Dr.Fan fabricates nanowires, nanorings, nanodiscs, and 3-D nanoporous superstructures. She also invented the "electric tweezers" based on the combined AC and DC electric fields. The electric tweezers can transport nanoparticles with independently controlled orientation and transport direction along arbitrary trajectories. Two nanowires (6 micrometer in length and 300 nm in diameter) with initial separation distance of 180 micrometers can be transported towards each other and connected tip to tip. The precision is at least 300 nm. Nanowires can also rotate seamlessly after transportation. The rotation of the nanowires can be instantly switched on or off with controlled rotation speed (to at least 26000 rpm for a free rotating nanowire), chirality, and total angle of rotation. Recently, Dr. Fan's group discovered an original mechanism that leads to highly efficient reconfigurable operation of semiconductor nanomotors. One can facilely choose and switch the operation modes of Si nanomotors instantly and reversibly, including acceleration, deceleration, stop, and reversal of rotation orientation. The operation of the micro/nanodevice in response to external stimuli can be considered as a mechanical analogy of the field effect transistors, which are the basic building blocks of CPU used in computers, cells phone, laptops, and many electronic instruments.
D. L. Fan, F. Q. Zhu, R. C. Cammarata and C. L. Chien, "Controllable high-speed rotation of metallic nanowires", Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 247208 (2005).
D. L. Fan, R. C. Cammarata and C. L. Chien, "Precision transport and assembling of nanowires in suspension by electric fields", Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 093115 (2008).
Zexi Liang and Donglei Fan*, "Visible-Light-Gated Reconfigurable Rotary Actuation of Electric Nanomotors", Science Advances, 4, eaau0981 (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau0981 (link), featured by UT News, Forbes, ASEE First Bell, IEEE Spectrum, Science Daily, Physorg, EurekAlert, and Daily Texan.
D. L. Fan*, F. Q. Zhu, R. C. Cammarata* and C. L. Chien, "Electric Tweezers", Nano Today, 6, 339 (2011) (Invited article).(link)
D. L. Fan*, F. Q. Zhu, X. B. Xu, R. C. Cammarata and C. L. Chien*, "Electronic Properties of Nanoentities Revealed by Mechanical Motion" The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 9309–9313 (2012)(link).(direct submission without prearranged editors)
F.Q. Zhu, D. L. Fan, X. C. Zhu, J. G. Zhu, R. C. Cammarata and C. L. Chien, "Arrays of magnetic nanorings with ultrahigh areal densities", Advanced Materials, 16, 2155 (2004).
Jianhe Guo, Andrew Chan, Weigu Li, and D. L. Fan*, "Kirkendall Effect in Creating Three-Dimensional Metal Catalysts for Hierarchically Porous Ultrathin Graphite with Unique Properties", Chemistry of Materials, 29, 4991–4998 (2017) DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b01518 (link).
Weigu Li, Marshall C Tekell, Chang Liu, Jacob A Hethcock, and D. L. Fan*, "Flexible All-Solid-State Supercapacitors of High Areal Capacitance Enabled by Porous Graphite Foams with Diverging Microtubes", Advanced Functional Materials, DOI:10.1002/adfm.201800601 (2018) (link).
C. L. Chien, D. L. Fan, and Robert C. Cammarata, "System and Method for Precision transport, Positioning, and Assembling of Longitudinal Nano-structures " (two patents granted, 9,044,808 B2, 2015 and 9,718,683, 2017)
Su Chi, R. C. Cammarata, C. L. Chien, Donglei Fan, Stephen Farias, and Danru Qum "Systems and Methods for Separating Metallic and Nonmetallic Particles in a Mixed-Particle Suspension " (patent granted, 9,751,091 September, 2017)
D. L. Fan, J. Ning, X. B. Xu, and J. H. Guo "Method for Manufacturing of Three-Dimentional Free Standing Porous Thin-Graphite with Hierarchical Porosity" (patent granted, US9957163, issued on May 1, 2018)
W. G. Li and D. L. Fan "Dendritic Materials with Hierarchical Porosity" (provisional patent, 62/468,603, March, 2017)