Center Faculty

Twenty-three active and two professors emeriti represneted by the Departments of Chemistry and Applied Physics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Faculty Publications Click to view a listing of publications by each faculty member.

Prof. Michael J. Bedzyk
Michael J. Bedzyk
Professor, Materials Science & Engrg.
Co-Director, Synchrotron Research Center

Research Interests:  Development of novel X-ray probes for atomic-scale characterization of surfaces, interfaces, ultra-thin-films and nanostructures. In addition to using an in-house X-ray lab, we make extensive use of synchrotron X-ray facilities, where there is greatly enhanced chemical and structural sensitivity for studying systems as dilute as one-hundredth of an atomic monolayer.

Prof. Linda J. Broadbelt
Linda Broadbelt
Professor and Graduate Program Director
Chemical & Biological Engrg.

Research Interests: Multiscale modeling of complex reacting systems; design of nanostructured catalysts; discovery of novel biochemical pathways; polymerization and depolymerization kinetics.

Prof. Yip-Wah Chung
Yip-Wah Chung
Professor, Materials Science & Engrg.

Research Interests:
Surface science, tribology, design and characterization of hard coatings and thin films.  We are interested in understanding how surface interactions affect friction and wear, especially in different temperature and environmental conditions.  Our work in hard coatings focuses on the synthesis, characterization and applications of hard coatings in computer disk drives, dry machining, ultralow friction and various high-temperature tribological applications.  We are also designing thin films and materials with excellent infrared reflection properties, for use in automotive and aviation applications. 

Research Interests:
We investigate synthesis, patterning and characterization of nanostructured materials such as metal/alloy nanocrystals, biomolecular nanopatterns (DNA/proteins), interfaces between inorganic nanostructures and biomolecules, etc.

Prof. Donald E. Ellis
Donald E. Ellis
Professor, Physics & Chemistry

Research Interests:
We study the electronic structures of molecules, solids, interfaces, and surfaces theoretically to better understand and predict their chemical, electrical, spectroscopic, mechanical, and thermal properties.

Prof. Jean-Francois Gaillard
Jean-Francois Gaillard
Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engrg.

Research Interests:
Current research focuses on the study of the chemical forms (speciation) and the biogeochemical cycles of elements in aquatic systems.

Prof. Franz M. Geiger
Franz M. Geiger

Associate Professor, Chemistry and Dow Chemical Company Professor
Research Interests: Using cutting-edge laser spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and computational techniques, we focus on the special role that surfaces and interfaces play in geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry and biophysics.

Prof. Kimberly A. Gray
Kimberly A. Gray

Professor, Civil & Environmental Engrg.

Research Interests: My areas of research are environmental catalysis and physicochemical processes in natural and engineered environmental systems.  We are studying the synthesis, characterization, and performance of photocatalytic materials, principally TiO2-based nano-composites.  Currently, we are collaborating with materials scientists at Northwestern to prepare highly active nano-structured mixed phase titania catalysts using a variety of techniques and with chemists at Argonne National Laboratory to detail charge transfer behavior in these materials using EPR.

Prof. Mark C. Hersam
Mark Hersam
Professor, Materials Science and Engrg.

Research Interests:
Research group applies the fundamental paradigm of materials science and engineering (i.e., the development of structure-property-processing-performance relationships) to hybrid hard and soft materials at the nanometer length scale.

Prof. Joseph T. Hupp
Joseph T. Hupp

Morrison Professor of Chemistry

Research Interests:
We make and study molecular materials and supramolecular assemblies. Some are designed to help us understand fundamental aspects of molecular recognition, directed assembly, light harvesting and directional energy transport, and electron transfer reactivity.

Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis
Mercouri Kanatzidis
Professor of Chemistry

Research Interests:
Inorganic chemistry, solid state and coordination chemistry of chalcogenide compounds. Design of new materials, exploratory synthesis, thermoelectric materials, nanostructured materials, intermetallics, mesoporous semiconductors, phase-change materials, conducting polymers, intercalation chemistry.

Prof. Harold H. Kung
Harold H. Kung
Professor, Chemical & Biological Engrg.
Director, Center for Energy Efficient Transportation

Research Interests: Catalysis, novel materials, sustainability, renewable energy, environmental chemistry, reaction engineering

Prof. Mayfair Kung
Mayfair Chu Kung

Research Associate Professor Chemical and Biological Engrg.
Research Interests: Environmental catalysis, oxide catalysis, preparation and characterization of oxidic gels.

Adj. Prof. George Lester
George R. Lester
Adjunct Professor Catalysis Center

Research Interests: Catalysis for energy conservation, environmental, aerospace, and military applications. Design and development of catalysts for selective conversion of NOx in fuel lean or stoichiometric exhaust from gasoline and diesel automobiles and trucks, and  stationary  power generation applications; destruction of chemical and biological agents; catalytic combustors for small gas turbine/electric hybrid vehicles; and ozone destruction in airliner cabin air supply.

Research Interests: High-resolution electron microscopy; surface structure; surface radiation damage; catalysis and small particles; high-temperature superconductors; the relationship between chemical and atomic structure and properties; electron energy-loss spectroscopy.

Prof. Tobin J. Marks
Tobin J. Marks

V.N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry, and Professor, Materials Science & Engrg.
Research Interests: Among the themes of our research are synthetic organo-f-element and early-transition metal organometallic chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, molecule-based photonic materials, superconductivity, metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, and biological aspects of transition metal chemistry.

Prof. SonBinh Nguyen
SonBinh T. Nguyen
McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, and Director of the Integrated Science Program
Research Interests: Our research encompasses three divisions in chemical science: inorganic/organometallic chemistry, organic synthesis, and polymer science. We are also interested in environmental friendly catalysis and biomaterials.

Prof. Justin Notestein
Justin Notestein
Assistant Professor Chemical & Biological Engrg.
Research Interests: multifunctional materials and catalysts; molecularly structured surfaces; energy.
Prof. Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier
Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier

Professor of Chemistry
Research Interests: Inorganic solid-state chemistry has always had widespread use in industrial applications and in diverse fields such as heterogeneous catalysis and ceramics. Our research, which ranges from the growth of single crystals to the synthesis of new transparent conductors, emphasizes the connections between the synthesis and structure of new materials, the physical properties of new materials, and the technological advances that result from these discoveries.

Prof. Randall Q. Snurr
Randall Q. Snurr
Chemical & Biological Engrg.
Research Interests: molecular modeling; development of new materials, diffusion in nanoporous materials; adsorption; catalysis; membrane separations; energy storage.

Prof. Peter C. Stair
Peter C. Stair
Professor of Chemistry
and Director, Catalysis Center
Research Interests: Exploration of the interaction of molecular radicals with surfaces; the pathways and kinetics of reactions involving surface alkyl groups; in-situ characterization of catalysts and lubricant chemistry using UV Raman spectroscopy.
Prof. Eric Weitz
Eric Weitz
Professor of Chemistry
Research Interests: study of transient species. Species may exhibit transient behavior because of their reactivity or because they are in excited states. Reaction intermediates are a very important class of transient species, and their elucidation is critical to delineating and understanding chemical reaction mechanisms.

Van Duyne



Richard Van Duyne
Professor of Chemistry

Research Interests: Plasmonics and single molecule/single nanoparticle spectroscopy. One goal is the development of ultrahigh vacuum, low temperature tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS). TERS potentially combines the single molecule sensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) with the atomic scale spatial resolution of the STM. Atomic resolution imaging has now been achieved using a plasmonic, noble metal tip under laser fluence. A second goal is to integrate femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (FSRS) with TERs to provide time-resolved vibrational structure information, both ground and excited state, of adsorbate molecules.
Prof. Christopher Wolverton
Christopher Wolverton
Professor, Materials Science & Engrg.
Research Interests: Atomic-scale computational materials science, materials for alternative energies and sustainability, such as materials for hydrogen storage, hydrogen generation, thermoelectrics, Li battery electrodes, nuclear materials, catalysis, and light-weight structural metals.
Professor Emeriti:

Wolfgang M.H. Sachtler, V.N. Ipatieff Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical Engineering Emeritus
Duward F. Shriver, Morrison Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, Inorganic Chemistry












































Center for Catalysis and Surface Science | 2137 Sheridan Road | Evanston IL 60208
Phone 847-491-4354 | Fax 847-467-1018 | Email:
Last updated 02/06/2014 11:39 a.m.   World Wide Disclaimer and University Policy Statements
© 2011 Northwestern University