Professor Jong-in Hahm

Academic Training

My academic training started at Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. After getting a B. S. degree, I came to the U.S. and started a Ph. D. program in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL. I then carried out my postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. I began my independent research and teaching career as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA. Since then, I moved to the Department of Chemistry at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where I am currently serving as a Professor. My research interests lie in the highly multidisciplinary areas of nanoscience and nanobiotechnology through advancing fundamental knowledge in the areas of physical and analytical chemistry.  A suite of microscopy, spectroscopy, and surface characterization approaches are employed in order to investigate unique chemical, optical, and optoelectronic properties of one-dimensional polymeric, inorganic, and  bio-based nanomaterials as well as their hybrid systems. 

Research in Hahm Laboratory

Project Overview

Nanomaterials for Enhanced Biomedical Detection.

Our research objective is to discover and exploit the unique physical, optical, electrical properties of novel nanomaterials as next generation biosensors for rapid, highly sensitive and selective, high throughput, biodetection. Therefore, our research achieves specific advancements in the areas of nanosciences for future applications in the fields of biology and medicine.  Therefore, our research pursues many scientifically and technologically important questions in the interdisciplinary areas of nanobiotechnology.


Current research projects in this research thrust include,                                             

1) Fluorescence-enhancing zinc oxide nanorod platforms

2) Diblock copolymers as nanoscale protein arrays

3) Carbon nanotube cantilevers fully integrated with actuating nanobeams


Nanomaterials for Chemical and Optoelectronic Applications.

Nanomaterials can serve as effective functional building blocks for various useful chemical and optoelectric devices.  In this project areas, we explore the optical and electrical properties of nanomaterials that can be helpful for detection areas such as chemical and light detection as well as energy harvesting/storing.


Our research projects in this research thrust include,                                             

1) SERS-active, metal oxide nanorod platforms

2) Photodetectors and photovoltaic devices

3) Spontaneous and stimulated nanowire emitters

Biomaterials for Controlled Synthesis of Inorganic Nanomaterials.

Our research not only exploits the unique properties of nanomaterials in enhanced biological detection but also utilizes biological entities in controlling and promoting nanomaterials’ synthesis and assembly with much needed, orientational and dimensional control. The use of biological entities in the synthesis and assembly of inorganic nanomaterials permits easy fabrication and assembly of functional nanomaterials directly upon their synthesis.


On-going research efforts in this area include,

1) Bacterial catalysts in controlled synthesis of carbon nanotubes

2) Zinc oxide nanorods synthesized using biogenic catalysts

3) Use of bacteria in other nanowire growth