The Jones Lab at Rice University takes a systems approach to nanoparticle assembly - in addition to understanding assembled materials as a function of their constituent parts (e.g. nanoparticles, ligands, atoms), we also consider the influence of collective properties and higher-order effects (e.g. dimensionality, curvature, particle interactions). These systems-level phenomena allow for the creation of new forms of inorganic matter that are structurally reconfigurable, experience positive and negative feedback, and are constantly evolving over time in response to external stimuli. This holistic and hierarchical approach requires the application of advanced chemical methods for controlling nanoparticle size, shape, composition, surface functionality, interaction potential, and geometric environment while simultaneously addressing fundamental questions about the symmetry, topology, and out-of-equilibrium dynamics of assembled nanometer-scale systems. Through these insights we design adaptive materials with unique optical and mechanical properties with potential impact in the fields of metamaterials, energy storage, and biology.
Matt Jones joined the Chemistry faculty at Rice in 2017 and is the Norman and Gene Hackerman Junior Chair. He received B.S. degrees in materials science and biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and completed his Ph.D. at Northwestern University as an NSF Fellow. Under the guidance of Chad Mirkin, his graduate work focused on the cooperative properties of DNA ligands functionalizing anisotropic nanoparticles and the ability for these systems to assemble into novel superlattices via base-pair hybridization. For his postdoctoral work, Matt was awarded an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Fellowship to study under Paul Alivisatos at UC Berkeley. There, he investigated single-particle non-equilibrium shape transformations of metal nanocrystals using liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy. His research interests at Rice rest at the intersection of systems science, nanoparticle self-assembly, and plasmonics/metamaterials.