Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Soochow University


The Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), founded in 2008, is characterized by its global vision and interdisciplinary research directions. It is located at Soochow University in Suzhou, a historic city with a dynamic culture. It is led by the founding director Prof. Shuit-Tong Lee, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The Institute includes a provincial key lab: Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-based Functional Materials and Devices. Two years after the foundation of FUNSOM, the corresponding educational college, College of Nano Science and Technology (CNST) was established in 2010. Furthermore, FUNSOM is part of the Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology (NANO-CIC), which is under the National 2011 Plan Program in China.

Shuit-Tong Lee is the founding director of FUNSOM and NANO-CIC, and the founding dean of CNST. He is a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and a fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). Lee is a distinguished material scientist and has been designated by Thomson Reuters as a Highly Cited Researcher in 2016 and one of the World’s Influential Scientific Minds in 2015. With a global vision, Lee has established the mission of FUNSOM and CNST: internationalization and a interdisciplinary spirit. Therefore, FUNSOM has been regarded as an ‘International Island in China’.

FUNSOM is proud of its outstanding faculty, all of whom have overseas research experience. Faculty members at FUNSOM have received multiple talent awards, including National ‘1000 Talents Scheme’, Yangtze River Scholar, National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, and National ‘1000 Youth Talents Scheme’. FUNSOM has also received multiple innovation team awards, such as Returned Overseas Chinese Contribution Award (Innovation Team), and Jiangsu Provincial Science & Technology Innovation Team.

FUNSOM is focused on interdisciplinary research and the development of nanomaterials and nanotechnology, spanning multiple fields including optoelectronics, new energy, environment and biomedicine. There are currently five major research directions: Functional Nano Materials & Devices, Organic Optoelectronic Materials & Devices, Structured Functional Surfaces & Interfaces, Nano-Biotechnology & Nanomedicine, and Materials Simulation & Rational Design. There is both fundamental and applied research at FUNSOM, supported by an R&D chain of ‘molecular design—material synthesis-device fabrication—technology application’. Therefore, FUNSOM is dedicated to pushing forward commercialization of pioneering nanotechnologies, and generating new opportunities for the economic growth of Suzhou City and Jiangsu Province.

The research at FUNSOM is exceptional in terms of publications, paper citations and patents. Researchers at FUNSOM have published over 900 Science Citation Index papers, most of which were high-impact journals, including Science and Nature Communications. Paper citations exceeded 1700 in 2012. To date, FUNSOM has been awarded 42 invention patents and one utility patent. Ever since the foundation of FUNSOM, Soochow University has been ranked as the top ten most improved universities in the world in terms of weighted fractional count of Nature Index (it increased dramatically from 56.04 in 2012 to 108.47 in 2015).

FUNSOM has been awarded research funds of over US$51 million up to 2016, including National High-tech R&D Program of China, National Science & Technology Major Project, National Basic Research Program of China-Young Scientists Project. FUNSOM has advanced research facilities, including high resolution transmission electron microscope, scanning electron microscope, high-performance computing cluster systems, X-ray photoelectron spectroscope, OLED vacuum thermal evaporators and clean rooms.

FUNSOM is also committed to promote international cooperation. SUN-WIN Joint Research Institute for Nanotechnology, and Soochow University-Western University Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research are two joint programs between FUNSOM and universities in North America. Moreover, FUNSOM has organized conferences and workshops in order to enhance the communication with worldwide researchers, such as ‘Forum on Nano Optoelectronic Materials & Devices and its Industrialization’, and ‘Sino-German Workshop on Functionalization of Wide-bandgap Semiconductor Materials for Chemical and Biochemical Sensing’.

FUNSOM retains sole responsibility for content © 2017 FUNSOM.

1 December 2017 - 30 November 2018

Principal institution: Soochow University

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Soochow University published between 1 December 2017 - 30 November 2018 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

102 50.48

Outputs by subject (FC)

Subject AC FC
Physical Sciences 69 36.39
Chemistry 63 26.94
17 7.10
Near-Infrared Ternary Tandem Solar Cells
Efficient Solar Energy Harvesting and Storage through a Robust Photocatalyst Driving Reversible Redox Reactions
Programmable Negative Differential Resistance Effects Based on Self-Assembled Au@PPy Core-Shell Nanoparticle Arrays
Solution-Processed 3D RGO-MoS2/Pyramid Si Heterojunction for Ultrahigh Detectivity and Ultra-Broadband Photodetection
Precise Patterning of Laterally Stacked Organic Microbelt Heterojunction Arrays by Surface-Energy-Controlled Stepwise Crystallization for Ambipolar Organic Field-Effect Transistors
High-Efficiency PbS Quantum-Dot Solar Cells with Greatly Simplified Fabrication Processing via “Solvent-Curing”
Pb-Sn-Cu Ternary Organometallic Halide Perovskite Solar Cells
In Situ Passivation for Efficient PbS Quantum Dot Solar Cells by Precursor Engineering
Balanced Partnership between Donor and Acceptor Components in Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells with 12% Efficiency
2D PdAg Alloy Nanodendrites for Enhanced Ethanol Electroxidation
Colloidal Cobalt Phosphide Nanocrystals as Trifunctional Electrocatalysts for Overall Water Splitting Powered by a Zinc-Air Battery
Strong Depletion in Hybrid Perovskite p-n Junctions Induced by Local Electronic Doping
Vitrimer Elastomer-Based Jigsaw Puzzle-Like Healable Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Self-Powered Wearable Electronics
Reassembly of 89Zr-Labeled Cancer Cell Membranes into Multicompartment Membrane-Derived Liposomes for PET-Trackable Tumor-Targeted Theranostics
Polymer Solar Cells with 90% External Quantum Efficiency Featuring an Ideal Light- and Charge-Manipulation Layer
Shape Memory Polymers for Body Motion Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Mechanosensing
Switching Vertical to Horizontal Graphene Growth Using Faraday Cage-Assisted PECVD Approach for High-Performance Transparent Heating Device
4 2.40
9 2.96
3 1.63
2 1.30
1 0.13
10 4.96
8 3.91
8 2.26
1 0.29
Life Sciences 2 0.20

Highlight of the month

Single strand of silicon enhances wearable sensors

© PeopleImages/E+/Getty

© PeopleImages/E+/Getty

Speeding up silicon crystal growth has made nanowires that are long enough to use in wearable electronics. 

The next generation of wearable electronics and biosensors will require flexible components that are just a few nanometres thick. While silicon is a popular material for nanowires, growing such thin wires more than a few millimetres long is a challenge. A team, including researchers from the Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials in Suzhou, fabricated silicon nanowires in a tube-like chamber using a widely used vapour-deposition method. They raised the vapour temperature along the chamber in the direction of crystal growth, which made the nanowire grow faster, and supplied an excess of the catalyst, tin, which made the process last longer. This resulted in nanowires that were almost two centimetres long. The team tested one of their centimetre-long wires in a wearable finger motion sensor and found it was highly sensitive to joint movement. 

Growing long single nanowires could reduce the size and cost of wearable electronics and miniature medical devices.

Supported content

  1. Nano Letters 17, 7323-7329 (2017). doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02967

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Soochow University

More research highlights from Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Soochow University

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