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Tobias Hanrath

  • Tobias Hanrath
  • Dept: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Address: 350 Olin Hall
  • Phone: 607 351-2544
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Tobias received a B.S. from University of Tulsa, OK (2000), M.S. from University of Texas at Austin (2002) and PhD., University of Texas at Austin (2004).He served as Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MIT (2005) Postdoctoral Research Fellow, TU Eindhoven, and The Netherlands (2006-2007) before coming to Cornell.

Research Interests

There is a tremendous opportunity space for nanostructured materials to play a key role in next generation energy technologies. Our research efforts focus on the fundamental study of optoelectronic properties of semiconductor nanocrystals; this work is inspired by the potential application of these materials in solar energy conversion and energy storage devices. The semiconductor nanocrystals used in our work provide a diverse set of building blocks whose electronic and optical properties differ from their bulk counterparts due to the spatial wavefunction confinement. This quantum confinement effect allows us to engineer the materials properties through simple adjustments in nanocrystal size, shape, composition, and surface chemistry. In addition to their immense potential for technological applications, these materials also provide a material system to experimentally test fundamental quantum mechanical concepts.

Teaching Interests

Education and outreach are fully integrated with the research activities of our group. Our educational objectives are designed to: (1) integrate results from the research frontier and education of students and (2) capture the students enthusiasm and engagement in impending energy issues, encouraging their future contributions as the next generation of scientist and engineers. Serving as a faculty advisor to the new Cornell University Sustainable Design team and work with them to showcase prototype nanocrystal-based photovoltaics in the 'sustainable classroom', which will be built on campus to serve as a venue for educational activities for high-school science teachers and students. Asst Prof Hanrath is committed to integrating research and teaching is illustrated in efforts to modernize the undergraduate curriculum, for example by introducing a new nanotechnology senior 'product design' project. Undergraduate teaching responsibilities include ChemE 3130 (Equilibrium Thermodynamics) and project manager for ChemE4620 (Senior Process Design). Graduate teaching responsibilities include ChemE 7920 (Principles and Practices of Graduate Research), which includes a small workshop on research ethics to educate graduate students about the proper conduct of research, ranging from the writing of and review of manuscripts to day-to-day activities in the lab.

Selected Publications

  • Savitzky, B H., R. Hovden, K. Whitham, J. Yang, F. Wise, T. Hanrath, L F Kourkoutis. 2016. "Propagation of Structural Disorder in Epitaxially Connected Quantum Dot Solids from Atomic to Micron Scale.." Nano letters 16 (9): 5714-5718.
  • Treml, B E., T Hanrath. 2016. "Quantitative Framework for Evaluating Semitransparent Photovoltaic Windows." ACS Energy Letters 1 (2): 391-394.
  • Savitzky, B H., R. Hovden, K. Whitham, T. Hanrath, L F Kourkoutis. 2016. "Quantitative, Real-Space Statistical Analysis of Imperfect Lattices." Microscopy and Microanalysis 22 (S3): 892-893.
  • Treml, B E., J. Yang, F. Wise, T Hanrath. 2016. "Simultaneous ligand and cation exchange in PbSe/CdSe nanocrystal films." Chemical Physics 471: 69-74.
  • Zhang, H., J. Yang, J R. Chen, J R. Engstrom, T. Hanrath, F W Wise. 2016. "Tuning of Coupling and Surface Quality of PbS Nanocrystals via a Combined Ammonium Sulfide and Iodine Treatment.." The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 7 (4): 642-646.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Faculty Early Career Development Award (National Science Foundation) 2011
  • 3M non-tenured Faculty Award (3M) 2011
  • Ben Streetman Prize for Outstanding Research in Electronic 2005
  • George Kozmetsky Award for Outstanding Graduate 2004
  • Robert A. Brown Outstanding Alumnus Fellowship in 2003



  • BS (Chemical Engineering & Chemistry), University of Tulsa, 2000
  • MS (Chemical Engineering), University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • Ph D (Chemical Engineering), University of Texas at Austin, 2004