James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Syracuse University, his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University.
After spending 11 years on the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina, he joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999 where he is presently the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.
Tour’s scientific research areas include nanoelectronics, graphene electronics, carbon nanovectors for medical applications, “green carbon research” for enhanced oil recovery and environmentally friendly oil and gas extraction, graphene photovoltaics, chemical self-assembly, flame retarding polymer additives, carbon nanotube and graphene synthetic modifications, carbon composites, hydrogen storage on nanoengineered carbon scaffolds, synthesis of single-molecule nanomachines which include molecular motors and nanocars, use of the NanoKids concept for K-12 education in nanoscale science, Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero science educational package development for middle school education, and methods for retarding chemical terrorist attacks.
Dr. Tour was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2009; he was ranked one of the Top 10 chemists in the world over the past decade, by a Thomson Reuters citations per publication index survey, 2009; he won the Distinguished Alumni Award, Purdue University in 2009 and the Houston Technology Center’s Nanotechnology Award in 2009. He has won numerous other awards, prizes, and honors. He has served on a number of boards and advisory panels. Dr. Tour has over 400 research publications and 50 patents.