Joseph Tracy

University Faculty Scholar

University Faculty Scholar
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Many kinds of nanoscale materials have size- and shape-tunable physical properties arising from their reduced dimensions and high surface-area-to-volume ratio. We synthesize magnetic and noble metal nanoparticles using a “bottom-up” approach starting from molecular precursors. Surface modification of nanoparticles with organic molecules and inorganic overcoatings imparts additional chemical, physical, and biological functionality. The surface plasmon resonance of gold nanoparticles depends on their shape and is sensitive to interparticle coupling. Magnetic nanoparticles have size-dependent magnetic properties and can be manipulated with magnetic fields, for example to direct assembly into chains. Incorporating magnetic and plasmonic nanoparticles into soft polymers makes possible remote actuation with magnetic fields and light.

Dr. Tracy’s research interests include the synthesis, characterization, and self-assembly of noble metal, magnetic, and multifunctional nanoparticles and their applications in soft robotics, sensors, and medicine.


Ph.D. 2005

Physical Chemistry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S. 2000


University of California, Santa Barbara


Size control of cobalt nanoparticles by adjusting the linear carboxylic acid ligand chain length
Johnston-Peck, A. C. C., & Tracy, J. B. B. (2022), JOURNAL OF MAGNETISM AND MAGNETIC MATERIALS.
Controlled Organization of Inorganic Materials Using Biological Molecules for Activating Therapeutic Functionalities
Chandler, M., Minevich, B., Roark, B., Viard, M., Johnson, M. B., Rizvi, M. H., … Afonin, K. A. (2021), ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 8.
Plasmon-Coupled Gold Nanoparticles in Stretched Shape-Memory Polymers for Mechanical/Thermal Sensing
Yadav, P. R., Rizvi, M. H., Kuttich, B., Mishra, S. R., Chapman, B. S., Lynch, B. B., … Tracy, J. B. (2021), ACS APPLIED NANO MATERIALS, 4(4), 3911–3921.
Reconfigurable Magnetic Origami Actuators with On-Board Sensing for Guided Assembly
Ha, M., Canon Bermudez, G. S., Liu, J. A.-C., Oliveros Mata, E. S., Evans, B. A., Tracy, J. B., & Makarov, D. (2021), ADVANCED MATERIALS, Vol. 5, p. 2008751.
Sulfidation and selenidation of nickel nanoparticles
Lynch, B. B., Kelliher, A. P., Anderson, B. D., Japit, A., Spencer, M. A., Rizvi, M. H., … Tracy, J. B. (2021), CARBON ENERGY, 10.
Flexible Cyclic-Poly(phthalaldehyde)/Poly(epsilon-caprolactone) Blend Fibers with Fast Daylight-Triggered Transience
Li, S., Rizvi, M. H., Lynch, B. B., Tracy, J. B., & Ford, E. (2020), MACROMOLECULAR RAPID COMMUNICATIONS, Vol. 42, p. 2000657.
Photothermally Reconfigurable Shape Memory Magnetic Cilia
Liu, J. A.-C., Evans, B. A., & Tracy, J. B. (2020), ADVANCED MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIES, Vol. 5, p. 2000147.
Programmable Anisotropy and Percolation in Supramolecular Patchy Particle Gels
Song, J., Rizvi, M. H., Lynch, B. B., Ilavsky, J., Mankus, D., Tracy, J. B., … Holten-Andersen, N. (2020), ACS Nano, 14(12), 17018–17027.
3D-Printed Silicone Soft Architectures with Programmed Magneto-Capillary Reconfiguration
Roh, S., Okello, L. B., Golbasi, N., Hankwitz, J. P., Liu, J. A.-C., Tracy, J. B., & Velev, O. D. (2019), ADVANCED MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIES, 4(4), 1800528.
Direct electrospinning of titania nanofibers with ethanol
Chapman, B. S., Mishra, S. R., & Tracy, J. B. (2019), DALTON TRANSACTIONS, 48(34), 12822–12827.

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