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 prepare colloidal magnetic, metallic, and semiconductor nanoparticles using a “bottom-up” approach starting from molecular precursors. Surface functionalization allows for integration with other kinds of materials, such as polymers and biological systems. Applying magnetic fields to suspensions of magnetic nanoparticles drives their assembly into chains, altering their magnetic and mechanical properties. The surface plasmon resonance of noble metal nanoparticles is sensitive to interparticle coupling and is useful for photothermal heating. Semiconductor quantum dots have high fluorescence quantum yields and are not susceptible to photobleaching.

Dr. Tracy’s research interests include the synthesis, characterization, and self-assembly of colloidal magnetic, metallic, and semiconductor nanoparticles, and their applications in composite materials, medicine, and catalysis.


Ph.D. 2005

Physical Chemistry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S. 2000


University of California, Santa Barbara


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.
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. 12, 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, 12.
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. (2020), Carbon Energy, 10.
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.
Magnetic Actuators: 3D‐Printed Silicone Soft Architectures with Programmed Magneto‐Capillary Reconfiguration (Adv. Mater. Technol. 4/2019)
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), 1970021.
Photothermally and magnetically controlled reconfiguration of polymer composites for soft robotics
Liu, J. A.-C., Gillen, J. H., Mishra, S. R., Evans, B. A., & Tracy, J. B. (2019), SCIENCE ADVANCES, 5(8).
Quantification of Interface-Dependent Plasmon Quality Factors Using Single-Beam Nonlinear Optical Interferometry
Zhao, T., Steves, M. A., Chapman, B. S., Tracy, J. B., & Knappenberger, K. L., Jr. (2018), Analytical Chemistry, 10(22), 13702–13707.

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