Four from Rice among decade’s Top 100 chemists

Thomson Reuters rankings based on number of publications, citations

Rice News Staff

Four Rice University researchers – Naomi Halas, Robert Hauge, James Tour and the late Rick Smalley — are among the top 100 chemists of the past decade, according to a new study by ISI/Thomson Reuters.

Naomi Halas

Naomi Halas

Thomson Reuters compiled the list based upon “citation impact,” or number of citations per chemistry paper published in the ISI/Web of Science database from 2000 to 2010. Researchers needed at least 50 publications to qualify for the list.

“These four researchers are examples both of Rice’s leadership in chemistry and of the exceptional level of scholarship found across academic disciplines at Rice,” said Jim Coleman, Rice’s vice provost for research. “We congratulate them on this well-deserved international recognition.”

Smalley, who died in 2005, ranked sixth on the top 100 list with an impact factor of 153.62. Co-discover of the buckyball, Smalley began studying carbon nanotubes in the 1990s and conducted groundbreaking research in carbon nanotechnology until the time of his death. He was University Professor, the Gene and Norman Hackerman Chair in Chemistry and professor of physics.

Robert Hauge

Robert Hauge

Hauge, distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry, ranked 13th with an impact factor of 101.20. Hauge came to Rice in 1967 and is well-known for his pioneering research in carbon nanotechnology, including numerous methods for growing, characterizing and modifying carbon nanotubes.

Tour ranked 67th with an impact factor of 62.13. He is Rice’s T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and professor of computer science. Tour’s wide-ranging research interests 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 and more.

Richard Smalley

Halas ranked 95th with an impact factor of 56.59. She is the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, professor of physics, professor of chemistry and professor of biomedical engineering. One of the world’s foremost experts in nanophotonics, Halas has invented a number of optically unique nanoparticles, including gold nanoshells. Her research combines electromagnetic theory with nanofabrication tools developed largely from chemistry.

Thomson Reuters noted that the 100 elite scholars on the list represented the top 100th of 1 percent of the approximately one million chemists who published papers in the last decade.

Jim Tour

Rice was one of only six institutions to have four or more researchers on the list. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology had six, the Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, Berkeley had five apiece and Harvard University and Northwestern University each had four.

Thomson Reuters published the table in honor of the International Year of Chemistry, a designation given to 2011 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

The full list is available at

About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.