Michael Gordon

Associate Professor 
Department Vice Chair



(805) 893-7346
3351 Engineering II
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080

Assistant Contact Information: 

Melissa Walker
(805) 893-8692
walker@engineering.ucsb.edu(link sends e-mail)
Engineering II, Room 3350

ChemE Research Areas: 


2013  Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award
2013  Robert W. Vaughan Lectureship, California Institute of Technology
2012  Frontiers of Engineering Education Conference
2012  Outstanding Chemical Engineering Faculty
2011  Outstanding Chemical Engineering Faculty
2010  David and Lucile Packard Fellowship
2010  NSF CAREER Award
2010  Outstanding Chemical Engineering Faculty
2009  Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award
2000-2003  Intel Fellow
1997  Constantin G. Economou Prize

Research Description: 

Synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials as well as the development of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) methods for optical, electrical, and mechanical interrogation of nanoscale systems found in different venues such as material science, microelectronics, catalysis, and biology. Our overall goal is to exploit the unique physicochemical properties of nanoscale systems by probing and understanding materials over a variety of length scales from nano to macro.

Our research is "hands-on" experimental science involving a combination of scanning probe microscopy techniques (STM, AFM, SNOM), laser spectroscopy, nanofabrication, and traditional surface science. We build our own instruments and synthesize various nanostructured materials using plasmas, CVD, lithography, and traditional solution-based methods. 

  • Design/construction of scanning probe microscopy tools for chemical imaging of surfaces
  • Using sub-wavelength optical interactions with matter to study physical, chemical, and biological processes
  • Developing novel ways to identify/manipulate single molecules, nano-objects, and micro-scale systems using hybrid AFM techniques
  • Synthesis and characterization of plasmonic and catalytic materials
  • Spectroscopy of organic semiconductors for OLED and PV applications


BS: Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines (1994)
MS: Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines (1995)
MS: Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology (1998)
PhD: Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (2003)

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