Colin P. Nuckolls

Colin P. Nuckolls

Research Interest


The research that is conducted in my laboratories creates new types of molecules that assemble into uniquely functioning devices. The cornerstone of this program is a vigorous synthetic effort that allows a freedom of design, producing new structural types and assembly motifs. Once synthesized, we investigate the molecular and macromolecular assembly characteristics of these systems, trying to gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between molecular structure, assembly, and emergent function. Our current research efforts are aimed at creating novel and general methods to assemble and interconnect organic structures into functioning molecular-scale devices useful for energy transport and conversion. It cannot be overstated how important synthesis will be in defining this next generation of devices.

We are currently developing molecular-scale methodology to write complex surface-patterns. One critical aspect is defining how organic molecules can be efficiently interfaced with their substrates. It is requisite that these interconnections are kinetically stable and at the same time provide a strong energetic match between the molecule and the surface. Once created, these types of templated surfaces would be useful for spatially addressing recognition and assembly processes. Necessarily, it is important to develop orthogonal recognition domains to attain a higher level of understanding and control in hierarchical assembly processes.

It is evident from the challenges outlined above that this field of research is multidisciplinary. Students who study these problems will be required to master many tasks, including design, synthesis, and measurement. This broad-based program will serve to train students to use organic synthesis and self-assembly to address critical problems in nanotechnology.

“Label-free single-molecule detection of DNA hybridization kinetics with a carbon nanotube field-effect transistor”, S. Sorgenfrei, C.-Y. Chiu, R. L. Gonzalez, Jr, Y.-J. Yu, P. Kim, C. Nuckolls and K. L. Shepard, NatureNano2011, 11 (3), pp 1093–1097, DOI: 10.1021/nll03993z

“Channel Length Scaling in Graphene Field-Effect Transistors Studied with Pulsed Current-Voltage Measurements”, I. Meric, C.R. Dean, A.F. Young, N. Baklitskaya, N.J. Tremblay, C. Nuckolls, P. Kim, K.L. Shepard, Nano Letters2011.

“Extreme Sensitivity of Carbon Nanotubes to Internal Wetting”, D. Cao, P. Pang, J. He, T. Luo, J.H. Park, P. Krstic, C. Nuckolls, J.Tang and S. Lindsay, ACS Nano2011Download PDF

“A Single-Molecule Potentiometer”, J.S. Meisner, M. Kamenetska, M. Krikorian, M.L. Steigerwald, L. Venkataraman, and C. Nuckolls, Nano Lett.2011, DOI: 10.1021/nl104411f, Highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News

“Selective Biomolecular Nanoarrays for Parallel Single-Molecule Investigations”, M. Palma, J.J. Abramson, A.A. Gorodetsky, E. Penzo, R. L. Gonzalez, M.P. Sheetz, C. Nuckolls, J. Hone, and S.J. Wind, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2011, DOI: 10.1021/ja201031g

“Conductance of Single Cobalt Chalcogenide Cluster Junctions”, B.M. Boardman, J.R. Widawsky, Y.S. Park, C.L. Schenck, L. Venkataraman, M.L. Steigerwald, and C. Nuckolls, Journal of American Chemical Society2011, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133 (22), pp 8455–8457. DOI:10.1021/ja201334s

“Controlling Chain Conformation in Conjugated Polymers Using Defect Inclusion Strategies”, G. Bounos, S. Ghosh, A.K. Lee, K.N. Plunkett, K. H. DuBay, J.C. Bolinger, R. Zhang, R.A. Friesner, C. Nuckolls, D.R. Reichman, and P.F. Barbara, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2011, 133 (26), pp 10155-10160. DOI: 10.1021/ja2006687

“Shape-Shifting in Contorted Dibenzotetrathienocoronenes”, C.-Y. Chiu, B. Kim, A.A. Gorodetsky, W. Sattler, S. Wei, A. Sattler, M. Steigerwald, and C. Nuckolls, Chemical Science2011, 2 (8), 1480 – 1486

“Inking Elastomeric Stamps with Micro-Patterned, Single Layer Graphene to Create High-Performance OFETs”, S.J. Kang, B. Kim, K.S. Kim, Y. Zhao, Z. Chen, G. H. Lee, J. Hone, P. Kim, and C. Nuckolls, Advanced Materials2011, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201101570

“Translocation of Single-Stranded DNA through Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes”, H. Liu, J. He, J. Tang, H. Liu, P. Pang, D. Cao, P. Krstic, S. Joseph, S. Lindsay, C. Nuckolls, Science 327, 64-67 (2010)

“Electrical Double Layer Catalyzed Wet-Etching of Silicon Dioxide”, H. Liu, M. L. Steigerwald, C. Nuckolls, J. Am. Chem. Soc 131, 17034-17035 (2009) (Editors Choice in June 26, 2009 Science Magazine)

“Expeditious Synthesis of Contorted Hexabenzocoronenes”, K. N. Plunkett, K. Godula, C. Nuckolls, N. Tremblay, A. C. Whalley, S. Xiao, Org. Lett. 11, 2225-2228 (2009)

“Frustrated Rotations in Single-Molecule Junctions”, Y. S. Park, J. R. Widawsky, M. Kamenetska, M. L. Steigerwald, M. S. Hybertsen, C. Nuckolls, L. Venkataraman, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 10820-10821 (2009)

“Mechanism for Oxygen Enhanced Photoconductivity in Rubrene: Electron Transfer Doping”, A. J. Maliakal, J. Y-C. Chen, W-Y So, S. Jockusch, B. Kim, M. F. Ottaviani, A. Modelli, N. J. Turro, C. Nuckolls, A. P. Ramirez, Chem. Mat. 21, 5519-5526 (2009)

“Mirror-Image Photoswitching of Individual Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Transistors Coated with Titanium Dioxide”, S. Liu, J. Li, Q. Shen, Y. Cao, X. Guo, G. Zhang, C. Feng, J. Zhang, Z. Liu, M. L. Steigerwald, C. Nuckolls, Ang. Chem. Int. Ed. 48, 4759-4762 (2009)

“Photochemical Reactivity of Graphene”, H. Liu, S. Ryu, Z. Chen, M. L. Steigerwald, C. Nuckolls, L. Brus, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 17099-17101 (2009)

“Solar Cells from a Solution Processable Pentacene with Improved Air Stability”, A. A. Gorodetsky, M. Cox, N. J. Tremblay, I. Kymissis, C. Nuckolls Chem. Mat. 21, 4090-4092 (2009)

“A Stable Tetraalkyl Complex of Nickel (IV)”, M. Carnes, D. Buccella, J. Y.-C. Chen, A. P. Ramirez, N.J. Turro, C. Nuckolls, M. Steigerwald, Ang. Chem. Int. Ed. 48, 290-294 (2009)