Colin Wolden

Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Colin WoldenOur research interests are focused on the synthesis of nanostructured materials and their application to solving challenges in the areas of renewable energy and sustainability. Synthesis techniques include both vapor deposition (sputtering, CVD) and solution processing (reactive precipitation, electrodeposition, etc.). A central theme is developing novel processing techniques that impart nanoscale control while retaining high rate for the efficient synthesis of mesoscale structures (5 – 500 nm). The materials we synthesize serve as integral components in thin film photovoltaics, solid state batteries, and catalytic membrane reactors. Investigation of these processes is guided by detailed reactive flow modeling and experimental measures of both homogeneous and heterogeneous kinetics. In-situ process diagnostics and ex-situ materials characterization are used to gain a fundamental understanding of the process–structure–performance relationships in these systems.


  • BS – University of Minnesota
  • MS – MIT School of Chemical Engineering Practice
  • PhD – MIT


424 Alderson Hall
1613 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401
Office: (303) 273-3544
Fax: (303) 273-3730

Research Group

  • Saeed Ahmadi Vaselabadi, BS Sharif University of Technology, Iran
  • Adam Job, BS Montana State University
  • Nolan Kelley, BS University of Oklahoma
  • Chao Li, MS Texas Tech University
  • Andrea Mathew, BS University of Michigan
  • Kevin Prince, BS Iowa State University
  • Rok Sitar, BS Montana State University
  • William Smith, BS Kansas State University
  • Cameron Burst, CSM Undergraduate
  • Alexandra D’Aquila, CSM Undergraduate
  • Gordon Huang, CSM Undergraduate
  • Katie Palmer, Rose-Hulman Undergraduate
  • Isabella Roszell, CSM Undergraduate

Wolden Research Group Website

Selected Publications

  • R. Sitar, J. Shah, Z. Zhang, H. Wikoff, J. D. Way and C. A. Wolden, “Compact ammonia reforming at low temperature using catalytic membrane reactors”, Journal of Membrane Science 644, 120147 (2022)
  • G. Yeung, C. Reich, A. Onno, A. Bothwell, A. Danielson, Z. Holman, W. S. Sampath, and C. A. Wolden, “Robust passivation of CdSeTe based solar cells using reactively sputtered magnesium zinc oxide”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 233, 111388, (2021).
  • S. A. Vaselabadi, W. H. Smith and C. A. Wolden, “Solution synthesis of Sb2S3 and Na3SbS4 solid-state electrolyte”, Journal of the Electrochemical Society 168, 110533 (2021).
  • K. J. Prince, M. Nardone, S. P. Dunfield, G. Teeter, M. Mirzokarimov, E. L. Warren, D. T. Moore, J. J. Berry, C. A. Wolden, and L. M. Wheeler, “Complementary interface formation toward high-efficiency all-back-contact perovskite solar cells”, Cell Reports Physical Science 2, 100363 (2021).
  • W. H. Smith, J. Birnbaum, and C. A. Wolden, “Production and purification of anhydrous sodium sulfide”, Journal of Sulfur Chemistry, 1-17, (2021).

Google Scholar Citations Page

Honors and Awards

  • 2014 AVS Fellow
  • 2013 Dean’s Excellence Award
  • 2010 E.T.S. Walton Fellow, Science Foundation Dublin
  • 2001 NSF CAREER Award
  • 2000, 2001 3M Untenured Faculty Award