Tan Thong Lip Alvin

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Tan Thong Lip Alvin

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Room Number: 1.302.09
Research Areas:
Additive Manufacturing, Nanomaterials, Nanomanufacturing, Materials Design

Pillar / Cluster: Engineering Product Development


Dr Alvin Tan works in the domains of advanced manufacturing, nano-science, and materials design. In 2021 he joined the Engineering and Product Development Pillar at SUTD as adjunct assistant professor under the DSO-SUTD Joint Appointment Agreement.

Alvin obtained his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For his doctoral thesis, he pioneered the technique of direct-write colloidal assembly, which combines principles from bottom-up self-assembly and top-down additive manufacturing to create free form colloidal crystals, with applications in photonics, chemical sensing, and micromechanical structures. His investigations into colloidal crystal growth have also led to insights about the scaling of crystal growth kinetics and the physics of crack formation in these crystals.

He obtained his master and bachelor of science degrees in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. At Northwestern, his research contributions include design of nanocarbon composite films for solar cells, synthesis of nano-porous and nano-sized graphene sheets, and developing a high throughput imaging technique for two-dimensional materials.


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Materials Science and Engineering, 2019
  • MS, Northwestern University, Materials Science and Engineering, 2012
  • BS, Northwestern University, Materials Science and Engineering, 2011

Research Interests

Nanomanufacturing, additive manufacturing, multifunctional materials, colloid science, photonics, bioinspired materials, materials by design

Selected Publications

  • Zhang, W.; Wang, H.; Tan, A. T. L.; Sargur Ranganath, A.; Zhang, B.; Wang, H.; Chan, J. Y. E.; Ruan, Q.; Liu, H.; Ha, S. T.; Wang, D.; Ravikumar, V. K.; Low, H. Y.; Yang, J. K. W. Stiff Shape Memory Polymers for High-Resolution Reconfigurable Nanophotonics. Nano Letters 2022, 22 (22), 8917–8924. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c03007.
  • Domènech, B.; Tan, A. T. L.; Jelitto, H.; Berodt, E. Z.; Blankenburg, M.; Focke, O.; Cann, J.; Tasan, C. C.; Ciacchi, L. C.; Müller, M.; Furlan, K. P.; Hart, A. J.; Schneider, G. A. Strong Macroscale Supercrystalline Structures by 3D Printing Combined with Self-Assembly of Ceramic Functionalized Nanoparticles. Advanced Engineering Materials 2020, 22 (7), 2000352. https://doi.org/10.1002/adem.202000352.
  • Tan, A. T. L.; Nagelberg, S.; Chang‐Davidson, E.; Tan, J.; Yang, J. K. W.; Kolle, M.; Hart, A. J. In-Plane Direct-Write Assembly of Iridescent Colloidal Crystals. Small 2020, 16 (4), 1905519. https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.201905519.
  • Tan, A. T. L.; Beroz, J.; Kolle, M.; Hart, A. J. Direct-Write Freeform Colloidal Assembly. Advanced Materials 2018, 30 (44), 1803620. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201803620.
  • Tan, A. T. L.; Kim, J.; Huang, J.-K.; Li, L.-J.; Huang, J. Seeing Two-Dimensional Sheets on Arbitrary Substrates by Fluorescence Quenching Microscopy. Small 2013, 9 (19), 3253–3258. https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.201300049.
  • Han, T. H.; Huang, Y.-K.; Tan, A. T. L.; Dravid, V. P.; Huang, J. Steam Etched Porous Graphene Oxide Network for Chemical Sensing. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2011, 133 (39), 15264–15267. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja205693t.
  • Luo, J.; Cote, L. J.; Tung, V. C.; Tan, A. T. L.; Goins, P. E.; Wu, J.; Huang, J. Graphene Oxide Nanocolloids. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2010, 132 (50), 17667–17669. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja1078943.