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Angela R. Hight Walker

Dr. Hight Walker's research focuses on understanding the underlying chemistry and physics of nanomaterials, including noble and transition metallic nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, and graphene. While the tool of choice is Raman spectroscopy, they use a suite of measurement methods to characterize the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials that enable key applications, such as medicine and energy, as well as predict their impact on the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

The Raman facility is unique. Multiple laser lines, two spectrometers including a triple grating, cryostats, magnetic field, and an atomic force microscope combined instrument, provide the basis for the measurement capabilities. Through our extensive in-house engineering and synthesis capabilities, we are able to uniquely synthesize the nanomaterials, fine tune their properties and isolate specific parameters for study. This cycle of production, isolation, and characterization is fundamental to a meaningful, detailed analysis.

Multidisciplinary collaborations, both those inside of NIST and beyond, are crucial to the group's success. By working in research teams, we learn more and contribute more fully to the physics of nanotechnology. NIST teams with which her group actively collaborates include Carbon Nanotube Metrology, Biomagnetic Imaging, Graphene, and Nano EHS.

Dr. Hight Walker is actively involved in standard activities regarding nanotechnology. Under ISO/TC 229, she chairs the US Technical Advisory Group for Working Group 2: Measurement and Characterization, as well as an international Joint Task Group titled Measurement and Characterization of Nanomaterials for Environment, Heath, and Safety. Angela also is a contributor to the characterization of the NIST carbon nanotube reference material.

Project Links:

Raman Facility
Nanoparticle Synthesis Facility
Metallic nanoparticles

Nanotube metrology

Electron transport in graphene

Magnetic nanoparticles for bioimaging contrast agents

Honors and Awards Received:

  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship, 1994-1996.
  • “For her extraordinary effort, contributions and leadership on developing the NIST 2010 Strategic Plan,” NIST Director Citation, Department of Commerce, 2002.
  • “For leadership in increasing the opportunities for scientific collaboration and institutional cooperation with the National Institutes of Health,” Bronze Medal, Department of Commerce, 2003.
  • “For outstanding leadership in the development of interagency scientific and technical collaborations for advanced medical technologies,” Commissioners Special Citation, Food and Drug Administration, 2005.
  • “For her extraordinary and unprecedented enthusiasm and effectiveness in establishing and strengthening research partnerships with other government agencies, universities and the private sector,” NIST Director Citation, Department of Commerce, 2005.
  • “For years of devotion to educational outreach, through compelling science demonstrations to students at NIST events and at local schools,” NIST Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Award, Department of Commerce, 2009.
  • "For seminal contributions to the measurement of the optical and magnetic properties of novel synthetic nanoparticles," Bronze Medal, Department of Commerce, 2010.
Angela Hight Walker


Research Chemist
Engineering Physics Division
Nanoelectronics Group

Employment History:

1994-present, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD

2005-2006, Invited Researcher, Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, Orsay, France


Ph.D. Chemical Physics, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

B.A. Chemistry with minor in Physics, Capital University, Columbus, OH


Phone: 301-975-2155
Email: angela.hightwalker@nist.gov