Dong Qin
Associate Professor
MoSE 3100 N

Dr. Dong Qin is an Associate Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, with an adjunct appointment in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her academic records include a B.S. in Chemistry from Fudan University, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry with Professor Hai-Lung Dai from University of Pennsylvania, a postdoctoral stint with Professor George M. Whitesides at Harvard University, and an MBA from the University of Washington. She is a recipient of the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2015–2018), the GT-CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2015, and Geoffrey G. Eichholz Faculty Teaching Award in 2018.

The Qin Lab centers on the knowledge-based synthesis of metal nanocrystals for applications in plasmonics, catalysis, and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The lab has pioneered galvanic replacement-free synthesis of a catalytic metal on the surface of silver nanocrystals for the fabrication of bimetallic nanocrystals that can serve as a probe for monitoring catalytic reactions in situ by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Most recently, we demonstrate the use of 2,6-dimethylphenyl isocyanide (2,6-DMPI) as a spectroscopic probe to study the heterogeneous nucleation and deposition of Pd on Ag nanocubes under different conditions by SERS. As a major advantage, the spectroscopic analysis can be performed in situ and in real time with the nanoparticles still suspended in the reaction solution. This in situ technique opens up the opportunity to investigate the roles played by reaction temperature and the type of metal precursor in influencing the heterogeneous nucleation and growth of bimetallic nanocrystals. The sensitivity of isocyanide group to Pd atoms helps elucidate some of the details on the reduction, deposition, and diffusion processes involved in heterogeneous nucleation.

Research Challenges: 
Selected publications: 

A list of publications is available at

  • In Situ atomic-level tracking of heterogeneous nucleation in nanocrystal growth with an isocyanide molecular probe”, Wu, Y. and Qin, D. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2018, 140, 8340–8349.
  • “Rational design and synthesis of bifunctional metal nanocrystals for probing catalytic reactions by surface-enhanced Raman scattering”, Zhang, Y.; Wu, Y.; and D. Qin Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2018, 6, 5353–5362.
  • “Syntheses, plasmonic properties, and catalytic applications of Ag-Rh core-frame nanocubes and Rh nanoboxes with highly porous walls”, Zhang, Y.; Ahn, J.; Liu, J.; and Qin, D. Chemistry of Materials, 2018, 30, 2151–2159.
  • “Site-selective carvings and co-deposition: Transformation of Ag nanocubes into concave nanocrystals encased by Au-Ag alloy frames”, Ahn, J.; Wang, D.; Zhang, J.; Yong, D.; and Qin, D. ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 298–307.
  • “Enriching silver nanocrystals with a second noble metal”, Wu, Y.; Sun, X.; Yang, Y.; Li, J.; Zhang, Y. and Qin, D. Accounts for Chemical Research, 2017, 50, 1774–1784.
  • “Observing the overgrowth of a second metal on silver cubic seeds in solution by surface-enhanced Raman scattering”, Zhang, Y.; Jiu, J.; Ahn, J.; Xiao, T.; Li, Z.-Y. and Qin, D. ACS Nano, 2017, 11, 5080–5086.
  • “Gold-based cubic nanoboxes with well-defined openings at the corners and ultrathin walls less than two nanometers thick”, Sun, X.; Kim, J.; Gilroy, K. D.; Liu, J.; König, T. A. F. and Qin, D. ACS Nano 2016, 10, 8019–8025.
  • “Bifunctional Ag@Pd-Ag nanocubes for highly sensitive monitoring of catalytic reactions by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy”, Li, J.; Liu, J.; Yang, Y. and Qin, D. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015, 137, 7039–7042.
  • Galvanic replacement-free deposition of Au on Ag for core-shell nanocubes with enhanced chemical stability and SERS activity, Y. Yang; J. Liu; Z. Fu; and D. Qin, JACS, 136, 8153-8156, (2014).