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John Pettibone (Fed)

Research Scientist

Dr. Pettibone is interested in reactions occurring on natural and engineered nanomaterial surfaces and uses spectroscopic, spectrometric, light scattering or other developed tools (e.g., assays) to investigate their effects on the chemical and physical changes that occur. The current research focuses on the formation, stability, and transformation of nanomaterials in complex environments to improve predictive capabilities for fate in applied systems and improve material design criteria. His approach is to identify primary pathways of nanoparticle transformations through the use and development of in situ and low perturbation measurement methods to investigate nanomaterials of commercial and regulatory interest.  Identifying the primary structural and chemical pathways requires tools to monitor the entire mass distribution and characterize the chemical changes on appropriate time scales. Together, the role interfacial surface chemistry contributes to the observable transformations can be elucidated. Those inputs would be used for developing better models to evaluate quality attributes of materials affecting performance and fate. The development of measurement methods to examine particle transformations in current and emerging biomedical and industrial applications, such as hybrid metal-oxide systems, drug delivery vectors and nanocomposite materials, are ongoing; the development of new methods, material development, and improved understanding of structure-function properties of nanoparticle-based technologies are accomplished through active collaborations involving diverse NIST staff expertise across groups and through collaborations with regulatory and external partners.

The Nanomaterials Research Group is always searching for motivated, creative researchers to contribute to new research directions, applications of methods to emerging problems, and maximizing the cutting edge facilities to solve persistent challenges in fields of reaction and interfacial chemistry, material design, and structural metrology. Opportunities can be found on the NRC Research Associateship Program page or by directly contacting Dr. Pettibone.

 Selected Publications 

F Zhang, AJ Allen, AC Johnston-Peck, J Liu, JM Pettibone, Transformation of engineered nanomaterials through the prism of silver sulfidation, Nanoscale Advances, 2019, 1, 241-253.

J. M. Pettibone and J. Liu, In Situ Methods for Monitoring Silver Nanoparticle Sulfidation in Simulated Waters. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50, 11145-11153.

J. Gigault, J. M. Pettibone, C. Schmitt and V. A. Hackley, Rational strategy for characterization of nanoscale particles by asymmetric-flow field flow fractionation: A tutorial. Anal. Chim. Acta, 2014, 809, 9-24.

J. M. Pettibone, J. Gigault and V. A. Hackley, Discriminating the States of Matter in Metallic Nanoparticle Transformations: What Are We Missing? ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 2491-2499.

J. M. Pettibone and J. W. Hudgens, Gold Cluster Formation with Phosphine Ligands: Etching as a Size-Selective Synthetic Pathway for Small Clusters? ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 2989-3002.

J. M. Pettibone and J. W. Hudgens, Predictive Gold Nanocluster Formation Controlled by Metal-Ligand Complexes. Small, 2012, 8, 715-725.


NRC postdoctoral fellowship, 2009


Created August 27, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022