Yueli is an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program awardee

Yueli Chen is an award recipient of the 2020...

Zahra wins the American Physical Society’s Dillon medal

Prof. Zahra Fakhraai wins the 2019 American...

Haonan is awarded Douty Fellowship for 2018-2019 academic year

Haonan is awarded Douty Fellowship for 2018-2019...

Paper co-authored by Haonan published!

The paper “Effect of Physical...

SAS Dean’s Global Inquiries Fund

Zahra Fakhraai receives a grant from the...



Fakhraai Group



Our group is interested in studying the effect of nano-confinement on structure, dynamics, and other physical properties of materials. Materials behave differently on surfaces, interfaces or small length scales compared to their bulk properties.  Understanding such differences are crucial in many technological applications where materials are constrained in nanometer size spaces, such as coatings, organic electronics, polymer applications, and drug delivery. One can take advantage of such difference to produce novel materials, such as stable vapor-deposited glasses or harvest light for various applications. In biological systems, most of the dynamics happen in nanometer size proximity of surfaces and interfaces, and understanding the properties in confinement is a key in predicting function. We focus our efforts on understanding the origins of such modified properties on a fundamental level as well as the possible applications of such phenomena in producing novel materials or experimental tools.


Available positions:

Graduate and Undergraduate Students: Our research is multi-disciplinary. We are looking for talented and motivated students from a diverse range of experiences, expertise, and backgrounds. Students with a background in physical and inorganic chemistry, physics, and material science and chemical engineering are welcome to join.

Undergraduate Student Fellowship Opportunities at Penn:

 Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships


Post-doctoral Fellowship Opportunities: 

Penn’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity program (US citizens only)

REACT Postdoctoral Fellowship (US citizens only)

PennPort Postdoctoral Fellowship

VIEST Postdoctoral Fellowship