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Spying on Molecular Action with Spins

The Han lab uses advanced magnetic resonance manipulation and control over coupled electron and nuclear spin probes located on biomolecular and soft materials surfaces to uncover their structure, the design rules for molecular recognition, and the surface structuring and dynamics of hydration water.

The development effort requires multiple research tools in the realm of physical chemistry broadly speaking. They include instrument development to achieve hyperpolarization and quantum resonance sensing, the design of precisely tuned electron and nuclear spin clusters, spin physic theory and simulations, and the dynamics and thermodynamics of solvation science to control biomolecular activity and directed assembly.

The Han lab is pushing the frontier of electron and nuclear spin magnetic resonance instrumentation and concepts in dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) amplified nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). We are motivated by the power of “Seeing is Believing”. Visualizing molecular interactions and materials interfaces, previously “invisible”, can fundamentally transform our ability to discover solutions, and almost as importantly, ask new questions.

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Areas Of Research

Research in the Han Lab builds and employs state-of-the-art tools in magnetic resonance spectroscopy to advance our understanding in different subject areas, ranging from quantum sensing, solvation science, biophysics to neurodegenerative diseases.

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Design spin cluster for NMR signal amplification and quantum resonance sensing

To reveal “invisible” NMR signal of surfaces, active sites, and functional species in catalysis, molecular recognition and quantum materials using out of the box tools.

Shape-controlled molecular assembly and dynamic structural biology

To understand, control and engineer protein aggregation pathways, protein surface activity to protein liquid-liquid phase separation.

Design of active surfaces by tuning the structure of hydration water

To reveal long-standing questions on the structure and dynamics of water on proteins, membranes to catalyst support surfaces.

Gadolinium Spin Decoherence Mechanisms at High Magnetic Fields
C. Blake Wilson; Qi, M.; Han, S.; Sherwin, M. S. Gadolinium Spin Decoherence Mechanisms at High Magnetic Fields. The journal of physical chemistry letters 202314 (47), 10578–10584.

 

Dipolar Order Induced Electron Spin Hyperpolarization

A. Equbal, C. Ramanathan, and S. Han. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2024

 

Computation of Overhauser Dynamic Nuclear Polarization processes reveals fundamental correlation between water dynamics, structure, and solvent restructuring entropy

D. C. Robinson Brown, T. R. Webber, T. M. Casey, J. M. Franck, M. S. Shell and S. Han, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2024,
DOI:10.1039/D4CP00030G

Experiment-beaker

Interested in joining the Han research group? Reach us at songi.han@northwestern.edu

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Follow us at @songihanlab

Learn More About Our Research

The projects underway involve aspects of diverse disciplines!

Our Research