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Stephen O'Brien

Associate Professor

85 St Nicholas Terrace

New York , NY 10027
Office Phone: (212) 650-8371


Research Interest
Nanomaterials synthesis, properties and structural characterization: Nanoparticle synthesis and self-assembly into superlattices. Transition metal oxide nanomaterials, high k dielectrics/memory materials. Applications of nanomaterials to cleantechnology, energy storage and power conversion.
Steve O’Brien is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at City College and member of the CUNY Energy Institute. He also has appointments on the Doctoral Faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center and Grove School of Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering. Steve is an established academic researcher in nanotechnology, with expertise in inorganic materials chemistry and materials science and engineering, applied physics. His disciplinary areas: Nanomaterials synthesis, properties and structural characterization: Nanoparticle synthesis and self-assembly into superlattices. Transition metal oxide nanomaterials, high k dielectrics/memory materials: perovskites and garnets at the nanoscale, ferroics. As a Principal Investigator, he is leader and advisor of research projects to a team of PhD and post-doctoral research scientists. Prior to joining CUNY in 2009, Steve was associate professor of materials science and engineering at Columbia University Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. He is published in 75 articles as lead author or co-author in peer reviewed American and international research journals, including Nature, Science. He invented new methods for the preparation of electronic materials for the semiconductor industry and other areas of nanotechnology, with 7 pending patents. He is a NSF CAREER recipient. Steve has a D.Phil from Oxford University in materials chemistry, with Dermot O’Hare. He completed Post-Doctoral Research in Materials Science at UC Santa Barbara with Galen Stucky (1998-199) and later at Columbia University and IBM TJ Watson Research Center (1999-200) with Louis E. Brus and Christopher B. Murray.
Selected Publications
1. Huang, L.; Zhang, J.; Kymissis, I.; O’Brien, S. “High K thin films built from uniform Barium Titanate Nanocrystals in the Superparaelectric Limit.” Adv. Func. Mater. 2010, 20, 554-560.
2. Chen, Z. and O’Brien, S. “Structure Direction of II-IV Semiconductor Quantum Dot Superlattices by Tuning Radius ratio.” ACS Nano, 2008, 2(6), 1219-1229.
3. Lu, C.; Chen, Z. and O’Brien, S. “Optimized Conditions for the Self-Organization of CdSe-Au Binary Nanoparticle Superlattices.” Chemistry of Materials, 2008, 20(11), 3594-3600.
4. Zhang, L; Huang, L.; O'Brien, S.; and Yu, Z."Electrostatic Doping-induced Phonon Shift of Metallic Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes." J. Phys. Chem. C, 2008, 112, 20118.
5. Yang Wu, Mingyuan Huang, Feng Wang, X. M. Henry Huang, Sami Rosenblatt, Limin Huang, Hugen Yan, Stephen P. O’Brien, James Hone, and Tony F. Heinz, "Determination of the Young’s Modulus of Structurally Defined Carbon Nanotubes." Nano Lett., 2008, 8, 4158-4161.
6. Chen, Z.; Moore, J.; Radtke, G.; Sirringhaus, H and O’Brien, S “Binary Nanoparticle Superlattices in the Semiconductor-Semiconductor System: CdTe and CdSe.” Journal of the American Chemical Society 2007, 129(50), 15702-15709.
7. Zhang, L.; Zhang, J.; Huang, L.; O’Brien, S.; Yu, Z.“ Imaging and Raman Spectroscopy of Individual Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes on a Large Substrate.” Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2007, 111(30), 11240-11245.
8. White, B.; Banerjee, S.; O'Brien, S.; Turro, N. J.; Herman, I. P. "Zeta Potential Measurements of Surfactant-Wrapped Individual Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes." Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2007, 111(37), 13684-13690.
9. Huang, L.; Jia, Z.; O'Brien, S. "Oriented Assembly of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Applications (Invited Review Article)." Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2007, 17, 3863 – 3874.
10. White, B.; Yin, M.; Hall, A.; Le, D.; Stolbov, S.; Rahman, T.; Turro, N.; O'Brien, S. "Complete CO Oxidation over Cu2O Nanoparticles Supported on Silica Gel." Nano Letters, 2006, 6, 2095-2098.
11. Wang, F.; Sfeir, M. Y.; Huang, L.; Huang, X. M. H.; Yang Wu, J. K.; Hone, J.; O'Brien, S.; Brus, L. E.; Heinz, T. F. "Interactions between Individual Carbon Nanotubes Studied by Rayleigh Scattering Spectroscopy." Physical Review Letters, 2006, 96, 167401.
12. Shevchenko, E. V.; Talapin, D. V.; Kotov, N. A.; O'Brien, S.; Murray, C. B. "Structural diversity in binary nanoparticle superlattices" Nature, 2006, 439, 55-59.
13. Sfeir, M. Y.; Beetz, T.; Wang, F.; Huang, L.; Huang, X. M. H.; Huang, M.; Hone, J.; O’Brien, S.; Misewich, J. A.; Heinz, T. F.; Wu, L.; Zhu, Y.; Brus, L. E. "Optical Spectroscopy of Individual Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes of Defined Chiral Structure." Science, 2006, 312, 554.
14. Huang, L.; White, B.; Matthew Y. Sfeir; Huang, M.; Huang, H. X.; Wind, S.; Hone, J.; O'Brien, S. "Cobalt Ultrathin Film Catalyzed Ethanol Chemical Vapor Deposition of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes." Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2006, 110, 11103-11109.
15. Huang, L.; Chen, Z.; Wilson, J. D.; Banerjee, S.; Robinson, R. D.; Herman, I. P.; Laibowitz, R.; O'Brien, S. "Barium titanate nanocrystals and nanocrystal thin films: synthesis, ferroelectricity and dielectric properties." Journal of Applied Physics, 2006, 100, 034316.
16. Yin, M.; Willis, A.; Redl, F.; Turro, N. J.; O'Brien, S. P. "Influence of capping groups on the synthesis of gamma-Fe2O3 nanocrystals." Journal of Materials Research, 2004, 19, 1208-1215.
17. Yin, M.; Gu, Y.; Kuskovsky, I. L.; Andelman, T.; Zhu, Y.; Neumark, G. F.; O'Brien, S. "Zinc oxide quantum rods." Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2004, 126, 6206-6207.
18. Huang, L. M.; Cui, X. D.; White, B.; O'Brien, S. P. "Long and oriented single-walled carbon nanotubes grown by ethanol chemical vapor deposition." Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2004, 108, 16451-16456.
19. Yin, M.; O'Brien, S. "Synthesis of monodisperse nanocrystals of manganese oxides." Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2003, 125, 10180-10181.
20. Redl, F. X.; Cho, K. S.; Murray, C. B.; O'Brien, S. "Three-dimensional binary superlattices of magnetic nanocrystals and semiconductor quantum dots." Nature, 2003, 423, 968-971.