T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering
Rice University
Smalley-Curl Institute and the NanoCarbon Center

Tour’s scientific research areas include nanoelectronics, graphene electronics, silicon oxide electronics, carbon nanovectors for medical applications, green carbon research for enhanced oil recovery and environmentally friendly oil and gas extraction, graphene photovoltaics, carbon supercapacitors, lithium ion batteries, CO2 capture, water splitting to H2 and O2, water purification, carbon nanotube and graphene synthetic modifications, graphene oxide, carbon composites, hydrogen storage on nanoengineered carbon scaffolds, and synthesis of single-molecule nanomachines which includes molecular motors and nanocars. He has also developed strategies for retarding chemical terrorist attacks. For pre-college education, Tour developed the NanoKids concept for K-12 education in nanoscale science, and also Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero science packages for elementary and middle school education: SciRave (www.scirave.org) which later expanded to Stemscopes-based software. The SciRave program has risen to be the #1 most widely adopted program in Texas to complement science instruction, and it is currently used by over 450 school districts and 40,000 teachers with almost 2 million student downloads.

We hire graduate students and post doctoral researchers studying in the areas of nanoscale science, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, polymer chemistry, electronics, materials science, and computer science. Our emphases in those areas vary depending on our current grant funding. We take a select number of undergraduate students to work during the school year and over the summer on various projects.

Within our own laboratories, as well as the facilities within the Smalley-Curl Institute and the NanoCarbon Center, we are fortunate to have access to a wide variety of instrumentation for the synthesis and analysis of nanomaterials. We also have active collaborations with several other institutions including the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, Methodist Hospital Research Institute, MD Anderson, and several national and defense department laboratories.