James Hone


240 S.W. Mudd 
Mail Code 4703 

Tel(212) 854-303

James Hone creates and studies nanoscale materials and structures for basic understanding and a wide variety of applications. This work combines materials synthesis, fabrication of nanoscale structures, and characterization by mechanical, electrical, and optical techniques. 

Research Interests

Nanoscale materials, two-dimensional materials, mechanical properties, nano-electronics, nano-electromechanical systems, mechano-biology

Research Areas

Over the past ten years, a primary focus has been on two-dimensional materials created from atomically thin sheets.  Hone and collaborators have shown that an atomic sheet of carbon, known as graphene, is the strongest material ever measured. Hone has also developed new ways of manipulating two-dimensional materials to create layered heterostructures, in which intrinsic properties can be studied due to the lack of environmental disorder, electrical and optical devices demonstrate the highest performance, and new properties emerge at atomically precise interfaces.  In collaboration with biologists, Hone has developed tools that have revealed new processes by which cells sense the physical properties of their environment at the sub-micrometer scale. 

Hone received a BS in physics from Yale University in 1990 and a PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1998.


  • Millikan postdoctoral fellow, Caltech, 2000-2002
  • Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 1998-2000


  • Director, Columbia MRSEC, 2014-
  • Wang Fong-Jen Professor of mechanical engineering, Columbia University, 2015–
  • Professor of mechanical engineering, Columbia University, 2012-
  • Associate professor of mechanical engineering, Columbia University, 2007-2012
  • Assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Columbia University, 2003-2007


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American Physical Society (APS)
  • Materials Research Society (MRS)


  • Millikan Fellowship in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, Caltech, 2000
  • Society of Columbia Graduates Great Teacher Award, 2014
  • Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, Columbia Engineering Alumni Association, 2015


• Lundeberg, M. B., Gao, Y., Asgari, R., Tan, C., Van Duppen, B., Autore, M., Alonso-Gonzalez, P., Woessner, A., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Hillenbrand, R., Hone, J., Polini, M. & Koppens, F. H. L. Tuning quantum nonlocal effects in graphene plasmonics. Science 357, 187-190, (2017).

• Saxena, M., Liu, S., Yang, B., Hajal, C., Changede, R., Hu, J., Wolfenson, H., Hone, J. & Sheetz, M. P. EGFR and HER2 activate rigidity sensing only on rigid matrices. Nature Materials 16, 775, (2017).

• Chen, C. Y., Deshpande, V. V., Koshino, M., Lee, S., Gondarenko, A., MacDonald, A. H., Kim, P. & Hone, J. Modulation of mechanical resonance by chemical potential oscillation in graphene. Nature Physics 12, 240-245, (2016).

• Wolfenson, H., Meacci, G., Liu, S. M., Stachowiak, M. R., Iskratsch, T., Ghassemi, S., Roca-Cusachs, P., O'Shaughnessy, B., Hone, J. & Sheetz, M. P. Tropomyosin controls sarcomere-like contractions for rigidity sensing and suppressing growth on soft matrices. Nature Cell Biology 18, 33-37, (2016).

• Chen, S. W., Han, Z., Elahi, M. M., Habib, K. M. M., Wang, L., Wen, B., Gao, Y. D., Taniguchi, T., Watanabe, K., Hone, J., Ghosh, A. W. & Dean, C. R. Electron optics with p-n junctions in ballistic graphene. Science 353, 1522-1525, (2016).

• Wang, L., Gao, Y., Wen, B., Han, Z., Taniguchi, T., Watanabe, K., Koshino, M., Hone, J. & Dean, C. R. Evidence for a fractional fractal quantum Hall effect in graphene superlattices. Science 350, 1231-1234, (2015).

• Cui, X., Lee, G. H., Kim, Y. D., Arefe, G., Huang, P. Y., Lee, C. H., Chenet, D. A., Zhang, X., Wang, L., Ye, F., Pizzocchero, F., Jessen, B. S., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Muller, D. A., Low, T., Kim, P. & Hone, J. Multi-terminal transport measurements of MoS2 using a van der Waals heterostructure device platform. Nature Nanotechnology 10, 534-540, (2015).

• Wu, W. Z., Wang, L., Li, Y. L., Zhang, F., Lin, L., Niu, S. M., Chenet, D., Zhang, X., Hao, Y. F., Heinz, T. F., Hone, J. & Wang, Z. L. Piezoelectricity of single-atomic-layer MoS2 for energy conversion and piezotronics. Nature 514, 470-474, (2014).

• Lee, G. H., Cooper, R. C., An, S. J., Lee, S., van der Zande, A., Petrone, N., Hammerherg, A. G., Lee, C., Crawford, B., Oliver, W., Kysar, J. W. & Hone, J. High-Strength Chemical-Vapor Deposited Graphene and Grain Boundaries. Science 340, 1073-1076, (2013).

• Chen, C. Y., Lee, S., Deshpande, V. V., Lee, G. H., Lekas, M., Shepard, K. & Hone, J. Graphene mechanical oscillators with tunable frequency. Nature Nanotechnology 8, 923-927, (2013).

• Mak, K. F., He, K. L., Lee, C., Lee, G. H., Hone, J., Heinz, T. F. & Shan, J. Tightly bound trions in monolayer MoS2. Nature Materials 12, 207-211, (2013).

• van der Zande, A. M., Huang, P. Y., Chenet, D. A., Berkelbach, T. C., You, Y. M., Lee, G. H., Heinz, T. F., Reichman, D. R., Muller, D. A. & Hone, J. C. Grains and grain boundaries in highly crystalline monolayer molybdenum disulphide. Nature Materials 12, 554-561, (2013).

• Dean, C. R., Wang, L., Maher, P., Forsythe, C., Ghahari, F., Gao, Y., Katoch, J., Ishigami, M., Moon, P., Koshino, M., Taniguchi, T., Watanabe, K., Shepard, K. L., Hone, J. & Kim, P. Hofstadter's butterfly and the fractal quantum Hall effect in moire superlattices. Nature 497, 598-602, (2013).

• Wang, L., Meric, I., Huang, P. Y., Gao, Q., Gao, Y., Tran, H., Taniguchi, T., Watanabe, K., Campos, L. M., Muller, D. A., Guo, J., Kim, P., Hone, J., Shepard, K. L. & Dean, C. R. One-Dimensional Electrical Contact to a Two-Dimensional Material. Science 342, 614-617, (2013).

• Dean, C. R., Young, A. F., Meric, I., Lee, C., Wang, L., Sorgenfrei, S., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Kim, P., Shepard, K. L. & Hone, J. Boron nitride substrates for high-quality graphene electronics. Nature Nanotechnology 5, 722-726, (2010).

• Mak, K. F., Lee, C., Hone, J., Shan, J. & Heinz, T. F. Atomically Thin MoS2: A New Direct-Gap Semiconductor. Physical Review Letters 105, 136805 136805, (2010).

• Lee, C., Li, Q., Kalb, W., Liu, X.-Z., Berger, H., Carpick, R. W. & Hone, J. Frictional Characteristics of Atomically Thin Sheets. Science 328, 76-80, (2010).

• Lee, C., Wei, X., Kysar, J. W. & Hone, J. Measurement of the elastic properties and intrinsic strength of monolayer graphene. Science 321, 385-388, (2008).