hero image
David Carroll - Wake Forest University. Winston-Salem, NC, US

David Carroll David Carroll

Director, Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials | Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC, UNITED STATES

Carroll and his research team aim to provide solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.


Using technology at a nanoscopic scale, David Carroll and his research team aim to provide solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems: the need for affordable “green” or alternative energy sources and reliable treatments for deadly cancers.

In the green technology field, Carroll’s research has yielded a new class of flexible, affordable solar cells; several replacements for energy-burning incandescent and dangerous compact fluorescent light bulbs; and a fabric that can power a cell phone using the caller’s body heat. In the medical field, Carroll has developed nanotechnology that heats tumors until they die. Another nano-scale treatment helps surgeons regulate pressure in arms and legs during reconstructive surgery – greatly reducing the risk of amputation. He holds 12 patents and has been quoted in Discover magazine, the Raleigh News & Observer and WFDD.

Areas of Expertise (11)


Green Technology

Solar/photovoltaic cells

“Green” lighting/light bulb alternatives


Nanotechnology and medicine/tumor eradication

Environmental/health effects of carbon nanotubes

Biomedical nanotechnologies

Thermoelectric Power Felt

Organic solar cells

Nanocomposite-based display and lighting technologies





Wake Forest physics professor David Carroll explains his new lighting technology, FIPEL (Field-Induced Polymer Electroluminescent), in his lab in the Nanotechnology Center. loading image Wake Forest physics professor David Carroll displays one result of his research into nanomaterials and potential stealth technology at his research lab. loading image


Clothes That Tell A Lot About You: David Carroll at TEDxYouth@SanDiego 2012 Innovation inspiration II: What's next? The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation: Cloth Electricity


Accomplishments (1)

Innovation Award (professional)

Recipient of the Innovation Award in 2015, presented by Wake Forest Innovations, for research achievements and contributions in the field of alternative energy.

Education (4)

Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung: Research Associate, Physics

University of Pennsylvania: Postdoctoral Associate, Physics

Wesleyan University: Ph.D., Physics

North Carolina State University: B.S., Physics

Affiliations (3)

  • Engineering (Journal) : Editor-in-Chief
  • Journal of Biosensors and Bioelectronics : Board Member
  • Current Organic Synthesis (Journal) : Board Member

Media Appearances (6)

Game Changers

Winston-Salem Monthly Magazine  


Carroll was interviewed about his work, in particular a revolutionary invention called Power Felt, a thin material that feels like wool and generates power.

view more

The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation: Cloth electricity

CBS News  


Carroll was interviewed for this segment that focused on Power Felt, a thermoelectric device that can potentially turn body heat into an electrical current.

"I see power as mobile, power is dynamic, power is you; your motion, the heat that you generate," he said.

view more

‘Power Up’ summer camp builds world’s first solar/thermal generator



Wake Forest University researchers and students at Hanes Magnet School are the first to build and install the world's first solar/thermal generator called a HySterE panel.

Dr. David Carroll, Wake Forest Physics Professor and Director of the Center for Nanotechnology, said the camp has many purposes.

view more

Nanomedicine, commercialization focus of Winston-Salem nanotech conference

North Carolina Biotechnology Center  


When it comes to the nanotech industry in North Carolina, big things have come from small beginnings.

A decade ago, only a handful of companies in the state were commercializing nanotechnologies. Today, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the state is home to more than 100 nanotech companies and more than 25 research and development and education organizations working with nanotechnology.

view more

Professor invents the best new lightbulb in 30 years

Business Insider  


Lighting accounts for about 12 percent of total U.S. energy consumption.

Part of the reason the figure is so high is that traditional incandescent bulbs (Edison's filament bulb) eat up a lot of power to produce light: 90 percent of the energy is wasted as heat.

view more

'Power Felt' could charge cell phones using body heat

The Huffington Post  


Charging your cell phone may soon require only two items: a simple piece of fabric and your body.

Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed a "Power Felt" that uses thermoelectric technology to charge devices such as cell phones, according to a press release issued by the school.

view more

Articles (5)

High-efficiency photovoltaic devices based on annealed poly (3-hexylthiophene) and 1-(3-methoxycarbonyl)-propyl-1-phenyl-(6, 6) C61 blends Applied Physics Letters

The effects of annealing and fullerene loading in regioregular poly (3-hexylthiophene)(P3HT) and 1-(3-methoxycarbonyl)-propyl-1-phenyl-(6, 6) C 61 (PCBM) based bulk heterojunction photovoltaics have been investigated. Under specific loading ...

view more

Carbon nanotube doped polyaniline Advanced Materials

Polyaniline/multiwalled carbon nanotube composite films have been fabricated. It is shown that the nanotubes affect the free N–H environment and quinoid units along the polymer backbone. A 10-fold increase in conductivity is observed and elemental analysis indicates ...

view more

Synthesis and characterization of truncated triangular silver nanoplates Nano Letters

Truncated triangular silver nanoplates have been synthesized in large quantities using a solution phase method in the presence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide micelles. The obtained particles have an average edge size of 68 nm, thickness of 24 nm, and the ...

view more

Strong luminescence of solubilized carbon nanotubes Journal of the American Chemical Society

Since their discovery in 1991, carbon nanotubes have attracted significant scientific attention. Many potential applications of carbon nanotubes require an understanding of their photoexcitedstate properties, but the insolubility of nanotubes in any solvent has ...

view more

A Composite from Poly (m‐phenylenevinylene‐co‐2, 5‐dioctoxy‐p‐phenylenevinylene) and Carbon Nanotubes: A Novel Material for Molecular Optoelectronics Advanced Materials

A novel material for molecular optoelectronics consisting of a composite of carbon nanotubes and poly (m-phenylenevinylene-co-2, 5-dioctoxy-p-phenylenevinylene)(PmPV) is reported. Incorporation of the nanotubes is demonstrated to increase the electrical ...

view more