Alexander Green

Biodesign A120A
1001 S. McAllister Ave.
Assistant Professor
TEMPE Campus


Alexander Green obtained his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University and his B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Wyss Institute at Harvard. He has pursued research in diverse areas ranging from synthetic biology to self-assembly to carbon nanomaterials with applications in flexible electronics, energy, and low-cost diagnostics. Professor Green has published more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and several of his scientific discoveries have been successfully commercialized.


  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University 2010
  • B.A.Sc. Engineering Science (honors), University of Toronto, Canada 2005

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Research Interests

Our group pursues highly interdisciplinary research at the interfaces of chemistry, biology, and materials science. Much of this work exploits programmable molecular interactions between nucleic acids and proteins to direct the assembly of nanometer-scale components and to construct information-processing circuitry inside living cells. These efforts have wide-ranging implications for biotechnology, energy, biosensing, and nanotechnology.

Our research program can be divided between two principal areas.

Synthetic Biology
Our long-term aim is to develop robust platforms for controlling biological systems that enable us to rapidly deploy cells as nano/micromachines that do useful work. Although conventional approaches in synthetic biology have relied on repurposing existing biological parts, we employ a combination of biological insight and computer-aided design to develop completely new components for synthetic biology. Such de-novo-designed parts are engineered from the ground up for optimal performance and facile integration into synthetic gene networks of greater complexity. Typical projects in this area involve the invention of new biological parts, the construction of novel synthetic gene networks, and the development of cellular or biomolecular sensor/actuator systems.

As materials reach nanometer-scale dimensions, quantum mechanical effects play important roles in defining their properties. Nanomaterials are thus intriguing materials as a result of their unique electronic, optical, and mechanical properties, and because their dimensions are commensurate with critical length scales in biology. Nevertheless, it remains difficult to synthesize nanomaterials with precisely-controlled sizes and properties, and it is challenging to assemble nanometer-scale components over macroscopic distances. Effective strategies to solve these problems are required to fully exploit the enhanced properties of nanomaterials.

Our group develops separation techniques and chemical functionalization schemes to augment the capabilities of nanomaterials. Furthermore, we program molecular interactions to direct the assembly of nanomaterials into useful architectures. We employ these strategies for applications in nanoelectronics, photonics, energy harvesting, and biosensing. Typical projects involve the synthesis and characterization of new nanomaterials and integration of these novel materials into electronic or sensing devices.


X. S. Chu, A. Yousaf, D. O. Li, A. A. Tang, A. Debnath, D. Ma, A. A. Green, E. J. G. Santos, Q. H. Wang, "Direct Covalent Chemical Functionalization of Unmodified Two-Dimensional Molybdenum Disulfide," Chemistry of Materials 30, 2112 (2018).

D. Ma, L. Shen, K. Wu, C. W. Diehnelt, A. A. Green, "Low-cost detection of norovirus using paper-based cell-free systems and synbody-based viral enrichment," Synthetic Biology 3, ysy018 (2018).

J. Li, A. A. Green†, H. Yan† & C. Fan†, “DNA nanotechnology for programmable molecular circuitry and intracellular biocomputation,” Nature Chemistry (in press).

X. S. Chu, D. O. Li, A. A. Green, Q. H. Wang†, “Formation of MoO3 and WO3 Nanoscrolls from MoS2 and WS2

A. A. Green*,†, J. Kim*, D. Ma, P. A. Silver, J. J. Collins & P. Yin†, “Complex cellular logic computation using ribocomputing devices,” Nature 548, 117-121 (2017).

K. Pardee*, A. A. Green*, M. K. Takahashi*, D. Braff*, G. Lambert*, J. W. Lee, T. Ferrante, D. Ma, N. Donghia, M. Fan, N. M. Daringer, I. Bosch, D. M. Dudley, D. H. O’Connor, L. Gehrke & J. J. Collins, “Rapid, Low-Cost Detection of Zika Virus Using Programmable Biomolecular Components,” Cell (2016).

J. Appel, D. O. Li, J. Podlevsky, A. Debnath, A. A. Green, Q. H. Wang & Junseok Chae, "Low Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Two-Dimensional MoS2 and WS2," ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2, 361-367 (2016). 

A. A. Green, P. A. Silver, J. J. Collins & P. Yin, “Toehold Switches: De-Novo-Designed Regulators of Gene Expression,” Cell 159, 925-939 (2014).

K. Pardee, A. A. Green, T. Ferrante, D. E. Cameron, A. DaleyKeyser, P. Yin & J. J. Collins, “Paper-based Synthetic Gene Networks,” Cell 159, 940-954 (2014). 

J.-W. T. Seo, N. L. Yoder, T. A. Shastry, J. J. Humes, J. E. Johns, A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, “Diameter refinement of semiconducting arc discharge single-walled carbon nanotubes via density gradient ultracentrifugation," J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 2805-2810 (2013).

M. E. Regler, H. J. Krenner, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, A. Wixforth & A. Hartschuh, "Controlling exciton decay dynamics in semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes by surface acoustic waves," Chem. Phys. 413, 39-44 (2013).

J. Huang, A. Ng, Y. M. Piao, C.-F. Chen, A. A. Green, C.-F. Sun, M. C. Hersam, C. Lee & Y. H. Wang, "Covalently functionalized double-walled carbon nanotubes combine high sensitivity and selectivity in the electrical detection of small molecules," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 2306-2312 (2013).

A. L. Antaris, J.-W. T. Seo, R. E. Brock, J. E. Herriman, M. J. Born, A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Probing and Tailoring pH-Dependent Interactions between Block Copolymers and Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Density Gradient Sorting," J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 20103-20108 (2012).

M. Engel, M. Steiner, R. S. Sundaram, R. Krupke, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & P. Avouris, "Spatially Resolved Electrostatic Potential and Photocurrent Generation in Carbon Nanotube Array Devices," ACS Nano 6, 7303-7310 (2012).

M. Steiner, M. Engel, Y.-M. Lin, Y. Wu, K. Jenkins, D. B. Farmer, J. J. Humes, N. L. Yoder, J.-W. T. Seo, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, R. Krupke & P. Avouris, "High-frequency performance of scaled carbon nanotube array field-effect transistors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 053123 (2012).

M. W. Graham, T. R. Calhoun, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & G. R. Fleming, "Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy Reveals the Dynamics of Phonon-Mediated Excitation Pathways in Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes," Nano Lett. 12, 813-819 (2012).

D. M. Harrah, J. R. Schneck, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, L. D. Ziegler & A. K. Swan, "Intensity-Dependent Exciton Dynamics of (6,5) Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Momentum Selection Rules, Diffusion, and Nonlinear Interactions," ACS Nano 5, 9898-9906 (2011).

M. Kalbac, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & L. Kavan, “Probing charge transfer between shells of double-walled carbon nanotubes sorted by outer-wall electronic type,” Chem. Eur. J. 17, 9806-9815 (2011).

Y. M. Piao, C.-F. Chen, A. A. Green, H. Kwon, M. C. Hersam, C. S. Lee, G. C. Schatz & Y. H. Wang, "Optical and Electrical Properties of Inner Tubes in Outer Wall-Selectively Functionalized Double-Wall Carbon Nanotubes," J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2, 1577-1582 (2011).

A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Nearly Single-Chirality Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Produced via Orthogonal Iterative Density Gradient Ultracentrifugation," Adv. Mater. 23, 2185-2190 (2011).

M. W. Graham, J. Chmeliov, Y. Z. Ma, H. Shinohara, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, L. Valkunas & G. R. Fleming, "Exciton Dynamics in Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes," J. Phys. Chem. B 115, 5201-5211 (2011).

J.-W. T. Seo*, A. A. Green*, A. L. Antaris & M. C. Hersam, "High-Concentration Aqueous Dispersions of Graphene Using Nonionic, Biocompatible Block Copolymers," J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2, 1004-1008 (2011).

J. R. Schneck, A. G. Walsh, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, L. D. Ziegler & A. K. Swan, "Electron Correlation Effects on the Femtosecond Dephasing Dynamics of E22Excitons in (6,5) Carbon Nanotubes," J. Phys. Chem. A 115, 3917-3923 (2011).

M. Ganzhorn, A. Vijayaraghavan, A. A. Green, S. Dehm, A. Voigt, M. Rapp, M. C. Hersam & R. Krupke, "A Scalable, CMOS-Compatible Assembly of Ambipolar Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Devices," Adv. Mater. 23, 1734-1738 (2011).

R. W. Newson, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & H. M. van Driel, "Coherent injection and control of ballistic charge currents in single-walled carbon nanotubes and graphite," Phys. Rev. B 83 (2011).

M. Ganzhorn, A. Vijayaraghavan, S. Dehm, F. Hennrich, A. A. Green, M. Fichtner, A. Voigt, M. Rapp, H. von Lohneysen, M. C. Hersam, M. M. Kappes & R. Krupke, "Hydrogen Sensing with Diameter- and Chirality-Sorted Carbon Nanotubes," ACS Nano5, 1670-1676 (2011).

A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Properties and Application of Double-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Sorted by Outer-Wall Electronic Type," ACS Nano 5, 1459-1467 (2011).

M. W. Graham, Y. Z. Ma, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & G. R. Fleming, "Pure optical dephasing dynamics in semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes," J. Chem. Phys. 134 (2011).

A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & A. V. Soldatov, "Probing structural stability of double-walled carbon nanotubes at high non-hydrostatic pressure by Raman spectroscopy," High Pressure Res. 31, 186-190 (2011). 

M. Kinoshita, M. Steiner, M. Engel, J. P. Small, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, R. Krupke, E. E. Mendez & P. Avouris, "The polarized carbon nanotube thin film LED," Opt. Express 18, 25738-25745 (2010).

C. Georgi, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & A. Hartschuh, "Probing Exciton Localization in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Using High-Resolution Near-Field Microscopy," ACS Nano 4, 5914-5920 (2010).

M. Bohmler, N. Hartmann, C. Georgi, F. Hennrich, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & A. Hartschuh, "Enhancing and redirecting carbon nanotube photoluminescence by an optical antenna," Opt. Express 18, 16443-16451 (2010).

M. J. Ha, Y. Xia, A. A. Green, W. Zhang, M. J. Renn, C. H. Kim, M. C. Hersam & C. D. Frisbie, "Printed, Sub-3V Digital Circuits on Plastic from Aqueous Carbon Nanotube Inks," ACS Nano 4, 4388-4395 (2010).

A. L. Antaris, J.-W. T. Seo, A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Sorting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Electronic Type Using Nonionic, Biocompatible Block Copolymers," ACS Nano 4, 4725-4732 (2010). 

S. Essig, C. W. Marquardt, A. Vijayaraghavan, M. Ganzhorn, S. Dehm, F. Hennrich, F. Ou, A. A. Green, C. Sciascia, F. Bonaccorso, K.-P. Bohnen, H. v. Löhneysen, M. M. Kappes, P. Ajayan, M. C. Hersam, Mark, A. C. Ferrari, & R. Krupke, "Phonon assisted electroluminescence from metallic carbon nanotubes and graphene," Nano Lett. 10, 1589-1594 (2010).

G. M. Mutlu, G. R. S. Budinger, A. A. Green, D. Urich, S. Soberanes, S. E. Chiarella, G. F. Alheid, D. McCrimmon, I. Szleifer & Mark C. Hersam, "Biocompatible Nanoscale Dispersion of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes Minimizes in vivo Pulmonary Toxicity," Nano Lett. 10, 1664-1670 (2010).

A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Emerging Methods for Producing Monodisperse Graphene Dispersions," J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 1, 544-549 (2010).

M. Kalbac, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & L. Kavan, "Tuning of Sorted Double-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Electrochemical Charging," ACS Nano 4, 459-469 (2010). 

A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Solution Phase Production of Graphene with Controlled Thickness via Density Differentiation," Nano Lett. 9, 4031-4036 (2009).

H. Harutyunyan, T. Gokus, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, M. Allegrini & A. Hartschuh, "Photoluminescence from disorder induced states in individual single-walled carbon nanotubes," Phys. Status Solidi B 246, 2679-2682 (2009).

A. V. Naumov, O. A. Kuznetsov, A. R. Harutyunyan, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, D. E. Resasco, P. N. Nikolaev & R. B. Weisman, "Quantifying the Semiconducting Fraction in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Samples through Comparative Atomic Force and Photoluminescence Microscopies," Nano Lett. 9, 3203-3208 (2009).

L. Nougaret, H. Happy, G. Dambrine, V. Derycke, J. P. Bourgoin, A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "80 GHz field-effect transistors produced using high purity semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 94 (2009).

H. Harutyunyan, T. Gokus, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, M. Allegrini & A. Hartschuh, "Defect-Induced Photoluminescence from Dark Excitonic States in Individual Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes," Nano Lett. 9, 2010-2014 (2009).

A. A. Green, M. C. Duch & M. C. Hersam, "Isolation of single-walled carbon nanotube enantiomers by density differentiation," Nano Res. 2, 69-77 (2009).

A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Processing and properties of highly enriched double-wall carbon nanotubes," Nature Nanotech. 4, 64-70 (2009).   

M. Engel, J. P. Small, M. Steiner, M. Freitag, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & P. Avouris, "Thin Film Nanotube Transistors Based on Self-Assembled, Aligned, Semiconducting Carbon Nanotube Arrays," ACS Nano 2, 2445-2452 (2008).

Y. Z. Ma, M. W. Graham, G. R. Fleming, A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Ultrafast Exciton Dephasing in Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes," Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 217402 (2008).

O. Frank, L. Kavan, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & L. Dunsch, "In-situ Vis/NIR spectroelectrochemistry of single-walled carbon nanotubes enriched with (6,5) tubes," Phys. Status Solidi B 245, 2239-2242 (2008).

H. H. Qian, C. Georgi, N. Anderson, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, L. Novotny & A. Hartschuh, "Exciton transfer and propagation in carbon nanotubes studied by near-field optical microscopy," Phys. Status Solidi B 245, 2243-2246 (2008).

L. Kavan, O. Frank, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam, J. Koltai, V. Zolyomi, J. Kurti & L. Dunsch, "In situ Raman spectroelectrochemistry of single-walled carbon nanotubes: Investigation of materials enriched with (6,5) tubes," J. Phys. Chem. C 112, 14179-14187 (2008).

H. Qian, P. T. Araujo, C. Georgi, T. Gokus, N. Hartmann, A. A. Green, A. Jorio, M. C. Hersam, L. Novotny & A. Hartschuh, "Visualizing the local optical response of semiconducting carbon nanotubes to DNA-wrapping," Nano Lett. 8, 2706-2711 (2008).

C. Georgi, N. Hartmann, T. Gokus, A. A. Green, M. C. Hersam & A. Hartschuh, "Photoinduced luminescence blinking and bleaching in individual single-walled carbon nanotubes," ChemPhysChem 9, 1460-1464 (2008).

H.H. Qian, C. Georgi, N. Anderson, A.A. Green, M.C. Hersam, L. Novotny & A. Hartschuh, "Exciton energy transfer in pairs of single-walled carbon nanotubes," Nano Lett. 8, 1363-1367 (2008).

A. A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Colored semitransparent conductive coatings consisting of monodisperse metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes," Nano Lett. 8, 1417-1422 (2008).

T. Gokus, A. Hartschuh, H. Harutyunyan, M. Allegrini, F. Hennrich, M. Kappes, A.A. Green, M.C. Hersam, P.T. Araujo & A. Jorio, "Exciton decay dynamics in individual carbon nanotubes at room temperature," Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 153116 (2008).  

A.A. Green & M. C. Hersam, "Ultracentrifugation of single-walled nanotubes," Mater. Today 10, 59-60 (2007).

M. S. Arnold, A. A. Green, J. F. Hulvat, S. I. Stupp & M. C. Hersam, "Sorting carbon nanotubes by electronic structure using density differentiation," Nature Nanotech. 1, 60-65 (2006).

A. A. Green, E. Istrate & E. H. Sargent, "Efficient design and optimization of photonic crystal waveguides and couplers: The Interface Diffraction Method," Opt. Express 13, 7304-7318 (2005).

B. J. Siwick, A. A. Green, C. T. Hebeisen & R. J. D. Miller, "Characterization of ultrashort electron pulses by electron-laser pulse cross correlation," Opt. Lett. 30, 1057-1059 (2005).

E. Istrate, A. A. Green & E. H. Sargent, "Behavior of light at photonic crystal interfaces," Phys. Rev. B 71, 195122 (2005).


Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 361Principles of Biochemistry
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BDE 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 361Principles of Biochemistry
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BDE 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BCH 494Special Topics
BCH 564Bionanotechnology
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 361Principles of Biochemistry
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 361Principles of Biochemistry
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 494Special Topics
NAN 564Bionanotechnology
BCH 564Bionanotechnology
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 361Principles of Biochemistry
MSE 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 494Special Topics
MBB 495Undergraduate Research
NAN 564Bionanotechnology
BCH 564Bionanotechnology


2019    DARPA Young Faculty Award Directors Fellowship
2017    NIH New Innovator Award
2017    DARPA Young Faculty Award
2017    Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Computational & Evolutionary Molecular Biology
2017    Arizona Biomedical Research Commission New Investigator Award
2017    Distinction of Merit and Scholastic Occupation (DMSO) Teaching Award by the ASU Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS)
2016    Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Award
2016    POPULAR SCIENCE Best of Whats New Award in Health for Rapid Zika Test
2009-2010    Northwestern University Terminal Year Graduate Fellowship
2006-2009    NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship  Doctoral Level 
2005-2006    NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship  Masters Level