Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon

Warren G. and Katherine S. Schlinger Professor and Chair
Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering


(805) 893-7346
3351 Engineering II

University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Fellow of: 

American Vacuum Society (AVS)


Elected Fellow, American Vacuum Society (AVS); Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award; Frontiers of Engineering Education Conference; Outstanding Chemical Engineering faculty; David and Lucile Packard Fellowship; National Science Foundation's (NSF) Early Career Development Award; Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award; Intel Fellow; Constantin G. Economou Prize; Inaugural Founder's Chair in Chemical Engineering in honor of Dr. Robertt G. Rinker


Materials & Interfaces, Energy Efficiency & Sustainability

Synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials as well as the development of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) methods for optical, electrical, and mechanical interrogation of nanoscale systems found in different venues such as material science, microelectronics, catalysis, and biology. His overall goal is to exploit the unique physicochemical properties of nanoscale systems by probing and understanding materials over a variety of length scales from nano to macro.

His group's research is "hands-on" experimental science involving a combination of scanning probe microscopy techniques (STM, AFM, SNOM), laser spectroscopy, nanofabrication, and traditional surface science. We build our own instruments and synthesize various nanostructured materials using plasmas, CVD, lithography, and traditional solution-based methods. 

  • Design/construction of scanning probe microscopy tools for chemical imaging of surfaces
  • Using sub-wavelength optical interactions with matter to study physical, chemical, and biological processes
  • Developing novel ways to identify/manipulate single molecules, nano-objects, and micro-scale systems using hybrid AFM techniques
  • Synthesis and characterization of plasmonic and catalytic materials
  • Spectroscopy of organic semiconductors for OLED and PV applications

PhD Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
MS Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology
MS Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
BS Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines