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Contact Information

Email: Click to Mail

Phone: (805) 893-7346

Fax: (805) 893-4731

Office Location: 3351 Engineering II

Address: Mail Code 5080
Chemical Engineering Dept.
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080 USA

Web Pages

Research Group Home Page

Course Pages

ChE 132A Analytical Methods in Chemical Engineering

ChE 132B Numerical Methods in Chemical Engineering

ChE 140A Chemical Reaction Engineering

ChE 240A Advanced Reaction Engineering

ChE 298A Spectroscopy of Materials

Education & Honors

BS: Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1994

MS: Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1995; M.S. Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, 1998

PhD: Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 2003

2013 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award
2013 Robert W. Vaughan Lectureship, California Institute of Technology
2012 Frontiers of Engineering Education Conference
2012 Outstanding Chemical Engineering Faculty
2011 Outstanding Chemical Engineering Faculty
2010 David and Lucile Packard Fellowship
2010 NSF CAREER Award
2010 Outstanding Chemical Engineering Faculty
2009 Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award
2000-2003 Intel Fellow
1997 Constantin G. Economou Prize


Our research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials as well as the development of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) methods for optical, electrical, and mechanical interrogation of nanoscale systems found in different venues such as material science, microelectronics, catalysis, and biology. Our overall goal is to exploit the unique physicochemical properties of nanoscale systems by probing and understanding materials over a variety of length scales from nano to macro.

The majority of our work is "hands-on" experimental science involving a combination of scanning probe microscopy techniques (STM, AFM, SNOM), laser spectroscopy, nanofabrication, and traditional surface science. We build our own instruments and synthesize various nanostructured materials using plasmas, CVD, lithography, and traditional solution-based methods.

Specifically, we are interested in:
Design/construction of scanning probe microscopy tools for chemical imaging of surfaces
Using sub-wavelength optical interactions with matter to study physical, chemical, and biological processes
Developing novel ways to identify/manipulate single molecules, nano-objects, and micro-scale systems using hybrid AFM techniques
Synthesis and characterization of plasmonic and catalytic materials
Spectroscopy of organic semiconductors for OLED and PV applications


I. Riisness and M.J. Gordon, Electronic structure disorder, vibronic coupling, and charge transfer excitons in poly(fluorene-alt-bithiophene):fullerene films, Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 113302 (2013).

C. Carach and M.J. Gordon, Optical measures of thermally-induced chain ordering and oxidative damage in poly-thiophene films, J. Phys. Chem. B 117 (6), 1950 (2013).

T. Koh and M.J. Gordon, Growth of nanostructured CuO thin films via microplasma-assisted, reactive chemical vapor deposition at high pressure, J. Crystal Growth 363, 69 (2012).

L.C. Jones and M.J Gordon, Influence of step-edge vs. terrace sites on temperature-dependent C2H2 hydrogenation with Ag-doped Pt nanoparticles, J. Phys. Chem. C, 116, 23472 (2012).

T. Koh, E. O'hara, and M.J. Gordon, Microplasma-based synthesis of vertically-aligned metal oxide nanostructures, Nanotechnology 23, 425603 (2012).

R. Ramos and M.J. Gordon, Reflection-mode, confocal, tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy system for scanning chemical microscopy of surfaces, Rev. Sci. Inst. 83, 093706 (2012).

C. Carach, I. Riisness, and M.J. Gordon, Raman and low temperature photoluminescence analysis of polymer disorder in bulk heterojunction solar cell films, Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 083302 (2012).

L.C. Jones, Z. Buras, and M.J. Gordon, Partial hydrogenation of C2H2 on Ag-doped Pt nanoparticles, J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 12982 (2012).

R. Ramos and M.J. Gordon, Near-field artifacts in tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 213111 (2012).

I. Riisness, C. Carach, and M.J. Gordon, Spatially resolved spectral mapping of phase mixing and charge transfer excitons in bulk heterojunction solar cell films, Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 073308 (2012).

R. Ramos and M.J. Gordon, Quantitative mechanical and electrical interrogation of nanomaterials using scanning probe microscopy, Ch. 1, Applications of Nanomaterials, Eds. R.S. Chaughule and S.C. Watawe, American Scientific Publishers. ISBN: 1-58883-181-7. (2011).

M.J. Gordon, T. Baron, F. Dhalluin, P. Gentile, and P. Ferret, Size Effects in Mechanical Deformation and Fracture of Cantilevered Silicon Nanowires, Nanoletters 9(2), 525 (2009).

M.J. Gordon, X. Qin, A Kutana, and K.P. Giapis, Gas-Surface Reactions at High Collision Energies?, JACS 131, 1927 (2009).

C. Sire, S. Blonkowski, M.J. Gordon, and T. Baron, Statistics of electrical breakdown field in HfO2 and SiO2 from millimeter to nanometer length scales, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91 (24), 242905 (2007).

J. Dufourcq, P. Mur, M.J. Gordon, S. Minoret, R. Coppard, and T. Baron, Metallic nano-crystals for flash memories, Mat. Sci & Eng. C 27, 1496 (2007).

M.J. Gordon and D. Peyrade, Separation of colloidal nanoparticles using capillary immersion forces, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 053112 (2006).

J. Mace, M.J. Gordon, and K.P. Giapis, Evidence of simultaneous double-electron promotion in F+ collisions with surfaces, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 257603 (2006).

T. Baron, M. Gordon, F. Dhalluin, C. Ternon, P. Ferret, and P. Gentile, Si nanowire growth and characterization using a microelectronics-compatible catalyst: PtSi, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 233111 (2006).

M.J. Gordon and T. Baron, Amplitude mode electrostatic force microscopy in UHV: quantification of nanocrystal charge storage, Phys. Rev. B 72, 165420 (2005).

M.J. Gordon, J. Mace, and K.P. Giapis, Charge exchange mechanisms at the threshold of inelasticity in Ne+ collisions with surfaces, Phys. Rev. A 72, 012904 (2005).

M.J. Gordon and K.P. Giapis, A low-energy ion beamline scattering apparatus for surface science investigations, Rev. Sci. Inst. 76, 083302 (2005).