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  Note: For interested readers, the Supplementary Materials to our publications are as important as the main papers.
Equal contribution. *Correspondence author.
(67) B. Fu,† K. Sengupta,† L. A. Genova,† A. G. Santiago, W. Jung, L. Krzeminski, U. K. Chakraborty, W. Zhang, P. Chen*
"Metal-induced sensor mobilization turns on affinity to activate regulator for metal detoxification in live bacteria"
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2020, 117, 13248-13255.

News highlight:
(66) M. Zhao, P. Chen*
"Exploring plasmonic photocatalysis via single-molecule reaction imaging"
Nano Lett. 2020, 20, 2939–2940.
Invited Perspective.
(65) W. Jung, K. Sengupta, B. Wendel, J. D. Helmann, P. Chen*
"Biphasic unbinding of a metalloregulator from DNA for transcription (de)repression in live bacteria"
Nucleic Acids Res. 2020, 48, 2199–2208.
Preprint version: bioRxiv, 434738;; Oct 4, 2018.

News highlight:
  • Selected as NAR Breakthrough Article, which, according to NAR, are "those that appear to solve a long-standing problem in their field, or provide exceptional new insight and understanding into an area of research that will clearly motivate and guide new research opportunities and directions. They highlight the top 1 to 2% of papers that NAR receives for publication."
  • Recommended as "exceptional" by F1000Prime.
(64) L. A. Genova,† M. F. Roberts,† Y.-C. Wong, C. E. Harper, A. G. Santiago, B. Fu, A. Srivastava, W. Jung, L. M. Wang, L. Krzeminski, X. Mao, X. Sun, C.-Y. Hui, P. Chen,* C. J. Hernandez*
"Mechanical stress compromises multicomponent efflux complexes in bacteria"
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2019, 116, 25462-25467. [pdf] [SI]
Preprint version: bioRxiv 571398;; Mar 8, 2019.

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(63) X. Mao, C. Liu, M. Hesari, N. Zou, P. Chen*
"Super-resolution imaging of nonfluorescent reactions via competition"
Nature Chem. 2019, 11, 687-694. [pdf] [SI]

News highlight:
(62) J. B. Sambur,* D. P. Shepherd, M. Hesari, M. Van Erdewyk, E. Choudhary, P. Chen*
"Correlated single-molecule reaction imaging and photocurrent measurements reveal underlying rate processes in photoelectrochemical water splitting"
J. Electrochem. Soc. 2019, 166, H3286-H3293. [pdf] [SI]
(61) R. Ye,† X. Mao,† X. Sun, P. Chen*
"Analogy between enzyme and nanoparticle catalysis: a single-molecule perspective"
ACS Catal. 2019, 9, 1985-1992. [pdf]
(60) M. Hesari, J. Sambur, X. Mao, W. Jung, P. Chen*
"Quantifying photocurrent loss of a single particle-particle interface in nanostructured photoelectrodes"
Nano Lett. 2019, 19, 958-962. [pdf] [SI]

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(59) N. Zou, G. Chen, X. Mao, H. Shen, E. Choudhary, X. Zhou, P. Chen*
"Imaging catalytic hotspots on single plasmonic nanostructures via correlated super-resolution and electron microscopy"
ACS Nano 2018, 12, 5570-5579. [pdf] [SI]
(58) M. Hesari,† X. Mao,† P. Chen*
"Charge carrier activity on single-particle photo(electro)catalysts: Toward function in solar energy conversion"
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 6729-6740. [pdf]
Invited Perspective.

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(57) N. Zou,† X. Zhou,† G. Chen,† N. M. Andoy, W. Jung, G. Liu, P. Chen*
"Cooperative communication within and between single nanocatalysts"
Nature Chem. 2018, 10, 607-614. [pdf] [SI]

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(56) T.-Y. Chen,* Y.-S. Cheng, P.-S. Huang, P. Chen*
"Facilitated unbinding via multivalency-enabled ternary complexes: New paradigm for protein-DNA interactions"
Acc. Chem. Res. 2018, 51, 860-868. [pdf]
Invited contribution.
(55) G. Chen, N. Zou, B. Chen, J. B. Sambur, E. Choudhary, P. Chen*
"Bimetallic effect of single nanocatalysts visualized by super-resolution catalysis imaging"
ACS Cent. Sci. 2017, 3, 1189-1197. [pdf] [SI]

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(54) C. Liu, K. Kubo, E. Wang, K.-S. Han, F. Yang, G. Chen, F. A. Escobedo,* G. W. Coates,* P. Chen*
"Single polymer growth dynamics"
Science 2017, 358, 352-355. [pdf] [SI] [Movie S1]

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(53) A. G. Santiago, T.-Y. Chen, L. Genova, W. Jung, A. Thompson, M. McEvoy, P. Chen*
"Adaptor protein mediates dynamic pump assembly for bacterial metal efflux"
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017, 114, 6694-6699. [pdf] [SI]

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(52) F. Yang, T.-Y. Chen, L. Krzeminski, A. G. Santiago, W. Jung, P. Chen*
“Single-molecule dynamics of the molecular chaperone trigger factor in living cells”
Mol. Microbiol. 2016, 102, 992-1003. [pdf] [SI]
(51) J. B. Sambur, P. Chen*
“Distinguishing direct and indirect photoelectrocatalytic oxidation mechanisms using quantitative single-molecule reaction imaging and photocurrent measurements”
J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 20668-20676. [pdf] [SI]
Invited contribution to the Richard P. Van Duyne Festschrift.
(50) J. B. Sambur, T.-Y. Chen, E. Choudhary, G. Chen, E. J. Nissen, E. M. Thomas, N. Zou, P. Chen*
"Sub-particle reaction and photocurrent mapping to optimize catalyst-modified photoanodes"
Nature 2016, 530, 77-80. [pdf] [SI]

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(49) T.-Y. Chen, W. Jung, A. G. Santiago, F. Yang, Ł. Krzemiński, P. Chen*
“Quantifying multi-state cytoplasmic molecular diffusion in bacterial cells via inverse transform of confined displacement distribution”
J. Phys. Chem. B 2015, 119, 14451-14459. [pdf] [SI]

(48) D. J. Martell, C. P. Joshi, A. Gaballa, A. G. Santiago, T.-Y. Chen, W. Jung, J. D. Helmann, P. Chen*
“Metalloregulator CueR biases RNA polymerase’s kinetic sampling of dead-end or open complex to repress or activate transcription”
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015, 112, 13467-13472. [pdf] [SI]
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(47) T.-Y. Chen, A. G. Santiago, W. Jung, L. Krzeminski, F. Yang, D. J. Martell, J. D. Helmann, P. Chen*
“Concentration and chromosome-organization dependent regulator unbinding from DNA for transcription regulation in living cells”
Nature Commun. 2015, 6, 7445. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8445.  [pdf] [SI]

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(46) H. Shen, X. Zhou, N. Zou, P Chen*
“Single-Molecule Kinetics Reveals A Hidden Surface Reaction Intermediate in Single-Nanoparticle Catalysis”
J. Phys. Chem. C 2014, 118, 26902-26911. [pdf] [SI]
(45) J. B. Sambur, P. Chen*
"Approaches to Single-Nanoparticle Catalysis"
Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 2014, 65, 395-422. [pdf]
Invited contribution.
(44) P. Chen*, X. Zhou, N. M. Andoy, K.-S. Han, E. Choudhary, N. Zou, G. Chen, H. Shen
“Spatiotemporal Catalytic Dynamics within Single Nanocatalysts Revealed by Single-Molecule Microscopy”
Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014, 43, 1107-1117. [pdf]
Invited contribution to the themed issue “Single-molecule optical spectroscopy”.
(43) P. Chen*, A. M. Keller, C. P. Joshi, D. J. Martell, N. M. Andoy, J. J. Benítez, T.-Y. Chen, A. G. Santiago, F. Yang
“Single-Molecule Dynamics and Mechanisms of Metalloregulators and Metallochaperones”
Biochemistry 2013, 52, 7170-7183. [pdf]
Invited Current Topic article.
(42) M. A. Ochoa, P. Chen, R. F. Loring*
“Single turnover measurements of nanoparticle catalysis analyzed with dwell time correlation functions and constrained mean dwell times”
J. Phys. Chem. C 2013117, 19074-19081. [pdf]
(41) X. Zhou, E. Choudhary, N. M. Andoy, N. Zou, P. Chen*
“Scalable Parallel Screening of Catalyst Activity at the Single-Particle Level and Sub-diffraction Resolution”
ACS Catal. 2013, 3, 1448-1453. [pdf] [SI]

News highlight: "Imaging method identifies most active catalyst particles" by Mitch Jacoby, Chemical & Engineering News, 2013, 91, 31.

(40) N. M. Andoy, X. Zhou, E. Choudary, H. Shen, P. Chen*
"Single-Molecule Catalysis Mapping Quantifies Site-specific Activity and Uncovers Radial Activity Gradient on Single 2D Nanocrystals"
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 1845-1852. [pdf] [SI]
(39) C. P. Joshi, D. Panda, D. J. Martell, N. M. Andoy, T.-Y. Chen, A. Gaballa, J. D. Helmann, P. Chen*
"Direct Substitution and Assisted Dissociation Pathways for Turning Off Transcription by A MerR-family Metalloregulator"
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012, 109, 15121-15126. [pdf] [SI]

News highlight: "Proteins barge in to turn off unneeded genes and save energy" by Bill Steele, Cornell Chronicle, September 5, 2012.

(38) A. M. Keller, J. J. Benitez, D. Klarin, L. Zhong, M. Goldfogel, F. Yang, T.-Y. Chen, P. Chen*
"Dynamic Multi-Body Protein Interactions Suggest Versatile Pathways for Copper Trafficking"
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 8934-8943. [pdf] [SI]
TOC graph
(37) Y.-F. Chen, X. Serey, R. Sarkar, P. Chen, D. Erickson*

"Controlled photonic manipulation of proteins and other nanomaterials"

Nano Lett. 2012, 12, 1633-1637. [pdf]

(36) K.-S. Han, G. Liu, X. Zhou, R. E. Medina, P. Chen*

"How does A Single Pt Nanocatalyst Behave in Two Different Reactions? A Single-Molecule Study"

Nano Lett. 2012, 12, 1253-1259. [pdf] [SI]

(35) X. Zhou, N. M. Andoy, G. Liu, E. Choudhary, K.-S. Han, H. Shen, P. Chen*

"Quantitative Super-resolution Imaging Uncovers Reactivity Patterns on Single Nanocatalysts"

Nature Nanotech. 2012, 7, 237–241. [pdf] [SI]

News highlights:

(34) P. Chen*

"Solid Acid Catalysts: Stain and Shine"

Nature Chem. 2011, 3, 839-840. [pdf]

Invited News and Views article.

(33) M. A. Ochoa-Daza, X. Zhou, P. Chen, R. F. Loring*

"Interpreting Single Turnover Catalysis Measurements with Constrained Mean Dwell Times"

J. Chem. Phys. 2011, 135, 174509. [pdf]


J. J. Benitez, A. M. Keller, D. L. Huffman, L. Yatsunyk, A. C. Rosenzweig, P. Chen*

"Relating Dynamic Protein Interactions of Metallochaperones with Metal Transfer at the Single-Molecule Level"

Faraday Discuss. 2011, 148, 71-82. [pdf]

Invited contribution to the special volume: Spectroscopy, Theory and Mechanism in Bioinorganic Chemistry.


P. Chen*, X. Zhou, H. Shen, N. M. Andoy, E. Choudhary, K.-S. Han, G. Liu, W. Meng

"Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging of Nanocatalytic Processes"

Chem. Soc. Rev. 2010, 39, 4560-4570. [pdf]

Invited Tutorial Review to the themed issue: In-situ characterization of heterogeneous catalysts.


H. Shen, W. Xu, P. Chen*

"Single-Molecule Nanoscale Electrocatalysis"

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2010, 12, 6555-6563. [pdf]

Invited Perspective article.


P. Chen*, N. M. Andoy, J. J. Benitez, A. M. Keller, D. Panda, F. Gao

"Tackling Metal Regulation and Transport at the Single-Molecule Level"

Nat. Prod. Rep. 2010, 27, 757-767. [pdf]

Invited review to the thematic issue of Metals in Cells.


J. J. Benitez, A. M. Keller, P. Chen*

"Nanovesicle Trapping for Studying Weak Protein Interactions by Single-Molecule FRET"

Meth. Enzymol. 2010, 472, 41-60. [pdf]

Invited article to the special volume of Single Molecule Tools: Fluorescence Based Approaches.


X. Zhou, W. Xu, G. Liu, D. Panda, P. Chen*

"Size Dependent Catalytic Activity and Dynamics of Gold Nanoparticles at the Single-Molecule Level"

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 138-146. [pdf] [SI]


W. Xu, H. Shen, G. Liu, P. Chen*

"Single-Molecule Kinetics of Nanoparticle Catalysis"

Nano Res. 2009, 2, 911-922. [pdf]

Invited review article.


N. M. Andoy, S. K. Sarkar, Q. Wang, D. Panda, J. J. Benitez, A. Kalininskiy, P. Chen*

"Single-Molecule Study of Metalloregulator CueR-DNA Interactions Using Engineered Holliday Junctions"

Biophys. J. 2009, 97, 844-852. [pdf] [SI]


W. Xu, H. Shen, Y. J. Kim, X. Zhou, G. Liu, J. Park, P. Chen*

"Single-Molecule Electrocatalysis by Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes"

Nano Lett. 2009, 9, 3968–3973. [pdf] [SI]


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P. Chen*, W. Xu, X. Zhou, D. Panda, A. Kalininskiy

"Single-Nanoparticle Catalysis at Single-Turnover Resolution"

Chem. Phys. Lett. 2009, 470, 151-157. [pdf]

Invited FRONTIERS article.


W. Xu, J. S. Kong, P. Chen*

"Probing the Catalytic Activity and Heterogeneity of Au-Nanoparticles at the Single-Molecule Level"

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2009, 11, 2767-2778. [pdf]


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W. Xu, J. S. Kong, P. Chen*

"Single-Molecule Kinetic Theory of Heterogeneous and Enzyme Catalysis"

J. Phys. Chem. C 2009, 113, 2393-2404. [pdf]



P. Chen*, N. M. Andoy

"Single-Molecule Fluorescence Methods in Enzymology"

In Comprehensive Natural Products Chemistry II Chemistry and Biology; Mander, L., Lui, H.-W., Eds.; Elsevier: Oxford, 2010; Vol. 9; pp 751. [pdf]
Invited review.


W. Xu, J. S. Kong, Y.-T. E. Yeh, P. Chen*

"Single-Molecule Nanocatalysis Reveals Heterogeneous Reaction Pathways and Catalytic Dynamics"

Nature Mater. 2008, 7, 992-996. [pdf] [SI]


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J. J. Benítez, A. M. Keller, P. Ochieng, L. A. Yatsunyk, D. L. Huffman*, A. C. Rosenzweig, P. Chen*

"Probing Transient Copper Chaperone-Wilson Disease Protein Interactions at the Single-Molecule Level with Nanovesicle Trapping"

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 2446-2447. [pdf] [SI] [SI2]



P. Chen*, N. M. Andoy

"Single-Molecule Fluorescence Studies from A Bioinorganic Perspective"

Inorg. Chim. Acta 2008, 361, 809-819. [pdf]

Invited contribution to the special issue in honor of Edward I. Solomon.


S. K. Sarkar, N. M. Andoy, J. J. Benítez, P. R. Chen, J. S. Kong, C. He, P. Chen*

"Engineered Holliday Junctions as Single-Molecule Reporters for Protein-DNA Interactions with Application to a MerR-Family Regulator"

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 12461-12467. [pdf] [SI]

  Postdoctoral and Graduate Publications
(15) Nan, X.; Sims, P. A.; Chen, P.; Xie, X. S. "Observation of Individual Microtubule Motor Steps in Living Cells with Endocytosed Quantum Dots" J. Phys. Chem. B 2005, 109, 24220-24224. [pdf]

Press highlight: "Motor steps imaged in living cells", Chemical & Engineering News, January 2, 2006, Volume 84, p22.
(14) Solomon, E. I.; Basumallick, L.; Chen, P.; Kennepohl, P. "Variable Energy Photoelectron Spectroscopy: Electronic Structure and Electronic Relaxation"  Coord. Chem. Rev. (Invited Issue of Synchrotron Radiation in Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry), 2005, 249, 229-253. [pdf]
(13) Chen, P.; Solomon, E. I., "O2 Activation by Binuclear Cu Sites: Non-Coupled versus Exchange Coupled Reaction Mechanisms" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2004, 101, 13105-13110. [pdf]
(12) Chen, P.; Gorelsky, S. I.; Ghosh, S.; Solomon, E. I. "N2O Reduction by the m4-Sulfide Bridged Tetranuclear CuZ Cluster Active Site" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 4132-4140. [pdf]
(11) Chen, P.; Solomon, E. I., "Oxygen Activation by the Non-Coupled Binuclear Copper Site in Peptidylglycine a-Hydroxylating Monooxygenase. Reaction Mechanism and Role of the Non-Coupled Nature of the Active Site" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 4991-5000. [pdf]
(10) Chen, P.; Bell, P.; Eipper, B. A.; Solomon, E. I. "Oxygen Activation by the Non-Coupled Binuclear Copper Site in Peptidylglycine a-Hydroxylating Monooxygenase. Spectroscopic Definition of the Resting Sites and the Putative CuIIM-OOH Intermediate" Biochemistry 2004, 43, 5735-5747. [pdf]
(09) Ghosh, S.; Gorelsky, S. I.; Chen, P.; Cabrito, I.; Moura, J. J. G.; Moura, I.; Solomon, E. I. "Activation of N2O Reduction by the Fully Reduced m4-Sulfide Bridged Tetranuclear CuZ Cluster in Nitrous Oxide Reductase" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 15708-15709. [pdf]
(08) Chen, P.; Fujisawa, K.; Helton, M. E.; Karlin, K. D.; Solomon, E. I. "Spectroscopy and Bonding in Side-On and End-On Cu2(S2) Cores: Comparison to Peroxide Analogues" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 6394-6408. [pdf]
(07) Helton, M. E.; Chen, P.; Paul, P. P.; Tyeklár, Z.; Sommer, R.; Zhakarov, L.; Rheingold, A. L.; Solomon, E. I.; Karlin, K. D. "Reaction of Elemental Sulfur with a Copper(I) Complex Forming a trans-m-1,2 End-On Disulfide Complex: New Directions in Copper-Sulfide Chemistry" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 1160-1161. [pdf]
(06) Chen, P.; Root, D. E.; Campochiaro, C.; Fujisawa, K.; Solomon, E. I. "Spectroscopic and Electronic Structure Studies of the Diamagnetic Side-On CuII-Superoxo Complex Cu(O2)[HB(3-R-5-iPrpz)3]: Antiferromagnetic Coupling versus Covalent Delocalization" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 466-474. [pdf]
(05) Chen, P.; Cabrito, I.; Moura, J. J. G.; Moura, I.; Solomon, E. I. "Spectroscopic and Electronic Structure Studies of the m4-Sulfide Bridged Tetranuclear CuZ Cluster in N2O Reductase: Molecular Insight into the Catalytic Mechanism" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124, 10497-10507. [pdf]
(04) Chen, P.; George, S. D.; Cabrito, I.; Antholine, W. E.; Moura, J. J. G.; Moura, I.; Hedman, B.; Hodgson, K. E.; Solomon, E. I. "Electronic Structure Description of the m4-Sulfide Bridged Tetranuclear CuZ Center in N2O Reductase" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124, 744-745. [pdf]
(03) Chen, P.; Solomon, E. I. "Frontier Molecular Orbital Analysis of Cun-O2 Reactivity" J. Inorg. Biochem. (Invited 30th Anniversary Issue) 2002, 88, 368-374. [pdf]
(02) Solomon, E. I.; Chen, P.; Metz, M.; Lee, S. K., Palmer, A. E. "Oxygen Binding, Activation and Reduction to Water by Copper Proteins" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2001, 40, 4570-4590; Angew. Chem. 2001, 113, 4702-4724. [pdf]
(01) Chen, P.; Fujisawa, K.; Solomon, E. I. "Spectroscopic and Theoretical Studies of Mononuclear Copper(II) Alkyl- and Hydroperoxo Complexes: Electronic Structure Contributions to Reactivity" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2000, 122, 10177-10193. [pdf]