Jonathan was born in Columbus, Ohio. He received his BSE degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 2004 with highest honors and his PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 2010 under the supervision of Professor Federico Capasso. He was an NSF Graduate Fellow, and his dissertation focused on the optical properties of self-assembled metallodielectric colloidal clusters. Afterwards, he was a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he researched epidermal-based stretchable electronics systems under the supervision of Professor John Rogers. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Director of the FTF Lab in the Stanford Nanofabrication Laboratory.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director, Fast Turnaround Facility in the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (2014 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • AFOSR Young Investigator Award, Department of Defense (2015)
  • Invitee to the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers Symposium, National Academy of Engineering (2014)
  • Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2011)
  • Jeffrey O. Kephard ’80 Engineering Physics Award, Princeton University (2004)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, National Science Foundation (2004)
  • Peter Marks Prize for Solid State Physics, Princeton University (2004)

Professional Education

  • PhD, Harvard University, Applied Physics (2010)
  • MS, Harvard University, Applied Physics (2006)
  • BSE, Princeton University, Electrical Engineering (2004)


  • Federico Capasso, Nanfang Yu, Jonathan Fan. "United States Patent US8328396 Methods and apparatus for improving collimation of radiation beams", President And Fellows Of Harvard College, Dec 11, 2012

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

We are interested in designing and engineering new nanoplasmonic platforms, including those fabricated by top-down and bottom-up processes, for the purposes of developing new sensors, beam steering platforms, active on-chip optical components, and modulators. We are also interested in exploring new material platforms, utilizing stretchable and thin-film materials, that integrate optical and electronic functionality for the purposes of realizing new body-worn and bio-medical devices.

All Publications

  • Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Serpentine Microstructures Bonded To Prestrained Elastomers for Stretchable Electronics ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS Zhang, Y., Wang, S., Li, X., Fan, J. A., Xu, S., Song, Y. M., Choi, K., Yeo, W., Lee, W., Nazaar, S. N., Lu, B., Yin, L., Hwang, K., Rogers, J. A., Huang, Y. 2014; 24 (14): 2028-2037
  • Fractal design concepts for stretchable electronics NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Fan, J. A., Yeo, W., Su, Y., Hattori, Y., Lee, W., Jung, S., Zhang, Y., Liu, Z., Cheng, H., Falgout, L., Bajema, M., Coleman, T., Gregoire, D., Larsen, R. J., Huang, Y., Rogers, J. A. 2014; 5


    Stretchable electronics provide a foundation for applications that exceed the scope of conventional wafer and circuit board technologies due to their unique capacity to integrate with soft materials and curvilinear surfaces. The range of possibilities is predicated on the development of device architectures that simultaneously offer advanced electronic function and compliant mechanics. Here we report that thin films of hard electronic materials patterned in deterministic fractal motifs and bonded to elastomers enable unusual mechanics with important implications in stretchable device design. In particular, we demonstrate the utility of Peano, Greek cross, Vicsek and other fractal constructs to yield space-filling structures of electronic materials, including monocrystalline silicon, for electrophysiological sensors, precision monitors and actuators, and radio frequency antennas. These devices support conformal mounting on the skin and have unique properties such as invisibility under magnetic resonance imaging. The results suggest that fractal-based layouts represent important strategies for hard-soft materials integration.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms4266

    View details for Web of Science ID 000332667600013

    View details for PubMedID 24509865

  • Spectrally selective chiral silicon metasurfaces based on infrared Fano resonances. Nature communications Wu, C., Arju, N., Kelp, G., Fan, J. A., Dominguez, J., Gonzales, E., Tutuc, E., Brener, I., Shvets, G. 2014; 5: 3892-?


    Metamaterials and metasurfaces represent a remarkably versatile platform for light manipulation, biological and chemical sensing, and nonlinear optics. Many of these applications rely on the resonant nature of metamaterials, which is the basis for extreme spectrally selective concentration of optical energy in the near field. In addition, metamaterial-based optical devices lend themselves to considerable miniaturization because of their subwavelength features. This additional advantage sets metamaterials apart from their predecessors, photonic crystals, which achieve spectral selectivity through their long-range periodicity. Unfortunately, spectral selectivity of the overwhelming majority of metamaterials that are made of metals is severely limited by high plasmonic losses. Here we propose and demonstrate Fano-resonant all-dielectric metasurfaces supporting optical resonances with quality factors Q>100 that are based on CMOS-compatible materials: silicon and its oxide. We also demonstrate that these infrared metasurfaces exhibit extreme planar chirality, opening exciting possibilities for efficient ultrathin circular polarizers and narrow-band thermal emitters of circularly polarized radiation.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms4892

    View details for PubMedID 24861488

  • Ultrasmooth, Highly Spherical Monocrystalline Gold Particles for Precision Plasmonics ACS NANO Lee, Y., Schade, N. B., Sun, L., Fan, J. A., Bae, D. R., Mariscal, M. M., Lee, G., Capasso, F., Sacanna, S., Manoharan, V. N., Yi, G. 2013; 7 (12): 11064-11070


    Ultrasmooth, highly spherical monocrystalline gold particles were prepared by a cyclic process of slow growth followed by slow chemical etching, which selectively removes edges and vertices. The etching process effectively makes the surface tension isotropic, so that spheres are favored under quasi-static conditions. It is scalable up to particle sizes of 200 nm or more. The resulting spherical crystals display uniform scattering spectra and consistent optical coupling at small separations, even showing Fano-like resonances in small clusters. The high monodispersity of the particles we demonstrate should facilitate the self-assembly of nanoparticle clusters with uniform optical resonances, which could in turn be used to fabricate optical metafluids. Narrow size distributions are required to control not only the spectral features but also the morphology and yield of clusters in certain assembly schemes.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn404765w

    View details for Web of Science ID 000329137100067

    View details for PubMedID 24219591

  • Tetrahedral Colloidal Clusters from Random Parking of Bidisperse Spheres PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Schade, N. B., Holmes-Cerfon, M. C., Chen, E. R., Aronzon, D., Collins, J. W., Fan, J. A., Capasso, F., Manoharan, V. N. 2013; 110 (14)
  • Stretchable batteries with self-similar serpentine interconnects and integrated wireless recharging systems NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Xu, S., Zhang, Y., Cho, J., Lee, J., Huang, X., Jia, L., Fan, J. A., Su, Y., Su, J., Zhang, H., Cheng, H., Lu, B., Yu, C., Chuang, C., Kim, T., Song, T., Shigeta, K., Kang, S., Dagdeviren, C., Petrov, I., Braun, P. V., Huang, Y., Paik, U., Rogers, J. A. 2013; 4


    An important trend in electronics involves the development of materials, mechanical designs and manufacturing strategies that enable the use of unconventional substrates, such as polymer films, metal foils, paper sheets or rubber slabs. The last possibility is particularly challenging because the systems must accommodate not only bending but also stretching. Although several approaches are available for the electronics, a persistent difficulty is in power supplies that have similar mechanical properties, to allow their co-integration with the electronics. Here we introduce a set of materials and design concepts for a rechargeable lithium ion battery technology that exploits thin, low modulus silicone elastomers as substrates, with a segmented design in the active materials, and unusual 'self-similar' interconnect structures between them. The result enables reversible levels of stretchability up to 300%, while maintaining capacity densities of ~1.1 mAh cm(-2). Stretchable wireless power transmission systems provide the means to charge these types of batteries, without direct physical contact.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms2553

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316616400111

    View details for PubMedID 23443571

  • Plasmonic Mode Engineering with Templated Self-Assembled Nanoclusters NANO LETTERS Fan, J. A., Bao, K., Sun, L., Bao, J., Manoharan, V. N., Nordlander, P., Capasso, F. 2012; 12 (10): 5318-5324


    Plasmonic nanoparticle assemblies are a materials platform in which optical modes, resonant frequencies, and near-field intensities can be specified by the number and position of nanoparticles in a cluster. A current challenge is to achieve clusters with higher yields and new types of shapes. In this Letter, we show that a broad range of plasmonic nanoshell nanoclusters can be assembled onto a lithographically defined elastomeric substrate with relatively high yields using templated assembly. We assemble and measure the optical properties of three cluster types: Fano-resonant heptamers, linear chains, and rings of nanoparticles. The yield of heptamer clusters is measured to be over 30%. The assembly of plasmonic nanoclusters on an elastomer paves the way for new classes of plasmonic nanocircuits and colloidal metamaterials that can be transfer-printed onto various substrate media.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl302650t

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309615000041

    View details for PubMedID 22947109

  • Near-Normal Incidence Dark-Field Microscopy: Applications to Nanoplasmonic Spectroscopy NANO LETTERS Fan, J. A., Bao, K., Lassiter, J. B., Bao, J., Halas, N. J., Nordlander, P., Capasso, F. 2012; 12 (6): 2817-2821


    The spectroscopic characterization of individual nanostructures is of fundamental importance to understanding a broad range of physical and chemical processes. One general and powerful technique that addresses this aim is dark-field microscopy, with which the scattered light from an individual structure can be analyzed with minimal background noise. We present the spectroscopic analysis of individual plasmonic nanostructures using dark-field illumination with incidence nearly normal to the substrate. We show that, compared to large incidence angle approaches, the near-normal incidence approach provides significantly higher signal-to-background ratios and reduced retardation field effects. To demonstrate the utility of this technique, we characterize an individual chemically synthesized gold nanoshell and a lithographically defined heptamer exhibiting a pronounced Fano-like resonance. We show that the line shape of the latter strongly depends on the incidence angle. Near-normal incidence dark-field microscopy can be used to characterize a broad range of molecules and nanostructures and can be adapted to most microscopy setups.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl300160y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305106400028

    View details for PubMedID 22524322

  • DNA-Enabled Self-Assembly of Plasmonic Nanoclusters NANO LETTERS Fan, J. A., He, Y., Bao, K., Wu, C., Bao, J., Schade, N. B., Manoharan, V. N., Shvets, G., Nordlander, P., Liu, D. R., Capasso, F. 2011; 11 (11): 4859-4864


    DNA nanotechnology provides a versatile foundation for the chemical assembly of nanostructures. Plasmonic nanoparticle assemblies are of particular interest because they can be tailored to exhibit a broad range of electromagnetic phenomena. In this Letter, we report the assembly of DNA-functionalized nanoparticles into heteropentamer clusters, which consist of a smaller gold sphere surrounded by a ring of four larger spheres. Magnetic and Fano-like resonances are observed in individual clusters. The DNA plays a dual role: it selectively assembles the clusters in solution and functions as an insulating spacer between the conductive nanoparticles. These particle assemblies can be generalized to a new class of DNA-enabled plasmonic heterostructures that comprise various active and passive materials and other forms of DNA scaffolding.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl203194m

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296674700062

    View details for PubMedID 22007607

  • Fano-like Interference in Self-Assembled Plasmonic Quadrumer Clusters NANO LETTERS Fan, J. A., Bao, K., Wu, C., Bao, J., Bardhan, R., Halas, N. J., Manoharan, V. N., Shvets, G., Nordlander, P., Capasso, F. 2010; 10 (11): 4680-4685


    Assemblies of strongly interacting metallic nanoparticles are the basis for plasmonic nanostructure engineering. We demonstrate that clusters of four identical spherical particles self-assembled into a close-packed asymmetric quadrumer support strong Fano-like interference. This feature is highly sensitive to the polarization of the incident electric field due to orientation-dependent coupling between particles in the cluster. This structure demonstrates how careful design of self-assembled colloidal systems can lead to the creation of new plasmonic modes and the enabling of interference effects in plasmonic systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl1029732

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283907600065

    View details for PubMedID 20923179

  • Designer spoof surface plasmon structures collimate terahertz laser beams NATURE MATERIALS Yu, N., Wang, Q. J., Kats, M. A., Fan, J. A., Khanna, S. P., Li, L., Davies, A. G., Linfield, E. H., Capasso, F. 2010; 9 (9): 730-735


    Surface plasmons have found a broad range of applications in photonic devices at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. In contrast, longer-wavelength surface electromagnetic waves, known as Sommerfeld or Zenneck waves, are characterized by poor confinement to surfaces and are therefore difficult to control using conventional metallo-dielectric plasmonic structures. However, patterning the surface with subwavelength periodic features can markedly reduce the asymptotic surface plasmon frequency, leading to 'spoof' surface plasmons with subwavelength confinement at infrared wavelengths and beyond, which mimic surface plasmons at much shorter wavelengths. We demonstrate that by directly sculpting designer spoof surface plasmon structures that tailor the dispersion of terahertz surface plasmon polaritons on the highly doped semiconductor facets of terahertz quantum cascade lasers, the performance of the lasers can be markedly enhanced. Using a simple one-dimensional grating design, the beam divergence of the lasers was reduced from approximately 180 degrees to approximately 10 degrees, the directivity was improved by over 10 decibels and the power collection efficiency was increased by a factor of about six compared with the original unpatterned devices. We achieve these improvements without compromising high-temperature performance of the lasers.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/NMAT2822

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281178400023

    View details for PubMedID 20693995

  • Self-Assembled Plasmonic Nanoparticle Clusters SCIENCE Fan, J. A., Wu, C., Bao, K., Bao, J., Bardhan, R., Halas, N. J., Manoharan, V. N., Nordlander, P., Shvets, G., Capasso, F. 2010; 328 (5982): 1135-1138


    The self-assembly of colloids is an alternative to top-down processing that enables the fabrication of nanostructures. We show that self-assembled clusters of metal-dielectric spheres are the basis for nanophotonic structures. By tailoring the number and position of spheres in close-packed clusters, plasmon modes exhibiting strong magnetic and Fano-like resonances emerge. The use of identical spheres simplifies cluster assembly and facilitates the fabrication of highly symmetric structures. Dielectric spacers are used to tailor the interparticle spacing in these clusters to be approximately 2 nanometers. These types of chemically synthesized nanoparticle clusters can be generalized to other two- and three-dimensional structures and can serve as building blocks for new metamaterials.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1187949

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278104700037

    View details for PubMedID 20508125

  • Small-divergence semiconductor lasers by plasmonic collimation NATURE PHOTONICS Yu, N., Fan, J., Wang, Q. J., Pfluegl, C., Diehl, L., Edamura, T., Yamanishi, M., Kan, H., Capasso, F. 2008; 2 (9): 564-570
  • Single-mode laser action in quantum cascade lasers with spiral-shaped chaotic resonators APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Audet, R., Belkin, M. A., Fan, J. A., Lee, B. G., Lin, K., Capasso, F. 2007; 91 (13)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.2784290

    View details for Web of Science ID 000249787000006