Amy Walker

Professor - Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Homepage
Tags: Materials and Polymers Inorganic Theoretical, Physical or Analytical Chemistry Electrical Engineering Materials Science and Engineering Computer Engineering

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Chemistry
University of Cambridge - 1998
B.A. Hons - Natural Sciences (Physics and Theoretical Physics)
University of Cambridge - 1995

Research Areas

Research Interests
The ultimate goal of Amy Walker's research is the development of simple, robust materials for constructing complex two- and three-dimensional surfaces by manipulating interfacial chemistry. Her lab's current efforts focus on the formation and patterning of molecular thin films (self-assembled monolayers, SAMs) and the reactions of patterned films with metals, semiconductors and biomolecules, as well as the development of analytical techniques for probing the structures produced. Metal/SAM, semiconductor/SAM and biomolecule/SAM structures have applications in organic electronics, sensing, catalysis, photovoltaics and optoelectronics. Her group employs surface science techniques, in particular time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF SIMS) and reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) and calculations of molecular structure (density functional theory, DFT) in this work.

Keywords: Physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, surface science, nanoscience, catalysis, metal-organic thin films, new methods for the deposition of metals and other materials on organic surfaces, patterning of organic surfaces, molecular electronics, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF SIMS), mass spectrometric imaging.


A.V. Walker, "Building Robust and Reliable Molecular Constructs: Patterning, Metallic Contacts and Layer-by-Layer Assembly", Langmuir, DOI: 10.1021/la903937u. 2010 - Publication
C. Zhou, J.C. Jones, A.J. Trionfi, J.W.P. Hsu, A.V. Walker, "Comparison of Chemical Lithography Using Alkanethiolate Self-Assembled Monolayers on GaAs (001) and Au", Langmuir, 26 (2010) 4523-4528. 2010 - Publication
A.V. Walker, "Mass Spectrometry: Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry", Encyclopedia of Spectroscopy and Spectrometry, 2nd Edition, J.C. Lindon (Editor-in-Chief), Elsevier, Kidlington, Oxford, UK, in press (to be published in 2010). 2010 - Publication
C. Zhou, J.C. Jones, A.J. Trionfi, J.W.P. Hsu, A.V. Walker, "Electron Beam Induced Damage of Alkanethiolate Self-Assembled Monolayers Adsorbed on GaAs (001): A Static SIMS Investigation", J. Phys. Chem. C., 114 (2010), 5400-5409. 2010 - Publication
J. Bartels, P. Lu, A.V. Walker, K.Maurer and K.D. Moeller, "Building Addressable Libraries: A Site-Selective Click Reaction Strategy for Rapidly Assembling Mass Spec Cleavable Linkers" Chem. Commun. (2009) 5573-5575. 2009 - Publication
P. Lu, A.V. Walker, "Making Nanoflowerbeds: Reaction Pathways Involved in the Selective Chemical Bath Deposition of ZnS on Functionalized Alkanethiolate Self-Assembled Monolayers", ACS Nano, 3 (2009) 370-378. 2009 - Publication
P.D. Carpenter, S. Lodha, D.B. Janes, A.V. Walker, "Structural and Electrical Characterization of Au Contacts in GaAs-Based Molecular Devices", Chem. Phys. Letts.470 (2009) 220-223 2009 - Publication
C. Zhou, A.V. Walker, "UV Photooxidation of a Homologous Series of n-AlkanethiolateMonolayers on GaAs(001): A Static SIMS Investigation", J. Phys. Chem. C, 112 (2008) 797-805. 2008 - Publication
P. Lu, K. Demirkan, R.L. Opila, A.V. Walker, "Room-Temperature Chemical Vapor Deposition of Aluminum on Alkanethiolate Self-Assembled Monolayers", J. Phys. Chem. C, 112 (2008) 2091-2098 2008 - Publication
C. Zhou, K. Qi, K.L. Wooley, A.V. Walker, "Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, Fluorescence Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy: Combined Tools for Monitoring the Process of Patterning and Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Synthetic and Biological Materials", Colloids and Surfaces B, 65 (2008)  85 -91 2008 - Publication


Associate Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2009–Present]
Assistant Professor
Washington University in St. Louis [2002–2009]
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Pennsylvania State University [2000–2002]
Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of Pittsburgh [1998–2000]

Additional Information

Professional Societies
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Physical Society
  • American Vacuum Society
University Activities and Committees
Washington University
  1. Member, Olin Fellowship Committee (2005 - 2008) 
  2. Member, Study Abroad Advising Committee (2004 - 2009) 
  3. External Member, Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering Search Committee (2006 - 2007)
  • ACS PROGRESS/Dreyfus Lectureship, American Chemical Society and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Special  Grant Program, 2008
  • DuPont Young Professor Grant, E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), 2006-2008.
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 2003.
  • "Best Poster Prize", "Fundamental Aspects of Surface Science: Elementary Processes in Surface Reactions", European Research Conference, Acquafredda di Maratea, Italy, 1998
  • "Best Talk Prize", BP Graduate Symposium, University of Cambridge, U.K., 1997
  • “Best Poster Prize”, “Dynamics at Surfaces”, Gordon Research Conference, Andover, New Hampshire, 1997
  • Research Studentship awarded by the Shell Research and Technology Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1995-1998
  • Nuffield Foundation Undergraduate Research Bursary, July - August, 1994

News Articles

ECS Professor Named Chair of American Vacuum Society Board
Dr. Amy Walker, professor of materials science and engineering, has been named chair of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) board of trustees for 2018.
The board is an elected committee that oversees the awarding of all the professional and student awards as well as the AVS honors, such as fellow of the society.
“This is one of the most rewarding positions at AVS since we, the trustees, learn about all the wonderful activities of AVS members, which is a true honor,” said Walker, who was elected as a trustee in 2016.
Prof Named Chair of AVS Board for 2018
Dr. Amy Walker, professor of materials science and engineering (MSE), has been named Chair of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) Board of Trustees for 2018. The Trustees are an elected committee which oversees the awarding of all the professional and student awards as well as the AVS Society Honors, such as Fellow of the Society.
“This is one of the most rewarding positions at AVS since we, the Trustees, learn about all the wonderful activities of AVS members, which is a true honor,” Walker said.
Materials Science Leader Named AVS President-Elect
Dr. Amy Walker, interim head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was recently named president-elect of AVS, originally the American Vacuum Society, an international organization affiliated with the American Institute of Physics that focuses on materials, interfaces and processing.

Walker, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, was chosen by her peers to lead the organization of about 4,000 members.

AVS hosts international conferences and social networking events, and publishes three major professional journals. Walker hopes to expand the organization’s focus to improve support of recent graduates and professional technicians.


Making Metallic Contacts to Molecules
$360,000 - National Science Foundation [2009–2012]
NIRT: Molecule/Semiconductor Heterostructure Devices- Grant Supplement
$58,448 - National Science Foundation [2007–2009]
DuPont Young Professor Grant
$75,000 - E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company [2006–2008]
Nanoscale Lithography of Organic Thin Films Adsorbed on GaAs(001)
- - DOE Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies [2006–2009]
Interaction of Biological Macromolecules with Synthetic Materials
$15,000 - Center for Materials Innovation, Washington University [2006–2007]