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Dr. Christopher Rhodes - Assistant Professor

Dr. Christopher Rhodes

Contact Information

Office:  CHEM 310

Phone:  (512) 245-6721

Fax:  (512) 245-2374


Educational Background

  • B.A., Chemistry, Texas A&M University (College Station, TX) 1992
  • M.S., Chemistry, University of Oklahoma (Norman Oklahoma) 2000
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Oklahoma (Norman Oklahoma) 2001
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Materials Science and Engineering, University of California (Los Angeles, CA) 2002-2005

Honors and Awards

  • Co-recipient of the R.A. Glenn Award for the Outstanding Fuel/Petroleum Paper at the 231st Meeting of the American Chemical Society, 2007
  • Dissertation Award for Science and Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 2001
  • Chemistry Graduate Assistant Award for Research, University of Oklahoma, 2000
  • Magna Cum Laude graduate, Texas A&M University, 1992
  • Outstanding Chemistry Student Award, Texas A&M University, 1992
  • Chemistry Achievement Award, Texas A&M University, 1991

Areas of Interest

  • Nanomaterials
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry
  • Surfaces and interfaces
  • Energy storage and conversion devices

Related Web Sites

Rhodes Research Group Webpage

Research in the Rhodes Group

Research in the Rhodes group is aimed at studying the unique structure and properties of nanomaterials using a variety of materials characterization, electrochemical, and spectroscopic methods. Nanomaterials provide the ability to control surface structure and reactivity, which are amplified in nanoparticles, nanotubes, and two-dimensional nanosheets. Nanomaterials possess atomic and electronic structures which are influenced by their composition, surface structure, internal structure, particle size, interparticle interactions, and adsorbed solution-phase species. Surfaces are significantly amplified for nanomaterials, and the surface structure can markedly differ from that of the bulk structure.  As a result of their unique structures, nanomaterials possess distinct electrochemical, electrical, optical, and catalytic properties.  The ability to control the structure and properties of nanomaterials provides a pathway to develop improved materials for electrochemical devices such as batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells, photovoltaics, electrochromics, and sensors as well as other devices.

Our recent work has been focused on transition metal compounds (e.g. MXy where M=V, Fe, W, Mn, etc.; X=O, B, S, etc.) since these compounds when expressed as nanomaterials provide unique structures and properties.  For example, the internal and surface structure of nanoscale vanadium diboride (VB2) is significantly different than in macroscale forms, and nano-VB2 shows enhanced multi-electron electrochemical charge storage properties (see pictures below). Current research directions include:

  • Two dimensional materials
  • Reversible multi-electron charge storage
  • Rapid charge transfer interfaces
  • Photoactive electrodes
  • Spectroscopic characterization of surface structure and reactivity


Students who carry out their research in the Rhodes group will learn a variety of  experimental methods including synthesis of materials, characterization of materials (scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction), spectroscopic analysis (Raman spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy), and electrochemistry (cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance). 


Vanadium diboride (VB2) with nanoscale particles shows significantly higher voltage and capacity than VB2 with larger micro-sized particles.

References: Rhodes, Stuart, Lopez, Waje, Mullings and Licht, Journal of Power Sources 239, 244-252 (2013). Crystal structure of VB2 from Zhou et. al. Physica B 404 (2009) 1527–1531.

Recent Publications

Evaluation of properties and performance of nanoscopic materials in vanadium boride-air batteries, C.P. Rhodes, J. Stuart, R. Lopez, X. Li, M. Waje, M. Mullings, and S. Licht, Journal of Power Sources 239, 244-252 (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.03.071

Architectural integration of the components necessary for electrical energy storage on the nanoscale and in three dimensions, C.P. Rhodes, J.W. Long, K.A. Pettigrew, R.M. Stroud, and D.R. Rolison, Nanoscale 3, 1731–1740 (2011). DOI: 10.1039/c0nr00731e

Multifunctional 3D nanoarchitectures for energy storage and conversion, D.R. Rolison, J.W. Long, J.C. Lytle, A.E. Fischer, C.P. Rhodes, T.M. McEvoy, M.E. Bourg, and A.M. Lubers, Chemical Society Reviews 38, 226–252 (2009). DOI: 10.1039/b801151f

Using an oxide nanoarchitecture to make or break a proton wire, M.S. Doescher, J.J. Pietron, B.M. Dening, J.W. Long, C.P. Rhodes, C.A. Edmondson, and D.R. Rolison, Analytical Chemistry 77, 7924–7932 (2005). DOI: 10.1021/ac051168b

Direct electrodeposition of nanoscale solid polymer electrolytes via electropolymerization of sulfonated phenols, C.P. Rhodes, J. W. Long, D. R. Rolison, Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters 8, A579–A584 (2005). DOI: 10.1149/1.2050508

Nanoscale polymer electrolytes: Ultrathin electrodeposited poly(phenylene oxide) with solid-state ionic conductivity, C.P. Rhodes, J.W. Long, M.S. Doescher, J.J. Fontanella, and D.R. Rolison, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 108, 13079–13087 (2004). DOI: 10.1021/jp047671u

Charge insertion into hybrid nanoarchitectures: Mesoporous manganese oxide coated with ultrathin poly(phenylene oxide), C.P. Rhodes, J.W. Long, M.S. Doescher, B.M. Dening, and D.R. Rolison, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 350, 73–79 (2004). DOI: 10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2004.06.050

Nanocrystalline iron oxide aerogels as mesoporous, magnetic architectures, J.W. Long, M.S. Logan, C.P. Rhodes, E. Carpenter, R.M. Stroud, and D.R. Rolison, Journal of the American Chemical Society 126, 16879–16889 (2004). DOI: 10.1021/ja046044f