Contact Information

Office: WEL: 3.210AA
Phone: 512-475-8674


Office: WEL 3.228
Phone: 512-475-7461

Richard M. Crooks

Professor, Faculty

Research Group

Crooks Group


BS, University of Illinois, 1981
PhD, University of Texas, 1987
Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT (1987-1989)


Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award, 2014

Charles N. Reilley Award in Electroanalytical Chemistry, 2010
Robert A. Welch Chair in Materials Chemistry, 2009-Present
ACS Award in Electrochemistry, 2008
Carl Wagner Memorial Award of the Electrochemical Society, 2003


Center for Nano- and Molecular Science and Technology; Center for Electrochemistry; Texas Materials Institute

Bioanalytical chemistry, nanochemistry, and electrochemistry

The group's research interests include electrochemistry, nanomaterials, catalysis, chemical and biological sensing, and microanalytical systems. For example, we are interested in learning how the physical and chemical properties of catalysts affect their selectivity and efficiency. Nanoscale catalysts in the 1-3 nm size range are of particular interest, because very slight changes to materials in this size range materials can dramatically affect their catalytic properties. Accordingly, we recently developed a new template-based approach for preparing multimetallic catalysts that have a high degree of compositional and structural uniformity. These materials provide the means for quantitatively understanding the relationship between catalyst structure and function. One important lesson we have learned during the course of our studies is that there are not many good analytical methods for studying the properties of nanoparticles smaller than about 3 nm, and therefore we are also inventing new analytical methods to better understand these materials. The group also has a long-standing interest in chemical and biological sensors. The objective of these studies is to design, build, and understand electrochemical sensors that each consist of thousands of electrodes and that have limits of detection and sensitivities approaching those of fluorescence-based sensors. Such miniaturized devices have applications as point-of-care testing systems for genetic and infectious disease states. Finally, we recently discovered a method for replicating the types of DNA microarrays that are currently the workhorse of genomic testing. At present such arrays are usually made by spotting one test site at a time, but they can be expensive because each array can consist of >1,000,000 test sites. Our approach results in replication of an entire array in parallel, which could result is a substantial reduction in cost. The chemistry underlying the replication principle is fascinating in its own right and is also under study.

Representative Publications

C. Renault; M. J. Anderson; R. M. Crooks "Electrochemistry in Hollow-Channel Paper Analytical Devices" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 4616-4623 (DOI: 10.1021/ja4118544).

R. M. Anderson; L. Zhang; J. A. Loussaert; A. I. Frenkel; G. Henkelman; R. M. Crooks "An Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of the Inversion of Pd@Pt Core@Shell Dendrimer-Encapsulated Nanoparticles" ACS Nano2013, 7, 9345-9353 (DOI: 10.1021/nn4040348).

L. Zhang; R. Iyyamperumal; R. M. Crooks; G. Henkelman "Design of Pt-shell Nanoparticles with Alloy Cores for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction" ACS Nano. 2013, 7, 9168-9172 (DOI: 10.1021/nn403788a).

S. E. Fosdick; K. N. Knust; K. Scida; R. M. Crooks "Bipolar Electrochemistry" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 10438-10456 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201300947, review).

K. N. Knust; D. Hlushkou; R. K. Anand; U. Tallarek; R. M. Crooks "Electrochemically-Mediated Seawater Desalination" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 125, 8107-8110 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201302577).