Colin Wolden

Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Colin WoldenOur research interests are in the area of the thin film synthesis. Deposition techniques include plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), CVD, sputtering, and electrodeposition. A central theme is developing novel processing techniques that impart nanoscale control while retaining high rate for the efficient synthesis of mesoscale structures (50 – 1000 nm). Thin films are ubiquitous in advanced technology, and the materials we synthesize serve as integral components in photovoltaics, membranes, opto-electronics, electrochromics, thin film batteries, functional coatings, and catalysis. Investigation of these deposition processes is guided by detailed reactive flow modeling and experimental measures of both gas-phase and surface 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.

Visit our lab page for a more information on current projects in the lab.


  • 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. Rachel Morrish: Research Professor
  • Yegor Samoilenko: Colorado School of Mines
  • Deborah Clayton-Warwick: UC Santa Barbara
  • Tommy Fuerst: UC Boulder
  • Kristen Hietala: Undergrad
  • Zhenyu Zhang: Central South University

Wolden Research Group Website

Selected Publications

  • 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)
  • T. F. Fuerst, M. O. Reese and C. A. Wolden, “PECVD Synthesis of Flexible Optical Coatings for Renewable Energy Applications”, Plasma Processes and Polymers 13, 184-190 (2016).
  • A. W. Welch, L. L. Baranowski, P. Zawadzki, C. DeHart, S. Johnston, S. Lany, C. A. Wolden and A. Zakutayev, “Accelerated development of CuSbS2 thin film photovoltaic device prototypes”, Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications 24, 929-939 (2016).
  • X. Li, C. A. Wolden, C. Ban and Y. Yang, “Facile synthesis of lithium sulfide nanocrystals for use in advanced rechargeable batteries”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 7, 28444-28451 (2015).
  • D. A. Cooney, J. D. Way, and C. A. Wolden, “A comparison of the performance and stability of Pd/BCC metal composite membranes for hydrogen purification”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 39, 19009 (2014)

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