Projects Publications Selected Lectures


Scientific Director
Associate Research Scientist

California NanoSystems Institute
University of California, Los Angeles

Office: 310.206.2902
Lab: 310.206.2144


As a scientist and educator at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), my work focuses on developing integrated approaches to study material systems at the mesoscale. Through the implementation of original experimental techniques, this research seeks to bridge the gap between our fundamental understanding of nanomaterials with how these systems tend toward complexity at increased scales of space and time. My research activities are augmented by active collaboration with artists and designers on various projects, installations, and public exhibitions that directly inform the scientific process and provide motivation to develop new educational content that conveys the need for creativity in innovation.

Research Description:

Current research focuses on the design and application of physical methods toward characterization of nanoscale systems, ranging from the physical to biological, through the development of multi-environment, high-performance scanning probe microscopes and real-time, multichannel data acquisition systems. Numerous ongoing, collaborative efforts involve the study of molecular machines and devices, nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery, inorganic carbon-based materials, and tailored functional surfaces for stem cell differentiation. Recently established research directions include the use of engineered, supramolecular protein assemblies toward the construction of functional meso-scale devices and the pursuit of physically derived intelligent systems through neuromorphic computation.


1999 Drew University - Chemistry/Biology, B.Sc. with Honors
2005 University of California - Los Angeles, Inorganic Chemistry, M.Sc.
2007 University of California - Los Angeles, Physical Chemistry, Ph.D.

Professional Positions:

2008 - present, Scientific Director of the Nano & Pico Characterization (NPC) Laboratory
California NanoSystems Institute - UCLA

2008 – present, Director of the Sci | Art NanoLab Summer Institute
California NanoSystems Institute, Department of Design | Media Arts and UCLA Summer Sessions

2007-2008, Postdoctoral Scholar
California NanoSystems Institute - UCLA

2001-2007, Graduate Researcher
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry - UCLA 

2000-2001, Research Associate II
Matritech Inc., Newton, MA

Course and Curriculum Development:

2014, Physical Chemistry of Biological Macromolecules (M257)
Department of Biological Chemistry

2009 - present, Biological Microscopy (MIMG105)
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics - UCLA

2008 - present, Sci|Art NanoLab (DESMA6)
California NanoSystems Institute, Department of Design|Media Arts and UCLA Summer Sessions

Invited Academic Positions:

2011 - Artist in residence – The New Mexico Center for Spatiotemporal Modeling
2010 - present, Scientific Advisor at the International Center for Material Nanoarchitectonics (MANA)
2009 - Visiting Scientist at MANA-NIMS

University Service:

2009 - present, Undergraduate research mentor
2008 - present, Member of CNSI Executive Committee
2008 - present, Member of CNSI Education Committee

Awards and Honors:

2006 - NSF-JSPS East Asian Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) Fellow
2003 - NSF-IGERT Materials Creation Training Program (MCTP) Fellow
2002 - Excellence in Teaching Award, Department of Chemistry, UCLA

Conference and Workshop Organization - UCLA:

2011 High-performance, High-speed Atomic Force Microscopy
2011 California Scan Tour: Test Drive the Asylum Cypher AFM
2011 Correlative microscopy: AFM-Raman Imaging and Spectroscopy
2011 High-performance Confocal Raman Microscopy and Imaging
2010 Novel Ways to See and Recognize Life: Co-localized Optical and Atomic Force Microscopy
2010 New Advances in SPM Probe Technology
2010 High Resolution Imaging and Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping
2010 Advanced SPM Applications - Electric, Magnetic, Thermal and Electrochemical Methods
2010 Scanning Probe Applications in Life Sciences
2009 Converting AFM into an Analytical Tool: Nanoscale Thermal Analysis
2009 Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy: Non-intrusive imaging of fragile surfaces
2009 Introduction to Combined Confocal Raman and Scanning Probe Microscopy

Editorial & Scholarly Review:

AIMS Materials Science

ACS Nano, Journal of Emerging Technologies in Computing, Nanoscale, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Review of Scientific Instruments

Publications (Submitted or Under Review):

37. Y, Wang, J.A. Torres, A.Z. Stieg, S. Jiang, M.T. Yeung, S. Chaudhuri, X. Duan and R.B. Kaner. "Graphene-assisted solution growth of vertically-oriented organic semiconducting single crystals" Submitted: Nature Materials (2014).

36. H. Shimizu, J. Schredelseker, J. Huang, K. Lu, S. Naghdi, F. Lu, S. Franklin, H.D.G. Fiji, K. Wang, H. Zhu, C. Tian, B. Lin, A.Z. Stieg, J.K. Gimzewski, J.I. Goldhaber, T.M. Vondriska, G. Hajnóczky, O. Kwon and J.-N. Chen. "Activation of voltage-dependent anion channel suppresses aberrant Ca2+ handling-induced cardiac arrhythmia" Submitted: eLife (2014).

Publications (Published or In Press):

35. A.Z. Stieg, A.V. Avizienis, H.O. Sillin, C. Martin-Olmos, M. Aono and J.K. Gimzewski. "Self-organized Atomic Switch Networks" Japanese Journal of Applied Physics (2014), 53(1S), 01AA02, DOI:10.7567/JJAP.53.01AA02.

34. A.Z. Stieg, A.V. Avizienis, H.O. Sillin, H-.H. Shieh, C. Martin-Olmos, R. Aguilera, E.J. Sandouk, M. Aono and J.K. Gimzewski. "Self-organization and Emergence of Dynamical Structures in Neuromorphic Atomic Switch Networks" In: Memristor Networks (2014), Eds. Adamatzky & Chua, Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-319-02629-9.

33. R. Tanoue, R. Higuchi, K. Ikebe, S. Uemura, N. Kimizuka, A.Z. Stieg, J.K. Gimzewski and M. Kunitake “Thermodynamic Self-Assembly of Two-Dimensional pi-Conjugated Metal–Porphyrin Covalent Organic Frameworks by “On-Site” Equilibrium Polymerization” Journal of Nanoscale Science and Nanotechnology 14(3), 2211-2216 (2014), DOI:10.1166/jnn.2014.8540, arXiv:1311.0233.

32. H.O. Sillin, E. Sandouk, A.V. Avizienis, M. Aono, A.Z. Stieg, and J.K. Gimzewski "Benchtop Fabrication of Memristive Atomic Switch Networks” Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 14(4), 2792-2798 (2014), DOI:10.1166/jnn.2014.8636 - arXiv ID: 1304.1243.

31. R. Tanoue, R. Higuchi, K. Ikebe, S. Uemura, N. Kimizuka, A.Z. Stieg, J.K. Gimzewski and M. Kunitake. "Positional Selectivity of Reversible Azomethine Condensation Reactions at Solid/Liquid Interfaces Leading to Supramolecular Formation" Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry (2013), DOI:10.1016/j.jelechem.2013.11.022.

30. H.O. Sillin, H-. H. Hsieh, R. Aguilera, A.V. Avizienis, M. Aono, A.Z. Stieg, and J.K. Gimzewski “Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Atomic Switch Networks for Reservoir Computing” Nanotechnology 38(24), 384004 (2013).

29. A. Arshi, S. Eaimkhong, Y. Nakashima, H. Nakano, J. Reed, A.Z. Stieg, J.K. Gimzewski and A. Nakano. "Rigid Two-Dimensional Microenvironments Promote Cardiac Differentiation of Mouse and Human Embryonic Stem Cells” Science and Technology of Advanced Materials 2013, 14 025003.

28. A.P.Z Clark, C. Shi, B.C. Ng, J.N. Wilking, A.L. Ayzner, A.Z. Stieg, B.J. Schwartz, T.G. Mason, Y. Rubin and S.H. Tolbert. “Self-Assembling Semiconducting Polymers – Rods and Gels from Electronic Materials” ACS Nano 2013, 7 (2), 962–977.

27. A.V. Avizienis, C. Martin-Olmos, J.K Gimzewski and A.Z. Stieg. “Morphological Transitions in the Electroless Deposition of Copper” Crystal Growth and Design, 2013, 13 (2), 465–469.

26. G. Pawin, A.Z. Stieg, C. Skibo, M. Grisolia, R. Schlittler, V. Langlais, Y. Tateyama, C. Joachim and J.K. Gimzewski. “Amplification of Conformational Effects via Tert-butyl Groups: Hexa-tert-butyl-decacyclene on Cu(100) at Room Temperature” Langmuir, 2013, 29, 7309–7317.

25. R. Tanoue, R. Higuchi, K. Ikebe, S. Uemura, N. Kimizuka, A.Z. Stieg, J.K. Gimzewski and M. Kunitake. "In situ STM Investigation of Aromatic Poly(azomethine) Arrays Constructed by “On-site” Equilibrium Polymerization" Langmuir, 2012, 28 (39), 13844.

24. A.V. Avizienis, H.O. Sillin, C. Martin-Olmos, H.H. Shieh, M. Aono, A.Z. Stieg and J.K. Gimzewski. "Neuromorphic Atomic Switch Networks" PLoS One, 2012, 7(8): e42772.

23. Y. Wang, J. Liu, H.D. Tran, M. Mecklenburg, A.Z. Stieg, X.N. Guan, B.C. Regan, D.C. Martin, and R.B. Kaner “Morphological and dimensional control via hierarchical assembly of doped oligoaniline single crystals” Journal of the American Chemical Society (2012), 134 (22), 9251.

22. C. Martin-Olmos, A. Z. Stieg and J. K. Gimzewski “Electrostatic force microscopy as a broadly applicable method for characterizing pyroelectric materials” Nanotechnology, 2012,23, 235701.

21. J.M. D’Arcy, H.D. Tran, A.Z. Stieg, J.K. Gimzewski and R.B. Kaner. "Aligned carbon nanotube, graphene and graphite oxide thin films via substrate-directed rapid interfacial deposition" Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 3075-3082. DOI:10.1039/C2NR00010E (2012).

20. A.Z. Stieg, A.A. Avizienis, H.O. Sillin, C. Martin-Olmos, M. Aono and J.K. Gimzewski "Emergent Criticality in Complex Turing B-Type Atomic Switch Networks" Advanced Materials, 2012,242, 286-293.

19. R. Tanoue, N. Enoki, Y. Miyasato, R. Higuchi, S. Uemura, A.Z. Stieg, J.K. Gimzewski and M. Kunitake. "Thermodynamically Controlled Self-Assembly of Covalent Nanoarchitectures in Aqueous Solution" ACS Nano, 5(5), 3923-3929 (2011).

18. M. Xue, H. Shen, L. Li, B. Tremolet de Villers, J. Zhu, Z. Yu, A.Z. Stieg, B.J. Schwartz, Q. Pei and K.L. Wang “Charge-carrier Dynamics in Hybrid Plasmonic Organic Solar Cells with Ag Nanoparticles” Applied Physics Letters 2011, 98, 253302.

17. Kabehie, S.; Xue, M.; Stieg, A. Z.; Liong, M.; Wang, K. L.; Zink, J. I., Heteroleptic Copper Switches. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2010, 132, (45), 15987-15996.

16. Stieg, A. Z., Gimzewski, J.K., Local Probes: Pushing the Limits of Detection and Interaction. In Handbook of Nanophysics: Principles and Methods, Sattler, K., Ed. CRC Press: New York, 2010.

15. Yokoi, N.; Inaba, H.; Terauchi, M.; Stieg, A. Z.; Sanghamitra, N. J. M.; Koshiyama, T.; Yutani, K.; Kanamaru, S.; Arisaka, F.; Hikage, T.; Suzuki, A.; Yamane, T.; Gimzewski, J. K.; Watanabe, Y.; Kitagawa, S.; Ueno, T., Construction of Robust Bio-nanotubes using the Controlled Self-Assembly of Component Proteins of Bacteriophage T4. Small 2010, 6, (17), 1873-1879.

14. M. Xue, S. Kabehie, A.Z. Stieg, E. Tkatchouk, D. Benitez, W.A.  Goddard, J.I. Zink and K.L. Wang. “A Nano-Scale Molecular Rotor Device for Non-volatile High Density Memory Applications” IEEE Electron Device Letters 31(9) (2010).

13. Sharma, S.; Cross, S. E.; Hsueh, C.; Wali, R. P.; Stieg, A. Z.; Gimzewski, J. K., Nanocharacterization in Dentistry. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2010, 11, (6), 2523-2545.

12. H.I. Rasool, P.R. Wilkinson, A.Z. Stieg, and J.K. Gimzewski. "A low noise all fiber interferometer for high resolution frequency modulated atomic force microscopy imaging in liquid" Review of Scientific Instruments 81, 023703 (2010).

11. S. Kabehie, M. Liong, A.Z. Stieg, M. Xue, K.L. Wang, and J.I. Zink. "Surface Immobilized Heteroleptic Copper Compounds as State Variables" Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 1, 589-592 (2010).

10. M. Xue, S. Kabehie, A.Z. Stieg, E. Tkatchouk, D. Benitez, R.M. Stephenson, W.A.  Goddard, J.I. Zink and K.L. Wang. "Room temperature negative differential resistance of a monolayer molecular rotor device" Applied Physics Letters 95, 093503 (2009).

9. A.Z. Stieg, H.I. Rasool and J.K. Gimzewski. "A flexible, new electrochemical scanning tunneling microscope for nanoscale studies at the solid-liquid interface" Review of Scientific Instruments 79, 103701 (2008).

8. W. Zhang, W. R. Dichtel, A.Z. Stieg, D. Benitez, J.K. Gimzewski, J.R. Heath, and J.F. Stoddart. "Folding a polyrotaxane using secondary supramolecular interactions" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, 6514-9 (2008).

7. A.Z. Stieg. “From the Bottom Up: Instrumentation Design and Nanoscale Studies in Scanning Probe Microscopy” Doctoral Dissertation- University of California, Los Angeles (2007).

6. L. Wesoloski, A.Z. Stieg, M. Kunitake, S. Dultz, J.K. Gimzewski. "Observations of Image Contrast and Dimerization of Decacyclene by Low Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy" Journal of Chemical Physics 127, 174703 (2007).

5. A. Z. Stieg, P. Wilkinson, and J.K. Gimzewski. "A vertical inertial sliding drive for coarse motion and fine approach in scanning probe microscopy" Review of Scientific Instruments 78, 036110 (2007).

4. J.J. Hlavaty, A.W. Partin, M.J. Shue, L.A. Mangold, J. Derby, J. Teofilo, S. Kelley, A.Z. Stieg, J.V. Briggman, G.M. Hass, and Y.-J. Wu. “Identification and preliminary clinical evaluation of a 50.8-kDa serum marker for prostate cancer” Urology 61(6), 1261-5 (2003).

3. J.J. Hlavaty, A.W. Partin, F. Kusinitz, M.J. Shue, A.Z. Stieg, K. Bennett and J.V. Briggman. “ "Mass Spectroscopy as a Discovery Tool for Identifying Serum Markers for Prostate Cancer" Clinical Chemistry 47, 1924-1926 (2001).

2. J.V. Briggman, B. Watkins, J.J. Hlavaty, A.Z. Stieg, S.V. Ball. “Detection of Early Stage Cancer by Serum Protein Analysis” American Laboratory 33, 32-36 (2001).

1. A.Z. Stieg “Synthesis and Characterization of Tin (IV) Complexes as Possible anti-Tumor Agents” Honors Thesis - Drew University Library (1999).

Selected Lectures:

21. “Atomic Switch Networks: A Case Study in International Collaboration” Invited Lecture: Tenth Nanotechnology Conference on Communication and Cooperation. Gaithersburg, MD (2014).

20. "Nanotools: Enabling Technologies for Nanoscience" UCLA Honors Collegium (2014).

19. “From Atoms to Organisms: Bridging the Mesoscale with Correlative Microscopy” Invited lecture: Southern California Society for Microscopy and Microanalysis. University of Southern California (2013).

18. “Interfaces and connectivity in complex nanoelectroionic systems” Invited Lecture: New Horizons in Electrochemistry - at the Boundary of Physics and Materials Science. Capri, Italy (2013).

17. “Atomic Switch Networks: A Synthetic Neuropil for Neuromorphic Reservoir Computing” National Institute of Materials Science, Tsukuba, Japan (2013).

16. “Neuromorphic Atomic Switch Networks: Rise of the Unorganized Machines” WPI-MANA International Symposium. Tsukuba, Japan (2012).

15. “We Have a Voice”TEDx International Youth Day, Thousands Oaks, CA (2011).

14. “Structural Mechanics of Vault Nanoparticles”Symposium of Drug Delivery Systems, Shenzhen, China (2011).

13. “New Generation Scientists Speak: Sci|Art Connections + Networks”Invited Lecture: School of Creative Media, City University, Hong Kong (2011).

12. “Toward Chemo-mechanical Induction of Stem Cell Fate Decisions” World Congress of Nanomedicine, Shenzhen, China (2011).

11. “From the Bottom Up: Nanoscale Science and Technology at Thirty” Invited Lecture: Department of Physics – California Polytechnic Institute (2011).

10. “From the Bottom Up: Design, Fabrication and Characterization of Functional Molecular Architectures” Plenary Lecture: International Conference on Nanosensors and Technology, Chandigarh, India (2010).

9. “Transformational Technology Visions: Connectivity and the Need for New Models in Education, Research and Technology Transfer” Keynote Lecture: TechConnect World Conference and Expo, Anaheim, CA (2010).

8. “Beyond topography: AFM as a platform for method development in biomedical detection and diagnostics” Lecture: 3rd Annual Symposium on NanoBioTechnology, CNSI – UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (2009).

7. “Probing Vault Nanoparticles for Targeted Drug Delivery” Invited Lecture: WPI-MANA International Symposium. Tsukuba, Japan (2009).

6. “Nanomechanics in Medicine: AFM-based analysis of cancer & green tea extract (GTE)-induced anticancer properties” Keynote Lecture: CNSI-CNBI Symposium on NanoBioTechnology, Tokyo University, Japan (2008).

5. “Toward imaging molecular motion and interaction by scanning probe microscopy” Invited Lecture: CNSI/G-COE Symposium, Kyushu University, Japan (2008).

4. "Integrated Nanoscale Science: Synergistic Approaches to Interfaces" Invited Lecture:  Global Challenges - How can Nanotechnology Help? Venice, Italy (2008).

3. "Nanoscale Science and the Interface with Nature" Invited Lecture: NSF-MEXT US-Japan Exchange Symposium, Los Angeles, CA (2008).

2. "From the Bottom Up: Instrument Design and Nanoscale Studies with Electrochemical Scanning Probe Microscopy" Invited Lecture: Applied Chemistry, Kumamoto University, Japan (2006).

1. "Nanoscale Studies of Molecular Machines by Electrochemical Scanning Tunneling Microscopy" Lecture: NSF-JSPS EAPSI Symposium, Tokyo, Japan (2006).

Selected Conference Proceedings and Poster Presentations:

17. “Neuromorphic Atomic Switch Networks” Trends in Nanotechnology (TNT), Tokyo, Japan (2014).

16. “Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Atomic Switch Networks for Reservoir Computing” WPI-MANA International Symposium. Tsukuba, Japan (2013).

15. “Neuromorphic Atomic Switch Networks: Rise of the Unorganized Machines” WPI-MANA International Symposium. Tsukuba, Japan (2012).

14. “Energy Storage in Atomic Switches” Seeing at the Nanoscale, Santa Barbara, CA (2011).

13. “Fractal Atom Switch Arrays: Functional Nanotechnology” WPI-MANA International Symposium. Tsukuba, Japan (2011).

12. “Heteroleptic Copper Switches: Electrical Properties Including Negative Differential Resistance” Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics (FENA) Annual Review, Los Angeles, CA (2010).

11. "A nano-scale molecular rotor device for high density memory application" International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium, College Park, MD (2009).

10. “A Nanoscale Molecular Rotor Device” Engineering for Life Enrichment – National Academy of Engineering Symposium, Los Angeles, CA (2009).

9. “Negative Differential Resistance in a novel nanoscale molecular rotor device” Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics (FENA) Annual Review, Los Angeles, CA (2009).

8. “Molecular Rotational Change of Si-Immobilized Heteroleptic Copper Compounds as a State Variable” Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics (FENA) Annual Review, Los Angeles, CA (2009).

7. "Folding a Polyrotaxane Using Secondary Supramolecular Interactions" Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics (FENA) Annual Review, Los Angeles, CA (2009).

6. “A Nano-Scale Molecular Rotor Device for Non-volatile High Density Memory Applications” IEEE International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium (2009).

5. "High Performance Imaging and Spectroscopy on Living Systems" CNSI-CNBI Symposium, Los Angeles, CA (2008).

4. "Folding a Polyrotaxane Using Secondary Supramolecular Interactions" Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society (2008).

3. "Convergent Synthesis of Mechanically Interlocked Compounds using Click Chemistry" Frontiers of Nanoscience, Snowbird, UT (2007).

2.  "Dimerization of Decacylene on Copper Surfaces" ACS Spring National Meeting & Exposition, Chicago, IL (2007).

1. “A 50.8 kDa Protein is a Sensitive and Specific Serum Biomarker for Prostate Cancer” Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research (2002)