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Angela R. Hight Walker (Fed)

Dr. Hight Walker is project leader at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where she began her career as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in 1994. Her research focuses on advancing optical spectroscopic techniques and specifically their applicability to characterize quantum nanomaterials.  

Dr. Hight Walker’s research team has developed resonance Raman capabilities and unique hyphenated Raman techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM)-Raman and magneto-Raman, where the samples are probed as a function of laser wavelength, temperature, magnetic field and back gating.  She applies these novel measurement capabilities to study the underlying photophysics of nanomaterials, specifically noble and transition metal nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, graphene and other 2D materials resulting in over 140 publications and 3800 citations. The future focus of Dr. Hight Walker’s effort is pushing the forefront of optical methods to characterize the magnetic phenomenon in layered systems. 

Angela is actively involved in international documentary standards activities focused on nanotechnology, leading the US technical committee on Measurement and Characterization to ISO TC229. Also, she is an enthusiastic member of two VAMAS committees, TWA 41 and 42, where several international round robin studies are underway to validate measurement protocols.  Finally, Dr. Hight Walker leads a team composed of experts from the National Metrology Institutes concerned with enabling SI-traceable, Raman measurements.  

An issue of great importance to Dr. Hight Walker is encouraging the young and underrepresented to participate in science.  Through on and offsite demonstrations and lectures, she activity engages in promoting the excitement of science.  Recruiting, promoting and mentoring undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers is a passion. Angela has hosted 14 NRC postdoctoral fellows and countless students in her lab during her 25-year career at NIST.  

Angela is also active in the American Physical Society, having held leadership roles throughout the Topical Group on Measurement and Instrumentation.  Also, she co-organized the APS 2014 Women in Physics conference which was jointly sponsored by the University of Maryland and NIST and will do so again in January 2020.  

Google Scholar




  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship, 1994-1996.
  • NIST Director Citation, Department of Commerce, 2002 "For her extraordinary effort, contributions and leadership on developing the NIST 2010 Strategic Plan,".
  • Bronze Medal, Department of Commerce, 2003."For leadership in increasing the opportunities for scientific collaboration and institutional cooperation with the National Institutes of Health," 
  • Commissioners Special Citation, Food and Drug Administration, 2005."For outstanding leadership in the development of interagency scientific and technical collaborations for advanced medical technologies," 
  • NIST Director Citation, Department of Commerce, 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 Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Award, Department of Commerce, 2009."For years of devotion to educational outreach, through compelling science demonstrations to students at NIST events and at local schools," 
  • Bronze Medal, Department of Commerce, 2010"For seminal contributions to the measurement of the optical and magnetic properties of novel synthetic nanoparticles,".
  • NIST Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Award, Department of Commerce, 2009 “For establishing unique outreach mechanisms to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue higher-education goals in the physical sciences”.

Selected Publications

Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy via Gold Nanostars

Emren Nalbant-Esenturk, Angela R. Hight Walker
Anisotropic metallic nanoparticles have unique optical properties, which lend them to applications such as Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). Branched


Noncryogenic Air Separation using Aluminum Formate Al(HCOO)3 (ALF)

Dinesh Mullangi, Hayden Evans, Taner N. Yildirim, Yuxiang Wang, Zeyu Deng, Zhaoqiang Zhang, Thuc Mai, Fengxia Wei, John Wang, Angela R. Hight Walker, Craig Brown, Dan Zhao, Pieremanuele Canepa, Anthony K. Cheetham
Separating oxygen from air to create oxygen-enriched gas streams is a process that is significant in both industrial and medical fields. However, the prominent

Patents (2018-Present)

pic for 10,858,256

Redox Sorting of Carbon Nanotubes

NIST Inventors
Angela R. Hight Walker and Ming Zheng
A method of separating and extracting carbon nanotubes, the method includes introducing the carbon nanotubes into a two-phase system that includes a first component and a second component, the first component being different from the second component. The method includes introducing a chemical agent
Created October 9, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022