Christopher M. Sorensen

Cortelyou-Rust University Distinguished Professor

University Distinguished Teaching Scholar

CASE/Carnegie National Professor of the Year

Adjunct Professor of Chemistry

I study nanoparticles and their assemblies in a variety of ways.  First as a chemist (and with the help of my chemistry friends) I synthesize uniformly sized particles of gold, silver and a variety of other materials.  I call these stoichiometric particle compounds because of their high degree of chemical uniformity and because they behave like normal molecular compounds in solutions and can be made to form crystalline superlattices, ordered arrays of nanoparticles.  The solutions of these nanoparticles have thermally reversible aggregation phenomena along with nucleation and growth. In other work I study particles in aerosols, especially soot in flames.  The soot particles irreversibly aggregate together to form fractals with a variety of fractal dimensions dependent on the scale of the aggregates.  Some of these aerosols form gels in the gas phase—aerogelation—and these gels have extremely low densities, down to 2.5 mg/cc which is a world record.  I have spent considerable effort studying the optical and mobility properties of fractal aggregates and the kinetics of their growth. I also spend a considerable amount of effort scattering light from these particulate systems, using both static and dynamic techniques.  Thus I am concerned with the theory of light scattering, especially a physical understanding. I have spent some of my time developing  a variety of methods for instruction mostly based on hands-on training for the students in studios, with some efforts to integrate historical and primary text readings into instruction. 

Graduate Students

Jessica Changstrom
Raiya Ebini
Pablo Guimera-Coll
William Heinson
Sawyer Hopkins
Arjun Nepal
Justin Maughan
Jeff Powell
Yuli Wang

Undergraduate Students

Kyle Bayliff
Brendan Heffernan


Experimental and theoretical studies of light scattering from irregularly shaped particles, NSF, $391,000, PI with A. Chakrabarti. March 2013 to March 2016.

Multi-angle Light Scattering Device for Aerosol Particle Detection, Army Research Office, $50,000, June 2014.

Q-space Scattering Power Laws and the Interior Fields of Particles, Army Research Office, $50,000, June 2014.

Direct Dissolution Synthesis of Nanoparticles, KSU Research Foundation, $14,800, July, 2014 to January, 2015.