Rice University logo
CHBE logo
Top blue bar image

Contact Information

Matteo Pasquali, PhD
CHBE - MS 369
Rice University
P O Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Hazel Cole, CPS, Program Coordinator





The 2014 nanoMATTERS Poster Competition, sponsored by the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University, the Rice Quantum Institute, the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and by Shell GameChanger, is proud to announce winners in the following categories:  Rice Alliance/Shell GameChanger Prizes for Commercial Potential First Prize: Gedeng Ruan, of the Tour Group Second Prize: Ameila Hart, of the Ajayan Group Third Prize: Lydia Kisley, of the Landes Group. The Smalley Institute/RQI Prizes for Technical Merit: three top prizes of equal value Amanda Goodman, of the Halas Group Joao Paulo Mattos Almeida, of the Drezek Group, and DMITRI TSENTALOVICH of the Pasquali Group  



1st Annual Graduate Student Elevator Pitch Competition

Graduate students from all Rice schools participated in the first campus-wide Elevator Pitch competition on the importance of their research and its importance in 90 seconds.  The competition measured the participant's ability to engage their audience intellectually.  MOHAMMED ADNAN, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, won First Place with his presentation on "Continuous fibers of Boron Nitride Nanotubes" for which he received $500. See the video here.


Nanotechnology Breakthrough

Rice University's latest nanotechnology breakthrough was more than ten years in the making.  Scientists have created the first pure carbon nanotube fibers that combine many of the best features of highly conductive metal wires, strong carbon fibers and pliable textile thread.  In a paper this week in Science, researchers from Rice University, the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid, the U.S. Air Force and Israel's Technion Institute describe an industrially scalable process for making the threadlike fibers, which outperform commercially available products in a number of ways.   DR. NATNAEL BEHABTU (2012 Rice Alumni) et al. publishes paper on "Strong, Light, Multifunctional Fibers of  Carbon Nanotubes with Ultrahigh Conductivity".  This publication has received national and international media coverage.  Dr. Behabtu is a Research Engineer with DuPont in Wilmington DE. See full story here and see published paper here as a pdf.


Tubular films show promise for touchscreens

The Pasquali lab has found that slides dipped into a solution of pure nanotubes in chlorosulfonic acid left an even coat of nanotubes that, after processing, became nearly transparent films of electrically conductive carbon nanotubes. This is a goal sought by researchers around the world and could hold the key for flexible electronic displays and touchscreens. The paper is published this month in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. Lead author and graduate student FRANCESCA MIRRI and her colleagues produced the films by combining single- or double-walled carbon nanotubes with CSA in various concentrations. The article was co-authored by former postdoctoral researcher Anson Ma, now an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut; postdoctoral researchers Shannon Eichmann and Tienyi Theresa Hsu; former graduate student Natnael Behaptu, now a researcher at DuPont; graduate student Colin Young; and senior undergraduate Dmitri Tsentalovich, all from Rice. See full story at http://news.rice.edu/2012/10/26/totally-tubular-films-show-promise-for-touchscreens/  


Ralph Budd Award for Research in Engineering

DR. NATNAEL BEHABTU (2012 Rice Alumni) has won the 2012 Ralph Budd Award for Research in Engineering.  This award, made possible through a gift from Mr. Ralph Budd, a former President of the Burlington Lines, is given annually to the graduate student judged to have the best doctoral thesis in the School of Engineering.  Established in June 1935, the Budd award is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards for Rice graduate students.  Dr. Behabtu is a Research Engineer at DuPont Energy in Wilmington, DE. See full story here.


Postdoctoral Fellowship Award

DR NITKA FAKHRI, a postdoctoral fellow in the Third Institute of Physics has received a prestigious 2011 postdoctoral fellowship award from the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO), to begin on April 1, 2011.  The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) is an international program for research funding administered by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) in Strasbourg, France. The program promotes intercontinental collaboration and training in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research focused on the life sciences. HFSPO is financed by the governments of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, UK, USA, as well as from the European Union.  See full story at http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/210672.html.


Technion Institute of Technology (Israel) and Rice University image nanotubes filled with acid

Chemical Communications published “Direct Imaging of carbon nanotubes spontaneously filled with solvent” January 2011.In collaboration with researchers from the Technion in Haifa, Israel, the Pasquali group used cryo-TEM imaging to show that dispersed multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) can be filled with chlorosulfonic acid. The striking images even show internal caps inside the MWNTs where one side of the cap is filled and the other is not. These findings have extensive implications for acid-processed nanotube materials.  This article was authored by Micah Green, Colin Young, Nicholas Parra-Vasquez, Mainak Majumder, Varun Juloori, Natnael Behabtu, Cary Pint, Judith Schmidt, Ellina Kesselman, Robert Hauge, Yachin Cohen, Ishi Talmon, and Matteo Pasquali. See full article at http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2011/cc/c0cc03915b?


Nikta Fakhri, PhD - Published in Science Magazine 

"Brownian motion of stiff filaments in a crowded environment" authored by N. Fakhri, F. C. MacKintosh, B. Lounis, L. Cognet, and M. Pasquali, Science, 24 December 2010: 1807.  Science is the world's leading weekly journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary. See article here.


 VIRGINIA A DAVIS, PhD. receives President's Honors

President Obama named 85 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.  Dr. Virginia Davis is an Associate Professor at Auburn University. She completed her PhD at Rice University and was advised by Professor Matteo Pasquali.  See full story at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pressroom/11052010


JIM WANG "Outstanding Presentation in Nanotechnology"

The Regional Undergraduate Chemistry Symposium was held on October 23, 2010. This event is designed to provide undergraduate students with a unique opportunity to present their creative and innovative research within their academic discipline. Jim Wang talked about the physics and applications of depositing a uniform layer of nanoparticles by drop drying. A uniform layer is often required for fabricating films for photonics, soft lithography and catalytic growth of aligned carbon nanotubes. 


DR ANSON MA is a Finalist for 2010 Science as Art competition

Postdoctoral research associate, Dr. Anson Ma, has been selected a Finalist for the "2010 Science as Art" competition for his "Liquid crystals of 2% single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in chlorosulfonic acid."  The SWNTs are "bio-laser SWNTs" supplied by Dr. Benoit Simard's team at National Research Council, Canada. Image captured using a Zeiss microscope, with a x10 objective, transmitted light, and cross-polarizers. Photo are untouched and chosen from among nearly 200 artistic entries.  The 50 finalists will compete in Boston for multiple $400 first-place and $200 second-place prizes. 


DR. MICAH J. GREEN, Texas Tech University, wins AFOSR Young Investigator Award

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research announced it will award approximately $16.5 million in grants to 43 scientists and engineers who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program.  The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.  Dr. Green completed his postdoctoral research at Rice University under Prof Matteo Pasquali, and will examine interfacial engineering for low-density graphene nanocomposites and fluids.  See story at http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123228146.


ROOSEVELT AKUME receives 2010 GTFRTC Award

Roosevelt Akume selected recipient of the 2010 Greater Texas Foundation Rising to the Challenge Scholarship Award.  He expresses his gratitude to Dr. Anson Ma, Post Doctoral Researcher, who has mentored him for the last few months.  He states the award money will help him financially to continue his education, and has also inspired him to stay focused and study well.  He is grateful for the opportunity to work in the Matteo Pasquali Research Lab.


AIChE, South Texas Section Best Applied Paper awarded to Prof Matteo Pasquali, et al

The Best Applied Paper Award for 2009 was awarded to Matteo Pasquali and his co-authors for the paper "True solutions of single-walled carbon nanotubes for assemby in macroscopic materials" which was published in NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY, Vol 4, Dec 2009, pp. 830-834 (www.nature.com/naturenanotechnology. Authors were Virginia A. Davis, A. Nicholas G. Parra-Vasquez, Micah J. Green, Pradeep K. Rai, Natnael Behabtu, Valentin Prieto, Richard D. Booker, Judith Schmidt, Ellina Kesselman, Wei Zhou, Hua Fan, W. Wade Adams, Robert H. Hauge, John E. Fischer, Yachin Cohen, Yeshayahu  "Ishi" Talmon, and Richard E. Smalley (1943-2005). 


Nikta Fahkri successfully defended her PhD Thesis 

Nikta Fakhri defended her PhD Thesis in Chemical Engineering  entitled "Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Dynamics in Simple and Complex Media" on Tuesday, June 29, at 10:00 a.m. in Keck Hall 102. Her research has been focused on understanding the behavior and dynamics of carbon nanotube as archetypal semiflexible filament model in dilute systems and in confined media. Nikta received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.Nikta will complete her post doctoral research in Germany.


Cary Pint successfully defended his PhD Thesis

CARY PINT successfully defended his PhD in Applied Physics, working under the supervision of both Dr. Robert Hauge and Prof. Matteo Pasquali. Cary’s interests range from the synthesis of SWNTs in novel architectures to the applications of these structures in a variety of important technologies, including supercapacitors and reinforced composite materials. Cary has been offered a post doctoral researcher position at Berkeley in California.


Dr. Anson Ma awarded Prize Winning Paper, Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems: 

Ma, A W K., Yearsley, K M., Chinesta, F., and Mackley, M R. awarded Professional Engineering Publishing Best Paper Prize for paper entitled "A review of the microstructure and rheology of carbon nanotube suspensions." Proc. IMechE Part N: J. Nanoengineering and Nanosystems, 2008, 222 (3-4), 71-94. DOI: 10.1243/17403499JNN153.  Anson Ma is a postoctoral researcher in Prof Matteo Pasquali's complex fluids laboratory.


Nature Physics published "Formation of beads-on-a-string structures during break-up of viscoelastic filaments"  June 2010

Researchers from Purdue, Rice, and MIT discover the break-up of viscoelastic filaments is pervasive in both nature and technology which is published in the June issue of Nature Physics.This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (NSF ERC-SOPS)(EEC-0540855) at Rutgers, Purdue, NJIT and UPRM. G.H.M., acknowledges support from the Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Reasearch Thrust on `Directed Self-assembly of Suspended Polymer Fibers' (NSF-DMS0506941.If a filament is formed by placing a drop of saliva between a thumb and forefinger and is stretched, the filament’s morphology close to break-up corresponds to beads of several sizes interconnected by slender threads. Although there is general agreement that formation of such beads-on-a-string (BOAS) structures occurs only for viscoelastic fluids, the underlying physics remains unclear and controversial. The physics leading to the formation of BOAS structures is probed by numerical simulation. Computations reveal that viscoelasticity alone does not give rise to a small, satellite bead between two much larger main beads but that inertia is required for its formation. Viscoelasticity, however, enhances the growth of the bead and delays pinch-off, which leads to a relatively long-lived beaded structure. We also show for the first time theoretically that yet smaller, sub-satellite beads can also form as seen in experiments. See full article at http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~mp/articles/Bhat-Basaran-BOAS-structure-Nature-Phys-2010.pdf  See Rice University News Release dated 6/11/2010 at http://www.media.rice.edu/media/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=14405&SnID=675268131


Nature Nanotechnology - Liquid method:  pure graphene production

Researchers from Rice University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have unveiled a new method for producing bulk quantities of pure, one-atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene. The research appears in the journal Nature Nanotechnology and could lead to novel, flexible electronics, carbon composites and touch-screen displays.  The research was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Department of Energy, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Welch Foundation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the USA-Israel Binational Science Foundation. Co-authors include Natnael Behabtu, Jay Lomeda, Micah Green, Amanda Higgenbotham, Alexander Sinitskii, Dmitry Kosynkin, Dmitri Tsentalovich and Nicholas Parra-Vasquez, all of Rice's Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology; and Judith Schmidt, Ellina Kesselman and Yachin Cohen, all of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.  Written by Jade Boyd, Public Affairs. 


Jaewook Nam, Ph.D. Awarded ASAIO Fellowship Award

Jaewook Nam, post doctoral researcher, awarded the American Society of Artificial Internal Organ (ASIO) Conference Fellowship Award at 56th Anual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland for "Modeling and Numerical Analysis of Platelet Activations, Adhesion and Aggregation in Artificial Organs."


Technology Review:  This Year in Materials

New materials harnessed hamster power, and researchers made carbon nanotubes practical.For years now, people have been talking up carbon nanotubes and their potential to be used for far-out applications including strong space-elevator cables, robust electrical transmission lines, and high performance nanotube computers.Researchers at Rice University refined methods for spinning acid solutions of carbon nanotubes into fibers hundreds of meters long ("Making Carbon Nanotubes into Long Fibers"). Their process, which could be used industrially (it's similar to how Kevlar is made), is the culmination of eight years of work begun by the late Richard Smalley, who shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1996 for the discovery of carbon nanomaterials ("Wires of Wonder"). In order to make electrical transmission lines, researchers still need to perfect a process for growing pure batches of metallic nanotubes. Today they come out mixed with semiconducting tubes, and the two must be separated. Still, the Rice demonstration of making nanotubes into large structures is a major accomplishment.  Written by Katherine Bourzac, Technology Review.


Anson Ma, PhD.  Receives the Evans-Attwell Welch Fellowship

Anson Ma, post doctoral researcher, selected as the recipient of the Evans Attwell-Welch Fellow of the Smalley Institute, which is a two-year fellowship of US$140,000 offered by the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology.  This Fellowship program was established in June of 1998 by the Welch Foundation in honor of J. Evans Attwell, whose leadership with both Rice University and the Robert A. Welch Foundation.  This fellowship attracts the best Ph.D. recipients in nanoscience and nanoengineering and enables them to work with dozens of leading nanoscientists at Rice.


Nikta Fakhri named finalist for Frank J. Padden, Jr. Award

Nikta Fakhri, graduate student in Matteo Pasquali's lab, named finalist in the American Physical Society, Division of Polymer Physics, Frank J. Padden, Jr. Award.The Award recognizes a graduate student for "Excellence in Polymer Physics Research." 


Juan Duque Receives the 2009 Ralph Budd Award

Juan Duque, who completed his PhD in spring 2009 from our group, has been selected to receive the 2009 Ralph Budd Award for research in Engineering. This award, made possible through a gift from Mr. Ralph Budd, a former President of the Burlington Lines, is given annually to the graduate student judged to have the best doctoral thesis in the School of Engineering. This award was established in June, 1935, and is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards for graduate students. 


Colin Young Receives the NDSEG Fellowship

Colin Young has been selected for the prestigious ‘National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, from the Department of Defense. This is a three-year graduate fellowship, and a very competitive award, with over 2,000 applications every year. DoD offers these fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering.


Dr. Matteo Pasquali Receives the 2009 Faculty Teaching/Mentoring Award

Rice University Graduate Student Association (GSA) Awards Selection Committee recently chose Dr. Matteo Pasquali for the 2009 Faculty Teaching/Mentoring Award. Recipients for this award are selected based on demonstrated continued commitment to graduate education on teaching graduate students at Rice. The award consists of a monetary award, funded through the Office of the President, and a plaque. Up to two awards are conferred each year.


Rice engineers help design a pulse-less pump for heart replacement