Rice University logo

Vicki L. Colvin

Kenneth S. Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Nanomaterials Engineering

Professor Colvin’s research explores how nanoscale particles interact with the environment and living systems. Her research draws on both synthetic chemistry for the preparation and control of novel nanophase systems as well as physical chemistry for the investigation of their unusual behavior. Currently her projects draw on the unique and responsive behavior of nanoparticles to solve problems related to water purification and targeted cell death.


Lewicka, Zuzanna; Bahloul, Arash; Yu, William; Colvin, Vicki A facile fabrication process for polystyrene nanoring arrays .  Nanoscale, 32 2013: 2356-2364

Wang, Yonggang; Zhu, Huiguang; Becker, Matthew; Englehart, Jessica; Abriola, Linda; Colvin, Vicki; Pennell, Kurt Effect of surface coating composition on quantum dot mobility in porous media.  J. Nanoparticle Research, 14 2013

Lewick, Zuzanna; Li, Yang; Bohloul, Arash; Yu, William; Colvin, Vicki Nanorings and nanocrescents formed via shaped nanosphere lithography: a route toward large areas of infrared metamaterials .  Nanotechnology, 24 2013: 115303

Lewicka, Zuzanna; Yu, William; Oliva, Brittany; Contreras Elizabeth; Colvin, Vicki Photochemical behavior of nanoscale TiO2 and ZnO sunscreen ingredients.  J Photochemistry and Photobiology A-Chemistry, 263 2013: 24-33

Wang, Jing; Koo, Yeonjong; Alexander, Anne; Yang, Yu, Westerhof, Samantha; Zhang, Qingbo; Schnoor, Jerald; Colvin, Vicki; Braam, Janet; Alvarez, Pedro Phytostimulation of poplars and Arabidopsis exposed to silver nanoparticles and ag(+) at sublethal concentrations.  Environ Sci & Tech, 47 2013: 5442-5449

Newton, Kim; Puppala, Hema; Kitchens, Christopher; Colvin, Vicki; Klaine, Stephen Silver nanoparticle toxicity to Daphnia magna is a function of dissolved silver concentration .  Env. Toxicology & Chem, 32 2013: 2356-2364

Liu, XS; Zhu, Huiguang; Jin, Qiao; Zhou, Wenbo; Colvin, Vicki; Ji, Jian Small and Stable Phosphorylcholine Zwitterionic Quantum Dots for Weak Nonspecific Phagocytosis and Effecive Tat Peptide Functionalization .  Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2 2013: 352-360

Contreras, Elizabeth; Cho, Minjung; Zhu, Huiguang; Puppala, Hema; Escalera, Gabriela; Zhong, Weiwei; Colvin, Vicki Toxicity of Quantum Dots and Cadmium Salt to Caenorhabditis elegans after Multigenerational Exposure.  Env. Sci & Tech, 47 2013: 1148-1154

Lee, Seung Soo; Song, Wensi; Cho, Minjung; Puppala, Hema; Nguyen, Phuc; Zhu, Huiguang; Segatori, Laura; Colvin, Vicki; “Antioxidant Properties of Cerium Oxide Nanocrystals as a Function of Nanocrystal Diameter and Surface Coating”.  ACS Nano, 17 2013: 9693-9703

J. T. Mayo, S. S. Lee, C. T. Yavuz, W. Yu, A. Prakash, J. Falkner, V. L. Colvin A multiplexed separation of iron oxide nanocrystals using variable magnetic fields.  Nanoscale, 3 2011: 4560-4563

J. A. Jamison, E. L. Bryant, S. B. Kadali, M. S. Wong, V. L. Colvin, K. S. Matthew Altering protein surface charge with chemical modification modulates protein-gold nanoparticle aggregation.  J. Nanopart. Res., 13 2011: 625-636

Y. Yang, H. Zhu, V. L. Colvin, P. J. Alvarez Cellular and transcriptional response of pseudomonas stutzeri to quantum dots under aerobic and denitrifying conditions.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 45 2011: 4988-4994

G. Roebben, S. Ramirez-Garcia, V. Hackley, M. Roesslein, F. Klaessig, V. Kestens, I. Lynch, C. Garner, A. Rawle, A. Elder, V. Colvin, W. Kreyling, H. F. Krug, Z. Lewicka, S. McNeil, A. Nel, A. Patri, P. Wick, M. Wiesner, T. Xia, G. Oberdoerster, K. A. Dawson Interlaboratory comparison of size and surface charge measurements on nanoparticles prior to biological impact assessment.  J. Nanopart. Res., 13 2011: 2675-2687

Y. Zhang, Q. Dai, X. Li, J. Liang, V. L. Colvin, Y. Wang, W. W. Yu PbSe/CdSe and PbSe/CdSe/ZnSe Hierarchical Nanocrystals and Their Photoluminescence.  Langmuir, 27 2011: 9583-9587

J. Jing, M. H. Liu, V. L. Colvin, W. Li, W. Yu Photocatalytic degradation of nitrogen-containing organic compounds over TiO(2).  J. Mol. Catal. A: Chem., 351 2011: 7-8

Z. A. Lewicka, A. F. Benedetto, D. N. Benoit, W. W. Yu, J. D. Fortner, V. L. Colvin The structure, composition, and dimensions of TiO(2) and ZnO nanomaterials in commercial sunscreens.  J. Nanopart. Res., 13 2011: 3607-3617

N. T. Alvarez, F. Li, C. L. Pint, J. T. Mayo, E. Z.Fisher, J. M. Tour, V. L. Colvin, R. H. Hauge Uniform Large Diameter Carbon Nanotubes In Vertical Arrays from Premade Near-Monodisperse Nanoparticles.  Chem. Mater., 23 2011: 3466-3475

M. V. Liga, E. L. Bryant, V. L. Colvin, Q. L. Li Virus inactivation by silver doped titanium dioxide nanoparticles for drinking water treatment.  Water Res., 45 2011: 535-544

Gobin, A. M., Watkins, E., Quevedo, E., Colvin, V. L., West, J. L. Near-Infrared-Resonant Gold/Gold Sulfide Nanoparticles as a Photothermal Cancer.  Small, 6 2010: 745-752

J. A. Jamison, K. M. Krueger, J. T. Mayo, C. T. Yavuz, J. J. Redden, V. L. Colvin Applying analytical ultracentrifugation to nanocrystal suspensions.  Nanotechnol., 20 2009: 355702(10pp)

A. Prakash, H. Zhu, C. Jones, D. Benoit, A. Ellsworth, E. Bryant, V. Colvin Bilayers as Phase Transfer Agents for Nanocrystals Prepared in Nonpolar Solvents.  ACS Nano, 3 2009: 2139-2146

I. Linkov, J. Steevens, G. Adlakha-Hutcheon, B. Gitanjali, E. Bennett, M. Chappell, V. Colvin, J. M. Davis, T. Davis, A. Elder, S. F. Hansen, P. B. Hakkinen, S. M. Hussain, D. Karkan, R. Korenstein, I. Lynch, C. Metcalfe, A. B. Ramadan, F. K. Satterstrom Emerging methods and tools for environmental risk assessment, decision-making, and policy for nanomaterials: summary of NATO Advanced Research Workshop.  J. Nanopart. Res., 11 2009: 513-527

A. Tcherniak, A. Prakash, J. T. Mayo, V. L. Colvin, S. Link Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy of Magnetite Nanocrystal Diffusion.  J. Phys. Chem. C, 113 2009: 844-848

C. T. Yavuz, A. Prakash, J. T. Mayo, V. L. Colvin Magnetic separations: From steel plants to biotechnology .  Chem. Eng. Sci., 64 2009: 2510-2521

N. V. Gopee, D. W. Roberts, P. Webb, C. R. Cozart, P. H. Siitonen, J. R. Latendresse, A. R. Warbitton, W. W. Yu, V. L. Colvin, N. J. Walker, P. C. Howard Quantitative Determination of Skin Penetration of PEG-Coated CdSe Quantum Dots in Dermabraded but not Intact SKH-1 Hairless Mouse Skin.  Toxicol. Sci., 111 2009: 37-48

P. J. J. Alvarez, V. L. Colvin, J. Lead, V. Stone Research Priorities to Advance Eco-Responsible Nanotechnology.  ACS Nano, 3 2009: 1616-1619

L. W. Zhang, W. W. Yu, V. L. Colvin, N. A. Monteiro-Riviere Biological interactions of quantum dot nanoparticles in skin and in human epidermal keratinocytes.  Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 2008: 200-211

N. Lewinski, V. Colvin, and R. Drezek Cytotoxicity of Nanoparticles.  Small, 4 2008: 26-49

S. Lee, A. Fursina, J. T. Mayo, C. Yavuz, V. L. Colvin, R. G. Sumesh Sofin, I. V. Shvets, and D. Natelson Electrically driven phase transition in magnetite nanostructures.  Nature Mater., 7 2008: 130-133

D. L. Nida, N. Nitin, W. W. Yu, V. L. Colvin, and R. Richards-Kortum Photostability of quantum dots with amphiphilic polymer-based passivation strategies.  Nanotechnology, 19 2008: 1-6

S. Mahendra, H. Zhu, V. Colvin, P. Alvarez Quantum Dot Weathering Results in Microbial Toxicity.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 2008: 9424-9430

J. A. Jamison, J. M. Krueger, C. T. Yavuz, J. T. Mayo, D. LeCrone, J. J. Redden, and V. L. Colvin Size-Dependent Sedimentation Properties of Nanocrystals.  ACS Nano, 2 2008: 311-319

Yu, William W., Chang, Emmanuel, Falkner, Joshua C., Zhang, Junyan, Al-Somali, Ali M., Sayes, Christie M., Johns, Judah, Drezek, RebekahColvin, Vicki L Forming biocompatible and nonaggregated nanocrystals in water using amphiphilic polymers.  J. American Chemical Society, 129 2007: 2871-2879

Krueger, Karl M., Al-Somali, Ali M., Mejia, Michelle, Colvin, Vicki L The hydrodynamic size of polymer stabilized nanocrystals.  Nanotechnology, 18 2007: 475709-475715

Chang, Emmanuel, Thekkek, Nadhi, Yu, William, Colvin, Vicki, Drezek, Rebekah Evaluation of Quantum Dot Cytotoxicity Based on Intracellular Uptake.  Small, 2 2006: 1412-1417

Yavuz, Cafer T., Mayo, JT, Yu, William, Prakash, Arjun, Falkner, Joshua, Yean, Sujin, Cong, Lili, Shipley, Heather, Kan, Amy, Tomson, Mason, Colvin Vicki L. Low-Field Magnetic Separation of Monodisperse Fe3O4.  Science, 314 2006: 964-967

Colvin Research Group

  • B.S. Stanford University (1988)
  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (1994)
  • Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology
  • Smalley-Curl Institute
Email: colvin@rice.edu
Phone: (713) 348-5741
Office: BioScience Res Collaborative, 338