Group Member Profile

< return to staff
Karel-Alexander Duerloo
Graduate Student - Department of Materials Science and Engineering
duerloo _at_

Full CV available via LinkedIn:


  • M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 2013
  • B.Sc. Applied Physics, Delft University of Technology, 2011


Karel-Alexander Duerloo* is a Ph.D. Candidate in Stanford University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Karel-Alexander’s research focuses on discovering and learning more abouttechnologically useful 'emergent' properties of inorganic two-dimensional materials. Emergent properties of two-dimensional crystals are features that exist only in 2D atomically thin layers that are isolated from a bulk 3D parent crystal in which this feature is entirely suppressed. 2D emergent properties include: exceptional mechanical strength, graphene’s exotic electronic properties, and direct band gaps in transition metal dichalcogenides.

For instance, our work has discovered that piezoelectricity is also an emergent property of many 2D crystals: BN, MoS2, MoSe2, MoTe2, WS2, WSe2 and WTe2. Whereas their bulk parent crystals are centrosymmetric, these atomically thin 2D sub-crystals are not. Thus, the 2D form is potentially piezoelectric. This radically new notion of piezoelectric monolayers being isolated from an entirely non-piezoelectric 3D crystal suggests potential for intriguing electromechanical effects and applications in the single- and few-layer regime.

Bulk BN is a stack of honeycomb 2D crystals where B and N sites alternate in neighboring layers. This bulk crystal has an inversion center. On the other hand, a single 2D monolayer has no inversion center and is thus potentially piezoelectric.

Calculation of monolayer piezoelectric coefficients using density functional theory in the King-Smith/Vanderbilt/Resta polarization framework.

After growing up in Belgium, Karel-Alexander moved to the Netherlands in 2008 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from Delft University of Technology. In 2011, he developed a data mining software package that tracks the properties of a metal’s individual grains in datasets obtained from state of the art X-ray diffraction experiments at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. Karel-Alexander received his Bachelor’s degree from Delft in 2011 with honors and distinction.

* pronunciation: Carl-Alexander Dewer-low


Duerloo, K.-A. N., Li, Y., Reed, E. J., Structural Phase Transitions in Two-Dimensional Mo- and W- Dichalcogenide Monolayers. Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms5214 (2014).

Duerloo, K.-A. N., Reed, E. J., Flexural Electromechanical Coupling: a Nanoscale Emergent Property of Boron Nitride Bilayers. Nano Letters, doi:10.1021/nl4001635 (2013).

Ong, M. T., Duerloo, K.-A. N., Reed, E. J., The Effect of Hydrogen and Fluorine Coadsorption on the Piezoelectric Properties of Graphene. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117, 3615-3620, doi:10.1021/jp3112759 (2013).

Duerloo, K.-A. N., Ong, M. T., Reed, E. J., Intrinsic Piezoelectricity in Two-Dimensional Materials. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 3, 2871–2876, doi:10.1021/jz3012436 (2012).

Awards and Honors

2013 Stanford Graduate Fellowship
Stanford University
Best Instructor
AHPCRC Summer Institute, as chosen by students
2012 Best Instructor
AHPCRC Summer Institute, as chosen by students
2011 Winning team
University-level Physics Olympiad, Delft, the Netherlands
2010 Winning team
University-level Physics Olympiad, Utrecht, the Netherlands
2009 Young Talent Award
Royal Holland Society of Arts and Sciences, Haarlem, the Netherlands
2008 Honorable Mention
International Physics Olympiad, Hanoi, Vietnam
  First Place
Flemish Physics Olympiad, Belgium

< return to staff