Group News


April 28 – Margaret won runner-up at MIT’s Polymer Day research poster competition. Congratulations!

March 24 – PJ, Paul, Leo, and Margaret got a paper on macroscopic material assembly using nanoparticle superlattices published in Nature!

March 1 – Josh, Amogh, Diana, and Sara published a paper on manipulating DNA-programmed crystals in a hydrogel in ACS Applied Interfaces!

January – Omar, Matthew, and Keisuke have joined the group! Welcome!


October- Diana Lewis and Leonardo Zornberg’s work on self-assembling winterbottom structures made it to the cover of MRSBulletin! Pyramid Power!

September- Daryl Yee is officially a Macfarlanite. Welcome to the group!

August – Congratulations to Professor Macfarlane for being selected as a 2020 JACS Young Investigator!

March 20 – While our research is incredibly important, it has been deemed non-essential during the covid-19 pandemic, causing a temporary hiatus from regular lab work. The following changes are also in place:
  • Annual handshake competition has been delayed
  • Visit Weekend Kissing Booth has been rescheduled  for a later visit weekend
  • Josh and Margaret’s trip to Argonne National Laboratory has been canceled
  • The official communal office coffee mug will be washed
  • Aggregation of time-sensitive metastable nanoparticles has been prohibited
  • Lab members are encouraged to work from home, write papers, run simulations, and play Overcooked 2 to develop frantic time-management and multitasking skills

March 16Diana (our favorite student alumni to date) and Leo (a current student) have published a paper on PAE crystals grown on surfaces in Nature Materials. You can never escape the Macfarlawesomenss! 

February 20Professor Macfarlane has defeated the AWOT process and been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor (without tenure)! He also managed to survive the confetti cannon celebration. Good news for all, especially his current students

January 6 –  PJ published a paper on magnetic bonds in NCTs in JACS


December 16 – The group celebrates some winter holidays, and finally discovers the mysteries of the Macfarlane Mansion

October 11 – Leo and Paul published a paper on optically processing nanoparticle films in Nano Letters

September 10 – PJ published a paper on controlling of molecular multivalency in nanoparticle assemblies (a.k.a. bundle bonds) in JACS

August -Michika was awarded the JSPS Cross-border Postdoctoral Fellowship.

August 25 – Josh published a paper on crosslinkable polymer-grafted nanoparticles in Advanced Functional Materials.

July 29 – Yuping, PJ, Josh, and Margaret published a paper on multistimuli responsive nanocomposite tectons in JACS.

July 26 – PJ published a paper on assembly of ordered crystals with disperse building blocks in Nano Letters.

July 3 – Paul published a paper on controlling crystal texture of PAE thin films in ACS Nano.

June 6 – Diana graduated. Congratulations to the first Macfarlab graduate!

Diana graduate

May– Michika has joined the Macfarlane team

May 22 – Josh presented a poster at the Cabot Student Materials Research Forum, winning 2nd place and a GoPro.

May 13 – Diana defended her thesis: Deposition, Crystallization and Nanoindentation of Substrate-Bound Biomolecule-Assembled Nanomaterials.

May 13 Professor Rob Macfarlane has been chosen as the Paul M. Cook Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

April 16 – Paul and Leo published a review article on the Programmable Atom Equivalents, and how atomic crystallization theory has influenced nanoparticle self-assembly.

March 20 – Margaret passed her Thesis Proposal and is officially admitted to her PhD Program.

Feb 13 – PJ presented at the ICS conference- and was awarded the Israel Chemical Society Excellent Poster Prize.


December – Griffen joins the Macfarlab.

August 30 – Diana and Paul published a paper on Programmable Atom Equivalent deposition in Langmuir.

August 24– Paul, Diana, and PJ presented at the Fall National ACS Meeting.

May 31 – The lab crushes Prof. Macfarlane at go-karts, definitively proving that studying nanoparticle self-assembly does not improve driver skill.

April – Josh and Leo pass their Thesis Area Exams/Proposals and are officially admitted to their PhD Programs!

January 31 – Paul published a paper on lattice mismatch during epitaxial growth of PAE crystals.


December 15 – The Macfarlane Lab celebrates the end of a successful 2017!


November 17 – Margaret Lee joins the lab as a new graduate student – welcome!

September 15 – Fei Jia joins the lab as a new post-doc!

September 1 – Yuping Wang joins the lab as a new post-doc!

July 15 – The Macfarlane lab says goodbye to Jianyuan Zhang and wishes him well as a new professor at Rutgers University

bye jianyuan

June 1 – Sara Wilson & Megan Diehl join the lab for the summer as UROP students.

June 1 – Kimberly Stieglitz joins the lab for the summer as an RET fellow.

May 10 – Josh is awarded an NDSEG Graduate Fellowship – congrats, Josh!

April 17 – Rob is awarded the Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid & Surfactant Science

April 11 – The Macfarlane lab thoroughly destroys the Holten-Andersen lab at laser tag.

April 4 – Diana passes her Thesis Proposal Defense – Congratulations!

March – Paul and PJ pass their Thesis Area Exams and are officially admitted to the PhD Program!

March 17 – Both Paul and Leo are awarded NSF Graduate Fellowships! Congratulations!

January 31 – Rob is awarded an NSF CAREER Award


December 20 – The Macfarlane group celebrates the end of a very productive 2016. Happy Holidays!


December 7 – The group’s first paper on Nanocomposite Tectons, titled: “Self-Assembling Nanocomposite Tectons,” is published in JACS!

December 1 – Leonardo Zornberg joins the lab as a first year graduate student – welcome!

November 23 – Paul’s paper “Epitaxy: Programmable Atom Equivalents Versus Atoms” is published in ACS Nano! Congratulations to Paul and our collaborators at Northwestern!

October 18 – Congratulations to Professor Rob Macfarlane for being awarded an Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award for work on “DNA-Programmed Epitaxy of Nanoparticle Superlattices!”

September 23  – Joshua Kubiak joins the lab as a first year graduate student – welcome!

February 5 – Rob’s paper “Transmutable nanoparticles with reconfigurable surface ligands” is published in Science. Congratulations to first author Youngeun Kim and collaborators in the Mirkin Lab at NU!

February 4 – Diana Lewis joins the lab – welcome Diana!


October 15 – The Macfarlane lab welcomes PJ Santos, Sangho Lee, and Paul Gabrys as first year graduate students!

September 15 – Jianyuan Zhang joins the lab as a new post-doc!