Chemistry and Biochemistry

Matthew R. Linford

Matthew Linford

Office: C306 BNSN
Office Phone: 801-422-1699
Lab Room: C389 BNSN
Lab Phone: 801-422-1524
Office Hours


1990 BS Brigham Young University, Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude)

1996 MS Stanford University, Materials Science

1996 Ph.D. Stanford University, Chemistry

1997 Post Doc Max Planck Institute for Colloid and Surface Science

Curriculum Vitae


Linford Research Group 

Students who have worked in my laboratory have had two significant opportunities. First, they have published a lot. Second, and of great significance, they have had the opportunity to learn many new things. Most of our work is focused on surface modification and patterning of materials like silicon, polymers, and diamond. To do these surface modifications my students learn and perform bioconjugate chemistry, as well as organic and polymer chemistry.

Once my students have made these new materials, they need to characterize them, which gives them the opportunity to learn how to use a series of analytical instruments. These include X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which gives surface elemental composition and oxidation state information, optical ellipsometry, which gives surface thicknesses to better than Ångstrom precision, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), which is a powerful form of surface mass spectrometry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), which gives surface morphology information, wetting, which gives information about surface free energies, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We are fortunate at BYU to have all of this equipment. These instruments are widely used in industry by polymer, materials, pharmaceutical, and semiconductor companies.

Not only do my students learn the fundamentals of these instrumental techniques and learn how to take data with them, but they also learn how to use advanced data processing methods to analyze their data. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly critical for analytical chemists to possess strong data analysis skills because of the enormous amounts of data that can be collected with modern instrumentation. That is, it is often nearly impossible for large data sets to be analyzed in a traditional (univariate) fashion. In my group we frequently use principal component analysis (PCA) and multivariate curve resolution (MCR) to analyze ToF-SIMS data. These methods allow us to quickly find the variation in complex data sets, categorize samples, and relate complex spectra to physical properties. In addition, we employ the statistical methods of experimental design to efficiently optimize new surface chemistries that we develop.

While these instrumental methods and data analysis techniques may be new to you, I emphasize that they can all be learned in a relatively short period of time and that the skills you will develop are highly relevant in industry.

I have the unusual background of being an analytical chemist who has a strong synthetic background. I have also worked in industry. I was the first in the world to synthesize monolayers on hydrogen-terminated silicon as a graduate student. Here at BYU we were the first to develop a rapid and powerful method for simultaneously patterning and functionalizing silicon with nanometer- and micron-sized features. I have worked with polymers for many years and we regularly deposit different polymer thin films on surfaces. (Polymers are important. I am told that about half of all industrial chemists work with them.) The ability to do high level analyses of materials, and to also make one's own novel materials is exceedingly powerful.

Finally, I wish to emphasize that my students have a rich experience as graduate students in my group because we collaborate. We are collaborating with

These collaborations give my students the opportunity to work closely with and learn from other experts. These interactions also enhance their networks to improve their chances of getting good jobs when they graduate.

Additional research area: inorganic chemistry.

Click to visit Dr. Linford's Google Scholar page and Research Gate page.

Click here to listen to Dr. Linford discuss his lab's latest research on BYU Radio.

Click here to watch a short clip of his lab's latest research on essential oils analysis, in collaboration with the University of Tasmania (Australia) and sponsoring by Plant Therapy.


David S. Jensen, Vipul Gupta, Rebecca E. Olsen, Alex T. Miller, Robert C. Davis, Daniel H. Ess, Zihua Zhu, Michael A. Vail, Andrew E. Dadson, Matthew R. Linford. Functionalization/passivation of porous graphitic carbon with di-tert-amylperoxide. J. Chrom. A. 20111218, 8362 – 8369.

Wiest, L.A.; Jensen, D.S.; Hung, C.-H.; Olsen, R.E.; Davis, R.C.; Vail, M.A.; Dadson, A.E.; Nesterenko, P.N.; Linford, M.R. “Pellicular Particles with Spherical Carbon Cores and Porous Nanodiamond/Polymer Shells for Reversed-Phase HPLC.” Analytical Chemistry 2011,83(14), 5488-5501.

Song, J.; Jensen, D.S.; Hutchison, D.N.; Turner, B.; Wood, T.; Dadson, A.; Vail, M.A.; Linford, M.R.; Vanfleet, R.; Davis, R.C. “Carbon Nanotube-Templated Microfabrication of Porous Silicon-Carbon Materials with Application to Chemical Separations.” Advanced Functional Materials 201121(6), 1132 – 1139.

Madaan, N.; Terry, A.; Harb, J.; Davis, R.C.; Schlaad, H.; Linford, M.R. “Functionalization of Sulfhydryl-Terminated Monolayers on Gold and Silicon Dioxide with Polybutadiene and  Post-Functionalization with Different Thiols, including DNA-SH, via Thiol-Ene Chemistry.” J. Chem. Phys. C. 2011115(46), 22931 – 22938.

Saini, G.; Jensen, D.S.; Wiest, L.A. Vail, M.A.; Dadson, A.; Lee, M.L.; Shutthanandan, V.; Linford, M.R. Core-Shell Diamond as a Support for Solid-Phase Extraction and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. Analytical Chemistry 2010, 82(11), 4448-4456.

Abbott, J.; Niederhauser, T.L.; Hansen, D.P.; Perkins, R.T.; Bell, D.A.; Bard, E.C.; Lunt, B.M.; Worthington, M.O.; Miller, C.M.; Hyatt, D.F.; Asplund, M.C.; Jiang, G.; Linford, M.R.*; Vanfleet, R.R.*; Davis, R.C.* “Carbon Coated Tellurium for Optical Data Storage”. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 2010, 2(8), 2373 -2376.

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