Who's Involved with the Nanoscience Degree Program

Marc Michel

F. Marc Michel 

Division Leader 
Assistant Professor, Geosciences
Email: mfrede2@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-3299

Carla Finkielstein

Carla Finkielstein

Associate Division Leader of Nanoscience,
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Email: finkielc@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-1159


Cara Conley

Academic Advising and Enrollment Manager,
Academy of Integrated Science

Email: cara1@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-8132
Advising for students with last names A-L

Carrie Hopkins

Carrie Hopkins

Academic Advisor,
Academy of Integrated Science

Email: carrieh7@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-2442
Advising for students with last names M-Z

Undergraduate Research

Are you looking for research opportunities to satisfy your NANO 4994 graduation requirement?  See this document for your reference.

Dr. Capelluto has published more than 30 papers in journals such as Nature, Cell, Structure, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Journal of Immunology. The central theme of his research is to understand how membrane protein-lipid interactions drive intracellular signaling and modulate cellular processes ranging from the regulation of the innate immune response, endosomal membrane trafficking to blood coagulation.

Phone: 540-231-0974
Email: capellut@vt.edu    

Professor, Chemistry
A.C. Lilly Faculty Fellow of Nanoscience
Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Professor of Radiology, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

For nearly 40 years, Harry Dorn has made pioneering developments in joining high-performance liquid chromatography with nuclear magnetic resonance to form a technique that has since become an important tool in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. His laboratory has also initiated a second research area involving electron paramagnetic resonance and dynamic nuclear polarization. This work has led to new approaches for next-generation magnetic resonance imaging instruments. In the early 1990s, the Dorn Laboratory began a new area of research involving the synthesis, separation, and functionalization of the newly discovered carbonaceous nanomaterials, nanotubes, fullerenes, and metal-encapsulated fullerenes, or endohedral metallofullerenes. More recently, the Dorn Laboratory reported a remotely new class of radiolabeled fullerenes.

In addition to his positions at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Dorn directs the Carbonaceous Nanomaterials Center at Virginia Tech.

Phone: 540-526-2049
Email: hdorn@vt.edu    

Research and Affiliations: 
Dorn Laboratory

Assistant Professor, Physics

Prof. Emori’s research interests are in nanometer-thick materials with robust spin-driven physics. Many of the physical phenomena studied are pronounced at room temperature and are essential for next-generation computing and communications technologies. Examples include low-loss spin dynamics in epitaxial oxide thin films, spin torque effects arising from thin-film interfaces, and chiral domain walls in ultrathin heterostructures. The group’s experimental capabilities encompass synthesis of high-quality magnetic thin films and heterostructures, tabletop measurements of spin transport and dynamics, and element-specific static and dynamic magnetic characterization at synchrotron facilities.

Phone: 540-231-3332
Email: semori@vt.edu    

Professor, Chemistry

Dr. Esker's group focuses on the use of solution casting, spin-coating, self-assembly, and the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique to explore the physical chemical aspects of polymer dynamics in confined geometries and at surfaces and interfaces. These systems are ideal for studying contemporary issues affecting nanotechnology like nanofiller reinforcement in polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)/polymer nanocomposites, magnetic nanoparticle-lipid interactions for drug delivery systems, and biomimetic engineering of cellulose/polymer interfaces in composites. 

Phone: 540-231-4601
Email: aesker@vt.edu

Research and Affiliations: 
Dr. Esker's profile page  

Dr. Finkielstein is Associate Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech, Director of the Integrated Cellular Responses Laboratory, and Member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation.

She has more than fifteen years experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher, and researcher. She founded the Integrated Cellular Responses Laboratory (ICRL) at Virginia Tech where her group works to understand the contribution of environmental factors on breast cancer initiation and progression.

Dr. Finkielstein's laboratory has produced over 40 publications and book chapters in the field, including articles in top journals such as Nature and Cell. In addition, She has filled and commercialized patents, trained over 120 undergraduate students that continued their graduate education in top and Ivy League Universities, and graduated numerous MSc and PhDs in the last years. Furthermore, Dr. Finkielstein has been running an international high school exchange program that has facilitated a new cultural and scientific experience to many Virginia and Argentinean students.

Phone: 540-231-1159
Email: finkielc@vt.edu

Professor, Physics
Leader, Division of Nanoscience
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Science

Dr. Heflin's research focuses on the nonlinear optical and optoelectronic properties of organic self-assembled and nanoscale materials, especially conjugated polymers and fullerenes. Current projects include:

  • Organic Second Order Nonlinear Optical Materials Fabricated from Ionic Self-Assembled Multilayers (ISAMs)  
  • Optical Fiber Long Period Grating Sensors with Self-Assembled Affinity Coatings 
  • Plasmonic Enhancement of Nonlinear Optical Responses by Metal Nanoparticles in ISAM Films  
  • Second Order Nonlinearities in Silica Fibers and Microspheres Induced by Polar Self-Assembled Multilayers  
  • Self-Assembly of Ionic Liquid Electromechanical Actuators  
  • Polymer Photovoltaics with Nanoscale Control of Morphology by Thermally-Induced Interdiffusion 
  • Silica Nanoparticle ISAM Antireflection Coatings 
  • MEMS Gas Chromatography with ISAM Stationary Phases 
  • Rapid-Switching Self-Assembled Electrochromic Devices

Phone: 540-231-7289
Email: rheflin@vt.edu

Research and Affiliations: 
Dr. Heflin's Homepage

University Distinguished Professor, Geosciences
Director, Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (VTSuN)

Dr. Hochella's teaching interests are wide ranging, from Earth systems science and sustainability (geo- and bio-aspects), to introductory, mineralogical, environmental, and resource geology, to advanced graduate level courses in my fields of specialty, including nanoscience and technology, mineral surface geochemistry, mineral-microbe interaction, mineralogy, crystallography, bulk and surface atomic structure analysis, and the theory, design, and use of X-ray, electron, ion, and laser-beam spectroscopic, diffraction, and analytic instrumentation.

His research interests include: 

  • elucidating the role that nanoscience and mineral surface geochemistry/biogeochemistry plays in major aspects of the earth sciences, including especially environmental issues and biogeochemical cycling of the elements.
  • mineral-microbe interactions from both geochemical and biochemical perspectives, applications to nutrients and toxins in the environment and their mobility.

Associate Professor, Physics

Dr. Khodaparast's current research interests are in the following: 

  • Spectroscopy in Multiferroics
  • Magneto-Optical studies of InMnAs and InMnSb ferromagnetic structures
  • The exploration of quantum coherence, correlations, and many-body effects in narrow gap semiconductors using time-resolved techniques
  • Non-linear Spectroscopy

Phone: 540-231-7511
Email: khoda@vt.edu

Research and Affiliations: 
Dr. Khodaparast's Homepage

Dr. Liu earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Zhejiang University (P. R. China) in 2005. Before completing his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (advisor, Dr. Paul F. Nealey), he worked at HGST, a Western Digital® company (California), to apply his findings on 15-nm block copolymer lithography in magnetic data storage in 2010. After completing his doctorate in 2011, he conducted postdoctoral research at Northwestern University (advisor, Dr. Chad A. Mirkin), where he was named an Outstanding Researcher in the International Institute for Nanotechnology. 

He joined as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and an affiliated professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech in Fall 2014. He is also an assistant professor of Nanoscience in the Academy of Integrated Science (AIS) and is affiliated with the Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (VTSuN)and the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute (MII), a Macromolecular Science and Engineering program at Virginia Tech.

Liu has four patents assigned to Western Digital® and one patent licensed to Intel®.

Dr. Long received his B. S. in 1983 from St. Bonaventure University, followed by his Ph.D. in 1987 from Virginia Tech.  He spent nearly a decade as a research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company before returning to Virginia Tech as a Professor in the Department of Chemistry.

He has over 43 patents in the field of macromolecular science and engineering, and has recently exceeded 230 peer-reviewed publications.  He has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry since 1998 and currently serves as the Director of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII) at Virginia Tech. He has received many prestigious honors in his field of polymer chemistry recently, including the 2015 Virginia Scientist of the Year, American Chemical Society (ACS) PMSE Cooperative Research Award and ACS POLY Mark Scholars Award, as well as the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council (PSTC) Carl Dahlquist Award in 2011, Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Research Excellence (AARE) in 2010, 2009 ACS Fellow, and invited organizer of the Gordon Research Conference – Polymers, and Chair, ACS Polymer Division.

Dr. Long maintains a vigorous partnership with diverse industries, including BASF, Carlisle, Elevance, IBM, ExxonMobil, SABIC, P&G, 3M, Kimberly Clark, Henkel, Bayer, Kraton Polymers, Align Technology, and Solvay.  He has maintained a 20-member interdisciplinary research group and has been awarded ~ $43M in research funding over the past 17 years at Virginia Tech.

Phone: 540-231-6227
Email: hochella@vt.edu

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Dr. Matson's research group develops new materials for biology and medicine using techniques and tools from organic polymer chemistry and supramolecular chemistry. The group is interdisciplinary, with the goal of designing and synthesizing new polymers and gels for various applications. Current areas of focus include:

  • New compounds for gasotransmitter release
  • Peptide-based responsive materials
  • Novel covalent nanostructures with anisotropic shapes

Phone: 540-231-3329
Email: jbmatson@vt.edu

Research and Affiliations: 
The Matson Laboratory

Assistant Professor, Geosciences

Phone: 540-231-3299
Email: mfrede2@vt.edu

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

The finite supply of fossil fuels and the possible environmental impact of such energy sources has garnered the scientific community's attention for the development of alternative, overall carbon-neutral fuel sources. The sun provides enough energy every hour to power the earth for a year. However, two of the remaining challenges that limit the utilization of solar energy are the development of cheap and efficient solar harvesting materials and advances in energy storage technology. Natural photosynthetic systems utilize the sun's energy to transform carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates, nature's stored solar fuel. Artificial photosynthetic systems that can oxidize waer and reduce carbon dioxide efficiently to a solar fuel could represent the breakthrough solar power needs to become a viable energy source.

In my lab, the projects focus on two aspects of solar energy conversion: direct catalysis at photoactive electrodes and the development of solar cells from inexpensive materials. Current efforts include:

  • Investigating the structure-function relationship of novel molecular materials for water-splitting and carbon dioxide reduction
  • Utilizing pulsed laser techniques to investigate the mechanism of molecular carbon dioxide reduction catalysis
  • Exploring inorganic charge-transfer spin crossover complexes for use in low-cost, highly efficient quantum dot dye-sensitized solar cell

Phone: 540-231-5585
Email: ajmorris@vt.edu

Assistant Professor, Physics

Phone: 540-231-3158
Email: vinh@vt.edu

Assistant Professor, Physics

Dr. Park's research interests are theoretical and computational studies of electronic, magnetic, and transport properties of various magnetic materials and nanostructures.

Phone: 540-231-5533
Email: kyungwha@vt.edu

Research and Affiliations: 
Dr. Park's Homepage

Associate Professor, Physics

Dr Robinson's research interests are in optical and quantum mechanical properties of metal and semiconductor nanostructures. Current projects include:

Phone: 540-231-8732
Email: hansr@vt.edu

Research and Affiliations: 
Dr. Robinson's Homepage