James Yardley, Ancient Ink Laboratory director

James Yardley, Ancient Ink Laboratory director

My research program brings a strong background in physical chemistry, in chemical and physical dynamics, in optical spectroscopy, and in electronic device physics to the understanding of molecular assembly and structure and to the building of nanoscale electronic devices. In addition, I am interested in the fabrication of micro-scale and nanoscale devices from polymeric materials with applications to biochemistry and medicine.  At the present time I am actively exploring the properties of ancient ink materials through the use of Raman spectroscopy.  Toward this end, I have developed a program called “The Ancient Ink Laboratory” in collaboration with the Columbia Butler Library and with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.

James Yardley is associated with the Electrical Engineering Department at Columbia University in New York City.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Rice University in 1964 and the PhD Degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967.  He served as Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana from 1967 until 1977 where he received the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.  He directed research at Honeywell International from 1977 until 1991, where he served in a number of research and management positions before becoming Vice President of Technology for the Electronic Materials Business. 

At Columbia, he has had appointments in both Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering.  He has served as director of the Center for Integrated Science and Engineering.  He has been Managing Director of the Columbia Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, a National Science Foundation program to understand fundamentals for Nanotechnology.  This program has opened new vistas in understanding charge transport in molecular systems and has pioneered explorations of the unique properties of graphene, a sheet of carbon atoms one atom thick.  He also is Managing Director for the Columbia Energy Frontier Research Center sponsored by the Department of Energy to develop fundamental understanding of solar cell technology. In 2014 he was appointed as Acting Executive Director of the Columbia Nano Initiative, a new initiative at Columbia University to develop, support, and foster new research at Columbia in Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

In his scientific career spanning academia and industrial research, Prof. Yardley has been involved in a wide range of activities including scientific research, technical development, and new business development.  In particular he has developed new concepts for electronic substrate materials, developed novel polymeric tunable optical filter technology for telecommunications.  He has developed an optical polymer technology that formed a basis for major paradigm shift in polymeric optical device fabrication.  He also developed concepts for development of ultra-high resolution deep ultraviolet photoresist that are in use today by the industry.  In terms of scientific research, he was one of the developers of concepts for exploring vibrational relaxation in gas phase molecules using laser induced fluorescence.  He was among the first to examine electronic energy transfer in small polyatomic molecules using dye laser excitation of fluorescence. 


James T. Yardley and Alexis Hagadorn. "Characterization of the Chemical Nature of the Black Ink in the Manuscript of The Gospel of Jesus's Wife through Micro-Raman Spectroscopy". Harvard Theological Review 107, 162-164 (2014).

X. Guo, M. Myers, S. Xiao, M. Lefenfeld, R. Steiner, G. S. Tulevski, J. Tang, J. Baumert, F. Leibfarth, J. T. Yardley, M. L. Steigerwald, P. Kim, C. Nuckolls, “Chemoresponsive monolayer transistors”, Proc. of the Nat. Acad. Sci. 103, 11452-11456 (2006).

D. Djukic, R. Roth, J. T. Yardley, and R. M. Osgood, “Low Voltage planar waveguide electro optic prism scanner in crystal-ion-sliced thin-film LiNbO3”, Optics Express 12, 6159-6164 (2004).

Z. Tang, G. Chao, A. Tucay, E. Takai, D. Djukic, M. L. Lind, C. Hung, E. Guo, A. West, R. Osgood, and J. T. Yardley. “XYZ on a Chip: Nanoscale fabrication, fluidics, and optics directed toward applications within biology and medicine” in NATO Science Series II: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, Kluwer Academic Publisher, (2003).

T. Someya, J. Small, P. Kim, C. Nuckolls, J. T. Yardley, “Alcohol Vapor Sensors Based on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistors”, Nano Lett. 3, 877-881 (2003).

A. Nahata, J. T. Yardley, T. F. Heinz, “Two-dimensional imaging of continuous-wave terahertz radiation using electro-optic detection”, Applied Physics Letters 81, 963-965 (2002).