Joshua Goldberger

Joshua Goldberger
Joshua Goldberger
Assistant Professor
Divisional Affiliation: Inorganic, Materials
Office: 255 CBEC Building
Phone: 614-247-7438


Josh Goldberger received his B.S. in chemistry from The Ohio State University in 2001. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley with Professor Peidong Yang in 2006, as an NSF graduate fellow. He then did his postdoctoral research with Professor Sam Stupp at Northwestern University as part of the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, as an NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellow (2007-2010).  He has received many awards, including an MRS Graduate Student Finalist Award in 2003, an IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists in 2007, and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 2015. He joined the Ohio State Chemistry Department in August of 2010. 

Germanium to Germanane

Research Overview

Solid State Materials at the Atomic Scale

The major focus of our lab is to learn how to design new materials that synergistically unite and organize inorganic and organic components for applications in energy conversion and medicine. Similar to how carbon can be sculpted into low-dimensional allotropes such as fullerenes, nanotubes, and graphene, the major premise of our research program is that the framework connectivity of atoms for any crystalline solid can be constrained along specific axes to produce stable, single atom or polyhedron thick (<1 nm) derivatives with much different properties than the original material. Using a combination of synthesis, electronic, optical, and thermal measurements and theoretical simulations, we aim to establish a predictive understanding on how the electronic and phonon structure of the parent materials can be altered in this reduced framework and tuned via a surface bound ligand. Bestowing these novel properties onto existing materials is truly only possible on the molecular-scale, and is expected to lead to novel competitive optoelectronics, thermoelectrics, spintronics, and chemical/biochemical sensors materials.  Our research is currently focused along the following thrusts;

1) Group IV Graphane Analogues -    We have developed general routes towards the synthesis of organic-terminated single atom thick Si/Ge/Sn-graphane analogues from the topotactic deintercalation of layered Zintl phase precursors.  In these 2D materials, the electronic structure can be controlled both by changing the group IV element as well as via the identity of a covalent surface ligand is unique to the 2D graphane analogues and provides an unprecedented level of chemical control over physical properties in a 2D material. Towards these ends, we are actively understanding the extent to which we can tune electronic, thermal and thermoelectric properties via covalent functionalization,  as well as discovering emergence of exciting physics including novel topological insulating properties and superconductivity in these materials.


2) Dimensionally-Reduced Metal Chalcogenides -   Metal chalcogenides are some of the most well-studied classes of materials in the condensed matter research community due to the wealth of interesting physical phenomena and applications.  We are rationally designing dimensionally reduced variants of these crystalline materials in order to create novel superconductors, photovoltaic materials, catalysts, and thermoelectric materials.

3) Dynamic Self-assembling 0D/1D Materials for Medical Imaging - We are learning how to exploit the superior properties of inorganic and peptide nanomaterials to improve upon the state-of-the-art medical diagnostic and therapeutics.  For example, one of our long-term goals is to develop clinically translatable agents for detecting cancer using self-assembling peptide materials that contain different metals for imaging (MRI, PET, etc.).   We are developing dynamic materials that respond to the chemistry of the tumor microvasculature to enhance the sensitivity of traditional diagnostic and therapeutic agents.



Josh has funding available and is looking for enthusiastic and motivated graduate students.



1) T. Li, J. E. Goldberger, “Atomic Scale Derivatives of Solid-State Materials” Chemistry of Materials.  27, 3549–3559, (2015).


2) S. Jiang, M. Arguilla, N. Cultrara, J. E. Goldberger, “Covalently-Controlled Properties by Design in Group IV Graphane Analogues.” Accounts of Chemical Research, 48, 144-151, (2015).


3) R. Morasse, T. Li, Z. Baum, J. E. Goldberger  “The Rational Synthesis of Dimensionally Reduced TiS2 phases” Chem. Mater., 26 4776–4780 (2014).


4) S. Jiang, S. Butler, E. Bianco, O. Restrepo, W. Windl, J.E. Goldberger “Improving the stability and optoelectronic properties of germanane via one-step covalent methyl-termination” Nature Communications 5, 3389 (2014).


5) A. Ghosh, C. J. Buettner, A. A. Manos, A. J. Wallace, M. F. Tweedle, J. E. Goldberger “Probing Peptide Self-Assembly in Serum” Biomacromolecules. 15 4488-4494, (2014).


6) T. Li*, Y.H. Liu*, B. Chitara, J. E. Goldberger “Li Intercalation into 1D TiS2(en) Chains” (*=co-authors)  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 2986-2989 (2014).


7) E. Bianco, S. Butler, S. Jiang, O. Restrepo, W. Windl, J. Goldberger,Stability and Exfoliation of Germanane: A Germanium Graphane Analogue ACS Nano, 7, 4414-4421. (2013)


8) Y.H. Liu, S. H. Porter, J. Goldberger, “Dimensional Reduction of a Layered Metal Chalcogenide into a 1D Near-IR Direct Band Gap Semiconductor”  J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 5044-7 (2012).


9) A. Ghosh, M. Haverick, K. Stump, X. Yang, M. Tweedle, and J. Goldberger,  “Fine-tuning the pH trigger of self-assembly”  J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 3647-50 (2012).