Special Interests: chemistry and spectroscopy of transient molecules containing double and triple p-bonds at group 14 elements (C, Si, Ge, Sn), carbenes and their silicon and germanium analogues, small strained metallacycles, reaction mechanisms, matrix isolation spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, molecular structure and bonding, quantum chemical calculations, vacuum pyrolysis and photochemistry, low-temperature chemistry, routes from reactive intermediates to organic/inorganic polymers and ceramics, fluorination and derivatization of fullerenes, polyfullerenes, carbon nanotubes and nanodiamonds for bio-medical and materials engineering applications, synthesis and characterization of carbo-nitride nano- and microscale materials, high pressure/high temperature synthesis and characterization of potentially superhard all-carbon and C3N4 phases, chemistry of materials and nanoscience, design and manufacturing of integrated polymer composites, hydrogen storage materials, nanolubricants, and surface coatings chemistry and technology.




Graduate Research Opportunities


















Current Research


Chemistry of carbon nanomaterials,

nanotubes, nanodiamonds, nano-onions, carbon nitrides, fullerenes, and polyfullerenes, tailored for engineering and bio-medical applications:




























•     Nanocomposites






     biomaterials                              Analyt. Chem., 2004, 76(22); 6734-6742





•     coatings                                     J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 3712-3713

                                                              Nature, 2005, 434, 580












·          nanolubricants                        Wear, 2005, 259/1-6 pp. 738-743



Research Funding



01/15/2008-09/30/2008:  DoD / Technova Corporation, SBIR Phase I Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes into Materials with High Compressive Strength.

Total amount - $7,556: PI


02/15/07-02/14/09: CRDF: Synthesis of New Materials From Pristine and Surface-Functionalized Nanoscale Forms of Carbon Under Combined Action of High Pressure, Temperature, Laser and X-ray Radiation

Total amount  – $61,600: PI.

09/07/2006-09/06/2009: DOD-ONR/MER Corporation, STTR Phase I (Phase II funded):  R7B970 Functionalized DWNTs for High Performance Composites. (Phase II will start 09/07)

Total amounts –$14,000 (phase I), $6,000 (Option), $75,000 (Phase II): PI

03/12/07-03/12/08 R52640 NASA JSC: Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Radiation Dosimetry Applications.

Total Amount - $20,000: PI


10/1/07-09/30/08 NASA ARC: GSRP: Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Polymer Composites and Sensors (Funded).

Total Amount-$30,000: PI ($26,000 grad student stipend and $4,000 advisor’s allowance)




10/01/06-9/30/07:  NASA Ames Research Center: GSRP. Functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes in polymer composites and sensors.

Total Amount - $24,000: PI ($21,000 grad student stipend and $3,000 advisor’s allowance
09/07/2006-03/07/2007: DOD-ONR/NanoRidge STTR Phase I:  R7B960 Integration of functionalized cut nanotubes into composite systems.

Total amount –$14,000: PI

01/06/05-05/31/07: CRDF:  Novel Carbon and Heterocarbon Materials Designed from Nano-Carbon and Carbon Nitride Structures: Synthesis, Characterization and Property Studies. Total amount  – $70,000: PI.


01/01/05-04/30/06: Redwood Scientific, Inc./Army Research Office (SBIR Phase II), Evaluation Studies of Chemical Corrosion Resistance of Specialty Materials (metal seals, ceramics and optical windows) to Fluorine Under Elevated Pressures, Total amount - $84,000: PI.


09/01/06 – 01/02/08      Air Force Research Laboratory/Clarkson Minority Leaders Research and Education Program.  Multi-university-Multi-PI Program. Funds to Rice – $428,000: Co-PI.


11/01/04-10/31/06:  Office of Naval Research N000-14-03-1-0296: R14050 Processing a Glass Fiber Reinforced Vinyl Ester Composite with Nanotube Integration for Enhancement of Z-Axis Properties. Total amount – $360,000. Co-PI (E. V. Barrera – PI).


02/01/04-06/01/05:  Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc., Cutting and Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes for Incorporation into Polymer Composite Materials.

Total amount – $50,000:  PI


11/15/03 – 05/15/04:  AFOSR/ SBIR Phase I: Multi-functional nanocomposites with high temperature polymer resin matrices. Total amount – $30,000. Co-PI


07/1999 - 04/2000:  US Army Research Office, Synthesis and Characterization of Carbo-Nitride Materials, Total amount – $60,000: Co-PI


07/1996-07/1999:  US Army Research Office, Neutralized Nitrogen Atom Beam Assisted Cryogenic Synthesis of Multi-element Refractory Thin Films, Total amount – $200,000: Co-PI


07/1996 - 12/1997:  US Army Research Office, UHV Chamber and Analytical Facility for Cryogenic Synthesis and Characterization of Wide Bandgap Nitride Materials, Total amount - $55,000: Co-PI