About

Who are we ? We are an interdisciplinary group of scientists who share a common interest in the chemical and physical properties of surfaces and interfaces. Current students in the group have interests in analytical, materials, physical, and biological chemistry, and materials science. We value diversity in all aspects of what we do and who we are. 


What do we do ? Our interests are primarily in the area of surface and interface chemistry, especially as related to emerging themes in global sustainability, environmental chemistry, and renewable energy. Much of our research focuses on the unique chemical and physical properties of nanomaterials. We are also very interested in electron-transfer processes at solid-liquid interfaces and the use of electrochemical and photoelectrochemical processes to achieve chemical transformations.


How do we do it ? We use a wide range of chemical, structural, and electronic measurements including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, single-phototon fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy, electrochemistry, impedance spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, microwave reflectivity, and a variety of chemical and biochemical synthetic methods.


What research projects are we current working on? We currently have a number of major research projects. Please visit the research section to learn more about them.


Who funds our research? Most our our research is funded by research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Department of Energy. We also work cooperatively with several companies, including Dow Chemical,  Silatronix, and others.


Where do we publish the results of our research? We have published more than 300 scientific papers and book chapters in a wide range of chemistry, physics, and biology journals, along with more than a dozen patents issued or pending. You can see a list of publications with links on our web site. Very recent publications (submitted or not yet published) may not be listed yet.  You can also get a publications list directly from the Institute for Scientific Information by clicking here.


Who reads our papers? Lots of people! According to the Institute of Scientific Information, we are one of the most highly cited (referenced) research group in the world, with more than 16,000 citations in the scientific literature to group publications; this places us in the top 0.5% of all publishing scientific groups. The ISI generally classifies our research as “Materials Science”.


How long does it take to get a Ph.D. degree in the group? Time to graduation is not fixed, but varies depending on the project and the abilities of the student. Typical time to graduation is 4.5 years start-to-finish. The historical range is from 3.5 years to 5.5 years.


How many students have graduated from the group? As of February 2017, 48 students have received their Ph.D. in our group, along with a number of students jointly supervised with other groups. This number includes 27 females and 21 males. Information on group alumni can be found here.


Where do students go after they graduate? Graduates from the group are well equipped for research and teaching positions in industry, government, and academia and have been very successful competing in the job market. Some recent graduates and current positions include: Linghong Zhang (Argonne National Labs), Joe Yeager (Smith College), Becca Putans (3M Corp.), Stephanie Hogendoorn (Akzo Nobel Corp.), Beth Landis (Holy Cross College) Paula Colavita (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland), Kiu-Yuen Tse (3M), Bo Li (3M-Singapore), Jeremy Streifer (Intel Corp.), Heesuk Kim (KIST – Korean Institute of Science and Technology), Bin Sun (Foley&Lardner), Kevin Metz (Albion College), Lu Shang (KLA Tencor), Beth Nichols (Dow Chemical), Sarah Baker (Lawrence Berkeley Labs), Tami Lasseter Clare (Portland State University), Wensha Yang (UCLA), Wei Cai (General Electric R&D), Christina Hacker (NIST – National Institute of Standards and Technology), Molly McGuire (Bucknell University). A complete list of Ph.D. graduates and their current positions can be found here.


Where can I learn more? To learn more about what we do and about research opportunities, please contact us directly.