Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, ORNL
Pat Collier received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998, where he contributed to the discovery of a reversible metal-insulator transition in ordered two-dimensional superlattices of silver nanoparticles. As a joint postdoctoral associate at UCLA and Hewlett-Packard labs, he was involved in some of the first demonstrations of defect-tolerant computation in molecular electronics. As an assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology, he developed novel lithographic techniques to pattern phase-separated fluid lipid bilayers and single biological molecules at the nanoscale, and carried out the first demonstrations of electrowetting of single walled carbon nanotubes with liquid metals. He is currently a member of the research staff at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he has helped develop methods for forming individual femtoliter-volume water-in-oil droplets in microfluidic channels on demand, and elucidate phase change behavior of water and lipid bilayer membranes on nanostructured surfaces. Current research interests include characterization of expression noise from cell-free genetic circuits confined in ultrasmall volumes, and how assembly and functionality of lipid bilayers and polymer membranes are affected by confined and crowded environments.