Arend van der Zande

Arend van der Zande
Arend van der Zande
Associate Professor
(217) 244-2912
214 Seitz Materials Research Lab

For More Information


Prof. van der Zande runs an interdisciplinary research group at the nexus of nanotechnology, mechanics, and material physics. He is a team lead on the Illinois Material Research Science and Engineering Center and was recently awarded the 2022 Society of Engineering Science Young Investigator Medal, the NSF CAREER award, and is on the Clarivate Analytics list of the world’s most influential researchers in 2018-2022. He earned a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 2011 and a B.S in Physics and Mathematics from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2003. He then became a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Energy Frontier Research Center at Columbia University. He has published 65+ articles with >23,000 citations in journals including Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Advanced Materials, and Nano Letters.

Academic Positions

  • Affiliate, Material Science and Engineering, UIUC, May 2023-Present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, Aug 2021-Present
  • Affiliate, Materials Research Lab, September 1, 2017 - Present
  • Affiliate, Electrical and Computer Engineering, March 18, 2017 - present
  • Affiliate, Holonyak Micro and Nanotechnology Lab, UIUC August 15, 2015 - Present

Research Statement

The overarching focus of our research is on leveraging nanomaterials as nanoscale building blocks to engineer new classes of devices to address grand challenges in health, energy and information. To this end, research efforts have centered on two-dimensional (2D) materials – materials which are stable as monolayers one or a few atoms thick, representing the ultimate limit in thickness for both molecular electronics and mechanical atomic membranes. Our work spans discovering new synthesis and atomically precise fabrication techniques for manufacturing devices from nanomaterials, understanding the atomic-to-device scale origins of the unique mechanical, chemical, electronic, and quantum properties of nanomaterials, and exploring how to leverage these properties for specific applications such as next generation semiconductor electronics, quantum technologies, biosensors, reconfigurable nanoelectromechanical systems, and wearable electronics.

Research Topics

  • Electronics & Communications

Selected Articles in Journals

Teaching Honors

  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent, Spring 2018 (June 2018)
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent, Fall 2019 (January 2020)
  • List of Teachers Ranked at Excellent, Spring 2021 (Sep 2021)
  • List of Teachers Ranked at Excellent, Fall 2021 (Jan 2022)
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Outstanding (99th percentile), Fall 2022 (Jan 2023)

Research Honors

  • Society for Engineering Science (SES) 2022 Young Investigator Medal (2022)
  • Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher. This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science. One of only 6 current researchers at UIUC. (2022)

Recent Courses Taught

  • BIOE 497 AZ - Individual Study
  • ME 370 - Mechanical Design I
  • ME 498 AVU (ME 498 LI3, ME 498 LI4, ME 498 LO3) - Nano-Fab & Characterization
  • ME 586 - Mechanics of MEMS
  • ME 598 AL1 (ME 598 AL2, ME 598 AN1, ME 598 AN2, ME 598 AV1, ME 598 AV2, ME 598 AV4, ME 598 AVG, ME 598 AVZ) - Mechanics of 2D Nanomaterials