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Charles M. Lukehart

Title and Contact Information

Research Professor of Chemistry

Office: 7862 SC
Phone: (615) 322-2935


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972


Organometallic Chemistry
Nanomaterials Chemistry
Materials Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry



Nanocomposite Materials
The Lukehart group discovers and develops new synthesis strategies for the preparation of inorganic materials that exhibit desired chemical reactivity or interesting physical properties. There is a special focus on the preparation of nanocomposite materials in which nanoparticles of a guest substance are highly dispersed either on a solid support or throughout a solid matrix. For many applications, single-source molecular precursors are used to control the elemental composition of nanoparticle substances. Instrumental methods used by the Lukehart group for the characterization of the resulting nanocomposite materials include transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), powder x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning probe microscopy, thermogravimetric, surface-area analysis, and property-specific measurements.

Specific research projects under active investigation include the following:

  • Extending Confined-Plume Chemical Deposition to the use of available table-top lasers as a synthesis method for preparing very hard or superhard ceramic coatings or metal nanoparticles directly on hard or soft supports.
  • Use of single-source or dual-source molecular precursors for the synthesis of metal or metal alloy/carbon nanocomposites for testing as supported catalysts in PEM fuel cells.
  • Use of single-source or dual-source molecular precursors for the synthesis of superparamagnetic or ferromagnetic nanoparticles.
  • Synthesis of graphitic carbon nanofibers (GCNFs) materials including GCNF pellets, GCNF/Si wafer mats, superhydrophobic GCNF/carbon felt mats, and metal/GCNF intercalates.
  • Synthesis and characterization of graphitic carbon nanofiber and nanodiamond hybrid nanocomposite materials in which surface-modified GCNFs and nanodiamond particles, including polymer brushes, are covalently incorporated into organic polymer or ceramic matrices or function as senors.

Selected Publications

Sullivan, L.M., Li, L., Lukehart, C.M. Synthesis of VO2 Nanopowders. Part I. Sol-Gel Processing of Vanadium Alkoxide Precursor Within Inverse Micelles. Journal of Cluster Science. 2014 25 (1): 313-322.

Morris, W.H., Harris, A.G., Lukehart, C.M. Synthesis of VO2 Nanopowders. Part II. Hydrolysis of Vanadium Alkoxide/Citric Acid Premixes: VO2 Nanostructures of Controlled Shape. Journal of Cluster Science. 2014 25 (1): 323-334.

Wellons, M.S., Gai, Z., Shen, J., Bentley, J., Wittig, J.E., Lukehart, C.M. Synthesis of L1(0) ferromagnetic CoPt nanopowders using a single-source molecular precursor and water-soluble support. Journal of Materials Chemistry C. 2013, 1 (37): 5976-5980.

Branson, B.T., Beauchamp, P.S., Beam, J.C., Lukehart, C.M., Davidson J.L. Nanodiamond Nanofluids for Enhanced Thermal Conductivity. ACS NANO. 2013 7 (4): 3183-3189.

Branson B.T., Seif M.A., Davidson J.L., Lukehart C.M. Fabrication and macro/nanoscale characterization of aggregated and highly de-aggregated nanodiamond/polyacrylonitrile composite thick films. Jounral of Materials Chemistry. 2011 21 (46): 18832-18839.

Hariri G., Wellons M.S., Morris W.H., Lukehart C.M., Hallahan D.E. Multifunctional FePt Nanoparticles for Radiation-Guided Targeting and Imaging of Cancer. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 2011, 39 (3): 946-952.

Milne S.B., Tallman K.A., Serwa R., Rouzer C.A., Armstrong M.D., Marnett L.J., Porter N.A., Brown H.A., Lukehart C.M. Capture and release of alkyne-derivatized glycerophospholipids using cobalt chemistry. Naute Chemical Biology. 2010, 6 205-207.

Wittig J.E., Bentley J., Allard L.F., Lukehart C.M. Evolution of FePt Nanoparticle Shape and L10 Order During in-situ Annealing. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 2010, 16, 1754 -1755.

Ivanov B.L., Wellons M.S., Lukehart C.M. Confined-Plume Chemical Deposition: Rapid Synthesis of Crystalline Coatings of Known Hard or Superhard Materials on Inorganic or Organic Supports by Resonant IR Decomposition of Molecular Precursors. Journal of The American Chemical Society. 2009, 131 (33): 11744-11750.

King WD., Kwiatkowski KC., Lukehart CM. Synthesis and solid-state structure of a Pt-Ru-P ternary metal phosphide (PtRuP2) as a carbon nanocomposite. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. 2008, 8 (6): 3146-3152.

Jason A. Michel, Vance S. Robinson, Liu Yang, Senthil Sambandam, Weijie Lu, Tyler Westover, Timothy S. Fisher, and Charles M. Lukehart. Synthesis and Characterization of Potassium Metal/Graphitic Carbon Nanofiber Intercalates. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. 2008, 8: 1 - 9.

Lang Li, Jiang Li, and Charles M. Lukehart. Graphitic Carbon Nanofiber-Poly(acrylate) Polymer Brushes as Gas Sensors. Journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. 2008, 130: 783 - 788.

Jiang Li, Senthil Sambandam, Weijie Lu, and Charles M. Lukehart. Carbon Nanofibers "Spot-Welded" to Carbon felt: A Mechanically Stable, Bulk Mimic of Lotus Leaves. Advance Materials. 2008, 20: 420 - 424.

Jiang Li, Eve S. Steigerwalt, Senthil Sambandam, Weijie Lu, and Charles M. Lukehart. Carbon Nanofibers "Spot-Welded" to Carbon Paper by Carbothermal Reduction:  A Nano/Micron-Scale Hierarchial Architecture having Low Contact Resistance. Chemical of Materials. 2007, 19: 6001 – 6006.

Jiang Li, Vance S. Robinson, Yang Liu, Weijie Lu, Timothy S. Fisher, and Charles M. Lukehart. Synthesis and Thermionic Emission Properties of Graphitic Carbon Nanofibres Supported on Si Wafers or Carbon Felt. Nanotechnology. 2007, 18: 325606/1 – 325606/8.

L. Roy Xu, Lang Li, Charles M. Lukehart, and Huacheng Kuai. Mechanical Characterization of Nanofiber-Reinforced Composite Adhesives. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. 2007, 7: 2546 - 2548.

Zhamu A, Hou YP, Zhong WH, Stone JJ, Li J, Lukehart CM. Properties of a reactive-graphitic-carbon-nanofibers-reinforced epoxy. Polymer Composites. 2007, 28 (5): 605-611.

Wellons MS, Morris WH, Gai Z, Shen J, Bentley J, Wittig JE, Lukehart CM. Direct synthesis and size selection of ferromagnetic FePt nanoparticles. Chemistry of Materials. 2007, 19 (10): 2483-2488.

Ryan D. Rutledge, Morris, William H., III, Matthew S. Wellons, Zheng Gai, Jian Shen, James Bentley, James E. Wittig, Charles M. Lukehart. Formation of FePt Nanoparticles Having High Coercivity. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2006, 128: 14210 – 14211.

W. Lu, J. A. Michel, C. M. Lukehart, W.E. Collins, and W. C. Mitchel. Ni Graphite Intercalated Compounds in Ohmic Contact Formation on SiC. Materials Science Forum. 2006, N/A: 527-529.