Vince Holmberg, PhD

2007 Hertz Fellow
Vincent Holmberg
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Vince Holmberg completed his PhD in chemical engineering in December 2011, and is now an assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Washington. Vince is also a member of the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute and Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington. Prior to moving to Seattle, Vince was a Marie Curie ETH Zürich Postdoctoral Fellow under the sponsorship of David Norris in the Optical Materials Engineering Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich).

During his PhD, Vince studied semiconductor nanowires with Brian Korgel at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focused on the development of the large-scale production of Si and Ge nanowires grown in supercritical organic solvents. Throughout his graduate career, Vince investigated the chemical surface passivation and functionalization of nanowires, and conducted in situ electron microscopy experiments on individual semiconductor nanowires in order to study their phase transitions and melting dynamics, as well as impurity diffusion in nanowire systems. He also studied the mechanical characteristics of Ge nanowires, which have bending strengths approaching that of ideal, defect-free, perfect crystals, and strength-to-weight ratios greater than Kevlar. Vince also helped develop the first Si and Ge nanowire fabrics – macroscopic, free-standing, flexible ceramics made entirely of single-crystalline semiconductor nanowires.

Vince’s interests include the synthesis and application of nanostructured materials, surface chemistry, self-assembly, supercritical fluids, in situ electron microscopy, and novel energy conversion and energy storage strategies. He received the 2012 Hertz Thesis Prize for his doctoral work, as well as a prize from the International Society for the Advancement of Supercritical Fluids in 2014.

Graduate Studies

University of Texas
Chemical Engineering
Semiconductor Nanowires: From a Nanoscale System to a Macroscopic Material

Undergraduate Studies

University of Minnesota


2011, Hertz Thesis Prize, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation