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Harry C. Dorn


Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Nanoscience

Office: Hahn Hall South
Phone: 540-231-5953
Fax: 540-231-3255

PhD University of California, 1974
BS University of California,  1966

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 1974-1979
Associate Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 1979-1985
Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 1985-present

Honors and Awards:
IBM Research Division Award, 1992
Acknowledged by Virginia Senator George Allen for the discovery of trimetallic nitride template (TNT) endohedral metallofullerenes, United States Senate Building, February 25, 2004
Honored by Virginia Tech President Steger at the Dedication Ceremony at Luna Nanoworks facility, Danville, VA, March 26, 2004
Alumni Award for Research Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2006
John Schug Research Award, Virginia Tech Chemistry, 2007
Dr. A.C. Lilly Endowed Faculty Fellow of Nanoscience, 2010

H.C. Dorn joined the faculty at Virginia Tech (VT) in 1974 and initiated a research program that involved analytical applications and development of NMR techniques including direct coupling of high performance liquid chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance, HPLC-NMR. [Anal. Chem., 1980, cit. 46]* Today, the HPLC-NMR technique has evolved as an important muti-million dollar tool in the pharmaceutical and bio-medical fields. [Anal. Chem., 1984, cit. 56] In the mid-1980’s the Dorn laboratory initiated a second research area involving electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP). These later studies provided new insight toward understanding fundamental nuclear/electron interactions. In these spectroscopic studies, weak intermolecular bonding interactions (e.g. hydrogen bonding) are studied for intermolecular liquid/liquid, solid/liquid, and solid/solid interfaces. Recently, the DNP work has led to new approaches for next generation magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instruments currently under development at various sites (Oxford Instruments, GE, Siemens, and other academic institutions.

In the early 1990s, the Dorn laboratory also began a new area of research involving the synthesis, separation, and functionalization of the newly discovered carboneous nanomaterials, nanotubes, fullerenes and metal encapsulated fullerenes (endohedral metallofullerenes).  In collaboration with Don Bethune and other scientists at IBM (Almaden), seminal papers involving the first bond length measurements [Science, 1991, cit. 338] and the corresponding solid-state dynamics of the soccer-ball shaped fullerene, C60 [Science, 1991, cit. 206] were published. In a collaborative study by VT, the IBM group, and Silvera (Harvard), a new phase of carbon was reported by collapse of solid C60. [Phys. Rev., 1992, cit. 100] Later, the IBM team and the Dorn laboratory at VT published the first direct confirmation of metal encapsulation in a fullerene cage, Sc2@C84. [Nature, 1994, cit. 92] In 1999, Dorn and Stevenson (VT) discovered a new family of trimetallic nitride template (TNT) endohedral metallofullerenes A3N@C80(A=Group IIIB and rare-earth metals). [Nature, 1999, cit. 282] The trimetallic nitride templated endohedral metallofullerene technology has been licensed to a small business in Roanoke, Virginia with a  manufacturing plant in Danville, Virginia. In collaboration with Fowler (University of Exeter), we reported the first family of non-classical endohedral metallofullerenes A3N@C80 that are exceptions to the well known isolated pentagon rule (IPR). [Nature, 2000, cit. 210]  In collaboration with Alan Balch (University of Calif., Davis), x-ray structural studies of other cage TNT endohedral metallofullerenes, A3N@C78 [Angew. Chem., 2001, cit. 100] and mixed TNT derivatives ErSc2N@C80 [JACS, 2001, cit. 81] were reported. The Dorn Group reported the first exohedral organic functionalization of a TNT endohedral metallofullerene, A3N@C80. [JACS, 2002, cit. 51] In collaboration with Gibson (VT), the Dorn Group a unique chemical separation of these TNT endohedral metallofullerenes, A3N@C80 based on selective chemical reactivity. [JACS, 2005, cit. 31] In collaboration with Panos Fatouros, Jim Tatum, and Bill Broaddus (Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU), the Dorn Group published the first in vitro and in vivo results utilizing (TNT) endohedral metallofullerenes as next generation MRI contrast agents. These agents exhibit MRI contrast images 25-30 times superior to commercial MRI agents [Radiology, 2006, cit. 30]. Recently, the Dorn Group and Professor Alan Balch (UC Davis) have discovered a new non-spherical fullerene cage, namely, a ”BuckyEgg,” ellipsoidal Tb3N@C84 molecule [JACS, 2006, cit. 25]  and we also reported a new class of heterometallofullerenes, A2@C79N [JACS, 2008].

*) The key 15 papers cited above have a total of over 1,600 citations in scientific journals. [Science Citation Index, Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge, as of Jan. 2009]

  1. Shu, Chunying; Zhang, Jianfei; Ge, Jiechao; Sim, Jae Hyun; Burke, Brian G.; Williams, Keith A.; Rylander, M. Nichole; Campbell, Tom; Puretzky, Alex; Rouleau, Chris; Geohegan, David B.; More, Karren; Esker, Alan R.; Gibson, Harry W.; Dorn, Harry C.. “A Facile High-speed Vibration Milling method to Water-Disperse Single-walled Carbon Nanohorns”. Chemistry of Materials, 22(2), 347-351. (2010)
  2. Shu, Chunying; Corwin, Frank D.; Zhang, Jianfei; Chen, Zhijian; Reid, Jonathan E.; Sun, Minghao; Xu, Wei; Sim, Jae Hyun; Wang, Chunru; Fatouros, Panos P.; Esker, Alan R.; Gibson, Harry W.; Dorn, Harry C.. Facile Preparation of a New Gadofullerene-Based Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent with High 1H Relaxivity. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 20(6), 1186-1193. (2009).
  3. Che, Yuliang; Yuang, Hua; Wang, Zhimin; Jin, Hongxiao; Liu, Ziyang; Lu, Chunxin; Zuo, Tianming; Dorn, Harry C.; Beavers, Christine M..; Olmstead, Marilyn M.; Balch, Alan L.. Isolation and Structural Characterization of Two Very Large, and Largely Empty, Endohedral Fullerenes: Tm@C3v-C94 and Ca@C3v-C94. Inorganic Chemistry (Washington, DC, United States), 48(13), 6004-6010. (2009).
  4. Shu, C.; Xu, W.; Slebodnick, C.; Champion, H.; Fu, W.; Reid, J. E.; Azurmendi, H.; Wang, C.; Harich, K.; Dorn, H. C.; Gibson, H. W. Syntheses and Structures of Phenyl-C81-Butyric Acid Methyl Esters (PCBMs) from M3N@C80. Organic Letters, 11(8), 1753-1756. (2009).
  5. Fu, Wujun; Xu, Liaosa; Azurmendi, Hugo; Ge, Jiechao; Fuhrer, Tim; Zuo, Tianming; Reid, Jonathan; Shu, Chunying; Harich Kim; Dorn, Harry C.. 89Y and 13C NMR Cluster and Carbon Cage Studies of an Yttrium Metallofullerene Family, Y3N@C2n (n= 40-43). Journal of the American Chemical Society, 31(33), 11762-11769. (2009).
  6. Shu, Chunying; Slebodnick, Carla; Xu, Liaosa; Champion, Hunter; Fuhrer, Tim; Cai, Ting; Reid, Jonathan E.; Fu, Wujun; Harich, Kim; Dorn, Harry C.; Gibson, Harry W., “Highly Regioselective Derivatization of Trimetallic Nitride 16 Templated Endohedral Metallofullerenes via a Facile Photochemical Reaction.’’ Journal of the American Chemical Society 130(52), 17755-17760 (2008).

    Harry Dorn