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Bradley Fahlman

​​​​Brad FahlmanProfessor
Dow Science Complex 357
  • Postdoctoral, University of California, Irvine, 2000-2002
  • Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, Rice University, 2000 
  • B.S., Chemistry, University of Regina - Sask., Canada, 1996
American Chemical Society (ACS); Materials Research Society (MRS)
​​Honors and Awards
  • "Materials Chemistry" awarded a National Textbook Excellence Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association, June 2008.
  • CMU Provost’s Award for Research Excellence, Spring 2005
  • CMU Research Excellence Fund award, Spring 2003
​​​Professional Interests
  • Synthesis of novel hafnium precursors containing b-ketoiminato-, b-diketiminato-, and guanidinato- ligands
  • Use of the precursors above for nanocrystal-embedded oxide/nitride/oxynitride thin film growth using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD)
  • Utilization of graphene sheets and graphene nanoribbons for energy-storage applications
  • Mechanistic investigation of low-temperature carbon nanotube/nanofiber growth
  • Synthesis and characterization of II-VI/SnO2 core/shell nanoclusters for quantum dot sensitized solar cell applications
  • Chemical Education: Investigating the links between personality traits and critical thinking pathways
  • Chemical Education: An evaluation of study habits for freshman chemistry students using the James’ Internal-External Locus of Control scale
  • Chemical Education: Tackling the problem of declining numbers of undergraduate chemistry majors: the role of student personality and behavioral characteristics
​Teaching Areas
General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Materials Chemistry
​​​Current Research Projects
The overall objective of the Fahlman research group is to design new and improved routes to interesting and industrially-useful 0-D, 1-D, and 2-D nanostructural materials. The following interdisciplinary projects are of ongoing interest to our group:
  • Precursor design and atomic layer deposition of high-k dielectric thin films (sole P.I., funded by the National Science Foundation - CHE). We are developing novel Hf complexes featuring beta-diketonato, beta-ketoiminato, beta-diketiminato, and guanidinato ligand systems - none of which have yet been reported in the literature. In addition, we have recently fabricated an atomic layer deposition system (ALD), that is capable of sub-monolayer control over film thicknesses. Real-time film thickness monitoring is also possible using a high-temperature in situ quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor. Hafnium oxide thin films are of use for next-generation integrated circuitry, and we are primarily targeting nanocrystal-embedded HfO2 thin films for future nonvolatile memory (NVM) devices (e.g., flash memory sticks).
  • Design of high-energy density anode materials for improved Li-ion batteries (co-P.I. Veronica Barone (PHY), funded by the DoD - Tank and Automotive Research and Development Engineering Center, TARDEC).Focused on the synthesis and characterization of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), and the quantification of Li uptake characteristics using electrochemical half-cell testing. The charge/discharge of GNRs and various other carbonaceous nanostructures will be compared to baseline materials such as graphite, graphene sheets, carbon nanotubes, etc. Empirical results will be compared to theoretical calculations performed by Dr. Barone (PHY). Design synthetic routes to produce materials with optimized morphologies and compositions for Li uptake. The first syntheses for GNRs have recently appeared in the literature, and we are the first group to report the Li capacity uptake of these nanostructures for Li-ion battery applications.
  • Novel design of quantum-dot sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) (currently unfunded).We are developing a concept for more efficient QDSSCs that feature quantum dots of varying diameters (to absorb varying frequencies of the EM spectrum) covalently attached to vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes.
  • Solid-liquid-solid (SLS) growth of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) (currently unfunded).The most common method to grow SiNWs is vapor-liquid-solid (VLS), wherein a precursor vapor ( e.g., silane) supersaturates a molten nanosized catalyst at high temperature, forming a 1-D nanowire via crystallization. Our approach is much easier; to simply self-assemble Au nanoclusters onto a Si wafer, followed by thermal annealing (no precursor vapor required). We are working on controlling the morphology of the resultant nanowires by placing nanoclusters into lithographically-fabricated regions of the wafer, as well as studying the influence of temperature and Si substrate doping on the composition of the resultant nanowires.
Selected Publications

  • "Synthesis and characterization of new unsymmetrical b-diketiminate tris(dimethylamido)hafnium(IV) complexes as potential precursors for the MOCVD of HfO2". Patil, S. A.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Coord. Chem201568, 27.
  • "Partially Oxidized Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes for Li-ion Battery Applications". Antic, A.; Barone, V.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Appl. Electrochem201545, 161.
  • "Hafnium Complexes with Versatile beta-diketimate Ligands: Synthesis, Spectroscopic Investigation and Volatility Study". Patil, S. A.; Medina, P. A.; Antic, A.; Ziller, J. W.; Vohs, J. K.; Fahlman, B. D. Inorg. Chim. Acta 2015426, 71.
  • "Monomeric Germanium (II) Amides Bearing beta-diketiminato Ligands: Synthesis, Structural Characterization, and Thermal Properties". Ballestero-Martinez, E.; Klosin, J.; Fahlman, B. D.; Pineda, L. W. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 201430, 5233.
  • "Cost-Effective Approaches for Atomic Deposition (ALD)". Lubitz, M.; Medina, P. A.; Antic, A.; Rosin, J. T. Fahlman, B. D. J. Chem. Ed. 201491, 1022.
  • "On the Chemical Nature of Thermally-Reduced Graphene Oxide and Its Electrochemical Li Intake Capacity". Uthaisar, C.; Barone, V.; Fahlman, B. D. Carbon201361, 558.
  • "Formic Acid: A Low-Cost, Mild, Ecofriendly and Highly Efficient Catalyst for the Rapid Synthesis of β-Enaminones". Patil, S. A.; Medina, P. A.; Gonzalez-Flores, D.; Vohs, J. K.; Dever, S.; Pineda, L. W.; Montero, M. L.; Fahlman, B. D. Synth. Commun.201343, 2349.
  • "Synthesis, characterization, and DFT study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon precursors,  1,4-diiodo-2,3,5,6-tetraphenylbenzene and 1,4-bis(4-bromophenyl)-2,3,5,6-tetraphenylbenzene". Patil, S.A.; Uthaisar, C.; Barone, V.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Molec. Struct. 20131032, 41.
  • "Synthesis of Hafnium (IV) b-Ketoiminates as Potential Precursors for the MOCVD of HfO2". Gonzalez-Flores, D.; Patil, S. A.; Medina, P. A.; Dever, S.; Uthaisar, C.; Pineda, L. W.; Montero, M. L.; Ziller, J. W.; Fahlman, B. D. Inorg. Chim. Acta 2013396, 60.
  • "Organic Vapor Sensors Based on Functionalized Macroporous Si using Single and Double-Side Electrochemical Etching". Ramirez-Porras A.; Fahlman, B. D.; Badilla, J. P.; Lopez, V. Microelectron. Eng., 201290, 55.
  • "Surface-functionalized Porous Silicon Wafers: Synthesis and Applications". Fahlman, B. D.; Ramirez-Porras, A. in "Chemical Sensors", InTech Publishing: Croatia, 2012. Open-access: may be accessed online at
  • "Development of an Organic Vapor Sensor Based on Functionalized Porous Silicon". Badilla, J. P.; Rojas, D. C.; Lopez, V.; Fahlman, B. D.; Ramirez-Porras, A. Phys. Status Solidi A 2011208, 1458.
  • "Materials Chemistry", Fahlman, B. D., Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2nd ed.; Springer: New York, 748 pp.2011.
  • "One-Pot Synthesis of Ethanolamine-Modified Mesoporous Silica". Zarabadi-Poor, P.; Badiei, A.; Fahlman, B. D.; Arab, P.Ziarani, G. M., Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 201150, 10036.
  • "Chemical Vapor Deposition of Aluminum Oxide Films". Vohs, J. K.; Bentz, A.; Eleamos, K.; Poole, J.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Chem. Ed., 201087, 1102.
  • "Enhanced Electrochemical Lithium Storage by Graphene Nanoribbons". Bhardwaj, T.; Antic, A.; Pavan, B.; Barone, V.; Fahlman, B. D.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010132, 12556.
  • "The Use ​of Concept Maps in an Introductory Nanotechnology Course". Moyses, D.; Rivet, J. L.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Chem. Ed.201087, 285.
  • "Materials Chemistry", Fahlman, B. D., Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands, (, 485 pp, 2007 (reprinted in 2008). (Awarded a 2008 Texbook Excellence Award by the Text and Academic Authors Association).
  • "Advances in the Controlled Growth of Nanoparticles Using a Dendritic Architecture". Vohs, J. K.; Fahlman, B. D. New Jour. Chem. 200731, 1041.
  • "Facile Synthesis of Tin Oxide Nanoparticles Stabilized by Dendritic Polymers". Juttukonda, V.; Paddock, R. L.; Raymond, J. E.; Denomme, D.; Richardson, A. E.; Slusher, L. E.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128(2), 420. (Highlighted in the Jan. 16, 2006 issue of Chemical and Engineering News - Science and Technology Concentrates).
  • "Low Temperature Chemical Vapor Deposition of Aluminosilicate Thin Films on Carbon Fibers". Richards, V. N.; Vohs, J. K.; Williams, G. L.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 2005, 88(7), 1973.
  • "Preparation of Fullerene-Shell Dendrimer-Core Nanoconjugates". Jensen, A. W.; Maru, B. S.; Zhang, X.; Mohanty, D. K.; Fahlman, B. D.; Swanson, D. R.; Tomalia, D. A. Nano Lett. 2005, 5(6), 1171.
  • "Low Temperature Growth of Carbon Nanotubes from the Catalytic Decomposition of Carbon Tetrachloride". Vohs, J. K.; Brege, J. J.; Raymond, J. E.; Brown, A. E.; Williams, G. L.; Fahlman, B. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 9936. (Highlighted by Dai, L. in Small 2005, 1(3), 274).

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