We are the Materials and Interface NanoTechnology Laboratory at the University of Maryland. The research group is led by Prof. Oded Rabin of the Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics.


Our mission is to understand and exploit interactions between inorganic nanoscale objects and their chemical and physical environment. Our efforts involve chemical synthesis, materials characterization, and proof-of-principle devices fabrication.

The Materials and Interface NanoTechnology Laboratory conducts research in a wide variety of topics related to nanoscience and nanotechnology. Our central goal is to explore the new physics that emerges from shrinking the dimensions of materials to the nanoscale, and to identify the significance of the new science for an array of applied fields such as sensing, energy, and biomedicine.
Below are current and past research projects:

  • The transverse Seebeck effect and heat-flux sensing.
  • Surface Enhanced IR Absorption (SEIRA)
  • Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) from plasmonic nanostructures.
  • Enhancement of performance of metallic wires by carbon nanostructures.
  • Sensing microbial growth in biofuel storage tanks.
  • Fabrication of 3D plasmonic nanostructures for chiroptical studies.
  • Remote chemical sensing with optic fiber SERS (Raman) technology.
  • Directed self-assembly of silver nanocubes for SERS (Raman) sensing.
  • Bulk nanostructures as improved thermoelectric materials.
  • Nanoparticle formulations for x-ray tomography (medical imaging)

Information on Open Positions at MINT

News & Announcements

  • Clark Doctoral Fellows Mid-Career Award
    Graduate student Kenny McAfee is elected to join the Clark Doctoral Fellows, a college-wide program to recognize high-achieving doctoral students.

  • Upcoming International Workshop in Bonn, Germany
    The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus foundation confirmed support for the workshop "Transverse Effects in Thermoelectric Systems" co-organized by Prof. Rabin, Prof. Nielsch (IFW-Dresden) and Prof. Fischer (Humboldt University-Berlin).

  • Kenny McAfee advances to candidacy at the Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. program.

  • A New Material and Design Considerations for Heat Flux Sensors
    Our work on single crystal antimony as a transducer for heat flux sensing appears in Sensors and Actuators A:Physical. The paper is the first to come out from our new high-temperature testing facilities. Graduate student and first author Kenneth McAfee constructed, characterized and modelled the sensor.
    Sensor & Actuators A: Graphical Abstract

  • NASA Student Award
    Kenneth McAfee won 1st place in the Student Poster Competition of the 34th NASA Thermal Fluids and Analysis Workshop. Title: Leveraging the Transverse Seebeck Effect for Robust Heat Flux Sensors. Kenny will present his research more extensively in the Dec'23 JANNAF meeting and the 2024 AIAA SciTech Forum.
    NASA logo trophy

  • ICT conference
    Dr. Rabin and graduate student McAfee present at the 39th annual International Conference on Thermoelectrics in Seattle, WA. The talks "Analysis of the transverse thermoelectric performance characteristics of artificially layered anisotropic materials" and "Design and Characterization of a Single Crystal Antimony Heat Flux Sensor Utilizing the Transverse Seebeck Effect" introduced the audience to our work on transverse thermoelectricity.
    ICT23 logo USA map Seattle

  • NASA Fellowship Award
    Kenneth McAfee was awarded the NASA Science and Technology Graduate Research Opportunity fellowship (NSTGRO23) to conduct research on heat flux measurements and modeling during atmospheric reentry. This proposal is a spin off on his achievements in constructing and calibrating heat flux sensors based on the transverse Seebeck effect.
    NASA logo

  • Alum Visit
    We extend a warm welcome (back) to Prof. Seung Yong Lee (PhD, 2012) from KIST. He will spend his sabbatical year at the University of Maryland.

  • An International Experience
    Ph.D. candidate Kenneth McAfee was invited to visit the Leibniz Institute IFW-Dresden, present his work, collaborate with the institute's staff and attend the German Physical Society meeting.

  • Fulbright Award
    Prof. Rabin was selected for the 2022-2023 cohort of U.S. Fulbright Scholars by the German-American Fulbright Commission. Dr. Rabin will spend the academic year at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, Germany, in the Institute for Metallic Materials led by Prof. Dr. Kornelius Nielsch.

  • Prof. Rabin becomes Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland.

  • Gold Nanoparticle Arrays on the Tip of a Fiber
    Xin and Kunyi publish their work on remote SERS using an optical fiber functionalized with a plasmonic metamaterial. The paper in Frontiers in Physics demonstrates the sensitivity achieved by the device in detection of thiol molecules. In collaboration with Accustrata Inc., and with a grant from UM Ventures, we investigated the self-assembly of nanoparticles on the tip of an optical fiber (100 or 200 microns in diameter) and the potential application of our plasmonics research towards remote chemical sensing.
    SERS with optic fiber

  • Dr. Mandal accepts research scientist position at UMD.

  • Kenneth McAfee, M.Sc. (2020, Binghamton University) joins MINT Lab. Mr. McAfee's research in thermoelectric sensors is funded by DOE/NETL.

  • Plasmon Resonances in Curved Nanorods
    Kunyi and Andrew publish their extensive work on Localized Surface Plasmons in Metallic Nanoarcs. The paper in Optics Express provides a blueprint for designing nano-objects that act as selective nano-antennas at specific optical frequencies. The students worked with collaborators in the Berkeley lab, the Naval Research Laboratory and in IREAP, learning new skills and expanding the scope of this NSF-funded project.

  • High-Temperature Heat Flux Sensing
    Prof. Rabin and Prof. Peter Sunderland (FPE) receive a NETL University Training and Research award (DOE) to support developing heat-flux sensor technologies compatible with the high-temperature corrosive environments found in power plant boilers and training a next generation of highly-skilled engineers for the energy economy.
    NETL logo

  • Graduation
    Kunyi Zhang (Ph.D. 2020) completes her graduate studies and her thesis Tailoring Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances in Metallic Nanoantennas. Dr. Zhang will continue researching optical properties of nanostructures at UMD.

  • Pampa R. Mandal Sarkar, Ph.D. (2015, Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur) joins MINT Lab. Dr. Mandal's research in thermoelectric sensor films is funded by AFOSR.

  • Ultra-fast Heat Flux Sensing
    MINT Lab joins Prof. Stuart Laurence (AE) and Innoveering LLC in developing surface heat-flux and temperature sensors for hypersonic vehicles. The research is supported by AFOSR through a phase II STTR award.

  • Student Award
    Kunyi Zhang receives the Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship for her work on plasmonic nanostructures.

  • New Strategies to Nonlinear Optics Materials
    Prof. Rabin and Prof. Tom Murphy (ECE, IREAP) are awarded the New Directions grant for research in non-linear optics of plasmonic nanostructures.

  • MetaMaterials'2018
    Rabin presents at the 12th International Congress on Artificial Materials for Novel Wave Phenomena the work on “Metallic Nanoarc Antennas – Plasmonics Building Blocks for Non-Linear Optical Metamaterials” in Espoo, Helsinki, Finland.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
    A consortium led by faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is awarded a DOE grant to advance our understanding of Covetic materials formation and develop effective manufacturing processes for the large-scale production of these nanocarbon metal composites.

  • Prof. Rabin is awarded a second-term Summer Faculty Fellowship to collaborate with Dr. Augustine Urbas of the AFRL. At AFRL, the team demonstrates high Second Harmonic Generation from the metamaterials designed at UMD.

  • Kunyi Zhang presented her research on Plasmonic Nanoarcs in the March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) 2018 in Los Angeles.

  • Master students Haoxian Zhang, B.S. (2017, University of California, Davis) and Sooh-Hwan Nathaniel Jang, M.S. (2017, University of Maryland) join MINT Lab for short-term research assistantships. Haoxian researched the transverse Seebeck effect in metal films. Nate researched the covetics process in high-vacuum environment.

  • Kunyi Zhang wins 1st Prize in the student poster competition of the Optics & Photonics Conference of the Optical Society of America at John Hopkins University.

  • Prof. Mildred (Millie) Dresselhaus
    Sadly, Prof. Dresselhaus passed away this year. Family and friends organized a memorial celebration and reunion at MIT. Visit Celebrating our Millie: The Legacy and Impact of Mildred Dresselhaus
    Millie / YuMing / Oded Millie Memorial Celebration Nov 2017
    Dresselhaus and Rabin last worked jointly (with Marcie Black and Vincent Meunier) on a chapter for the Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology published posthumously.

  • Ultra-fast Heat Flux Sensing
    MINT Lab joins Prof. Stuart Laurence (AE) and Innoveering LLC in developing surface heat-flux and temperature sensors for hypersonic vehicles. The research is supported by AFOSR through a phase I STTR award.

  • DOE National Laboratory
    Graduate student Kunyi Zhang and Prof. Rabin are awarded access to the first-rate instrumentation of the Advanced Light Source facility at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to carry out FTIR spectroscopy studies on individual plasmonic nanostructures.
    Many thanks to Dr. Hans Bechtel for training and advice!

  • Prof. Rabin is invited as Summer Faculty Fellow to collaborate with Dr. Augustine Urbas of the AFRL. At AFRL, the team performs a number of studies on functional plasmonic devices.

  • Kunyi Zhang, B.S. (2016, Shanghai Jiao Tong University) joins MINT Lab. Kunyi's research assistanship is provided by NSF Division of Materials Research.

  • UM Ventures Seed Grant
    Prof. Rabin, Prof. Briber and Dr. Xin Zhang are awarded the UM Ventures seed grant to advance the implementation of their IP in a commercial product. We have chosen Accustrata Inc as our industrial partner. The program will support R&D in connection with optic-fiber based chemical sensors for remote detection of chemicals via the SERS effect.

  • Romaine A. Isaacs, Ph.D. (2016, University of Maryland) joins MINT Lab. Romaine is supported by NSF Division of Materials Research.

  • Graduation
    Andrew P. Lawson (M.S. 2016) completes his graduate studies. Mr. Lawson holds a position in industry in the College Park area leveraging on his expertise in analytical and microscopy tools for materials research.

  • Patent Issued
    The process of self-assembly of nanoparticles on block copolymer films developed in collaboration with Prof. Briber's Laboratory was recognized as an invention by the US Patent Office in patent 9,279,759 "Nanoparticle Array with Tunable Nanoparticle Size and Separation". We have developed the technology primarily for the fabrication of SERS substrates made of hexagonal (non-close packed) arrays of gold nanoparticles, however, the technology lends itself to create arrays of metallic, semiconductor and ceramic uniform-size nanoparticles with wide-range applications.

  • Graduation
    Jane E. Cornett (Ph.D. 2013) completes her graduate studies and her thesis Thermoelectric Transport Phenomena in Semiconducting Nanostructures. Dr. Cornett holds a position in industry in the Boston area leveraging on her expertise in thermoelectric materials science.

  • Prof. Rabin is promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

  • Industry - Academia Partnership
    Agilent Technologies University Relations Program has awarded a research gift to our laboratory in support of innovative research in the area of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). This industrial/academic partnership will invest in the development and commercialization of second-generation tunable SERS substrates.

  • Doctoral Thesis Award
    Jane Cornett wins the 2013 Dean’s Doctoral Student Research Awards (best Ph.D. thesis in the Clark School of Engineering) for her presentation titled "Thermoelectric Transport Phenomena in Semiconductor Nanostructures".

  • Jane Cornett wins the 2013 MSE Graduate Research Award (best Ph.D. thesis research award) for her presentation titled "Thermoelectric Transport Phenomena in Semiconductor Nanostructures".
  • Jane Cornett is among 15 U.S. students selected for an NSF fellowships to attend the first Joint U.S.–Africa Materials Initiative (JUAMI) Materials Research School, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in December 2012.

  • Andrew Lawson, B.S. (2012, Lehigh University) joins MINT Lab. Andrew's research assistanship is provided by NSF Division of Materials Research.

  • Rabin tapped for Nature Nanotechnology News and Views article on self-assembly of metal nanoparticles.

  • Rabin presents at the Gordon Research Conference on Noble Metal Nanoparticles (Mt. Holyoke College, MA).

  • Rabin presents the group's Plasmonics and SERS work at the University of Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil.

  • Graduation
    Seung Yong Lee (Ph.D. 2012) completes his graduate thesis and returns to Seoul. He holds a research position at the Center for Materials Architecturing, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

  • Plasmonics with a Twist
    Dr. Rabin is awarded the NSF CAREER Award for research that merges the fields of plasmonics and chiral spectroscopy. The CAREER Program offers NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. [1][2]

  • A Surprising Chemistry
    Our paper "A unique solid-solid transformation of silver nanoparticles on reactive ion-etching-processed silicon" is published and featured in the front cover of Nanotechnology.

  • Our paper "Universal Scaling Relations for the Thermoelectric Power Factor of Semiconducting Nanostructures" appears in Physical Review B.

  • Our work on easy-to-fabricate Raman sensing substrates is published in Advanced Functional Materials. The paper, titled "Self-Assembled SERS Substrates with Tunable Surface Plasmon Resonances", is a collaboration between Prof. Briber's group (MSE, UMD) and our MINT laboratory. The project was initiated, planned and executed by our graduate students Seung Yong Lee and Wonjoo Lee (Ph.D. 2010).

  • Thermoelectrics - a Priority Program in Germany
    Rabin gives a keynote presentation at the DFG Priority Program 1386 meeting “Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials: Theory, Model Systems and Controlled Synthesis” in Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, Germany.

  • A news release on our thermoelectrics research is featured in the national media outlets. Articles in automotive-related news sites [1][2], financial news [3] and science & technology reviews [4][5] address the research findings.

  • A news release on our thermoelectrics research is featured in the University of Maryland news page , as well as the Maryland Nanocenter and the UM Energy Research Center.

  • Sometimes Size Does Matter: Rethink Nanotechnology to Convert a Car's Waste Heat into Electrical Power
    Clark school media website features our thermoelectrics research.

  • Owen McGovern joins the lab as part of the IREAP undergraduate summer research program (IREAP-USR).

  • Rabin presents J. Cornett's work "Trends in the Thermoelectric Power Factor of Semiconducting Nanowires" at the 2011 E-MRS conference in France.

  • Our article, "Thermoelectric figure of merit calculations for semiconducting nanowires," published in Applied Physics Letters, has been selected for the May 16, 2011 issue of the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology.

  • Smaller Is Not Always Better: A New Model for Thermoelectric Materials
    Clark school website features our thermoelectrics research.

  • Our work "Thermoelectric Figure-of-Merit Calculations for Semiconducting Nanowires" is published in Applied Physics Letters.

  • Dr. Rabin presents an overview of Thermoelectric Energy Generation at the Clark School Engineering Sustainability Workshop on Earth Day 2011. [WEBCAST]

  • ARCS Scholarship
    Jane Cornett is awarded the ARCS Scholarship for 2011-2012 for her high scholastic achievements. Congratulations Jane!
    The ARCS Foundation advances science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens studying to complete degrees in science, engineering and medical research.

  • ASPIRE Fellowship
    Nicholas Faenza wins ASPIRE undergraduate research fellowship.
  • A Tradition of Recognition
    Cornett presents her work at the Fall 2010 MRS conference. Her presentation "Simplified Thermoelectric Figure of Merit Calculations for Semiconducting Nanowires" earns her an MRS student award. Dr. Rabin received this award during his Ph.D. studies.

  • Nanocube Pairs Are Key to Improved Sensors
    Clark school website features our SERS research.

  • Our work "Dispersion in the SERS Enhancement with Silver Nanocube Dimers", in collaboration with Prof. Mayergoyz's group, is published in ACS Nano, a leading journal in the field of Nanotechnology.

  • Rabin to present the MSE seminar on Oct 1st, 2010 "Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy: Localized Plasmons in the Service of Chemical Sensing"

  • Rabin presents an invited talk on S.Y. Lee's work "Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with Silver Nanocube Dimers: Experiment and Calculations" at the 2010 National ACS Meeting in Boston, MA.

  • Hasina Ali, Ph.D. joins MINT Lab. Her work will focus on nanoscale templates and thermoelectric measurements.

  • Jane Cornett presented her research on Thermoelectric Semiconducting Nanowires in the poster session of the Spring 2010 MRS Meeting in San Francisco.

  • Jane Cornett is awarded 1st Prize at the 2010 ResearchFest for her research presentation on Thermoelectric Semiconducting Nanowires. Congratulations Jane!

  • Rabin presents S.Y. Lee's work "Directed Self-Assembly of Silver Nanocubes: A Method for Regenerable Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) Substrates" at the 2009 National ACS Meeting in Washington, DC.

  • Rabin presents S.Y. Lee's work in an invited talk at the SPIE Optics+Photonics Meeting in San Diego, CA.

  • Jane Cornett, B.A. joins MINT Lab.

  • Rabin presents S.Y. Lee's work "Directed Self-Assembly of Silver Nanocubes: A Method for Regenerable Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) Substrates" in an invited talk at the Regional AVS meeting in NIST, Gaithersburg MD.

  • Rabin presents S.Y. Lee's work "Combinatorial Preparation of Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Substrates" at Argonne National Lab, Argonne IL.



ResearchPeoplePublicationsFacilitiesGalleryLinksUMD Only

Please contact us with comments, suggestions, or feedback
This page was last modified on Feb 24, 2019.