Matthew Crane

Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Crane, MatthewThe Crane Lab is an interdisciplinary research group that sits at the intersection of nanoscience and photonic design, combining nanomaterials synthesis and ultrafast spectroscopy to address critical, looming problems in global energy production and next-generation computing. Our overarching goal is to bridge the gap between colloidal nanomaterials synthesis and optoelectronic devices. Colloidal nanomaterials have highly tunable electronic and optical properties that can be engineered to harvest, store, and transmit both energy and information. Despite their abundant promise, we lack clear design rules to realize devices that capitalize on these tantalizing properties. We are particularly interested in studying and exploiting nanophotonic effects in these materials and devices to drive dynamic chemical, structural, or electronic transformations that are critical for clean energy production and emerging computing technologies.

Rationally designing nanomaterial devices for these applications requires understanding how microscopic processes, nanomaterial structure, and mesoscopic ordering combine to influence a desired macroscopic objective (e.g., chemical selectivity, spin dephasing, or light scattering). We focus on disentangling these effects by (i) creating tools and methods to grow and to pattern nanomaterials with high precision over mesoscopic scales and by (ii) characterizing their behavior in situ with new spectroscopies to develop device-level structure-property relationships. We leverage these insights with multi-physics simulations to provide a systems-level perspective to optimize devices.

A common theme in our approach is that nanophotonics are often both the goal of our research and the driving force for synthesis and assembly. We use chemical design principals to develop materials for optics and we leverage optics to improve chemistry and patterning. Working at this intersection, we are currently focused on three key aims:

1. Deterministic design and assembly of nanomaterials for quantum information
2. Nanophotonic-directed chemistry for catalysis
3. Development and characterization of materials and devices for low-power, biologically inspired computing



  • BS – Georgia Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering
  • PhD – University of Washington, Chemical Engineering
  • Post-Doctoral Training – University of Washington, Chemistry

Selected Publications

  • M. J. Crane, A. Petrone, R. A. Beck, M.B . Lim, X. Zhou, X. Li, R. M. Stroud, P. J. Pauzauskie. “High pressure, high temperature molecular nanodiamond doping.” Sci. Adv. 5, eaau6073 (2019)
  • M. J. Crane, E. P. Pandres, V. C. Holmberg, P. J. Pauzauskie. “Optically oriented attachment of nanoscale metal-semiconductor heterostructures in organic solvents via photonic nanosoldering.” Nat. Commun. 10, 1 (2019)
  • M. J. Crane, L. M. Jacoby, T. A. Cohen, Y. Huang, C. K. Luscombe, D. R. Gamelin. “Coherent Spin Precession and Lifetime-Limited Spin Dephasing in CsPbBr3 Perovskite Nanocrystals.” Nano Lett. 20, 8626 (2020)
  • M. J. Crane, D. M. Kroupa, J. Y. Roh, R. T. Anderson, D. R. Gamelin. “Single-Source Vapor Deposition of Quantum-Cutting Yb3+:CsPb(Cl1-xBrx)3 and Other Complex Metal-Halide Perovskites” ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2, 4560 (2019) (Highlighted in Science, “Marrying two types of solar cells draws more power from the sun”)
  • E. P. Pandres,* M. J. Crane,* E. J. Davis, P. J. Pauzauskie, V. C. Holmberg, “Laser-Driven, Solution-Liquid-Solid Growth of Semiconductor Nanowires from Photothermally Heated, Colloidal Nanocrystals.” ACS Nano. 15, 8653 (2021)
  • M. J. Crane, D. M. Kroupa, D. R. Gamelin. “Detailed-Balance Analysis of Yb3+:CsPb(Cl1-xBrx)3 Quantum-Cutting Layers for High-Efficiency Photovoltaics under Real-World Conditions.” Energy Environ. Sci. 12, 2486 (2019)

Google Scholar Citations Page


243 Alderson Hall
1613 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 384-2757

Research Group

  • Brandon Reynolds, Colorado School of Mines
  • Sara Russo