Rosenthal Research Group at Vanderbilt

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Current Members

Research Professors

Dr. Ian D. Tomlinson

Ian obtained his B.Sc. in 1985 from Essex University and his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry in 1989 from Essex University in the UK. After many years in industry at ASTRA (London and Sweden) and at Key Organics he took a sabbatical and received an M.Sc. from Cranfield University in Environmental Diagnostics in 2000. After which came to the States to work in our group on the nano-neuro project. His principle role is to design and synthesize novel biologically active ligands that can be attached to nanocrystals and used as biological fluorescent probes in neurology.


Dr. James R. McBride

James received his B.S. from Florida Southern College in 1999 and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 2004. James’ interests lay in using Z-Contrast Scanning Transmission Microscopy (Z-STEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) to elucidate the atomic structure and composition of colloidal core and core/shell nanocrystals and their surfaces. Rutherford Back-Scattering has also been used to analyze the bulk composition of the core/shell samples and to identify impurities found in the semi-conducting polymer used in our photovoltaic devices. James manages and trains graduates students on the Tecnai Osiris TEM/STEM at Vanderbilt.








Graduate Students

Xochitl Arzeta-Ferrera

Xochitl received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Converse College in 2011. She is developing a multimodal technique for simultaneous single molecule tracking of neurotransmitter transporter proteins using quantum dots as biological probes.








Danielle Bailey

Talitha Frecker

Talitha received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of St. Francis (Fort Wayne) in 2013. Her current research involves quantum yield enhancement and incorporating ultrasmall white light emitting CdSe nanocrystals into different polymer matrices as the intrinsic fluorophore in LED devices.








Nathaniel Freymeyer

Joe Keene

Joe received his B.S. in Chemistry from Wake Forest University in 2009. His current research utilizes ultrafast fluorescence upconversion spectroscopy to study the charge carrier dynamics of semiconductor quantum dots. He is interested in manipulating nanocrystal surface and chemical composition to exhibit control over charge carrier behavior, tailoring nanocrystal structure to exhibit the desired properties for specific applications.






Scott Niezgoda

Scott received his B.S. from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia in 2010, and joined the lab in July of the same year. When he’s not brewing beer, camping, or playing guitar, Scott’s interests lie in the implementation of non-toxic quantum dots into solid-state solar cells. His current research involves localized surface plasmon resonance modes in quantum dots, and their implementation into low-defect thin films for eventual application to photovoltaics.






Noah Orfield

Noah received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2010. He joined the Rosenthal lab in January of 2011.  Noah employs single nanocrystal spectroscopy to study the photophysics of core / shell quantum dots and white light emitting nanocrystals.  His current efforts are directed toward investigating the correlation between the time-resolved photoluminescence properties and atomic structure of single quantum dots acquired via Z-STEM.






Kemar Reid

Toshia Wrenn

Toshia earned her ACS-certified BS in Chemistry from Austin Peay State University in 2010. Her undergraduate research delved into nanosilver preparation and characterization. She joined the Rosenthal group in January 2011 and is currently researching third generation solar cells; particularly nanostructured, solid-state designs.