Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering 
University of Idaho , Moscow, Idaho 83844-1021
Office: BEL 301, Office phone: 208-885-6953, email:
Fax: 208-885-7462
 D. Eric Aston
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, 2001, University of Washington
M.S., Physics, 2000, University of Washington
B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1995, University of Idaho
Teaching and Research
  • 2007 - present -- Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Idaho.
  • 2001 - 2007 -- Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, UI.
  • 2002 - present - Adjunct Asst. Prof., Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, UI.
  • Fall 2000 -- Adjunct Professor, Division of Natural and Social Sciences, Northwest College. 
  • 1996 - 2001 -- Teaching and Research Assistant, Surface and Colloids Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington.
  • 1995 -- Resident Associate, Argonne National Laboratory - West, Idaho Falls, ID.
  • 1994 -- Research Assistant, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University.
Major Committee Assignments  
  • Library Affairs Committee -University
  • Honors Program Committee - University
  • Strategic Planning Committee - Chemical Engineering Department
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers, EIT
  • Outstanding Young Faculty, College of Engineering, University of Idaho, 2004-05
  • W.M. Keck Foundation Engineering & Science Grant (w/ McIlroy et al.) 2003-06
  • Victor K. LaMer Award Nomination 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Intel Foundation Fellowship, 1998-99 
  • Weyerhaeuser Fisken Fellowship, 1996-97
  • Alumni Award For Excellence, University of Idaho, 1994
  • Potlatch Foundation Scholar, 1991-95
  • Chen, Y., Ian Stevenson, Rebecca Pouy, L. Wang, D.N. McIlroy, Tyler Pounds, M. Grant Norton, and D.E. Aston, “Mechanical Elasticity of Vapor-Liquid-Solid Grown GaN Nanowires.” Nanotechnology 18(13): 135708 (2007).
  • Chen, Y., B.L. Dorgan, Jr., D.N. McIlroy, and D.E. Aston, “On the Importance of Boundary Conditions on Nanomechanical Bending Behavior and Elastic Modulus Determination of Silver Nanowires.” J. Appl. Phys.100(10): 104301-7 (2006).
  • Withers, J.R. and D.E. Aston, “Nanomechanical Measurements with AFM in the Elastic Limit.”  Adv. Colloid Interface Sci.120: 57-67 (2006).
  • Shanmugham, S, A. Alkhateeb, J. Jeong, D.E. Aston, “Polymer Nanowire Elastic Moduli Measured with Digital Pulsed Force Mode AFM.” Langmuir21(22): 10214-18 (2005). Invited Contribution to Bob Rowell Festschrift special issue.
  • Doan, S.C., S. Shanmugham, D.E. Aston, J.L. McHale, “Counterion Dependent Dye Aggregates: Nanorods and Nanorings of Tetra(p-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127(16): 5885-92 (2005).
  • Dai, X., J. Boll, M.A. Hayes, D.E. Aston “Adhesion of Cryptosporidium Parvum and Giardia Lamblia to Solid Surfaces:  The Role of Surface Charge and Hydrophobicity.” Colloids and Surfaces B:  Biointerfaces 34(4):  259-63 (2004).
  • McIlroy, D.N., A. Alkhateeb, D. Zhang, D.E. Aston, A.C. Marcy, M. Grant Norton, “Nanospring Formation:  Unexpected Catalyst Mediated Growth”  J. Phys.: Condensed Matter 16(12):  R415-R440 (2004).
  • Aston, D.E., “Colloids and Colloidal Suspensions.”  In Chemistry:  Foundations and Applications. Lagowski, J. J., ed., Vol. 1, New York:  Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.pp. 247-52.
  • Aston, D.E. and J.C. Berg, "Advances in Fluid Interface-Atomic Force Microscopy." In Science, Technology and Education of Microscopy: An Overview.  Vol. 2, A. Mendez-Vilas, Ed., FORMATEX:  Spain, 2003, pp. 630-37.
  • Sun, C., D.E. Aston, and J.C. Berg, “Structural Evolution of Octyltriethoxylsilane Films on Glass Surfaces during Annealing at Elevated Temperature.”  J. Colloid Interface Sci. 248:  96-102 (2002).
  • Aston, D.E. and J.C. Berg, “Thin-Film Hydrodynamics in Fluid Interface-Atomic Force Microscopy.”  Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 41(3):  389-96 (2002).
  • Aston, D.E. and J.C. Berg, “Quantitative Analysis of Fluid Interface-Atomic Force Microscopy.”  J. Colloid Interface Sci.235(1):  162-69 (2001).
  • He, M., A. Szuchmacher-Blum, D.E. Aston, C. Buenviaje, R.M. Overney, R. Luginbühl,“Critical Phenomena of Water Bridges in Nanoasperity Contacts.”  J. Chem. Phys. 114(3):  1355-60 (2001).
  • Aston, D.E. and J.C. Berg, “Long-Range Attraction between Silanated Silica Materials Studied by an Electrolyte Titration with Atomic Force Microscopy.”  Colloids and Surfaces A 163(2-3):  247-63 (2000).
  • Irvine, J.A., D.E. Aston, J.C. Berg, “The Use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to Measure the Adhesive Properties of Sized and Unsized Papers.”  Tappi J. 82(5):  172-74 (1999). 
  • Aston, D.E. and J.C. Berg, “Fluid Interfacial Separations for Secondary Fiber Recovery as Probed with Atomic Force Microscopy.” J. Pulp Paper Sci. 24(4):  121-25 (1998).
  • Snyder, B.A., D.E. Aston, J.C. Berg, “Particle-Drop Interactions Measured with Atomic Force Microscopy.” Langmuir 13(3):  590-93 (1997).
  • “Nanospring-based Electronic Biosensors for DNA Detection.” J. Branen,  American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, Boise, ID, June, 17-20, 2007.
  • “Nanospring –Based Biosensors for Electrical DNA Microarrays.” David N. McIlroy, Lidong Wang, David Major, Chris Berven, D. Eric Aston, James Nagler, Josh Branen, Larry Branen , M. Grant Norton, Giancarlo Corti, MRS Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Apr. 9-13, 2007.
  • “Nanowire Materials for Nanosensors: Wettability, Morphology, Conductivity.” Jamie Marie F. Jabal, D.E. Aston, D.N. McIlroy, C.A. Berven, B. Williams, K. Weigandt, NSF EPSCoR National Conference, Lexington, KY, Nov. 6-10, 2006.
  • “Nanowire Material Selection for Nanosensor Fabrication: Wettability and Morphology.” Jamie Marie F. Jabal, D.E. Aston, B. Williams, INRA Environmental & Subsurface Science Symposium, Moscow, ID Sept. 25-27, 2006.
  • “Numerical Investigations for Design and Characterization of a Microfluidic Sensor.” Avijit Basu, Kathleen Weigandt, D.E. Aston, B. Williams, INRA Environmental & Subsurface Science Symposium, Moscow, ID Sept. 25-27, 2006.
  • “GaN Nanowire Microfluidic Sensor for Detection of Dissolved Aqueous Species.” Avijit Basu, Kathleen Weigandt, Barbara Williams, Jamie Marie Jabal, Michelle LeBaron, D.E. Aston, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting, Portland, OR, July 9-12, 2006.
  • “Computer Modeling of Surface Tension Effects on the Shape of Nanodroplets in the Presence of a Temperature Gradient.” Robert Mosby, D.E. Aston, AIChE Pacific Northwest Regional Conference, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, April 22-23, 2005
  • “Digital Pulsed Force Microscopy Study of SiC Nanowires.” A. Alkhateeb, D. Gangadean, D. Zhang, D.N. McIlroy, and D.E. Aston, Bull. Am. Phys. Soc., APS Meeting, Los Angeles, California, March 21-25, 2005.
  • “Spectroscopy and Imaging of Counterion-Dependent Porphyrin Aggregates.” J.L. McHale, F.J. Knorr, S.C. Doan, D.E. Aston, 229th ACS National Meeting, San Diego, California, March 13-17, 2005.
  • “Electrical and Thermomechanical Testing of Single Polymer Nanowires.”  ACS 78th Colloid and Surface Science Symposium, Yale University, New Haven, CT, June 20-23, 2004.
  • “Low-Temperature Spin Spray Chemical Growth of Magnetic Ferrite Films.”  ACS 78th Colloid and Surface Science Symposium, Yale University, New Haven, CT, June 20-23, 2004.
  • “Nanowire and Nanospring Formation and Mechanics.” Micron Foundation Summer Technical Conference, Boise, ID, August 8, 2003.
  • “Fluid Interface-Atomic Force Microscopy (FI-AFM).” ACS 74th Colloid and Surface Science Symposium, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,  June 19-21, 2000.
  • “Fluid Interfacial Separations for Secondary Fiber Recovery as Probed with Atomic Force Microscopy.”  4th Research Forum on Recycling, Québec, QC, Canada, Oct 7-9, 1997.
  • "Colloid Force Measurements at Oil-Water Interfaces.” ACS 71st Colloid and Surface Science Symposium, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, June 29-July 2, 1997.
  • NSF MRI: “Acquisition of Confocal Raman, Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM) System for Wet and Dry Materials and Devices,” PI D.E. Aston, CoPIs: P. Griffiths, M. Pierre-Laborie, D.N. McIlroy, A. McDonald, DMR-0619310, 09/01/06-08/31/07.
  • NSF NER: “Polymer Nanowire Chemical Sensors for Aqueous Media,” PI, BES-0507921, 7/2005-6/2006.
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR RII “Nanosensors for Aqueous Environments,” collaborator, EPS-0447689, 2005-08.
  • M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Grant: “Twin Screw Extruder,” w/ PI A. McDonald, 2/2005. 
  • Electricity Innovation Institute: “Synthetic Approaches to New Photovoltaic Materials Based on Ordered Chalcopyrite Quantum Dot Arrays in Polymer Materices for the Development of High Efficiency Solar Cells,” Pamela Shapiro and D.E. Aston, 2005.
  • DOE-EPSCoR: “Synthesis and Characterization of Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors for Optoelectronic Applications,” 2004-08.
  • Office of Naval Research, “Development of Soft Magnetic Films for Thin Film Inductor for High-Frequency Applications,” co-PI w/ Yang-Ki Hong, 09/2003 – 08/2004
  • W.M. Keck Foundation Science and Engineering Grant, ", co-PI w/ D. McIlroy et al., 2003-07
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR, “Nanoscale Materials Research Postdoctoral Funds,” 5/2004-5/2005, co-PI w/ P. Shapiro.
  • Idaho-BRIN, Small Equipment Grant, 2004
  • UI Seed Grant, PI, “Synthesis and Characterization of Polymer Nanowires,” 2003-04
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR, “Nanoscale Materials for Electronics and Sensor Applications,” EPS-0132626, 2002-04
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR, Instrumentation Acquisition Award, 2003, EPS-0132626
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR, Instrumentation Upgrade, 2003
  • UI Seed Grant, PI, “Selectively Permeable Membrane Coatings,” 2002-03
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR, Faculty Start-up Augmentation, 2002
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR, Instrumentation Acquisition Award, 2002
  • NSF-Idaho EPSCoR, REU Program, Fall 2002