Christopher B. Murray

Christopher B. Murray is the Richard Perry University Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science. With appointments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Arts & Sciences, Murray works at the intersection of chemistry, materials science, electrical, and chemical engineering.

Chemistry & Materials Engineering

christopher murray

As a globally influential creator of new materials at the nanoscale, Christopher Murray explores novel ways to improve energy and environmental sustainability, information processing, and human health.  He works across scientific boundaries to develop new chemical methods to create building blocks at the 1- to 100-nanometer scale for materials to address these challenges.

Murray holds 26 current and four pending patents for inventions at the nanoscale, a domain 100,000 times smaller than the width of a sheet of  paper where unusual strength, conductivity, elasticity, bio-compatibility and optical capabilities emerge. He uses Penn’s new Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology as a crucible for discovery, commercialization and education across academic disciplines, and maintains research partnerships with information technology, aerospace, specialty chemicals, and life sciences companies.

An elected fellow of the Materials Resource Society, Murray was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Utrecht for his contributions to materials for sustainable energy, and chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Councils on Nanotechnology and Emerging Technologies. His methods to create semiconductor nanocrystals have been cited more than 5,000 times, and have been embedded in energy-efficient TV and cell phone screens, experimental solar cells and medical imaging agents. Murray’s research is published in Nature, Nature Materials, Science, Nature Chemsity, Nature Nanotechnology and Journal of the American Chemical Society.  He serves on journal editorial boards for Nano Today and Chemistry of Materials and, prior to joining Penn in 2007, was a manager at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Division where he was designated a “master inventor.”

Murray teaches freshman honors chemistry and a graduate-level course in materials design for energy and environmental sustainability. He is driven by his vision to inspire and prepare emerging scientific leaders to create non-toxic nanomaterials from abundantly available natural resources to help future generations cope with scarcity. 

  • Nanoscale 
  • Inorganic Materials 
  • Nanocrystals
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Energy
  • Materials Chemisty
  • Nanotubes and Nanowires
  • Ceramics
  • Electron Miscroscopy
  • Electronic and Optical Properties
  • Metals
  • X-Ray and Neutron Scattering

To explore Murray's research, visit the Chris Murray Group lab site.  

Fafarman, AT, Hong S-H, Oh SJ, Caglayan H, Ye X, Diroll BT, Engheta N, Murray CB, Kagan CR.  2014.  Air-Stable, Nanostructured Electronic and Plasmonic Materials from Solution-Processable, Silver Nanocrystal Building Blocks, MAR 2014. Acs Nano. 8:2746-2754., Number 3 

Yun, HJ, Paik T, Edley ME, Baxter JB, Murray CB.  2014.  Enhanced Charge Transfer Kinetics of CdSe Quantum Dot-Sensitized Solar Cell by Inorganic Ligand Exchange Treatments, MAR 12 2014. Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces. 6:3721-3728., Number 5

Paik, T, Hong S-H, Gaulding AE, Caglayan H, Gordon TR, Engheta N, Kagan CR, Murray CB.  2014.  Solution-Processed Phase-Change VO2 Metamaterials from Colloidal Vanadium Oxide (VOx) Nanocrystals, JAN 2014. Acs Nano. 8:797-806., Number 1 

For a full list of publications  from the Chris Murray Group at Penn, visit their lab site.  

Featured Media (Selected)

"Christopher B. Murray Named 2020 Citation Laureate, a Mark of ‘Nobel Class’ Research," Penn Engineering Today, September 23, 2020

"Nanotechnology Advance in Making,'Programmable Matter,' Using Nanocrystals,Nanowerk, July 29, 2013

"Researchers Help Show New Way to Study and Improve Catalytic Reactions," Phys.Org, July 18, 2013

"Nanoparticle Molecular Probes Drastically Reduce Cost of Powerful Microscopy Technique," Nanowerk, April 21, 2013

"Christopher Murray Named a 2012 MRS Fellow," Penn Engineering, February 2012


Video (Featured)

"Nanoscience: Reprogramming Matter for Health, Energy, and Information Technologies," Engaging Minds Alumni Speaker SeriesUniversity of Pennsylvania, March 25, 2010

Richard C. Perry


“I am delighted to support the President's ambitious plans for Penn. By attracting world-class faculty and building on Penn's interdisciplinary strength, this program will serve as a catalyst for transforming the University.”  

 - Richard Perry

Richard Perry, W'77, gave the inaugural gift in support of the Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) initiative, a cornerstone of President Amy Gutmann’s vision for propelling Penn from excellence to eminence. His 2005 commitment endowed four Richard Perry University Professorships. Richard Perry is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees.

  • Ph.D., MIT (Physical Chemistry)
  • B.Sc., St. Mary's University (Chemistry)


University Service
Professional Positions & Affiliations
  • Nano Today, editorial board
  • Chemistry of Materials, editorial board 
Additional Penn Profiles



Penn Arts & Sciences
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Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Penn Engineering
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