Stephen Morin

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor Profile Image

Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
409C Hamilton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0304
(402) 472-4608


Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison
B.S., The University of Texas at Austin

Teaching and Research Interests

Materials chemistry, nanomaterials synthesis and characterization, nanoscience, nanoassembly, hybrid materials systems, bottom-up fabrication

Teaching Philosophy

Many societal challenges—sustainability, energy, and health care—can be addressed by innovations in science. We must develop, though effective teaching, future generations of scientists to meet these challenges. My approach to teaching science relies on three principles: (i) great teachers are also great students, (ii) effective mentors know their students, and (iii) science must be brought to life.

Current Research

Emerging technologies (e.g., soft electronics) demand innovative techniques for the synthesis of crystalline materials and the integration of hard and soft materials into functional structures. The group is developing dynamic solution and surface chemical processes that address these demands by carefully controlling key factors, such as mass transport, critical to crystal synthesis and the fabrication of hybrid structures. We emphasize methods that alleviate the limitations, such as high cost of production and limited materials compatibility, associated with the conventional processing of crystalline materials.

Our strategies develop aspects of solution and surface chemistry that have been neglected or not considered. Current research projects (Figure 1) include: (i) the investigation of crystal growth on deformable or elastic substrates, (ii) the growth of crystals in fluid flow fields, and (iii) the use of acoustics to control the location of crystal nucleation. We focus on solution-phase synthesis because it simplifies experimental design, lowers cost, and offers advantages in processing. Our work will provide new methodologies for the synthesis of crystalline materials with useful morphologies and hybrid assemblies with desired structure-property relationships.

We utilize an array of techniques to characterize the materials that we produce, including: various scanning probe microscopies, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, optical microscopy, X-ray and electron diffraction, UV/VIS/IR spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. We also utilize nanofacrication, soft lithography, and additive manufaturing techniques to create devices for the synthesis of materials and for the characterization of the electrical and mechanical properties of materials. Students and postdocs in the group can expect to become proficient in all of these techniques.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Current Research

Selected Publications

(1) Morin, S.A.; Amos, F.F.; Jin, S. "Biomimetic Assembly of Zinc Oxide Nanorods on Flexible Polymers" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 13776-13777.

(2) Morin, S.A.; La, Y.H.; Liu, C.C.; Streifer, J.A.; Hamers, R.J.; Nealey, P.F.; Jin, S. "Assembly of Nanocrystal Arrays by Block-Copolymer-Directed Nucleation" Angew. Chem.-Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 2135-2139.

(3) Morin, S.A.; Bierman, M.J.; Tong, J.; Jin, S. "Mechanism and Kinetics of Spontaneous Nanotube Growth Driven by Screw Dislocations" Science 2010, 328, 476-480.

(4) Morin, S.A.; Forticaux, A.; Bierman, M.J.; Jin, S. "Screw Dislocation-Driven Growth of Two Dimensional Nanoplates" Nano Lett. 2011, 11, 4449-4455.

(5) Morin, S.A.; Shepherd, R.F.; Kwok, S.W.; Stokes, A.A.; Nemiroski, A.; Whitesides, G.M. "Camouflage and Display for Soft Machines" Science 2012, 337, 828-832.