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 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

  • Dr. Tommy Fuerst, PhD Colorado School of Mines
  • Mark Graas, CIEMACS Lab Manager
  • Deborah McGott, BS University of California – Santa Barbara
  • Kevin Prince, BS Iowa State University
  • Yegor Samoilenko, BS Colorado School of Mines
  • William Smith, BS Kansas State University
  • Zhenyu Zhang, BS Central South University, China
  • Yangzhi Zhao, East China University of Science and Technology
  • Jerry Birnbaum, CSM Undergraduate
  • Arthur Harris, CSM Undergraduate
  • Sarah Livingston, CSM Undergraduate
  • Hope Wikoff, CSM Undergraduate
  • Gavin Yeung, CSM Undergraduate

Wolden Research Group Website

Selected Publications

  • K. Hietala, Y. Zhao, Y. Yang, and C. A. Wolden, “Scalable synthesis of alkali sulfide nanocrystals using a bubble column reactor”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 57 8436-8442 (2018).
  • Y. Samoilenko, A. Abbas, J. M. Walls and C. A. Wolden, “Copper-induced recrystallization and interdiffusion of CdTe/ZnTe thin films”, Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 36 031201 (2018).
  • T.F. Fuerst, E. P. Petsalis, S.-T. B. Lundin, J. Wilcox, J. D. Way and C. A. Wolden, “Experimental and theoretical insights into the potential of V2O3surface coatings for hydrogen permeable vanadium membranes”, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122, 3488-3496 (2018).
  • X. Li, Y. Zhao, A. Brennan, M. McCeig, C. A. Wolden and Y. Yang, “Reactive precipitation of anhydrous alkali sulfide nanocrystals with concomitant abatement of hydrogen sulfide and cogeneration of hydrogen”, ChemSusChem 10, 1-11 (2017).
  • C.A. Wolden, A. Abbas, J. Li, D. R. Diercks, D. M. Meysing, T. R. Ohno, J. D. Beach, T. M. Barnes and J. M. Walls,”The roles of ZnTe buffer layers on CdTe solar cell performance”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 147, 203-210 (2016).

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