James M. Tour is a synthetic organic chemist, specializing in nanotechnology. Dr. Tour is the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas, United States.
He is well known for his work in molecular electronics and molecular switching molecules. He has also been involved in other work, such as the creation of a nanocar and NanoKids, an interactive learning DVD to teach children fundamentals of chemistry and physics, SciRave, Dance Dance revolution and Guitar Hero packages to teach science concepts to middle-school students and SciRave-STEM for elementary school children, and much work on carbon nanotubes and graphene. Dr. Tour’s work on carbon materials chemistry is broad and encompasses fullerene purification, composites, conductive inks for radio frequencies identification tags, carbon nanoreporters for identifying oil downhole, graphene synthesis from cookies and insects, graphitic electronic devices, carbon particle drug delivery for treatment of traumatic brain injury, and the merging of the 2D graphene with 1D nanotubes to make a conjoined hybrid material. Dr. Tour has developed oxide based electronic memories that can also be transparent and built onto flexible substrates. His early independent career focused upon the synthesis of conjugated polymers and precise oligomers. Dr. Tour was also a founder of the Molecular Electronics Corporation. He holds joint appointments in the departments of chemistry, computer science, and mechanical engineering and materials science at Rice University. Dr. Tour received degrees from Syracuse University (BS, 1981), Purdue University (PhD, 1986) and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1986–1987) and Stanford University (1987–1988).
Tour holds more than 60 United States patents plus many non-US patents. He has about 500 research publications.
In the Scientific American article "Better Killing Through Chemistry", which appeared a few months after the September 11 attacks, Tour is credited for highlighting the issue of the ease of obtaining chemical weapon precursors in the United States.
In 2001, Tour signed the Discovery Institute's "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism", a controversial petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution. To those who "are disconcerted or even angered that I signed a statement back in 2001" he responded "I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label."
He had also said that he felt the explanations offered by evolution are incomplete, and he found it hard to believe that nature can produce the machinery of cells through random processes. On his website, he writes that "From what I can see, microevolution is a fact" and "there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution."
In Lee Strobel's book "The Case For Faith" - Tour is attributed to the following commentary: "I build molecules for a living, I can't begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God."
Tour won the ACS Nano Lectureship Award from the American Chemical Society in 2012. Tour was ranked one of the top 10 chemists in the world over the past decade by Thomson Reuters in 2009. That year, he was also made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Other notable awards won by Tour include the 2008 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, the NASA Space Act Award in 2008 for his development of carbon nanotube reinforced elastomers and the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society for his achievements in organic chemistry in 2007. In 2005, Tour's journal article "Directional Control in Thermally Driven Single-Molecule Nanocars" was ranked the Most Accessed Journal Article by the American Chemical Society. Tour has twice won the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice University in 2007 and 2012.
- Zhu, Y.; James, D. K.; Tour, J. M. “New Routes to Graphene, Graphene Oxide and Their Related Applications,” Adv. Mater. 2012, 24, 4924–4955. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201202321
- Sun, Z.; Yan, Z.; Yao, J.; Beitler, E.; Zhu, Y.; Tour, J. M. “Growth of Graphene from Solid Carbon Sources,” Nature 2010, 468, 549-552.
- Kosynkin, D. V.; Higginbotham, A. L.; Sinitskii, A.; Lomeda, J. R.; Dimiev, A.; Price, B. K.; Tour, J. M. “Longitudinal Unzipping of Carbon Nanotubes to Form Graphene Nanoribbons,” Nature 2009, 458, 872-826.
- Dimiev, A.; Kosynkin, D. V.; Sinitskii, A.; Slesarev, A.; Sun, Z.; Tour, J. M. “Layer-by-Layer Removal of Graphene for Device Patterning,” Science 2011, 331, 1168-1172.
- Scrivens, W. A.; Tour, J. M. “Synthesis of Gram Quantities of C60 by Plasma Discharge in a Modified Round-Bottomed Flask. Key Parameters for Yield Optimization and Purification,” J. Org. Chem. 1992, 57, 6932-6936.
- Scrivens, W. A.; Bedworth, P. V.; Tour, J. M. “Purification of Gram Quantities of C60. A New Inexpensive and Facile Method,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1992, 114, 7917-7919.
- Higginbotham, A. L.; Moloney, P. G.; Waid, M. C.; Duque, J. G.; Kittrell, C.; Schmidt, H. K.; Stephenson, J. J.; Arepalli, S.; Yowell, L. L.; Tour, J. M. “Carbon Nanotube Composite Curing Through Absorption of Microwave Radiation,” Composites Sci. Tech. 2008, 68, 3087-3092.
- Mitchell, C. A.; Bahr, J. L.; Arepalli, S.; Tour, J. M.; Krishnamoorti, R. “Dispersion of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes in Polystyrene,” Macromolecules 2002, 35, 8825-8830.
- Jung, M.; Kim, J.; Noh, J.; Lim, N.; Lim, C.; Lee, G.; Kim, J.; Kang, H.; Jung, K.; Leonard, A.; Pyo, M.; Tour, J. M.; Cho, G. “All Printed and Roll-to-Roll Printable 13.56 MHz Operated 1-bit RF Tag on Plastic Foils,” IEEE Trans. Elect. Dev 1 2010, 57, 571-580.
- Noh, J.; Jung, M.; Jung, K.; Lee, G.; Lim, S.; Kim, D.; Kim, S.; Tour, J. M.; Cho, G. “Integrable single walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) network based thin film transistors using roll-to-roll gravure and inkjet,” Org. Electronics 2011, 12, 2185–2191.
- Berlin, J. M.; Yu, J.; Lu, W.; Walsh, E. E.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, P.; Chen, W.; Kan, A. T.; Wong, M. S.; Tomson, M. B.; Tour, J. M. “Engineered Nanoparticles for Hydrocarbon Detection in Oil-field Rocks,” Energy Environ. Sci. 2011, 4, 505-509.
- Hwang, C.-C.; Wang, L.; Lu, W.; Ruan, G.; Kini, G. C.; Xiang, C.; Samuel, E. L. G.; Shi, W.; Kan, A. T.; Wong, M. S.; Tomson, M. B.; Tour, J. M. “Highly Stable Carbon Nanoparticles Designed for Downhole Hydrocarbon Detection,” Energy Environ. Sci. 2012, 5, 8304–8309. DOI: 10.1039/c2ee21574h
- Ruan, G.; Sun, Z.; Peng, Z.; Tour, J. M. “Growth of Graphene from Food, Insects, and Waste,” ACS Nano 2011, 5, 7601–7607.
- Sinitskii, A.; Tour, J. M. “Lithographic Graphitic Memories,” ACS Nano 2009, 3, 2760-2766.
- Li, Y.; Sinitskii, A.; Tour, J. M. “Electronic Two-Terminal Bistable Graphitic Memories,” Nature Mater. 2008, 7, 966-971.
- Sano, D.; Berlin, J. M.; Pham, T. T.; Marcano, D. C.; Valdecanas, D. R.; Zhou, G.; Milas, L.; Myers, J. N.; Tour, J. M. “Noncovalent Assembly of Targeted Carbon Nanovectors Enables Synergistic Drug and Radiation Cancer Therapy in Vivo,” ACS Nano 2012, 6, 2497–2505. DOI: 10.1021/nn204885f
- Sharpe, M. A.; Marcano, D. C.; Berlin, J. M.; Widmayer, M. A.; Baskin, D. S.; Tour, J. M. “Antibody-Targeted Nanovectors for the Treatment of Brain Cancers,” ACS Nano 2012, 6, 3114–3120. DOI: 10.1021/nn2048679.
- Zhu, Y.; Li, L.; Zhang, C.; Casillas, G.; Sun, Z.; Yan, Z.; Ruan, G.; Peng, Z.; Raji1, A.-R. O.; Kittrell, C.; Hauge, R. H.; Tour, J. M. “A Seamless Three-Dimensional Carbon Nanotube Graphene Hybrid Material,” Nature Commun. 2012, 3, 1225. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2234
- Yao, J.; Lin, J.; Dai, Y.; Ruan, G.; Yan, Z.; Li, L.; Zhong, L.; Natelson, D.; Tour, J. M. “Highly Transparent Nonvolatile Resistive Memory Devices from Silicon Oxide and Graphene,” Nature Commun. 2012, 3, 1-8. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2110
- Tour, J. M. “Conjugated Macromolecules of Precise Length and Constitution. Organic Synthesis for the Construction of Nanoarchitectures,” Chem. Rev. 1996, 96, 537-553.
- James Tour's Bio at James M Tour Group website
- , US Patent and Trademark Office http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=0&p=1&f=S&l=50&Query=IN%2FTour-James-M&d=PTXT, retrieved 2011-11-18 Missing or empty
- Musser, George (November 2001). "Better Killing through Chemistry: Buying chemical weapons material through the mail is quick and easy". Scientific American. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- Kenneth Chang (2006-02-21). "Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- "Signatories of 'A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism'" (PDF). The Discovery Institute. April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- Layman’s Reflections on Evolution and Creation. An Insider’s View of the Academy
- Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111, ISBN 0-310-23469-7
- Resume of James M. Tour, Ph.D.