Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Faculty
Walter A. de Heer
College of Sciences
School of Physics
NanoTECH Research Area Affiliations
De Heer has been involved in pioneering nanosience for 25 years. His publications in nanoscience have been cited over 8000 times. De Heer received his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in 1985. There he investigated the properties of alkali clusters in molecular beams, resulting in the discovery of the electronic shell structure and plasma resonances. He moved to Lausanne Switzerland in 1987 where he worked at the Ecole Polytechnique until 1996. While there he studied the magnetic properties of free transition metal clusters. In 1992 he started his investigations of arc-produced multiwalled carbon nanotubes. Investigations of nanotube films cumulated in the discovery of their field emission properties, which may someday be applied in flat panel displays.
De Heer moved to Georgia Tech in 1996, where he continued work on carbon nanotubes leading to the discovery of room temperature ballistic conduction in carbon nanotubes in 1998. This property is important for carbon based nanoelectronics. He developed a electron-microscopy based resonance method to measure elastic properties of nanotubes in 1999, which allowed extremely small objects to be weighed. In 2005 he found the mechanism by which nanotubes are formed from liquid carbon in carbon arcs. Currently he is working on carbon nanotubes, ultrathin patterned graphite films and the electronic and magnetic properties of cold metal clusters in molecular beams.
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