nanoscience, nanoparticles, synthesis, catalysis, and optics.



Our research focuses on fundamental science and engineering questions motivated by the creation of materials on the nanometer scale (1 nm=10-9 m). Our research themes include the synthesis, characterization, and applications of nanoparticles (typically 1-100 nm in size). We are developing chemical methods for synthesizing well defined nanoparticles, including atomically precise nanoclusters, shape- and size-controlled nanocrystals, hybrid nano-architectures, and inorganic/polymer nanocomposites. In-depth characterizations of the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles and self-assembled nanomaterials are carried out with microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, such as electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray crystallography, steady-state and ultrafast spectroscopies, etc. We also develop applications of nanoparticles in areas of catalysis, optics, chemo- and bio-sensing, and photovoltaics, etc.


Molecular “surgery” on a 23-gold-atom nanoparticle
Qi Li, Tian-Yi Luo, Michael G. Taylor, Shuxin Wang, Xiaofan Zhu, Yongbo Song, Giannis Mpourmpakis, Nathaniel L. Rosi, Rongchao Jin, Science Advances, 2017, 3 (5) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603193

Shuttling single metal atom into and out of a metal nanoparticle
Wang, S., Abroshan, H., Liu, C., Luo, T.-Y., Zhu, M., Kim, H.J., Rosi, N.L., Jin, R. Nature Communications, 2017, 8 (1), art. no. 848,

Emergence of hierarchical structural complexities in nanoparticles and their assembly
Zeng, C.; Chen, Y.; Kirschbaum, K.; Lambright, K. J.; Jin, R. Science 2016, 354, 1580–1584.

Highly Efficient Three-Component Coupling Reaction Catalysed by Atomically Precise Ligand-Protected Au38(SC2H4Ph)24 Nanoclusters
Li, Q.; Das, A.; Wang, S.; Chen, Y.; Jin, R. Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 14298–14301.

(Invited review) Atomically Precise Colloidal Metal Nanoclusters and Nanoparticles: Fundamentals and Opportunities
Jin, R.; Zeng, C.; Zhou, M.; Chen, Y. Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 10346–10413.

Evolution from the Plasmon to Exciton State in Ligand-Protected Atomically Precise Gold Nanoparticles
Zhou, M.; Zeng, C.; Chen, Y.; Zhao, S.; Sfeir, M. Y.; Zhu, M; Jin, R. Nature Communications 2016, 7, 13240.

Atomic Structure of Self-Assembled Monolayer of Thiolates on a Tetragonal Au92 Nanocrystal
Zeng, C.; Liu, C.; Chen, Y.; Rosi, N. L.; Jin, R. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 8710–8713. (Featured in JACS Spotlights)

Ultrasmall Palladium Nanoclusters as Effective Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Zhao, S.; Zhang, H.; House, S. D.; Jin, R.; Yang, J.; Jin, R. ChemElectroChem 2016, 3, 1225–1229.

Controlling the Atomic Structure of Au30 Nanoclusters by a Ligand-Based Strategy
Higaki, T.; Liu, C.; Zeng, C.; Jin, R.; Chen, Y.; Rosi, N. L.; Jin, R. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 6694–6697.

Heavily doped Au25–xAgx(SC6H11)18 nanoclusters: silver goes from the core to the surface
Li, Q.; Wang, S.; Kirschbaum, K.; Lambright, K.; Das, A.; Jin, R. Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 5194–5197.

Effects of single atom doping on the ultrafast electron dynamics of M1Au24(SR)18 (M = Pd, Pt) nanoclusters
Zhou, M.; Qian, H.; Sfeir, M. Y.; Nobusada, K.; Jin, R. Nanoscale 2016, 8, 7163– 7171.

Gold Quantum Boxes: On the Periodicities and the Quantum Confinement in the Au28, Au36, Au44 and Au52 Magic Series
Zeng, C.; Chen, Y.; Iida, K.; Nobusada, K.; Kirschbaum, K.; Lambright, K.; Jin, R. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 3950–3953. (Featured in JACS Spotlights)