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Young Jong Lee, Ph.D.

Research Interests

  • Development of New Spectroscopy Measurement Techniques
    • 3D molecular orientation determination by polarization CARS/Raman/IR
    • Fast coherent chiral Raman spectroscopy (100 X faster than spontaneous Raman optical activity)
    • Ultra sensitive Mid-IR absorption spectroscopy via quantum cascade laser  
    • Quantitative analysis of coherent Raman data – removal of unwanted spectral artifacts (e.g., nonresonant background and birefringence-induced interference) 
    • Quantitative analysis of 2D correlation Raman spectroscopy 
    • Multivariate analysis of hyperspectral image data
  • Scientific Problems of Current Interest 
    • Spectral identification of the higher order structure by coherent Raman optical activity 
    • Stability of therapeutic proteins in drug formulations 
    • Unfolding/aggregation kinetics and thermodynamics of therapeutic proteins  
    • Quantitative measurement and statistical analysis of stem cell differentiation 
    • Polymer melting and crystallization mechanisms 
    • Molecular structural change of semicrystalline polymers under mechanical stress

We develop vibrational spectroscopy and imaging methods to characterize biological and complex materials systems noninvasively. We have demonstrated that broadband CARS can provide a much faster imaging speed than conventional Raman microscopy for hyperspectral Raman images of cells and tissues (Camp et al. 2014; Ryu et al. 2015) and have collaborated with biologists on various projects, such as measuring the degree of differentiation of stem cells (Lee et al. 2014) and tracking chemical signaling pathways in white blood cells (Afonso et al. 2012). We have also had successful collaborations with materials scientists on compositional and orientational imaging studies of complex polymer blends (Lee et al. 2012, 2011). Our imaging and spectroscopy studies have been facilitated by advanced spectral multivariate analysis (Lee et al. 2011) and 2DCOS methods (Jin et al. 2016).   

In addition to further advancing our current measurement capabilities, we are developing new spectroscopic methods to address key scientific and industrial challenges in therapeutic proteins. These include rapid, spectroscopic characterization of the higher order structure of proteins and their kinetics and thermodynamics studies. These requires not only implementing new spectroscopic instrumentations but also validating rigorous analysis methods in order to separate structure specific information from non-specific background experimentally and computationally.

Job Opportunities

We have intermittent openings for postdocs or guest researchers (either US citizens or non-US citizens) who have expertise in spectroscopy. If interested in the projects described above, please contact me at youngjong.lee@nist.gov

NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: 2-year fellowship, US citizens only. Please visit two following opportunities and contact me if interested.


Publications at NIST

  • Y. Jin, A. P. Kotula, A. R. Hight Walker, K. B. Migler, and Y. J. Lee, J. Raman Spectrosc. published online (2016). Phase-Specific Raman Analysis of n-Alkane Melting by Moving-Window Two-Dimensional Correlation Spectroscopy
  • C. H. Camp Jr., Y. J. Lee, M. T. Cicerone, J. Raman Spectrosc. 47, 408 (2016). Quantitative, Comparable Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) Spectroscopy: Correcting Errors in Phase Retrieval
  • I. S. Ryu, C. H. Camp Jr., Y. Jin, M. T. Cicerone, Y. J. Lee, Opt. Lett. 40, 5826 (2015). Beam Scanning for Rapid Coherent Raman Hyperspectral Imaging
  • Y. J. Lee, Opt. Express 23, 29279 (2015). Determination of 3D Molecular Orientation by Concurrent Polarization Analysis of Multiple Raman Modes in Broadband CARS Spectroscopy
  • N. V. Gohad, N. Aldred, C. M. Hartshorn, Y. J. Lee, M. T. Cicerone, B. Orihuela, A. S. Clare, D. Rittschof, A. S. Mount, Nat. Commun. 5, 4414 (2014). Synergistic Roles for Lipids and Proteins in the Permanent Adhesive of Barnacle Larvae  
  • C. H. Camp Jr., Y. J. Lee, J. M. Meddleston, C. M. Hartshorn, A. R. Hight Walker, J. Rich, J. Lathia, M. T. Cicerone, Nat. Photonics 8, 627 (2014). High-Speed Coherent Raman Fingerprint Imaging of Biological Tissues
  • Y. J. Lee, S. L. Vega, P. J. Patel, K. A. Aamer, P. V. Moghe, M. T. Cicerone, Tissue Eng. Part C, 20, 562 (2014). Quantitative, Label-Free Characterization of Stem Cell Differentiation at the Single-Cell Level by Broadband Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering Microscopy
  • M. Hartshorn, Y. J. Lee, C. H. Camp, Z. Liu, J. M. Heddleston, N. Canfield, T. A. Rhodes, A. R. Hight Walker, P. Marsac, M. T. Cicerone, Anal. Chem. 85, 8102 (2013). Multicomponent Chemical Imaging of Pharmaceutical Solid Dosage Forms with Broadband CARS Microscopy
  • Y. J. Lee, C. R. Snyder, A. M. Forster, M. T. Cicerone, W. Wu, ACS Macro Lett. 1, 1347 (2012). Imaging the Molecular Structure of Polyethylene Blends with Broadband Coherent Raman Microscopy
  • J. P. Dunkers, Y. J. Lee, K. Chatterjee, Biomaterials 33, 2119 (2012) Single Cell Viability Measurements in 3D Scaffolds Using in situ Label Free Imaging by Optical Coherence Microscopy
  • P. V. Afonso, M. Janka-Junttila, Y. J. Lee, C. P. McCann, C. M. Oliver, K. A. Aamer, W. Losert, M. T. Cicerone, C. A. Parent, Developmental Cell 22, 1079 (2012). LTB4 Is a Signal Relay Molecule for Neutrophil Chemotaxis
  • M. T. Cicerone, K. A. Aamer, Y. J. Lee, E. Vartianen, J. Raman Spectrosc. 43, 637 (2012) Maximum Entropy and Time-Domain Kramers-Kronig Phase Retrieval Approaches are Functionally Equivalent for CARS Micro-Spectroscopy
  • Y. J. Lee, D. Moon, K. B. Migler, M. T. Cicerone, Anal. Chem. 83, 2733 (2011). Quantitative Image Analysis of Broadband CARS Hyperspectral Images of Polymer Blends
  • Y. J. Lee, S. H. Parekh, F. A. Fagan, M. T. Cicerone, Phys. Rev. B 82, 165432 (2010). Phonon dephasing and population decay dynamics of the G-band of semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes
  • S. H. Parekh, Y. J. Lee, K. A. Aamer, M. T. Cicerone, Biophys. J. 99, 2695 (2010). Label-free cellular imaging by broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy
  • K. Chatterjee, S. Lin-Gibson, W. E. Wallace, S. H. Parekh, Y. J. Lee, M. T. Cicerone, M. F. Young, C. G. Simon, Jr., Biomaterials31, 5051 (2010). The Effect of 3D Hydrogel Scaffold Modulus on Osteoblast Differentiation and Mineralization Revealed by Combinatorial Screening Biomaterials
  • Y. J. Lee, S. H. Parekh, Y. H. Kim, M. T. Cicerone, Opt. Express 18, 4371 (2010). Optimized continuum from a photonic crystal fiber for broadband time-resolved coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering
  • Y. Liu, Y. J. Lee, M. T. Cicerone, Opt. Lett. 34, 1363 (2009). Broadband CARS Spectral Phase Retrieval Using a Time-Domain Kramers-Kronig Transform
  • Y. J. Lee, M. T. Cicerone, Opt. Express 17, 123 (2009). Single-shot interferometric approach to background free broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering spectroscopy
  • Y. Liu, Y. J. Lee, M. T. Cicerone, J. Raman Spectrosc. 40, 726 (2009). Fast Extraction of Resonant Vibrational Response from CARS Spectra with Arbitrary Nonresonant Background
  • Y. J. Lee, M. T. Cicerone, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 041108 (2008). Vibrational Dephasing Time Imaging by Time-Resolved Broadband Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering Microscopy
  • Y. J. Lee, Y. Liu, M. T. Cicerone, Opt. Lett. 32, 3370 (2007). Characterization of 3-color CARS in a 2-pulse broadband CARS Spectrum 

Selected Publications before NIST: 

  • Y. J. Lee, D. Y. Kim, P. F. Barbara, J. Phys. Chem. B110, 9739 (2006). Effects of Sample Preparation and Excitation Conditions on the Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Conjugated Polymers
  • Y. J. Lee, S.-J. Park, A. J. Gesquiere, P. F. Barbara, Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 051906 (2005). Probing a Molecular Interface in a Functioning Organic Diode
  • Y. J. Lee, D. Y. Kim, J. K. Grey, P. F. Barbara, ChemPhysChem 6, 2404 (2005). Variable Temperature Single-Molecule Dynamics of MEH–PPV
  • J. K. Grey, D. Y. Kim, Y. J. Lee, J. J. Gutierrez, N. Luong, J. P. Ferraris, P. F. Barbara, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 44, 6207 (2005). Single Molecule Studies of Electronic Energy Transfer in a Diblock Conjugated Polymer
  • P. F. Barbara, A. J. Gesquiere, S.-J. Park, Y. J. Lee, Acc. Chem. Res. 38, 602 (2005). Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Conjugated Polymers
  • Y. J. Lee, T. Zhang, P. F. Barbara, J. Phys. Chem. B 108, 5175 (2004). Kinetics of Electron Attachment to Reverse Micelles
  • Y. J. Lee, T. W. Kee, T. Zhang, P. F. Barbara, J. Phys. Chem. B 108, 3474 (2004). Pump–Probe Spectroscopy of the Hydrated Electron in Reverse Micelles
  • Y. J. Lee, S. H. Cho, N. J. Kim, S. K. Kim, Mol. Phys. 110, 1781 (2012). Experimental Determination of the Ratio of Partial Photoionization Cross Sections from Na 3p 2P3/2 by Polarization Anisotropy Quantum Beats
  • S. M. Jin, Y. J. Lee, J. Yu, S. K. Kim, Bull. Korean Chem. Soc. 25, 1829 (2004). Development of Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy: Stimulated Raman Gain via Elimination of Cross Phase Modulation
  • Y. J. Lee, N. W. Song, S. K. Kim, J. Phys.Chem. A 106, 5582 (2002). Photoluminescence of C60 and Its Photofragments in the Gas Phase
  • Y. J. Lee, S. H. Cho, N. J. Kim, S. K. Kim, J. Chem. Phys. 115, 739 (2001). Anisotropy Quantum Beat in Two-Photon Ionization of Coherently Excited Hyperfine States of Na
Photo of Young Lee


Research Chemist
Biosystems and Biomaterials Division
Biomaterials Group

Employment History:

2013 - present: Research Chemist, Biomaterials Group, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

2006 - 2012: Guest Researcher, Biomaterials Group, Polymers Division, NIST

2002 - 2006: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas at Austin


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Seoul National University, (2001)

M.S., Physical Chemistry, Seoul National University, (1996)

B.S., Chemistry, Seoul National University, (1994)


Phone: (301) 975-6832
Email: youngjong.lee@nist.gov
Fax: (301) 975-4977