Bin Chen Ph.D.

Position Department / Business Unit
ASN, MS 229-1
Institution Disciplines
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Nanomaterials
City State / Provence
Moffett Field California
Country Website

Dr. Bin Chen is a material scientist working at SETI institute/NASA Ames Research Center.

Career Highlights

Dr. Bin Chen is a material scientist working at SETI institute/NASA Ames Research Center. She has special interests in experimental research and development of nanoscale materials. She has been working on electronic and optical properties of nanostructrual materials including carbon nanotube, carbon nanotube-polymer composite, and metal oxide nanowires. She focuses on the novel properties of these nanoscale materials for critical applications in energy utilization and conversion in fuel cell and solar cell applications, toxic gas decontamination, lightweight structure component and sensing devices under extreme environment for space and planetary exploration. Chen applies nanomaterial in ultra high sensitivity surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection in trace biological and chemical species including explosives. Her research effort to improve the in-situ SERS detection capability has significant contributions for national security, environmental and health related studies: water and food quality monitoring, blood specimen screening.

Chen has pioneered in the field of multifunctional nanoscale materials processing, the design and characterization. She has developed materials for radiation shielding, and for devices for radiation, electronic and optical sensing in extreme environments. She is a respected member in chemistry, materials science, nanoscience and nanotechnology communities. Chen has given numerous invited talks in national and international conferences related to materials research and nanotechnology. She is a frequent contributor to many peer review journals, book chapters and review articles. Chen has been principal investigator and lead principal investigator in several programs working with government agency such as DTRA, AFOSR, DOE, NSF and DARPA. She has successfully won several phase I competitions.

Chen’s extensive experiences on nanotechnology research applications specifically involve materials development in:
1. Develop vertically aligned nanowire array and nanowire/polymer array, optimize array density and geometry, and control bandgap and interfacial interactions of nanostructures in the array. All these efforts are focused to obtain the most efficient exciton transport in solar energy conversion in hybrid solar cell design; hydrogen and solar fuel generation and storage in fuel cell technology.
2. Develop nanostructure composites to improve sampling sensitivity in SERS. This ultra sensitive trace detection and active remote sensing capability of biological, chemical species and small explosive molecules can be further developed for portable and flight instrumentation, as well as robotic missions. The analytical technology development has significant impact on the environmental and life science.
3. Develop lightweight, multifunctional hydrogen rich composite nanomaterials for space technology including radiation (gamma ray and proton) shielding; optical and electrical sensing for vehicle health monitoring in space and aeronautic programs.
4. Develop embedded high temperature optical sensor to monitor turbine engine combustion chamber.

Chen has been supported with NASA Headquarter for her nanotechnology innovations for astrobiology and planetary missions. Her most recent advanced technology development addresses NASA’s stringent requirements for human space exploration. She has applied novel nanomaterial onto an optical fiber sampling probe to dramatically improve the sensitivity of compact field and Lander instrument. Her work has won several awards, including the Eloret Superior Performance award and NASA TIGER award. She also plays important roles in nanotechnology education and outreach programs, and serves as a co-advisor in doctoral programs at UCLA, Stanford and Penn State University.

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