Materials Scientist
Materials Scientist


Dr. Chun-Long Chen is currently a senior research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His research focuses on developing sequence-defined synthetic polymers to mimic natural proteins for biomimetic mineralization and for assembly of porous materials with clean energy applications. He received his PhD in physical inorganic chemistry from Sun Yat-Sen (Zhongshan) University in China. His doctoral research focused on the design and assembly of metallo-supramolecules and their mechanism of formation and structural dynamics. Since then, he has worked extensively on the application of "bottom-up" assembly approaches, including the assembly of protein and protein-mimetic materials for biomimetic mineralization, and the assembly of complex nanoparticle superstructures by combining peptide self-assembly and peptide-directed mineralization. Throughout his career, Dr. Chen has gained extensive experience in both synthetic chemistry and materials science, developing a highly interdisciplinary approach to achieving rational design and assembly of biomimetic materials. Dr. Chen has published more than 80 papers and has three U.S. patents.

Research Interest

  • Peptoid synthesis and self-assembly
  • Biomimetic mineralization
  • In situ AFM imaging
  • Chemical biology


  • PhD, Sun Yat-Sen (Zhongshan) University, 2005
  • BS, Nanchang University, 2000

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Materials Research Society
  • American Chemical Society

Awards and Recognitions

  • DARPA Fold F(x) Program Award for “A synthetic immune system based on peptoid nanoSwatches” as Co-Principal Investigator, (2014)
  • Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Award (Principal Investigator) (2013)
  • Young Investigator Award, 10th International Conference on the Chemistry and Biology of Mineralized Tissues (ICCBMT) (2010)
  • Best Poster Award at the 22nd American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy-West (2010)
  • Nanyue Award, Guangdong Province, China (2005)
  • Kaisi Fellowship, Sun Yat-Sen University, China (2004)
  • Samsung Award, Sun Yat-Sen University, China (2003)
  • Dupont Award, Sun Yat-Sen University, China (2002)



  • Jin B., F. Yan, X. Qi, B. Cai, J. Tao, X. Fu, and S. Tan, et al. 2022. "Peptoid-Directed Formation of Five-Fold Twinned Au Nanostars through Particle Attachment and Facet Stabilization." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 61, no. 14:Art. No. e202201980. PNNL-SA-167804. doi:10.1002/anie.202201980
  • Li Z., D.K. Tran, M. Nguyen, T. Jian, F. Yan, S.A. Jenekhe, and C. Chen. 2022. "Amphiphilic Peptoid-Directed Assembly of Oligoanilines into Highly Crystalline Conducting Nanotubes." Macromolecular Rapid Communications 43, no. 4:Art. No. 2100639. PNNL-SA-169423. doi:10.1002/marc.202100639
  • Zhao M., K. Lachowski, S. Zhang, S. Alamdari, J. Sampath, P. Mu, and C.J. Mundy, et al. 2022. "Hierarchical Self-Assembly Pathways of Peptoid Helices and Sheets." Biomacromolecules 23, no. 3:992–1008. PNNL-SA-169511. doi:10.1021/acs.biomac.1c01385


  • Cai X., M. Wang, P. Mu, T. Jian, D. Liu, S. Ding, and Y. Luo, et al. 2021. "Sequence-Defined Nanotubes Assembled from IR780-Conjugated Peptoids for Chemo-Phototherapy of Malignant Glioma." Research 2021. PNNL-SA-160831. doi:10.34133/2021/9861384
  • Li Z., B. Cai, W. Yang, and C. Chen. 2021. "Hierarchical Nanomaterials Assembled from Peptoids and Other Sequence-defined Synthetic Polymers." Chemical Reviews 121, no. 22:14031 - 14087. PNNL-SA-159042. doi:10.1021/acs.chemrev.1c00024
  • Ma J., B. Cai, S. Zhang, T. Jian, J.J. De Yoreo, C. Chen, and F. Baneyx. 2021. "Nanoparticle-Mediated Assembly of Peptoid Nanosheets Functionalized with Solid-Binding Proteins: Designing Heterostructures for Hierarchy." Nano Letters 21, no. 4:1636-1642. PNNL-SA-159754. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c04285
  • Ma Z., S. Wang, M. Kim, K. Liu, C. Chen, and W. Pan. 2021. "Transfer learning of memory kernels for transferable coarse-graining of polymer dynamics." Soft Matter 17, no. 24:5864-5877. PNNL-SA-161700. doi:10.1039/D1SM00364J
  • Monahan M.C., B. Cai, T. Jian, S. Zhang, G. Zhu, C. Chen, and J.J. De Yoreo, et al. 2021. "Peptoid-Directed Assembly of CdSe Nanoparticles." Nanoscale 13, no. 2:1273-1282. PNNL-SA-158881. doi:10.1039/D0NR07509D
  • Song Y., M. Wang, S. Akkineni, W. Yang, J.J. Hettige, H. Jin, and Z. Liao, et al. 2021. "Highly bright and photostable two-dimensional nanomaterials assembled from sequence-defined peptoids."ACS Materials Letters 3, no. 4:420-427. PNNL-SA-160450. doi:10.1021/acsmaterialslett.1c00110
  • Wang M., Y. Song, S. Zhang, X. Zhang, X. Cai, Y. Lin, and J.J. De Yoreo, et al. 2021. "Programmable two-dimensional nanocrystals assembled from POSS-containing peptoids as efficient artificial light-harvesting systems." Science Advances 7, no. 20:eabg1448. PNNL-SA-154183. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abg1448
  • Wu Y., C. Chen, S. He, X. Zhao, S. Huang, G. Zeng, and Y. You, et al. 2021. "In situ preparation of visible-light-driven carbon quantum dots/NaBiO3 hybrid materials for the photoreduction of Cr(VI)."Journal of Environmental Sciences 99. PNNL-SA-161493. doi:10.1016/j.jes.2020.06.016
  • Yang W., Q. Yin, and C. Chen. 2021. "Designing Sequence-Defined Peptoids for Biomimetic Control over Inorganic Crystallization." Chemistry of Materials 33, no. 9:3047-3065. PNNL-SA-153985. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c00243
  • Zhang S., J. Chen, J. Liu, H. Pyles, D. Baker, C. Chen, and J.J. De Yoreo. 2021. "Engineering Biomolecular Self-Assembly at Solid-Liquid Interfaces." Advanced Materials 33, no. 23:Article No. 1905784. PNNL-SA-153256. doi:10.1002/adma.201905784


  • Kim J., S.C. Kim, M.A. Kline, E.M. Grzincic, B.W. Tresca, J. Cardiel, and M. Karbaschi, et al. 2020. "Discovery of Stable and Selective Antibody Mimetics from Combinatorial Libraries of Polyvalent, Loop-Functionalized Peptoid Nanosheets."ACS Nano 14, no. 1:185-195. PNNL-SA-155692. doi:10.1021/acsnano.9b07498
  • Liu J., B. Cai, L. Cui, and C. Chen. 2020. "Peptoid-based hierarchically-structured biomimetic nanomaterials: synthesis, characterization and applications." Science China. Materials 63, no. 7:1099-1112. PNNL-SA-152798. doi:10.1007/s40843-020-1296-8
  • O'Callahan B.T., K. Park, I.V. Novikova, T. Jian, C. Chen, E.A. Muller, and P.Z. El-Khoury, et al. 2020. "In liquid infrared scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy for chemical and biological nanoimaging."Nano Letters 20, no. 6:4497-4504. PNNL-SA-152805. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c01291
  • Wang M., Y. Song, P. Mu, X. Cai, Y. Lin, and C. Chen. 2020. "Peptoid-Based Programmable 2D Nanomembranes Sensor for Selective and Sensitive Detection of H2S in Live Cells."ACS Applied Bio Materials 3, no. 9:6039-6048. PNNL-SA-152742. doi:10.1021/acsabm.0c00657
  • Zhang Q., C. Zhang, L. Cui, T. Jian, Y. Chen, X. Li, and C. Chen, et al. 2020. "Sequence-defined Peptoids with -OH and -COOH Groups as Binders to Reduce Cracks of Si Nanoparticles of Lithium-Ion Batteries."Advanced Science 7, no. 18:2000749. PNNL-SA-153025. doi:10.1002/advs.202000749
  • Zhao M., J. Sampath, S. Alamdari, G. Shen, C. Chen, C.J. Mundy, and J. Pfaendtner, et al. 2020. "MARTINI-Compatible Coarse-Grained Model for the Mesoscale Simulation of Peptoids."Journal of Physical Chemistry B 124, no. 36:7745-7764. PNNL-SA-153463. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcb.0c04567


  • Jiao F., X. Wu, T. Jian, S. Zhang, H. Jin, P. He, and C. Chen, et al. 2019. "Hierarchical Assembly of Peptoid-Based Cylindrical Micelles Exhibiting Efficient Resonance Energy Transfer in Aqueous Solution."Angewandte Chemie International Edition 58, no. 5:12223-12230. PNNL-SA-148211. doi:10.1002/anie.201904598
  • Jin H., T. Jian, Y. Ding, Y. Chen, P. Mu, L. Wang, and C. Chen. 2019. "Solid-Phase Synthesis of Three-Armed Star-Shaped Peptoids and Their Hierarchical Self-Assembly."Biopolymers 110, no. 4:e23258. PNNL-SA-140649. doi:10.1002/bip.23258
  • Luo Y., Y. Song, M. Wang, T. Jian, S. Ding, P. Mu, and Z. Liao, et al. 2019. "Bioinspired Peptoid Nanotubes for Targeted Tumor Cell Imaging and Chemo-Photodynamic Therapy."Small 15, no. 43:Article Number 1902485. PNNL-SA-147458. doi:10.1002/smll.201902485


  • Chen C. 2018. "Peptoid-based membrane-mimetic two dimensional nanomaterials." In Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications X, April 15-19, 2018,Orlando, Florida. Proceedings of the SPIE, edited by T George, AK Dutta and M Saif Islam, 10639, Article No. 106390X. Bellingham, Washington: SPIE. PNNL-SA-133246. doi:10.1117/12.2303685
  • Jin H., Y. Ding, M. Wang, Y. Song, Z. Liao, C.J. Newcomb, and X. Wu, et al. 2018. "Designable and dynamic single-walled stiff nanotubes assembled from sequence-defined peptoids."Nature Communications 9. PNNL-SA-126066. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02059-1
  • Merrill N.A., F. Yan, H. Jin, P. Mu, C. Chen, and M.R. Knecht. 2018. "Tunable Assembly of Biomimetic Peptoids as Templates to Control Nanostructure Catalytic Activity." Nanoscale 10, no. 26:12445-12452. PNNL-SA-135764. doi:10.1039/c8nr03852j
  • Mu P., G. Zhou, and C. Chen. 2018. "2D nanomaterials assembled from sequence-defined molecules." Nano-Structures & Nano-Objects 15. PNNL-SA-129009. doi:10.1016/j.nanoso.2017.09.010
  • O'Callahan B.T., K.T. Crampton, I.V. Novikova, T. Jian, C. Chen, J.E. Evans, and M.M. Raschke, et al. 2018. "Imaging Nanoscale Heterogeneity in Ultrathin Biomimetic and Biological Crystals." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122, no. 43:24891-24895. PNNL-SA-136203. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b06681
  • Song Y., M. Wang, S. Li, H. Jin, X. Cai, D. Du, and C. Chen, et al. 2018. "Efficient Cytosolic Delivery Using Crystalline Nanoflowers Assembled from Fluorinated Peptoids." Small 14, no. 52:Article Number: 1803544. PNNL-SA-139291. doi:10.1002/smll.201803544
  • Yan F., L. Liu, T.R. Walsh, Y. Gong, P.Z. El-Khoury, Y. Zhang, and Z. Zhu, et al. 2018. "Controlled synthesis of highly-branched plasmonic gold nanoparticles through peptoid engineering." Nature Communications 9. PNNL-SA-118537. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04789-2


  • Chien Y., J. Tao, K. Saeki, A.F. Chin, J.L. Lau, C. Chen, and R. Zuckermann, et al. 2017. "Using biomimetic polymers in place of noncollagenous proteins to achieve functional remineralization of dentin tissues." ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 3, no. 12:3469-3479. PNNL-SA-125917. doi:10.1021/acsbiomaterials.7b00378
  • Ma X., S. Zhang, F. Jiao, C.J. Newcomb, Y. Zhang, A. Prakash, and Z. Liao, et al. 2017. "Tuning crystallization pathways through sequence-engineering of biomimetic polymers." Nature Materials 16, no. 7:767-774. PNNL-SA-123850. doi:10.1038/nmat4891


  • Carneiro KMM, HL Zhai, L Zhu, JA Horst, M Sitlin, M Nguyen, M Wagner, C Simpliciano, M Milder, CL Chen, P Ashby, J Bonde, W Li, and S Habelitz. 2016. "Amyloid-Like Ribbons of Amelogenins in Enamel Mineralization." Scientific Reports 6:23105. doi: 10.1038/srep23105
  • Chen C., R. Zuckermann, and J.J. De Yoreo. 2016. "Surface-Directed Assembly of Sequence-Defined Synthetic Polymers into Networks of Hexagonally Patterned Nanoribbons with Controlled Functionalities." ACS Nano 10, no. 5:5314-5320. PNNL-SA-116103. doi:10.1021/acsnano.6b01333
  • Chen C., X. Ma, Y. Chen, D. Li, J.J. De Yoreo, and M.D. Daily. 2016. "Self-assembly of membrane-like materials from highly stable protein-mimetics." In 2015 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit April 6-10, 2015 San Francisco, California. Warrendale, Pennsylvania: Materials Research Society. PNNL-SA-108839.
  • Jiao F., Y. Chen, H. Jin, P. He, C. Chen, and J.J. De Yoreo. 2016. "Self-repair and Patterning of 2D Membrane-like Peptoid Materials." Advanced Functional Materials 26, no. 48:8960-8967. PNNL-SA-119504. doi:10.1002/adfm.201602365
  • Jin H., F. Jiao, M.D. Daily, Y. Chen, F. Yan, Y. Ding, and X. Zhang, et al. 2016. "Highly stable and self-repairing membrane-mimetic 2D nanomaterials assembled from lipid-like peptoids." Nature Communications 7. PNNL-SA-112006. doi:10.1038/ncomms12252


  • Chen C., J. Qi, J. Tao, R. Zuckermann, and J.J. De Yoreo. 2014. "Tuning calcite morphology and growth acceleration by a rational design of highly stable protein-mimetics." Scientific Reports 4. PNNL-SA-102366. doi:10.1038/srep06266


  • Chen CL, J Qi, RN Zuckermann, and JJ DeYoreo. 2011. "Engineered Biomimetic Polymers as Tunable Agents for Controlling CaCOMineralization." Journal of the American Chemical Society 133:5214-5217. doi: 10.1021/ja200595f. Highlighted in Frontiers in Energy Research Newsletter, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Chen CL, KM Bromley, J Moradian-Oldak, and JJ DeYoreo. 2011. "In Situ AFM Study of Amelogenin Assembly and Disassembly Dynamics on Charged Surfaces Provides Insights on Matrix Protein Self-Assembly." Journal of the American Chemical Society 133:17406-17413. doi: 10.1021/ja206849c


  • Chen CL and NL Rosi. 2010. "Peptide-Based Methods for the Preparation of Nanostructured Inorganic Materials." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 49:1924-1942. doi: 10.1002/anie.200903572. This was an invited review.
  • Chen CL and NL Rosi. 2010. "Preparation of Unique 1-D Nanoparticle Superstructures and Tailoring their Structural Features." Journal of the American Chemical Society 132:6902-6903. doi: 10.1021/ja102000g


  • Chen CL and AM Beatty. 2008. "Guest Inclusion and Structural Dynamics in 2-D Hydrogen Bonded Metal-Organic Frameworks." Journal of the American Chemical Society 130:17222-17223. doi: 10.1021/ja806180z
  • Chen CL, P Zhang, and NL Rosi. 2008. "A New Peptide-Based Method for Design and Synthesis of Nanoparticle Superstructures: Construction of Highly Ordered Gold Nanoparticle Double Helices." Journal of the American Chemical Society 130:13555-13557. doi: 10.1021/ja805683r


  • Chen CL, AM Goforth, MD Smith, CY Su, and HC zur Loye. 2005. "Co2(PPCA)2(H2O)(V4O12)0.5: A New Framework Material Exhibiting Reversible Shrinkage and Expansion Via a Single Crystal to Single Crystal Transformation Involving a Change in the Cobalt Coordination Environment (PPCA = 4,4'-bipyridyl-2-carboxylate)." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 44:6673‑6677. doi: 10.1002/anie.200502309