UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Ye Yang

Ye Yang is a PhD student in Adaptive & Responsive Nanomaterials Group (AdReNa) led by Dr. Stefan Guldin. His research focuses on the (bio-)chemical sensing based on intermolecular interaction between self-assembled nanoparticles and biomolecules.

Prior to joining the Department of Chemical Engineering in 10/2015, Ye Yang obtained both of his bachelor and master degrees in materials science and engineering. He studied self-assembly interplay at liquid crystal surfaces in the SuNMIL Group led by Prof. Francesco Stellacci in EPFL. He also developed an anthracycline sensing technique based on phase-transfer method during his master project. During his undergraduate study in Tsinghua University, Ye Yang worked on the optical properties of specific noble-metal nanostructures with Prof. Liangliang Li.

Research project

Title: Nanoparticle-Based Biochemical Sensing

Advances in micro-fabrication techniques have led to the advent of nanoscience and nanotechnology over the past two decades. Increased understanding of the structure-function interplay in nanomaterials has fostered their relevance, especially in life sciences. Unlike top-down fabrication methods typically used in semiconductors, self-assembly of both natural and synthetical materials enables bottom-up morphology control on the 10-nm length scale. This may be harvested for noble metal nanoparticles that interact selectively with their environment through their organic shell of ligands. This may be particularly relevant for biomedical research, e.g. for drug delivery, diagnostics or a combination thereof.

The synthesis of gold nanoparticles with self-assembly monolayer (SAM-NPs) using improved organic chemistry methods is therefore useful for obtaining a more precise morphological control of ligands. The characterization of SAM-NPs will be based on a range of techniques, including electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering. The tailor-made SAM-NPs will then be employed to induce the non-covalent intermolecular interactions with specific stimuli such as chemotherapeutic drugs and toxic molecules. Besides intermolecular interaction, we also aim to achieve the monitoring of solvation properties of NP-analyte combination and finally provide a convenient bio-chemical sensing technique based on phase transfer of SAM-NPs.


BSc (Eng) in Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, China 2013
MSc in Materials Science and Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland 2015