Harry Dorn


Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Nanoscience

Research Interests
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 multi-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. 456*] and the corresponding solid-state dynamics of the soccer-ball shaped fullerene, C60 [Science, 1992, cit. 231*] 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. 112*] 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. 106*] 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. 573*] The trimetallic nitride templated endohedral metallofullerene technology has been licensed to Luna Innovations 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@C68 that are exceptions to the well known isolated pentagon rule (IPR). [Nature, 2000, cit. 236*], 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. 173*] and mixed TNT derivatives ErSc3N@C80 [JACS, 2000, cit. 128*] were reported. The Dorn Group reported the first exohedral organic functionalization of a TNT endohedral metallofullerene, A3N@C80. [JACS, 2002, cit. 96*] 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. 88*] 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. 121*]. 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. 118*] and we also reported a new class of heterometallofullerenes, A2@C79N [JACS, 2008, cit. 51*].

*) The key 15 papers cited above have a total of over 2,600 citations in scientific journals. [Science Citation Index, Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge, as of May 2015]

  1. Shultz, Michael D.; Duchamp, James C.; Wilson, John D.; Shu, Chunying; Ge, Jiechao; Gibson, Harry W.; Fillmore, Helen L.; Hirsch, Jerry I.; Dorn, Harry C.; Fatouros, Panos P. Encapsulation of a Radiolabeled Cluster Inside a Fullerene Cage, 177LuxLu(3-x)N@C80: An Interleukin-13 Conjugated Radiolabeled Metallofullerene PlatformJournal of the American Chemical Society, 132(14), 4980-4981. (2010). Times Cited: 42 (57) (Feb. 2015).
  2. Fillmore, H.L.; Shultz, M.D.; Henderson, S.C.; Cooper, P.; Broaddus, W.C.; Chen, Z.-J.; Shu, C.Y.; Zhang, J.; Ge, J.; Dorn, H.C.; Corwin, F.D.; Hirsch, J.I.; Wilson, J.D.; Fatouros, P.P. Conjugation of Functionalized Gadolinium Metallofullerenes with IL-13 Peptides for Targeting and Imaging Glial TumorsNanomedicine, 6(3), 449-458. (2011) Times Cited: 30 (36) (Feb. 2015).
  3. Shultz, M.D.; Wilson, J.D.; Fuller, C.E.; Zhang, J.; Dorn, H.C.; Fatouros, P.P. Metallofullerene Based Nanoplatform for Brain Tumor Brachytherapy and Longitudinal Imaging in a Murine Orthotopic Xenograft ModelRadiology, 261, 136-143. (2011) Times Cited: 21 (26) (Feb. 2015).
  4. Zhang, J.; Fuhrer, T.; Fu, W.; Ge, J.; Bearden, D.W.; Dallas, J.; Duchamp, J.; Walker, K.; Champion, H.; Azurmendi, H.; Harich, K.; Dorn, H.C. Nanoscale Fullerene Compression of a Yttrium Carbide ClusterJournal of the American Chemical Society, 134(20), 8487-8493. (2012) Times Cited: 23 (28) (Feb. 2015).
  5. Zhang, J.; Bowles, F.L; Bearden, D.W.; Ray, K.; Fuhrer, T.; Ye, Y.; Dixon, C.; Harich, K.; Helm, R.F.; Olmstead, M.M.; Balch, A.L.; Dorn, H.C. A Missing Link in the Transformation from Asymmetric to Symmetric Fullerene Cages Implies a Top-down Fullerene Formation MechanismNature Chemistry, 5, 880-85. (2013). Times Cited: 19 (7) (Feb. 2015).
  6. Zhang, J.; Stevenson, S.; Dorn, H.C. Trimetallic Nitride Endohedral Metallofullerenes: Discovery, Structural Characterization, Reactivity, and ApplicationsAccounts of Chemical Research, 46(7), 1548-1557. (2013). Times Cited: 36 (41) (Feb. 2015) [ISI Web of Science, As of September/October 2014, this highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Chemistry based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year.
  • 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 C. Schug Research Award, Virginia Tech Department of Chemistry, 2007
  • Dr. A.C. Lilly Endowed Faculty Fellow of Nanoscience, 2010
  • B.S. University of California, 1966
  • Ph.D. University of California, 1974
Harry Dorn


Email: hdorn@vt.edu
Office: 211 Davidson Hall
Phone: 540-231-3897

Google Scholar