Jennifer N. Cha
David Clough Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering • Materials Science and Engineering Program

Office: JSCBB D220
Mailbox: 596 UCB


Ph.D. University of California at Santa Barbara, Chemistry (2001)
B.A. University of California at Berkeley, Cell Biology (1996)


  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 2011
  • DOE Early Career Award, 2011
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2011
  • DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2009
  • Hellman Faculty Fellow Award, 2009
  • National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium Attendee, Armonk, NY 2010
  • IBM Innovation Research Award, 2005-2007
  • IBM Research Division Award, 2004

Selected Publications

  • G.R. Hafenstine, K. Ma, A.R. Harris, E. Park, O. Yehezkeli, D.W. Domaille, J.N. Cha*, A.P. Goodwin*, “Photocatalytic and Organocatalytic Production and Separation of C8 Hydrocarbons from C4 Cell Metabolites”, ACS Catalysis, in press 2017

  • M. Brasino, J.N. Cha*, “Real-Time Femtomolar Detection of Cancer Biomarkers from Photoconjugated Antibody-Phage Constructs”, Analyst, in press, 2017

  • O. Yehezkeli, N.M. Bedford, E. Park, K. Ma, J.N. Cha*, “Semiconductor based Solar Driven Photochemical Cells for Fuel Generation from CO2 in Aqueous Solutions”, ChemSusChem, in press, (2016), DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201601105

  • K. Ma, O. Yehezkeli, E. Park, J.N. Cha*, “Enzyme Mediated Increase in Methanol Production from Photoelectrochemical Cells and CO2ACS Catalysis, in press, (2016), DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.6b02524

  • L. He, J. Dragvon, S. Cho, C. Mao, A. Yildirim, K. Ma, R. Chattraj, A.P. Goodwin, W. Park, J.N. Cha*, “Self-assembled gold nanostar-NaYF4:Yb/Er clusters for multimodal imaging, photothermal and photodynamic therapy” J. Mater. Chem. B, 4, 4455-4461 (2016)

  • D.W. Domaille, G.R. Hafenstine, M.A Greer, A.P. Goodwin, J.N. Cha*, “Catalytic Upgrading in Bacteria-Compatible Conditions via a Biocompatible Aldol Condensation”, ACS Sust. Chem. & Eng., 4, 671-675 (2016)

  • L. He, C. Mao, S. Cho, K. Ma, W. Xi, C.N. Bowman, W. Park, J.N. Cha*, “Experimental and theoretical photoluminescence studies in nucleic acid assembled gold-upconverting nanoparticles clusters”, Nanoscale, 7, 17254 - 17260 (2015)

  • K. Ma, O. Yehezkeli, D.W. Domaille, H.H. Funke, J.N. Cha*, “Enhanced Hydrogen Production from DNA-Assembled Z-Scheme TiO2-CdS Photocatalyst Systems”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 54, 11490-11494 (2015)

  • O. Yehezkeli, A. Harguindey, D.W. Domaille, L. He, J.N. Cha*, “Synthesis and phase transfer of well-defined BiVO4 nanocrystals for photocatalytic water splitting”, RSC Adv., 5, 58755-58759 (2015) 

Research Interests

Research in the Biomolecular Materials and Nanoscale Assembly Lab is focused on the design and use of chemistry, biology and chemical engineering to synthesize and create well-defined organic-inorganic systems from nanoscale building blocks. Because biological molecules, such as peptides, DNA, and proteins, provide significant capabilities for the assembly of nanoscale materials, a significant portion of the research centers at developing bio-nano interfaces and using biomolecular interactions for the assembly. Specific applications include engineering novel protein nanosensors for in vitro and in vivo detection, using DNA for nanoparticle thin film device fabrication and developing novel bio-inorganic interfaces for catalysis.