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Professor Hamilton's Homepage


In our labs we have, SEM/EDAX, Asylum 3D-Bio AFM, Nanoscience AFM, multiple ns 266/355/532 YAG lasers, spin coaters, GC-MSD, ellipsometer,profilometer, UV/VIS/NIR, DLS, DCS, Viscotek GPC-TDA, Raman, Raman Microprobe (JY T64000) and Terahertz Raman(Ondax) and Tornado Slitless High Throughput Spectrometer, Gamry 3000 and Arbin potentiostats, coating facilities, cleanroom. Lots more too. 

Caption: Jim, Julie & Conrad Kayaking in Maine.


James Hamilton
Wisconsin Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry
217 Ottensman Hall
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818
Tel: (608) 342-1670 (O)
Fax: (608) 342-1559
hamiltoj at uwplatt.edu

Director, NCCRD, Nanotechnology Center for Collabortive R&D

ex-UWP Radiation Safety Officer
UWP Laser Safety Officer
ex-UWP Chemical Safety Officer
ex-Department Safety Officer

Physical and Analytical Chemistry
Contamination Control: Aerospace and Astronomical Precision Surfaces
Graphene and Graphene Electrode Characterization and Production Carbon Nanotube, Nanocellulose and Nanoparticle Thermodynamics and Solubility
Photonics and Nonlinear Optics
Cleaning, Protecting & Replicating Optical, MEMS & Nano Surfaces
Atomic Molecular & Optical (AMO) Physics
Lithium Ion Batteries and Ultracapacitors (full manufacture and characterization)
Lasers & Instrumentation
Polymer Synthesis Utilization and Characterization
Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
Analytical Applications of Spectroscopy and Optics
H2 Alkaline Fuel Cells
Gem and Mineral Laser Spectroscopy
Radiation Cleanup with Polymer Stripcoatings
Photonic Materials, Nanomaterials and Material Science

Research Interests:
Research in my group tends to be multidisciplinary and there are strong aspects of physics, analytical, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry in our projects, but the primary focus revolves around the unifying themes of photonics, lasers, instrumentation and spectroscopy.

We have recently made fundamental breakthroughs in solubilizing carbon nanotubes and have developed solvent systems that will truely dissolve single wall nanotubes and graphene and create thermodynamically stable solutions. This discovery contradicts the general assumption that no solvent would dissolve nanotubes and graphite. As part of our  collaboration with Trinity College Dublin-Physics and the group of Professor Jonathan Coleman, we published a fundamental paper in Advanced Materials in which we definitively proved that the Gibbs Free Energy of Solution was Negative for single wall nanotubes (SWNTs) in NMP solvent, contrary to conventional chemical history and wisdom (here's the abstract). This work was featured in Science as an Editors Choice, "Can nanotubes swim apart?" and in Chemical and Engineering News in Science and Technology Concentrates. We continue to make great strides in nano solubility using graphene, multiwall nanotubes and nanocellulose. For the nanocellulose, we have just started a collaboration with the US Forest Products Laboratory. Numerous patents through WiSys/WARF are pending resulting from this work.

We also are particularly interested in the analysis of optical surface cleanliness to support our work in developing polymer stripcoatings for optics and Contamination Control for spacecraft with NASA. Our efforts in this area include exciting collaborations and visits to the worlds largest telescopes atop Mauna Kea Hawaii, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Munich and Chile, at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Recently nanosecond laser damage studies clearly showed that our polymer coatings leave no residue upon removal and are high power laser safe. Laser Damage Testing(LDT) continues. Also using our Contiuum nanosecond optical parametric oscillator OPO system, the Perkin Elmer Lambda 900 UV/VIS/NIR and Princeton Instruments photon counting ICCD spectroscopic camera, we are studying the correlations in the chemical and physical origins of diamond luminescence with lots of samples from the national mineral collection at the Smithsonian. Surface cleanliness is of fundamental importance in many areas and our group works with NSF's Gravity Wave Observatory, LIGO (The Laser interfereomtric Gravity Observatory) based at Caltech and MIT, and with two Dark Matter search collaborations, COUPP (The Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics) at the University of Chicago and Fermilab and CDMS (The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) located in the Soudan Mine in Minnesota. Also, working with Fermilab scientists and engineers, we have just published a paper using our polymer technology on the CMOS CCD sensors of the Dark Energy Survey Camera where we used nanotube doped, ESD free films to clean and protect the delicate camera sensors.
We also work closely with colleagues within the department and university and have built photon counting, laser induced fluorescence systems for capillary electrophoresis with Professor Steiner, DNA Electrophoresis imaging systems with Professor Mendis , graphene functionalization and Chromone Laser Dye Synthesis with Professor Li. We have been working on a novel method of fingerprint development from unusual surfaces with the Madison, Wisconsin Crime Lab, the US Secret Service in Washington and Aric Dutelle in Criminal Justice. We are part of an international collaboration with Electrical Engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology and the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany we are on our 3rd masters student (and now our first PhD) and have been working on novel, inexpensive and practical Alkaline Fuel Cell technology.

My students & I have done research with and/or work at:
Argonne National Laboratory's - Advanced Photon Source - Synchrotron
Argonne National Laboratory's - Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Jefferson National Lab's Free Electron Laser Facility
Fermilab: Dark Energy Survey Camera , Cryogenic Search for Dark Matter (CDMS) and COUPP Dark Matter Bubble Chamber.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Gem Collection - Nanosecond Diamond luminescence correlation studies.
The Keck and Gemini Telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii - Developing in-situ cleaning methods for large primary mirrors.
Dublin Institute of Technology, Electrical and Controls Engineering and Gaskatel, Kassel, Germany- Fuel Cells
University of Applied Science - Germany, Fuel Cells and Nanocomposit Materials
Trinity College - Dublin Physics - Nanotubes and Polymer Modified Carbon Nanotubes materials and Spectroscopic Characterization of Liganded Rare Earth Compounds(Chemistry)

Our work has resulted inthe start up of two companies:
Photonic Cleaning Technologies, LLC, Platteville, WI, USA - Manufacturer of First Contact Polymer, Sales in 62 Countries
Xolve, Inc., Platteville, WI, USA

Hamilton Group Past and Present Research and Development Projects:
Design, Characterization and Synthesis of Chromone Laser Dyes
Surface And Optical Characterization of Polymer Strip Coatings for Optics and Astronomy
Double Resonance IR/VIS Fluorescence Detection using the National Free Electron Laser Facility in Newport News, Virginia

Some Useful Links on Techniques Used in Our Research Group
SEM Links
AFM Links
Four Wave Mixing Links
Major World Telescope Sites
Surface Science & Optical Metrology Labs
Gel Permeation Chromatography
Spincoating & Ellipsometry
Nuclear Chemistry
Table of Nuclides
Table of Particle Physics Quantities

Some Other Interesting or Useful Links
Some links to help on how to give a presentation
Electronic Journals we have access to thru ANL (Like Phys Rev Lett! -email me for info)
UWP OIT Software Download
UWP OIT How To Pages
NSF Funding Top 50 Schools
Hints and Tips on Using the ERLE Program
Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Some cool projects students have worked on over the last few years:
Do you like fixing things, working on cool instruments and doing great science and engineering?

We need your help in our R&D group working on both fundamental science as well as electronics and instrumentation!!

Here's some instruments and Completed projects that students from EE, ME, IE, EP chemistry, physics have built, repaired and designed:
· Fiber Optically Coupled High Pressure 150W Xe Lamp as a Spectroscopic Light Source
· Optical Simulation and Optimization of a Laser Raman spectrometer using Mathematica/Optika
· HC11 microcontrolled Aminco Bowman Spectrofluorimeter
· Altera Based Optical Encoder reader for dye laser control
· HeNe laser power supply troubleshooting and design.
· Design and Construction of an 8 Decade Analog Logarithmic Amplifier
· Homebuilt  retrofit of an HP5100 Gas Chromatograph from a large colun to a Capillary system with computer monitored Flame Ionization Detection.
· Reassembly, troubleshooting and Upgrade of a Finnegan 5100 GCMS Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer
· Laser Raman CCD Camera Spectrometer
· Repairing and Setting up an Inert Atmosphere Glove Box
· Nicholet 7100 series 0.02 cm-1 resolution FTIR - High Resolution Fourier Transform IR Spectrometer
· Lots of Computers and Data Acquisition Hardware and Software
· Chemistry Demonstrations
· General Chemistry Lab Development Ongoing Projects: · Synthesis and Characterization of Chromone Dyes

Some Previous Projects Students Worked on:
· Molecular Modeling of the Structure/Property Relationships of the Electronic Structure of various Chromone dyes using HyperChem
· Doublely Resonant Infrared Four Wave Mixing Simulations in the Presence of Fermi Resonance
· Sensor Applications of Degenerate Four Wave Mixing on Conductive Polymers
· ATR FTIR Analysis and Curing Time Optimization of Phenolic Resins on Cloth
· Investigations of the Potential for Ultrasonic Characterization of Phenolic Resin Mass on
· Development of IR Specular and Diffuse Reflective Standards using Laser Gold Coatings
· Characterization and Quantitation of Optical Substrate Cleanliness Using Opticlean Polymer
· Application Note Development for Major Instrument Company·Determination of Lead Contamination Sources in Hydroxy Apatites Using Atomic Absorption
· Design and Characterization of a Sonoluminescent Device
· Development of a Clarification Technique for Plum Wine
· Atomic Force Microscope Comparisons of Evaporated Gold and Electrodeposited Gold

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