Colin Wolden

Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Colin WoldenOur research interests are focused on the synthesis of nanostructured materials and their application to solving challenges in the areas of renewable energy and sustainability. Synthesis techniques include both vapor deposition (sputtering, CVD) and solution processing (reactive precipitation, electrodeposition, etc.). A central theme is developing novel processing techniques that impart nanoscale control while retaining high rate for the efficient synthesis of mesoscale structures (5 – 500 nm). The materials we synthesize serve as integral components in thin film photovoltaics, solid state batteries, and catalytic membrane reactors. Investigation of these processes is guided by detailed reactive flow modeling and experimental measures of both homogeneous and heterogeneous 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.


  • 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. Javishk Shah, PhD University of Tulsa
  • Adam Job, BS Montana State University
  • Deborah McGott, BS University of California – Santa Barbara
  • Kevin Prince, BS Iowa State University
  • William Smith, BS Kansas State University
  • Saeed Ahmadi Vaselabadi, BS Sharif University of Technology, Iran
  • Rok Sitar, BS Montana State University
  • Gavin Yeung, BS Colorado School of Mines
  • Jerry Birnbaum, CSM Undergraduate
  • Hope Wikoff, CSM Undergraduate

Wolden Research Group Website

Selected Publications

  • Y. Zhao, W. Smith and C. A. Wolden, “Scalable synthesis of Li2S nanocrystals for solid-state electrolyte applications”, Journal of the Electrochemical Society 167, 070520 (2020).
  • Y. Samoilenko, G. Yeung, A. H. Munshi, A. Abbas, C. L. Reich, M. Walker, M. O. Reese, A. Zakutayev, J. M. Walls, W. S. Sampath and C. A. Wolden, “Stable magnesium zinc oxide by reactive co-sputtering for CdTe-based solar cells”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 210, 110521 (2020).
  • Z. Zhang, S. Liguori, T. F. Fuerst, J. D. Way, and C. A. Wolden, “Efficient ammonia decomposition in a catalytic membrane reactor to enable hydrogen storage and utilization”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 7, 5975 (2019).
  • Z. Zhang, C. Karayaka, R. J. Kee, J. D. Way, and C. A. Wolden, “Barium-promoted ruthenium catalysts on yittria-stabilized zirconia supports for ammonia yynthesis”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 7, 18038 (2019).
  • T. F. Fuerst, C. N. Taylor, M. Shimada, J. D. Way and C. A. Wolden, “High temperature deuterium enrichment using TiC coated vanadium membranes”, Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 37 021501 (2019).

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