Contact: Pamela Bogdanski

Department Administrator

Chemical Engineering

(734) 764-7368

3074E H.H.Dow

Nicholas Kotov | Faculty

Nicholas Kotov

Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Chemical Engineering

Professor: Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Macromolecular Science & Engineering

NCRC B10-A159 (Office)
NCRC B26-102S, 108S (Labs)
(734) 763-8768



Short Bio


Moscow State University
PhD Chemistry '90
MS Chemistry '87


University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, 2012-present
  • Professor, 2008-present
  • Associate Professor, 2003-2008

Oklahoma State University
Chemistry Department
Stillwater, OK

  • Associate Professor, 2001-2003
  • Assistant Professor, 1996-2001

Hamburg University
Hamburg, Germany

  • Visiting Professor, 1997, 1999

Syracuse University
Chemistry Department
Syracuse, NY

  • Postdoctoral Associate, 1992-1996

Moscow State University
Chemistry Department
Moscow, Russia

  • Research Associate, Laboratory of Photochemistry, 1990-1992


  • Materials Research Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Association for Advancement of Science
  • American Society for Engineering Education


  • Associate Editor of  “ACS Nano”
  • Advisory Board of ACS Journal “Langmuir”
  • Advisory Board of RCS Journal “Nanoscale”
  • Advisory Board of Wiley-VCH journal “Advanced Functional Materials”
  • Advisory Board of ACS Journal “Chemistry of Materials”
  • Advisory Board of “International Journal of Nanotechnology”


  • Organizer of 24 Symposiums sponsored by ACS, MRS, AICHE, NATO, AFOSR and other national and international organizations in the period of 1998 to 2011.
  • Elected Organizer and Chair of Gordon Research Conferences in 2011, 2009, 2008, 2006.

Research & Teaching


Self-organization of nanocolloids, ultrastrong nanocomposites, tissue engineering with nanomaterials, nanoscale drugs, implantable biomedical devices.


Professor Kotov is committed to engaging in the “most creative, forward looking, and unorthodox scientific and engineering discoveries.” His research activities, publication record, and extensive practical realizations of his discoveries confirm that his efforts have a substantial impact both for fundamental science and technology.

Realization of the technological potential of nanomaterials requires their purposeful organization traversing multiple scales. After the synthesis of nanoparticles and other nanocomponents, finding such methods is regarded as one of the greatest challenges of nanotechnology.

Professor Nicholas Kotov is nominated for the Welch Award for his contributions to the development of cornerstone techniques for preparation of organized nanostructured materials with controlled assembly patterns extending from nano- to macroscale. His primary contribution is the discovery of self-organization of nanoparticles driven by anisotropic force fields around them into discrete and extended superstructures. He also carried out pioneering studies of layer-by-layer assembled nanoparticle materials beyond solely polymeric system enabling preparation of diverse family nanoparticle-polymer multilayers. His works laid the foundation of the theory and practice of these widespread methods of nanoscale organization and elaborated the contribution of different forces for both techniques.

Using a variety of nanoparticles from a variety of semiconductors, metals, and metal oxides, Professor Kotov demonstrated the possibility of spontaneous assembly of nanoparticles into superstructures of increasing complexity: from simple one-dimensional chains to sophisticated three-dimensional constructs such as semiconductor and metal helices. His works also trace the pathway from simple nanoparticle monolayers to purposefully assembled stratified nanoparticles multilayers with finely controlled optical, electrical, and mechanical properties. The generic nature of forces resulting in self-organization phenomena translated in simplicity and universality of these methods which led to their wide adoption in many research groups and companies around the world. It also enabled several breakthrough technologies from sensing to transparent armor and neural implants. Later studies have highlighted profound parallels between self-organization of artificial nanoparticles and analogous processes in biology providing fundamental guidelines for new discoveries related to biomedical applications of nanoparticles for treatment of cancer, Alzheimer’s syndrome, and arthritis.



  • Chemical and Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Chemical Engineering Design
  • Chemical Engineering Laboratory I
  • Chemical Engineering Laboratory II


  • Nanotechnology for Energy, Environment, and Biomedicine (graduate)

Honors and Awards

  • 2014 MRS Medal, Co-recipient with Sharon Glotzer.
    Citation: “For foundational work elucidating processes of nanoparticle self-assembly.”
  • Fellow, 2014
    Materials Science Society
  • Langmuir Lecture Award, 2013
    American Chemical Society
  • Kennedy Family Research Team Award, 2012
    University of Michigan
  • Top 25 Materials Scientists in 2000-2010, 2011
    Thomson Reuters
  • Top 100 Chemists in 2000-2010, 2011
    Thomson Reuters
  • Top 100 R&D Award, 2009
    Small Business, R&D Magazine
  • World Class University Fellow, 2009
    Government of South Korean
  • Gutenberg Award, 2008
    Government of Alsace
  • Top 50 Award, 2008
    NASA, Nanotech Briefs
  • First Place in Great Lakes Entrepreneurship Quest Competition (Michigan),2008
  • College Inventor Competition, 2008
    (US Patent and Trademark Office, Kauffman Foundation of Entrepreneurship
  • Department of Chemical Engineering Award, 2008
    University of Michigan
  • Top 10 Discoveries of the Year, 2008
    Wired Magazine
  • College of Engineering Research Excellence Award, 2007
    University of Michigan
  • Caddell Award, 2007
    University of Michigan
  • Chair of Gordon Research Conference “Supramolecular Chemistry,” 2007
    Gordon Research Conference
  • First place in the CoE Competition Future Research Directions, 2007
    University of Michigan
  • Walton Award, 2006
    Government of Ireland
  • Welliver Fellow, 2006
    The Boeing Company
  • Gran Prix, Materials Research Society Entrepreneurship Challenge, 2006
    Materials Research Society
  • Third Prize, BR Ventures Business Idea Competition, 2006
    Cornell University
  • Chair of Gordon Research Conference “Thin Organic Films," 2003
    Gordon Research Conference
  • Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence, 2001
    Oklahoma State Univeristy
  • NSF CAREER, 1998
    National Science Foundation
  • Humboldt Fellow, 1997-1999

Selected Publications

  • Tang, Z,; Kotov, N. A.; Giersig, M.; Spontaneous Organization of Single CdTe Nanoparticles Into Luminescent Nanowires, Science, 2002,  297 (5579), 237-240.
  • Z. Tang, Z. Zhang, Y. Wang, S.C. Glotzer, N.A.  Kotov, Self-Assembly of CdTe Nanocrystals Into Free-Floating Sheets, Science, 2006, 314 (5797) 274-278.
  • S. Srivastava, A. Santos, K. Critchley, K.-S. Kim, P. Podsiadlo,  K. Sun, J. Lee, C. Xu, G. D. Lilly,  S. C. Glotzer, and N. A. Kotov, Light-Controlled Self-Assembly of Semiconductor Nanoparticles into Twisted Ribbons, Science, 2010, 327, 1355, 1355-1359.
  • Podsiadlo P., Kaushik A. K., Arruda E. M., Waas A. M., Shim B. S., Xu J., Nandivada H., Pumplin B. G., Lahann J., Ramamoorthy A.,  Kotov N. A., Ultrastrong and Stiff Layered Polymer Nanocomposites, Science, 2007,318, 80-83.
  • N. A. Kotov, Inorganic Nanoparticles as Protein Mimics, Science, 2010, 330 (6001) 188-189
  • Tang, Z.; Kotov, N. A.; Magonov, S.; Ozturk, B.; Nanostructured Artificial Nacre, Nature Materials, 2003, 2(6), 413–418.
  • Mamedov, A. A.; Kotov, N. A.; Prato, M.; Guldi, D.; Wicksted, J. P.; Hirsch, A.; Molecular Design of Strong SWNT/Polyelectrolyte Multilayers Composites, Nature Materials, 2002, 1, 190–194.
  • Y. Xia, T. D. Nguyen, M. Yang, B. Lee, A. Santos, P. Podsiadlo, Z. Tang, S. C. Glotzer, N. A. Kotov, Self assembly of virus-like self-limited inorganic supraparticles from nanoparticles, Nature Nanotechnology, 2011, 6, 580-587.
  • Tang, Z.; Wang, Y.; Podsiadlo, P.; Kotov, N. A.   Biomedical applications of layer-by-layer assembly: from biomimetics to tissue engineering.    Adv. Mater. 2006, 18(24),  3203-3224.
  • Kotov, N. A.; Dékány, I.; Fendler, J. H., Ultrathin graphite oxide-polyelectrolyte composites prepared by self-assembly: Transition between conductive and non-conductive states, Adv. Mater. 1996, 8, 637-641.
  • R. A. Alvarez-Puebla, A. Agarwal, P. M. Bisnu P. Khanal, P.Aldeanueva-Potel, E. Carbó-Argibay, N. Pazos-Pérez, E.R. Zubarev, N. A. Kotov, Luis M. Liz-Marzán, Real-Time Detection of Scrambled Prions on 3D Gold Nanorod Supercrystals, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011, 108 (20) 8157-8161.
  • S. I. Yoo, M. Yang, V. Subramanian, J. R. Brender, K. Sun, N. E. Joo, S. H. Jeong, A. Ramamoorthy, N. A. Kotov, Mechanism of Fibrillation Inhibition of Amyloid Peptides by Inorganic Nanoparticles Reveal Functional Similarities with Proteins, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50(22), 5110–5115.
  • Zhiyong Tang, Nicholas A. Kotov, One-Dimensional Assemblies of Nanoparticles: Preparation, Properties, and Promise, Adv. Mater., 2005,17(8),  951-962.
  • Kotov N.A., Fendler J. H., and Dekany I., Layer-by-Layer Self-assembly of Polyelectrolyte - Semiconductor Nanoparticle Composite Films, J. Phys. Chem., 1995, 99, 13065-13069.
  • Mamedova, N. N.; Kotov, N.A.; Rogach, A. L.; Studer J.;  Protein - CdTe Nanoparticle Conjugates: Preparation, Structure And Interunit Energy Transfer, Nano Letters, 2001, 1(6), 281-286.
  • Mamedov, A. A.; Belov, A.; Giersig, M.; Mamedova, N. N.; Kotov, N. A.; Nanorainbows: Graded Semiconductor Films From Quantum Dots, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2001, 123(31), 7738-7739.
  • Tang, Z.; Wang, Y.; Podsiadlo, P.; Kotov, N. A.   Biomedical applications of layer-by-layer assembly: from biomimetics to tissue engineering.    Adv. Mater. 2006, 18(24),  3203-3224.
  • Wang, S.; Mamedova, N.; Kotov, N. A.; Chen, W.; Studer, J.; Antigen/Antibody Immunocomplex from CdTe Nanoparticle Bioconjugates, Nano Letters, 2002,  2(8), 817-822.
  • Shim, Bong Sup; Chen, Wei; Doty, Chris; Xu, Chuanlai; Kotov, Nicholas A.   Smart Electronic Yarns and Wearable Fabrics for Human Biomonitoring made by Carbon Nanotube Coating with Polyelectrolytes,   Nano Letters,  2008,  8(12),  4151-4157.
  • Y. Zhou, M. Yang, K. Sun, Z. Tang and N. A. Kotov Similar Topological Origin of Chiral Centers in Organic and Nanoscale Inorganic Structures: Effect of Stabilizer Chirality on Optical Isomerism and Growth of CdTe Nanocrystals, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132 (17), 6006–6013.
  • Andres, C. M.; Kotov, N. A.   Inkjet Deposition of Layer-by-Layer Assembled Films.    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132(41),  14496-14502.
  • Kam, N. W. S.; Jan, E.; Kotov, N. A.   Electrical Stimulation of Neural Stem Cells Mediated by Humanized Carbon Nanotube Composite Made with Extracellular Matrix Protein.  Nano Letters, 2009,  9(1),  273-278.
  • J. E. Nichols, J. Cortiella, J. Lee, J. A. Niles, M. Cuddihy, S. Wang, J. Bielitzki, A. Cantu, R. Mlcak, E. Valdivia, R. Yancy, M. L. McClure, and N. A. Kotov,  In vitro analog of human bone marrow from 3D scaffolds with biomimetic inverted colloidal crystal geometry, Biomaterials, 2009, 30 (6), 1071-1079.
  • Jungwoo Lee, G. Daniel Lilly, R. Christopher Doty, Paul Podsiadlo, Nicholas A. Kotov, In vitro Toxicity Testing of Nanoparticles in 3D Cell Culture, Small, 2009, 5 (10), 1213-1221.
  • N. A. Kotov, J. O. Winter, I. P. Clements, E. Jan, B. P. Timko, S. Campidelli, S. Pathak, A. Mazzatenta, C. M. Lieber, M. Prato, R.V. Bellamkonda, G. A. Silva, N. W. S. Kam, F. Patolsky, L. Ballerini,  Nanomaterials for Neural Interfaces, Advanced Materials, 2009, 21, 1–35.