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
  • Nolan Kelley, BS University of Oklahoma
  • Chao Li, MS Texas Tech University
  • Kevin Prince, BS Iowa State University
  • Rok Sitar, BS Montana State University
  • Tatiana Gercina de Vilas,
  • Elizabeth Golonski, US Military Academy 
  • Brynn Benham, CSM Undergraduate
  • Kagan Killough, CSM Undergraduate
  • Sean Mathews, CSM Undergraduate
  • Cameron Burst, CSM Undergraduate
  • Isabella Roszell, CSM Undergraduate

Wolden Research Group Website

Selected Publications

  • C. Li, A. J. Job, T. F. Fuerst, M. Shimada, J. D. Way, and C. A. Wolden, “Low temperature hydrogen plasma permeation in palladium and its alloys for fuel recycling in fusion systems”, Journal of Nuclear Materials 582, 154484 (2023).

  • W. H. Smith, S. A. Vaselabadi, and C. A. Wolden, “Synthesis of high-purity Li2S nanocrystals via metathesis for solid-state electrolyte applications”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A 11, 7652-7661 (2023).

  • K. J. Prince, C. P. Muzzillo, M. Mirzokarimov, C. A. Wolden, and L. M. Wheeler, “All-Back-Contact Perovskite Solar Cells Using Cracked Film Lithography”, ACS Applied Energy Materials 5, 9273–9279 (2022).

  • 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).
  • 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