NIST logo
Bookmark and Share

Dr. Richard E. Cavicchi

Richard E. Cavicchi joined NIST in 1989. He received a B.S. in physics at MIT (1980) with a thesis on laser light scattering from colloidal crystals. At Cornell University he received a Ph.D. in physics (1987) with a thesis on electron tunneling in small metal particles at cryogenic temperatures. While a post-doc at AT&T Bell Laboratories (1986-1988), he investigated carrier transport in quantum well devices. He joined NIST in 1989 where he has worked in the area of chemical sensors. This work includes micromachined device design, electrical measurements, the surface characterization of sensor interfaces, studies of sensor materials, and novel sensing strategies. He has developed a microcalorimeter which has been used to investigate reactions and phase transitions of nanogram samples. He has co-developed a nanosecond photography technique for characterizing bubble nucleation on microheaters. He received the NIST CSTL Technical Achievement Award in 1995, and Department of Commerce Bronze (2000) and Silver Medals (2006). Recent research has considered the heat transfer and materials effects of laser-heated carbon nanotubes and gold nanoparticles.

Current areas of research:

  • The use of lasers for heating nanomaterials, which are being developed for potential therapeutic applications.
  • The development of a microfluidic particle characterization system for protein particles
  • The development of lithographically defined particles as a reference for protein particulates
  • Microfluidic calorimetry

Research Opportunities

Microfluidics for Proteins

Nanoscale Heat Transfer for Nanomedicine

Selected Publications

A more complete listing of publications can be found on the NIST publications portal, searching by author name. The NIST portal includes links to the journal publication (click on the DOI entry) and downloadable pdfs.

Richard E. Cavicchi, Michael J. Carrier, Joshua B. Cohen, Shir Boger,
Christopher B. Montgomery, Zhishang Hu, and Dean C. Ripple, Particle Shape Effects on Subvisible Particle Sizing Measurements Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences DOI: 10.1002/jps.24263

Douglas C. Meier and Richard E. Cavicchi. "Forming spherical gold nanoparticles from polymorphic nanoparticles using a single laser pulse." Journal of nanoparticle research 16.7 (2014): 1-7.

Nicholas W. Piekiel, Richard E. Cavicchi, Michael R. Zachariah, Rapid-heating of energetic materials using a micro-differential scanning calorimeter, Thermochimica Acta 521 (2011) 125– 129.

Richard E. Cavicchi and C. Thomas Avedisian, Bubble nucleation, growth and surface temperature oscillations on a rapidly heated microscale surface immersed in a bulk subcooled but locally superheated liquid under partial vacuum, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 54 (2011) 5612–5622.

Parthangal, Prahalad; Cavicchi, Richard E; Meier, Douglas C.; Herzing, Andrew; Zachariah, Michael R , Direct Synthesis of Tin Oxide Nanotubes on Microhotplates using Carbon Nanotubes as Templates, J. Mater. Res., Vol. 26, No. 3, Feb 14, 2011 430- 436

C.T. Avedisian, C. Presser, J. Stiehl and R.E. Cavicchi, “A simple method to assess the quenching effectiveness of fire suppressants,” Fire Safety Journal, 45, Issue 3, 206-210 (2010).

C. T. Avedisian, R. E. Cavicchi, P. L. McEuen and X. Zhou, “Nanoparticles for cancer treatment: the role of heat transfer” Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1161 (1), p 62 (2009)

Y. Xiao , X. Gao , O. Taratula , S. Treado , A. Urbas , R. D. Holbrook , R. E. Cavicchi , C. T. Avedisian , S. Mitra , R. Savla , P. D. Wagner , S. Srivastava and H. He “Anti-HER2 IgY antibody-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes for detection and selective destruction of breast cancer cells” BMC Cancer 2009, 9:351.

L. P. Cook, R. E. Cavicchi, W. Wong-Ng, N. Bassim, S. Eustis, C. B. Montgomery, M. D. Vaudin, and W. F. Egelhoff , "Enhanced mass transport in ultra-rapidly-heated Ni/Si thin-film multilayers", J. Appl. Phys. 106, 104909 (2009)

C. T. Avedisian, R. E. Cavicchi,P. M. McEuen, X. Zhou,W. S. Hurst, and J. T. Hodges, "High Temperature Electrical Resistance of substrate-supported Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes,"
Applied Physics Letters 93, 252108 (2008)

R. E. Cavicchi and C. T. Avedisian, “Bubble Nucleation and Growth Anomaly for a Hydrophilic Microheater Attributed to Metastable Nanobubbles,” Physical Review Letters, Volume 98: 124501 (2007).

P. M. Parthangal, R. E. Cavicchi, and M. R. Zachariah, "A generic process of growing aligned carbon nanotube arrays on metals and metal alloys." Nanotechnology 18(18): 185605 (2007).

C. T. Avedisian , R. E. Cavicchi, and M. J. Tarlov, “New technique for visualizing microboiling phenomena and its application to water pulse heated by a thin metal film” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77, 063706 (2006).

K. M. Balss, C. T. Avedisian, R. E. Cavicchi, and M. J. Tarlov, “Nanosecond imaging of microboiling behavior on pulsed-heated au films modified with hydrophilic and hydrophobic self-assembled monolayers,” Langmuir. (23):10459-67 (2005).

C.J. Taylor, R.E. Cavicchi, C.B. Montgomery, S. Turner,” Microarray Approach for Optimizing Localized Deposition of Carbon Nanotubes Using Microhotplate Arrays” Nanotechnology. 2004, 15, (1) 62 - 65.

P. M. Parthangal, R. E. Cavicchi, C.B. Montgomery, and M.R. Zachariah, “Restructuring of Tungsten Thin films into Nanowires and Hollow Square Cross-Section Microducts”. J. Mater. Res., 20 (11): 2889-2894 (2005).

O. C. Thomas, R. E. Cavicchi, and M. J. Tarlov, “Effect of Surface Wettability on Fast Transient Microboiling Behavior,” Langmuir, V 19: 6168 (2003).

R.E. Cavicchi, J.S. Suehle, K.G. Kreider,M. Gaitan, and P. Chaparala, “Optimized temperature-pulse sequences for the enhancement of chemically specific response patterns from micro-hotplate gas sensors, Sensors and Actuators B, 33, 142–146 1996.

J. Suehle, R. Cavicchi, M. Gaitan and S. Semancik, "Tin Oxide Gas Sensor Fabricated Using CMOS Micro-Hotplates and In-Situ Processing," IEEE Electron Device Letters 14(3): 118-120 (1993).


  • R. E. Cavicchi, S. Semancik, J. S. Suehle, and M. Gaitan, "Application of Microsubstrates for Materials Processing," US Patent Number 5,356,756 (1994).
  • S. Semancik, R. E. Cavicchi, M. Gaitan, and J. S. Suehle, "Temperature-controlled Micromachined Arrays for Chemical Sensor Fabrication and Operation," U.S. Patent 5,345,213 (1994).
  • M. Gaitan, J.S. Suehle, R.E. Cavicchi, and S. Semancik , "Micro-Hotplate Devices and Methods for Their Fabrication,” U.S. Patent 5,464,966 (1994).
  • S. Semancik and R. E. Cavicchi, "Planar Epitaxial Films of SnO2," US Patent Number 5,330,855.
  • T. Kunt, R. E. Cavicchi, S. Semancik, T. J. McAvoy, "Method for operating a sensor to differentiate between analytes in a sample," U.S. Patent 6,095,681 (2000)
  • R. E. Cavicchi, G. E. Poirier, J. S. Suehl, M. Gaitan, and N. H. Tea "Micron-scale Differential Scanning Calorimeter on a Chip," U.S. Patent 6,079,873 (2000).
  • Prahalad Parthangal, Michael R. Zachariah, Richard E. Cavicchi, "Approach to contacting nanowire arrays using nanoparticles" U.S. Patent 8,324,703 (2009)

Book Chapter

Richard E. Cavicchi, Calorimetric Sensors, in Chemical Sensors, v. 4, Solid State Sensors, Ghenadii Korotcenkov, editor, Momentum Press, Print ISBN: 978-1-60650-233-4, NY, NY, Pub. Date: 01-Jan-2011 p. 287-320.

Richard Cavicchi


Biomolecular Measurement Division
Bioprocess Measurements Group

Employment History:

1989-present: Physicist, NIST
1986-1988: Post-doctoral Member of Technical Staff, AT&T Bell Laboratories


Ph.D. Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 1987
M.S. Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 1983
B.S. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 1980


Phone: 301-975-3970
Fax: 301-975-2643