Sacanna Lab  


Colloid Chemistry and Self-assembly  


Lab Members


Stefano Sacanna

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Stefano Sacanna graduated in Chemistry from the University of Bologna in 2003. He obtained his PhD in Physical and Colloid Chemistry from Utrecht University in 2007. In 2008 he joined the Center for Soft Matter Research at New York University in the group of Prof. David Pine. In 2013 he moved to the Molecular Design Institute at NYU where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the department of Chemistry.

Theodore Hueckel    

Graduate Researcher


Theodore Hueckel began independent research at Stony Brook University with Prof. Joe Lauher synthesizing novel diacetylene compounds, and went on to work with Prof. Mike White at Brookhaven National Labs utilizing x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to analyze the surface properties of lanthanides. He graduated from Stony Brook in May of 2013, and began working in the Sacanna group in September that same year. At NYU his research is centered around synthesizing tetrahedral shaped colloids.

Keywords: Colloidal Design, Tetrahedra, Patchy-Particles


Zhe Gong

Graduate Researcher


Zhe Gong completed her B.Sc. degree in chemistry at Nankai University in China. During her undergraduate studies, she got trained in organic synthesis and was also involved in projects dealing with inorganic synthesis of nanomaterials and photocatalytic applications. Recently, she has been interested in colloidal chemistry, synthesizing different shapes and studying their assemblies.   

Keywords: Polyhedra,  Colloidal Clusters, Patchy-Particles, Magnetic Colloids


Mena Youssef

Graduate Researcher


Mena Youssef began independent research in Dr. Jianbo Lui’s lab at Queens College CUNY performing computational geometry optimization, energy minimization, and structure determination calculations on deprotonated methionine molecules, as well as study their non-covalent interactions with water molecules.  He graduated from Queens College CUNY in May 2014 and began working in the Sacanna group later that year.  He is currently investigating the directed assembly of colloids as well as engineering colloids with novel functions.  Keywords: Colloidal Self-Assembly, Active Colloids

Lab Alumni

Alicia Ng

Summer Student (summer2016)

Valeria Boesch

GSTEM Summer Student (summer 2016)

Maricely Ramirez Hernandez

REU Summer Student (summer 2016)

Min Soo Kim

Postdoc  (March 2015 – February 2016), now  Research Assistant Professor - UNIST

Rohit Bhan

Undergraduate Researcher (2014-'16)

Tarikul Islam

Undergraduate Researcher (2014-'15)

Luisa Khan

GSTEM Summer Student (summer 2015)

Katherine Kusmin

GSTEM Summer Student (summer 2015)

Phoebe Carney  

GSTEM Summer Student (summer 2014)

Robert Lukin  

REU Student (summer 2014)


Undergraduate Students

Felicia Yang

Zaeem Nazir

Isaak Proano

Michael Hamilton

Alexandra Macbeth

Jaehyun Kim

Visiting Graduate Researcher


Jaehyun Kim graduated from SKKU with a degree in polymer engineering in 2013. He worked as an engineer at the PET optical film plant at Hyosung Corporation. He joined Gi-Ra Yi's group in SKKU 2014. His research interests are twofold, encompassing both the synthesis of magnetic colloids for self-assembly and developing OLED substrate films using nanofillers. He is currently a visiting scholar in the Sacanna group researching the synthesis of nano clusters.

Keywords: Magnetic Colloids, Colloidal Films, Nanomaterials

Zhe Xu

Graduate Researcher


Zhe Xu obtained his bachelor degree from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. He started his journey in research with chitosan-based nanoparticles for drug delivery. Later on, he worked with Prof. Mark MacLachlan at UBC on cellulose nanocrystal templated chiral nematic membrane materials. He also studied inorganic nanoparticles for fuel cell applications for his final undergraduate year. Zhe joined the Sacanna group in 2016 with the goal of designing and synthesizing chiral colloidal systems.

Keywords: Chiral Colloids, Self-inflating  Microcapsules