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Richard J. Colton

Head of the Surface Chemistry Branch
Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, DC, US

Richard J. Colton is a supervisory research chemist and Head of the Surface Chemistry Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, DC where he directs a highly interdisciplinary research program in surface chemistry and physics. His branch consists of approximately 70 people includes government employees, postdocs, contractors, visiting faculty, and students who hold advanced degrees in chemistry, physics, materials science, and engineering. Major research topics include surface science, nanoscience and technology, nanostructured and electronic materials, chemical dynamics, tribology and coatings, and chemical/biological sensors. Dr. Colton earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 and 1976, respectively. He performed graduate work in the areas of ultraviolet and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. In 1976, he became a National Research Council Resident Research Associate at NRL working on secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Dr. Colton joined the NRL staff in 1977 and conducts basic and applied research in surface chemistry and nanoscience/nanotechnology. His current research interests include the measurement of the nanomechanical properties of materials using atomic force microscopy and the development of new sensors using electron tunneling and force transducers. He has published over 130 technical papers, including ten book chapters and five patents, which have be cited in the literature over 5000 times. Dr. Colton is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Sigma Xi, American Vacuum Society (AVS), American Physical Society (APS), and Materials Research Society (MRS). He was the first chairman of the AVS Division on Nanometer-scale Science and Technology in 1993, former chair of the AVS Applied Surface Science Division, and served on the AVS Board of Directors in 1992-93. He received the 1992 Hillebrand Prize awarded by the Chemical Society of Washington, was elected AVS Fellow in 1995, received the NRL-Edison Chapter of Sigma Xi Applied Research Award in 1999, and won numerous technical publication and technology transfer awards including the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer in 2001. Dr. Colton also received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2003.

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