Donald Sirbuly

Associate Professor, NanoEngineering

Research Focus

Nanophotonic sensors and devices; nanostructured semiconductors for applications in optics, energy conversion, and medicine.

Research Summary

Research in the Sirbuly Laboratory is focused on leveraging the unique optical, mechanical and electrical properties of low-dimensional nanomaterials (e.g., nanowires, nanorods, nanoparticles) to develop novel platforms for sensing, biodiagnostics, imaging, and spectroscopy. Applications of such devices range from high-throughput detection systems to new instrumentation that can intricately watch and report on complex biological machinery. The Sirbuly group is also actively involved in designing nanostructured inorganic and organic materials for use in energy conversion processes such as photovoltaics, piezoelectrics and thermoelectric. Currently the group has three focus areas: (1) development of fiber-based optofluidic devices for rapid single molecular sensing and biodiagnostics; (2) fabrication of new analytical instrumentation for combined optical and mechanical studies of biological systems; and (3) fabrication and development of hybrid piezoelectric/polymer materials for energy scavenging and sensing devices.


Donald Sirbuly joined the NanoEngineering Department at UCSD in July 2009. He received his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley from 2003-2006. Before arriving at UCSD he was the recipient of the Harold C. Graboske Jr. Postdoctoral Fellowship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 2006-2008 and held a staff research scientist position at LLNL from 2008-2009. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from Westmont College, Santa Barbara.