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Dr. Vicki ColvinBiography: Dr. Vicki Colvin

Rice University Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical Engineering

Dr. Vicki Colvin has been on the faculty at Rice since the fall of 1996. As a physical chemist interested in complex materials problems, her group includes a diverse range of synthetic chemists, physical chemists and applied physicists. Specific research areas include template chemistry, meso- and macroporous solids, nanocrystalline oxides, photonic band gap materials and confined glasses.

Prior to her start at Rice, she was a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs where she developed new materials for holographic data storage. She received her PhD in 1994 at U.C. Berkeley under the direction of Dr. Paul Alivisatos. Her undergraduate degree, a B.S. in chemistry and physics, was completed in 1988 at Stanford University. In 1996, Colvin was recruited by Rice University to expand its nanotechnology program. Today, she serves as Professor of Chemistry at Rice University as well as Director of its Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN). CBEN was one of the nation's first Nanoscience and Engineering Centers funded by the National Science Foundation. One of CBEN's primary areas of interest is the application of nanotechnology to the environment.

Colvin has received numerous accolades for her teaching abilities, including Phi Beta Kappa's Teaching Prize for 1998-1999 and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award in 2002. In 2002, she was also named one of Discover Magazine's "Top 20 Scientists to Watch" and received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.

Selected Publications

Bunge, S. D., Krueger, K. M., Boyle, T. J., Rodriguez, M. A., Headley, T. J. and Colvin, V. L. "Growth and morphology of cadmium chalcogenides: the syntheses of nanorods, tetrapods, and spheres from CdO and Cd (O2CCH3)2." J. Mater. Chem., 13 (2003): 1705-1709.

Bertone, J. F., Cizeron, J., Wahi, R. K., Bosworth, J. K., and Colvin, V. L. "Hydrothermal Synthesis of Quartz Nanocrystals." Nano Lett., 3 (2003): 655-659.

Buhro, W. E., and Colvin, V. L. "Semiconductor Nanocrystals - Shape Matters." Nature Materials, 13 (2003): 1705-1709.

Mittleman, D., Prasad, T., Colvin, V. "Superprism phenomenon in three-dimensional macroporous polymer photonic crystals." Phys. Rev. B, 67 (2003): 165103-1 - 165103-7.

Colvin, V. L. "The potential environmental impact of engineered nanomaterials." Nat. Biotechnol., 21 (2003): 1166-1170.

Y. Gao, R. Wahi, A. T. Kan, J. C. Falkner, V. L.Colvin, and M. B.Tomson "Adsorption of cadmium on anatase nanoparticles: Effect of crystal size and pH." Langmuir, 20 (2004): 8585-8593.

W. Yu, J. C. Falkner, B. Shih, and V. L. Colvin "Preparation and characterization of monodisperse PbSe nanocrystals in a non-coordinating solvent." Chem. Mater., 16 (2004): 3318-3322.

A. M. Al-Somali, K. M. Krueger, J. C. Falkner, and V. L. Colvin "Recycling size exclusion chromatography for the analysis and separation of nanocrystalline gold." Anal. Chem., 76 (2004): 5903-5910.

W. W.Yu, J. C. Falkner, C. T. Yavuz, V. L. Colvin "Synthesis of monodisperse iron oxide nanocrystals by thermal decomposition of iron carboxylate salts." Chem. Commun., 20 (2004): 2306-2307.

C. M. Sayes, J. D. Fortner, W. Guo. D. Lyon, A. M. Byd, K. D. Ausman, Y. J. Tao, B. Sitharaman, L. J.

Wilson, J. B. Hughes, J. L. West, V. L. Colvin "The differential cytotoxicity of water-soluble fullerenes." Nano Lett., 4 (2004): 1881-1887.


Presenter. "From Opals to Optics: Colloidal Crystals and Photonic Structures." University of Bologna, Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Bologna, Italy. (Jan. 30, 2002)

"From Opals to Optics: Colloidal Crystals and Photonic Structures." Materials Forum, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. (January, 2003)

"From Opals to Optics: Colloidal Crystals and Photonic Structures." University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. (January, 2003)

Presenter. "From Wow to Yuck: The Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology." NSF International Workshop on Societal Implications of Nanotechnology, Lecce Italy. (Feb. 1, 2002)

Presenter. "From Opals to Optics: Colloidal Crystals and Photonic Structures." AMRI Conference/University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA. (Feb. 8, 2002)


Research Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan. (2000). Young Investigator, Beckman. (2000). Award: "Top 20 Young Scientists to Watch," Discover Magazine. (2000).

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