Rodríguez - López Laboratory

Dr. Joaquín Rodríguez-López
Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
Materials Research Laboratory
Faculty Affiliate, Beckman Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Roger Adams Laboratory 58, Box 33-5
Urbana IL, 61801, USA
Office: (217)-300-7354
Lab/Student Office: (217)-300-0972

Curriculum Vitae
JRL Group Distinctions

Post-Doctoral - Cornell University
Prof. Héctor D. Abruña
Electrochemical characterization of single-layer graphene electrodes

Ph.D - Analytical Chemistry - The University of Texas at Austin
Prof. Allen J. Bard
The use of SECM for the detection of adsorbed intermediates on electrodes [link]

Bachelor in Science (LCQ) - Tecnológico de Monterrey
Prof. Marcelo Videa Vargas
Ion transfer across polarizable liquid-liquid interfaces for the detection of quaternary ammonium ions [link]

Dr. Abdelilah Asserghine (Abdel)
Department of Chemistry
B.Sc., Analytical Chemistry and Quality Control, Ibn Zohr University, Morocco, (2014)
M.Sc., Physical Chemistry and Materials, Mohammed V University, Morocco, (2016)
Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Pécs University, Hungary, (2020)

Abdel is from Morocco where he completed his undergraduate studies. During his Master’s, he focused on the study of the biomaterials used in the field of health care using conventional electrochemical techniques. This led him onto a path that made him fall in love with electrochemical scanning probe techniques, and pursue a doctoral degree in the field. In 2016, he successfully obtained a fellowship to pursue his Ph.D. studies at the University of Pécs in Hungary. He joined Prof. Géza Nagy's research group, where he had the chance to explore exciting techniques such as SECM, SVET, and SEIT and make microelectrochemical sensors for SECM probing appplications. For his Ph.D. project, he examined the electrochemical properties of titanium biomaterials using SECM. He then went on to become a postdoc at Dr. Carlos M. Sanchez-Sanchez’s group at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, France. His postdoc project was dedicated to investigating the corrosion of aeronautical aluminum alloys and developing new approaches for monitoring its corrosion using the SECM tool. Abdel started a new chapter in the JRL lab where he'll be working on a project to refurbish lead-acid batteries. Despite being involved in corrosion projects, Abdel enjoys reading papers related to energy storage. And when he's not working or reading papers, he loves going to the gym, travelling, and playing basketball and volleyball.
Dr. Oliver Rodríguez Martínez
Department of Chemistry
B.Sc., Engineering Physics, Technológico de Monterry, 2012
M.Sc., Manufacturing Systems, Technológico de Monterry, 2015
Ph.D., Transient studies of oxygen species adsorbed on platinum microelectrodes, University of Southampton, 2019

Oliver was born and raised in the Mexican capital of steel, Monclova. He moved to Monterrey to pursue his Bachelor degree. While working with AFM with Prof. Jorge Luis Menchaca, he learned about the existence of SECM. He started his journey in Electrochemistry while pursuing his Master degree under the supervision of Prof. Marcelo Videa, where he worked on the formation of TiO2 nanotubes. In 2015 he moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Southampton. It was under the supervision of Prof. Guy Denuault where he learned about the world of (ultra)microelectrodes which eventually led him to learn about SECM, closing the cycle opened during his undergraduate project. While writing his thesis, he realized that there was not an easy and free way of simulating electrochemical processes and decided to start writing Soft(ware) Po(tentios)tato, or Soft Potato for short, an open source electrochemistry simulator. Oliver is interested in instrumentation, scientific programming and the design of electrochemical devices. He is a proponent and avid user of GNU/Linux and enjoys reading and playing musical instruments when there is free time.

Here's my website!
Dr. Adolfo I. B. Romo — Mechanistic Electrochemistry for Flow Batteries
Department of Chemistry and Beckman Institute
B.Sc., Chemistry, Universidad de Santiago, Chile
M.Sc., Federal University of Ceara (Brazil), 2015
Ph.D., Copper Complexes with Sulfur Containing Ligands.Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Phas Studies on the Generation and Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species - Federal University of Ceara, 2019

Adolfo was born in Santiago, Chile, and grew up on the wine route, the O´Higgins region. During his time as a chemist, he has been mainly dedicated to the synthesis and characterization of new compounds. During his PhD, he worked on the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by copper complexes in different gold surfaces under the supervision of Dr. Izaura Diogenes, in Fortaleza, in northeast Brazil. Adolfo is passionate about agriculture and livestock, occasionally dedicating himself to the production of artisanal wines.

Distinctions: Best Poster Award, SEAC Poster Session at Pittcon (2021)
Dr. Camilo Torres — Bioelectrochemistry for Antigen Recognition
Department of Chemistry
B.Sc., Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, 2004
M.Sc., Universidad Nacional de Columbia, 2011
Ph.D., Nucleo de Biologia Experimental (NUBEX), 2017

Camilo is from Colombia, where he completed his university studies at the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional in 2004. During his master's degree, he focused on the study of lectins and their possible applications for the recognition of antigenic structures together with his professor, lectinologist Dr. Gerardo Perez at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia with whom he finished his studies with Labiatae lectins in 2011. Interested in using lectins to propose tumor markers, he was awarded a scholarship at the Federal University of Ceará by the Brazilian government to continue his studies In 2012. There, he was a student of another important lectinologist for studies of tropical proteins, Doctor Renato Moreira. With him he has studied the differential anomeric recognition by lectins and their possible use to identify molecules derived from cancer in the NUBEX (Nucleo de Biologia Experimental) located in Fortaleza, Brazil. He finished his doctoral studies in 2017. After being a university professor in Colombia for 5 years, he joined the Rodriguez-Lopez group to support the realization and formulation of electrodes that can specifically recognize antigenic structures. In his spare time, he plays with his little daughter Eloá and shares time with his beloved wife Jessica, with whom he dances salsa very well

Associated Beckman Postdocs

Dr.Jeanne N'Diaye
Beckman Institute
BASc., Chemistry, Université du Québec á Montréal, 2013
M.Sc., Chemistry, Université du Québec á Montréal, 2016
Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, 2021

Jeanne grew up in France and received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto (UofT). She worked on the design and engineering of electrode materials for energy storage devices. She joined the JRL group as a Beckman-Brown Postdoctoral Fellow and will collaborate with Prof. Joaquín Rodríguez-López and Prof. Rohit Bhargava. She is interested in the study of electrochemical interfaces probed through advanced spectroscopic methods to gain insight into the surface phenomena affecting the behavior of energy storage devices. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking and eating desserts, and jogging on weekends.

Graduate Students

Armando Santiago Carboney — Electrocatalysis
Department of Chemistry
BS in Chemistry and Nanotechnology Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITSEM), 2021

Armando was born in Puebla, Mexico, but raised in Monterrey, Mexico. He attended the honors program at Tecnológico de Monterrey for his undergrad. During his freshman year he joined Dr. Marcelo Videa’s Lab, where he used electrochemical analysis to alter the morphology of nickel deposits on gold electrodes for the electrooxidation of methanol in alkaline media. During the spring semester of 2020 he attended an internship at Bosch Advanced Research Center in Renningen, Germany. There, Armando characterized cathode and electrolyte materials for their use in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The use of electrochemical techniques to develop better energy sources motivated him to pursue a chemistry PhD degree. He is excited to join the JRL lab because it represents an excellent opportunity to explore the boundaries of electrochemistry with the possibility of having a positive environmental impact. When Armando’s not in the lab, he likes listening to music and dancing, eating, cooking, and playing video games.

Dong Ok Kim — Electrochemistry of Battery Interfaces
Department of Chemistry
BS in Chemistry from Swarthmore College, 2022

Dong Ok is from Seoul, South Korea. She came to the US to attend Swarthmore College, a liberal arts college right outside of Philadelphia. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in Swarthmore College. During her junior year, she went back to South Korea due to Covid-19 pandemic and conducted her research in electrochemistry while taking some time off from college. She worked with Prof.Jongwoo Lim in Seoul National University on optimizing electrolytes for Lithium metal batteries. During her research in South Korea, she realized her passion in research in energy storage materials and electrochemistry. She is excited to join the Rodriguez-Lopez group and continue research on electrochemistry of various electrode materials. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, reading books and cooking.

Kristin Martin — Reversible Electrochemical Interactions
Department of Chemistry
BS in Chemistry from Albany State University, 2022

Kristin was born and raised right outside of the city of Atlanta, in Rockdale County, GA. She attended an HBCU(Historically Black College/University) with intent to go to medical school to become a forensic pathologist. However, during her freshman year, she took a strong liking to her chemistry courses that focused heavily on analytical techniques & background. She soon shifted her focus to chemistry and research. During her undergraduate studies, Kristin worked with the USDA in 2018, earned her first publication from the Georgia Communication Association(2018), and participated in research under Dr. John L. Williams regarding Myocardial Structural Markers. Within the Rodriguez-Lopez group, she is excited to continue researching CO2 Capture & Release methodologies that explore environmentally sustainable efforts through electrochemical interfaces. And in her free time, she enjoys hiking, theme parks, building Harry Potter Lego sets, cooking Creole & Cajun meals to honor her parent's heritage & traveling.

Distinctions: John C. Bailar, Jr. Fellowship (2022), 3M Fellowship (2022), Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2022)

Peisen Qian — Kerr-Gated Raman Spectroscopy
Department of Chemistry
BS in Chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China, 2022

Peisen comes from Fuzhou, a small city famous for two historic celebrities, Anshi Wang and Gong Zeng, who are two of the Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song. His undergraduate project focused on inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite degradation mechanisms. He looks forward to expanding his interest in revealing the nature of interfacial chemical processes in the JRL lab. He is also co-advised by Prof. Vura-Weis. He enjoys Go (a strategy board game) and playing the flute during his free time.

Micah Robinson — Volatile Analysis via Electrocatalyst Devices Department of Chemistry
BS in Chemistry from Tougaloo College, 2022

Micah was born and raised in hard times Mississippi surrounded by things that just weren’t so pretty. Well motivated, her pursuit for education began young. As an undergrad, Micah worked under Prof. George Armstrong, synthesizing a novel potential prostate cancer drug and performing cytotoxicity analyses. While characterizing the drug, proposing various experiments, and maintaining the lab’s NMR and IR instruments, she developed an interest in protocol design and analytical instruments. As a Jackson Heart Study scholar and a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation scholar, Micah was trained to incorporate activism and transparency with science. Now at UIUC, she is an excited member of the JRL group looking forward to developing sensors towards serviceable science. In her free time, she reads up on environmental topics, listens to music from 70s to now, and watches horror movies.

Distinctions: GEM Fellow (2022), 3M Fellowship (2022), Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2022), John C. Bailar Fellowship (2022), UIUC Graduate College Fellowship (2022), St. Elmo Brady Scholar (2020)

Zirui Wang — Nano-Electrochemical Dynamics
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
BS in Material Science and Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2022

Zirui is from Shenyang, a city in Northeastern China. The heavy industry in his hometown led him an interest in materials science and metallurgy. During his undergraduate studies, he realized the necessity for sustainable energy storage devices and gradually shifted his interest to electrochemistry. He also took semiconductor classes which gained him micro-fabrication experiences. He loves his current project in Prof. Rodríguez-López’s group as it combines his interests and experiences in microfabrication and electrochemistry. He worked with Prof. Yingjie Zhang as an undergradaute researcher on a project about machine learning-based resolution enhancement of Scanning Probe Microscopy. Zirui is a Liverpool FC supporter, and he likes to play soccer and billiards, listen to music, and read books when he is free.

Abdur-Rahman (AR) Siddiqui — Direct Sequestering of CO2
Department of Chemistry
BA in Chemistry with Distinction from University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint), 2020

Abdur-Rahman (AR) was born in the Bay Area of California but raised in a small town in Michigan. He attended the honors program at the University of Michigan-Flint for his undergrad where he was originally a biology major with a premed focus. However, he felt a great affinity towards his chemistry courses, especially his labs, and switched his major to chemistry. For two years, he conducted electrochemical measurements under Dr. Matthew Fhaner at UM-Flint working to find better solvents to detect the extent of oxidation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) using square-wave voltammetry. During the summer of 2019, he also attended an internship in the graduate lab of Dr. Matthew Allen at Wayne State University in Detroit. There, he worked with post-doctorate Dr. Jacob Lutter to synthesize and crystallize lanthanide metal-organic frameworks for potential use as contrast agents in bioimaging. His time in both labs motivated him to go to graduate school for chemistry. He is excited to join the JRL lab because it mixes his interests in electrochemistry with an environmentally conscientious goal. Outside of the lab, he enjoys nature, eating and cooking great food, rap music, anime, video games, and biking.

Seth Putnam — Raman/SECM at Electrocatalytic Interfaces
Department of Chemistry
BS in Chemistry from Montana State University, 2021

Seth grew up in the mountainous region of western Montana. He developed a passion for science competing in Science Bowl and Science Olympiad in high school before attending Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. As an undergraduate, Seth began his research career studying the thermodynamics of adsorption and hydrogen storage on porous carbon materials in the lab of Prof. Nicholas Stadie. He looks forward to expanding his interest in surfaces and interfaces to electrochemical systems in the Rodríguez-López lab. Outside of the lab, Seth likes to hunt, fish, read, brew, and learn about organic chemistry from his fiancé, Jamie.

Distinctions: John C. Bailar, Jr. Fellowship (2021), C.S. Marvel Fellowship (2022).

Michael Pence — Nano-Electrochemical Dynamics
Department of Chemistry
BS in Chemistry from Indiana University, 2020

Michael is from a small town in central Indiana. He went to Indiana University, where he conducted research in the lab of Dennis Peters. During his undergraduate research he worked on analyzing the morphological evolution of nanoparticle-modified electrodes during CO2 reduction. Michael enjoys electrochemistry, fabrication, and instrumentation and is excited to further his knowledge in these areas by working in the JRL lab. When he is not working in the lab he likes to tinker with electronics, write music, and barbeque.

Raghuram Gaddam — Redox-Active Polymers
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering with Distinction from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), 2019

Raghuram comes from the city of pearls (Hyderabad, India). He's passionate about research in the field of energy materials and plans on developing an understanding of electrochemical devices at a fundamental level and develop new catalytic materials for energy applications. He's a huge fan of the NBA (favorite player: Kyrie Irving) and enjoys watching Sitcoms, Crime/Thriller TV shows, and Stand up Comedy. He also love to relax by listening to podcasts or by playing Basketball.

Distinctions: List of Teachers ranked as Outstanding and Excellent for ME 330 - Engineering Materials (Spring 2021)
Aravind Baby (Babs) — Electrocatalysis and Energy Storage
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
B.Sc. in Materials (minor in Chemistry) with distinction from Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, 2018.
M.S. in Materials with distinction, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, 2019.

Babs hails from the sunny city of Kochi in India. He spent five years in the silicon city of Bangalore, obtaining both his Bachelor’s and Masters degrees from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Babs had worked in the synthesis of nitrate-reductase nanoenzymes and ceramic-polymer composites at IISc before traveling to NTU Singapore for a summer internship on transparent laser ceramics processing under Prof. Kong Ling Bing. His strong passion about battery materials developed from his undergraduate thesis in which he worked under Prof. Prabeer Barpanda on investigating nanoscale spinel structures for zinc-ion batteries and oxygen reduction electrocatalysis and extending the work to phosphates and layered oxides for similar applications in his MS thesis. He is delighted to join the JRL Lab in the quest of gaining knowledge in materials and fundamental electrochemistry. When on a break, depending on the time of observation, he could be into singing, acting, cycling, cooking, cricket analysis, or blogging on Quora.

Distinctions: List of teachers ranked as excellent by their students for MSE 405 (2022), Racheff Teaching Fellow (2022), Graduate Student Services Chair of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society (2021)
Nafisa Ibrahim — Bioelectrochemistry
Department of Chemistry
BS in chemistry from The College of St.Scholastica, 2019

Nafisa was born in Kenya and raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Throughout her undergraduate career, she was involved in multifaceted research at three different institutions across the nation. At her undergraduate institution, she worked with Dr. Allen Chaparadza (2016-2017) to develop Inert TiO2 for sunscreen applications and Dr. Bret Johnson (2017-2018) to carry out reactions that exchanged or modified the coordination environment of metal ions in 1D coordination polymers. During the summer of 2017, while an REU student at University of Wisconsin-Madison, she worked in Dr. Robert Hamer's Group synthesizing nanoscale High-Nickel NMC to assess its biological impact. For her final REU during the summer of 2018, she worked at Vanderbilt University in Dr. Kelsey Hatzell's Inks and Interfaces group to understand the effect of electrolyte microstructure on ionic transport pathways in solid state batteries. Nafisa is excited to be co-advised with Dr. Steve Zimmerman, an alliance that is sure to gratify her passion for both synthesis and electrochemistry. During her free time, she enjoys lifting heavy objects at the gym and thoroughly cleaning her apartment while listening to podcasts.

Distinctions: NSF GRFP Fellow (2019), Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2019), Illinois Platinum Fellowship (2019)
Abhiroop Mishra — Electrochemistry of Battery Interfaces
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
B.Tech with Honors in Materials Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Techology (IIT) Gandhinagar, 2019

Abhiroop is from a culturally diverse country - India. He received his undergraduate degree from IIT in the city of Gandhinagar, named after Mahatma Gandhi - a prominent figure in Indian history. There he conducted research on materials for thin-film solar cells. At UIUC, he worked with Prof. Paul Braun on self-healing polymers as a summer intern before joining for the Masters program in Materials Science and Engineering. He is excited to work in the JRL lab to develop a deeper understanding of the interplay between electrochemistry and materials science. In his free time, Abhiroop enjoys playing soccer and watching Lionel Messi play. He tries to follow this quote by Messi - "My ambition is always to get better and better."

Distinctions: Mavis Future Faculty Fellowship (2022), Link Energy Foundation Fellowship (2022), 1st prize: ENFL SPAC Fall 2022 Chicago, ECS battery division student travel grant to attend the 240th Annual Meeting (2021), List of Teachers ranked as Outstanding and Excellent for CHEM 524 - Electrochemical Methods (Spring 2021), MatSE Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award (2021)
Sanja Pudar — Redox Active Polymers
Department of Chemistry
MS in Physical Chemistry from California Institute of Technology (CalTec), 2007.
BS in chemistry from the Iowa State University, 2004.

Sanja was born in breathtaking former-Yugoslavia, and moved to the USA at the age of 18. During her undergraduate studies at the Iowa State University/Ames Lab, she worked on predicting mechanism and thermodynamics of doping rocket solid hydrogen fuel with boron, using quantum mechanical methods. She went on to CalTech to pursue her Ph.D in theoretical chemistry, joining Prof. William Goddard's group to determine the mechanism of propene oxidation/ammoxidation, as well as ammonia activation on bismuth molybdates. She paused her Ph.D study to focus on her family, and is very excited to return to research at UIUC, working on the electrochemical characterization of redox polymers flow batteries applications. She loves to spend lazy time with her three adorable children, study pathophysiology, and discover natural cures for common human illnesses.

Distinctions: R.C. Fuson Fellowship (2020), Lester E. and Kathleen A. Coleman Fellowship (2019); Roger Adams Fellowship (2018)
Dipobrato (Dipto) Sarbapalli — Graphene Electrochemistry and Battery Interfaces
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
B. Tech, Civil Engineering, NIT Trichy, 2015
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, UIUC, 2018

Dipto is from Calcutta, India, which is also called the City of Joy. He received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, from NIT Trichy, where he developed interest in cement chemistry. He came to UIUC and pursued his M.S. thesis research with Professor Paramita Mondal on novel aluminosilicate binders termed as geopolymers. The research was primarily based on understanding the reaction mechanisms and kinetics of these binder systems, by adding external nucleation seeds. His research experience drew him towards materials science, specifically, battery materials, and he subsequently joined the JRL group as a Ph.D. student. He is really excited on learning the basis of battery electrochemistry and he enjoys spending time characterizing materials at the micro- and nano- level. During his free time, he usually catches up on sleep, cooks, reads history novels, or watches Liverpool FC's football games, and anime TV shows.

Here's my website!

Distinctions: Link Energy Fellowship Honorable Mention (2021), Best Poster Award - SEAC Poster Session at Pittcon (2020), DAAD-RISE Professional Fellow (2017), List of Teachers ranked Oustanding for CEE 300 - Behavior of Materials (Spring 2018), List of Teachers ranked as Outstanding and Excellent for CEE 401 - Concrete Materials (Fall 2016, 2017 respectively).
Yuanya (Yana) Zhao — Electrochemical Characterization of Peroxide Forming Materials
Department of Chemistry
BS from Nanjing University, 2018

Yana comes from Guangzhou, the third largest city in China where it never snows. Her undergraduate thesis project was on developing an all-solid-state hybrid organic-inorganic photocatalytic nanomaterial combining polyimide and titanium disulfide nanosheets for hydrogen generation via water splitting. She hopes she can utilize the power of chemistry to make contribution to the beautiful blue planet we are living on. Her passion for life expands from trying out all the restaurants in Urbana-Champaign area to recording precious memories with her Polaroid camera.

Distinctions: Chia-Chen Chu Fellowship (2020, 2019)
Visiting Scholars
Xochitl Ramirez
Department of Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate from Tecnologico de Monterrey

Xóchitl comes from a small town in Mexico called San Cristobal de las Casas. She is starting her research experience in the JRL lab. She is currently studying different reaction mechanisms using interdigitated arrays through simulation and experimentation. In her free time, she enjoys reading about several topics, listening to music, watching movies, playing frisbee or hanging out with her friends.
Monhilson Pinheiro dos Reis
Department of Chemistry
B.Sc. from Federal University of Ceara, Brazil, 2020

Monilson Comes from Fortaleza, Brazil where he was born and obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the Federal University of Ceara (UFC) where he focused on the synthesis and characterization of inorganic compounds and photochemical generation of 1O2. He currently is concluding his master’s degree in inorganic chemistry at UFC with an emphasis in the synthesis of copper complexes capable of generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). He starts his work as a visiting research scholar in JRL lab on the synthesis of inorganic molecules. As a big fan of Isaac Asimov in his free time, Monilson likes to read about astronomy and science fiction. He also likes to play acoustic guitar, beach volley, and ride his bike around the city also.
Krishnaveni (Krish) Palanisamy — Raman-SECM of Battery Electrode Interfaces
Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Ulm University
B.Sc. from Bharathiar University, 2012
M.Sc. from Bharathiar University, 2014
M.Phil. from IGCAR Kalpakkam, 2016

Krish was born in Tamilnadu, India, which is famous for the celebration of arts. She received her bachelor's and master’s degrees from Bharathiar University, Tamilnadu. She went to IGCAR, Kalpakkam for her M.Phil thesis work on electrochemical studies of spent-fuel dissolver materials with Prof. Kamachi Mudali. During her studies, she worked with SECM for the electrochemical activity of corroded borated stainless steel and Titanium alloys. She worked as a project staff in CSIR-CECRI for developing superhydrophobic solar panel coating in the corrosion division with Prof. Sathiyanarayanan Sadagopan and later electrocatalysis for biomolecules detection with Prof. Ganesh Venkatachalam. She is pursuing her doctoral degree with Prof. Christine Kranz at Ulm University on optimizing interfaces for post-Lithium battery electrodes. She is experienced with in situ studies of AFM and SECM for battery electrode materials. She is starting her research experiences with the JRL group on interface studies of Na-ion battery anode electrodes using Raman-SECM techniques. In her free time, she loves playing badminton, running, reading science-fiction books, and biographies, and sometimes playing guitar.
Undergraduate Students

Curtis Althaus
Department of Chemistry

Curtis grew up in the Champaign-Urbana area of Illinois. During high school, he submitted a paper to a national STEM competition detailing the use of a Cesium redox reaction to sequester atmospheric carbon, earning him an honorable mention. Now, as an undergraduate, his area of focus is the creation and testing of ultra-micro electrodes. He is eager to deepen his knowledge of electrochemistry and looks forward to conducting impactful research with the Rodriguez-Lopez lab. In his free time, he longboards, hikes, plays volleyball, plays several instruments, and does competitive Latin dance.

Michelle Zorigt
Department of Chemistry

Michelle grew up in the northwestern suburb of Mount Prospect. During high school, she discovered her interest in chemistry and subsequently took a chemistry class at a local community college, general chemistry 1. After taking a chemistry class at a college pace, she realized her passion for chemistry. As an undergraduate, Michelle is interested in inorganic chemistry as well as its various electrochemical applications. She is very excited to join the Rodriguez-Lopez lab and learn more about the field of electrochemistry. In her down time, she enjoys reading, playing the violin, and hanging out with friends.
Nikita Lukhanin
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Nikita was born in the Chicagoland area and growing up, he developed a passion for science and engineering through personal projects. Coming from the Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering as well as running a robotics team as a sophomore, Nikita is excited to explore chemistry from a different angle using his prior experiences. In his free time, he likes to listen to house music, spend time at the arboretum, create ceramic sculptures, and view art exhibitions.


Dr. Kendrich Hatfield - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2022.
Dissertation: Electrochemical and Spectroelectrochemical Investigations of Interfacial Electrode Processes
Distinctions: James R. Beck Chemistry Fellowship (2020), Dr. Harold R. Snyder Fellowship (2019), Victor E. Buhrke Fellowship (2018)
Now: Kendrich is a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Michael J. Counihan - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2021.
Dissertation: Dynamic measurement and control of electrochemical interfaces for energy storage and conversion
Distinctions: Drickamer Research Fellowship, 2019; C.S Marvel Fellowship, 2018; List of Teachers Ranked Most Excellent by Their Students, 2017; Mark Pytosh Fellowship, 2017; Roger Adams Fellowship, 2016; List of Teachers Ranked Most Excellent by Their Students, 2016
Now: Mike is a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory

Dr. Zachary T. Gossage - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2020.
Dissertation: Revealing ion transfer kinetics and charge dynamics at operating battery materials through scanning electrochemical microscopy
Distinctions: ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Summer Fellowship 2019, ECS student travel grant to attend AiMES, 2018; Hinoree T. and Mrs. Kimiyo Enta Fellowship, 2018
Now: Zach is a postdoctoral researcher at Tokyo University of Science in Japan

Dr. Matthew L. Kromer - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2020.
Dissertation: Electrochemical analysis of photoelectro-, electro-, and thermal catalysis towards more efficient hydrogen peroxide production
Distinctions: R. C. Fuson Fellowship, 2018; University Block Fellowship, 2016; List of Teachers Ranked Most Excellent by Their Students, 2015
Now: Matt is a visiting assistant professor of chemistry at Harvey Mudd College, California

Dr. Noah B. Schorr - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2019.
Dissertation: Coupling Raman Spectroscopy and Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy for Spectroelectrochemical Analysis of Electrode Interfaces
Distinctions: Harry G. Drickamer Fellowship, 2018; Outstanding Literature Seminar, 2016; Buhrke Fellowship, 2016
Now: Postdoctor at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico

Arneet Rajput - M.S. Chemistry, 2019.
Dissertation: Polymer Electrochemistry and Redox-Flow Batteries
Now: Arneet attended a DAAD internship in Germany before heading into the Semiconductor Industry in Arizona

Dr. Elena C. Montoto - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2018.
Dissertation: Molecular Design and Electrochemical Evaluation of Redox Active Macromolecules for Energy Storage
Distinctions: ECS student travel grant to attend AiMES, 2018; Academic Excellence, 2017; ACS Award for Outstanding Research Presentation at SACNAS Conference, 2016; Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, 2016; Argonne Hispanic/Latino Club Scholarship, 2016; Ullyot Fellowship, 2016; Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2016; SACNAS Conference Graduate Student Poster Presentation Award, 2015; Chinoree T. Kimiyo Enta Fellowship, 2015; St. Elmo Brady Fellowship, 2014
Now: Senior Chemist at Dow (Midland, MI)

Marie A. Claudio-Cintrón - M.S. Chemistry, 2018.
Dissertation: Scanning electrochemical microscopy with conducting polymer probes: Validation and applications.
Distinctions: Outstanding Literature Seminar, 2017.
Now: TBD

Dr. Jingshu Hui - Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, 2017.
Dissertation: Electrochemical mechanisms in nano-structured graphitic and redox-active polymeric architectures
Distinctions: Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad, 2017; Best Oral Presentation Award and K.M. Abraham Travel Awards PRiME 2016/230th ECS Meeting, 2016; Fall 2016 Conference Travel Grant, Graduate College UIUC, 2016; NIST Summer school, 2014
Now: Jingshu is an associate professor of chemistry at the College of Energy, Soochow University, China

Dr. Zachary J. Barton - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2017.
Dissertation: Spatially Resolved Ionic Measurements with Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy
Distinctions: National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 2014; DOW Travel Award, Fall 2015; G. Frederick Smith Scholarship, 2012; Hannum Fellowship, 2012
Now: Postdoctoral researcher at University of Colorado, Boulder (Holewinski lab)

Dr. Mark Burgess - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2017.
Dissertation: Probing the Electrochemical Dynamics of Soluble Redox Active Polymers
Distinctions: Norman Hackerman Young Author award, 2017; Milliken graduate research symposium, 2017; Yu Memorial Travel Award Winner, 2016; Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research Award, 2016; Academic Excellence and Good Citizenship award, 2016; ISE Division 6 Travel Grant for the 67th ISE Meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, 2016; National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 2015; University Fellowship, 2014; Analytical Methods Poster Prize for Best Poster at Turkey Run Chemistry Conference, 2014; Roger Adams Fellowship, 2013.
Now: Analyzer Engineer at Exxon Mobil Chemical (Baytown, TX)

Dr. Burton H. Simpson - Ph.D. Chemistry, 2017.
Dissertation: Probing Structure-Function Relationships at Catalytic Surfaces with Emerging Electroanalytical Tools
Distinctions: SEAC Travel Award, 2017; MUACC Conference Best Poster Award, 2016; ISE Conference Best Poster Award, 2016; Eastman Travel Award Supplement, 2015; Chemistry Department Travel Award, 2014
Now: Postdoctoral researcher at Caltech (Lewis lab)

Teresa C. Cristarella - M.S. Chemistry, 2014.
Dissertation: Single layer graphene as a stable and transparent electrode for the measurement of non-aqueous electrogenerated chemiluminescence and charge transfer inverse photoemission.
Distinctions: Honorific Mention, NSF.
Now: Monsanto


Dr. Mehdi Rashvand Avei - Chemisry, Nov 2020 - July 2021.
Project: Refurbishing of Lead-Acid Batteries

Dr. Andrew Danis - Chemisry, June 2019 - June 2020.
Project: Raman-SECM of redoxmers at electrodes
Now: Postdoctoral research at the University of Montreal (Schougaard lab)

Dr. Kenneth Hernandez-Burgos - October 2015-November 2018
Project: Electrochemical Characterization of Redox-Active Polymers
Distinctions: Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship; Ford Foundation Fellowship (declined)
Now: R&D Chemist at Dupont (Pennsylvania)

Dr. Xuan Zhou - June 2014-May 2016
Project: Photoelectrochemical imaging with SECM
Now: Postdoctoral research at UIUC (Dlott lab)


Jaxiry Shamara Barroso Martinez - 2021-2022, CIDETEQ, Queretaro, Mexico
Project: SECM detection of advanced oxidation processes

Yunxiong Zeng - 2017-2019, Hunan University, China
Project: SECM imaging of battery interfaces
Fund: CSC Scholarship

Bárbara Scola Rodrigues - 2019, Federal University of ABC (UFABC), Sao Paulo, Brazil
Project: SECM of photoelectrochemical interfaces
Fund:Sao Paulo Research Foundation Fellowship and Research Internships Abroad

Mathew Lawrence - 2017, Birmigham University, United Kingdom
Project: Cathodic Corrosion of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles
Fund:BRIDGE Program

Karolina Syrek - 2017, Jagellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Project: Photoelectrochemical imaging of interfaces based on porous templates
Fund:Etiuda4 Fellowship

Sara Morandi - 2015, Universitá degli studio di Milano, Italy
Project: Photoelectrochemical imaging
Fund:Independent study abroad, University of Milano


Chang (Alex) Xia — Class of 2020, Specialized Chemistry. Distinctions: Alex was a co-author in one publication and he produced a senior thesis. He is heading to grad school soon.

Carl Chen - Class of 2020, Materials Science and Engineering, ShanghaiTech University, China. He is heading to grad school soon.

Clinton Sabah - Class of 2020, NSF REU student, Grinnell College

Annie Jiang - Class of 2019, Specialized Chemistry. Distinctions: Annie co-authored one publication on Raman-SECM of graphene. She is heading to Flexterra Corporation as R&D technician.

Worapol (Top) Setwipatanachai - Class of 2019, Chemical Engineering. Distinctions: Top co-authored one publication on SI-SECM. He is heading to the private sector.

Zihan Qu - Class of 2019, Specialized Chemistry. Distinctions: Zihan co-authored one publication about ion insertion on graphene. He will start grad school at the Ohio State University in Fall 2019.

Heriberto Flores - Class of 2019, Chemistry. Distinctions: Heriberto received the Carl Speed Marvel Undergraduate Research Award during the Chemistry convocation in Spring 2019. He also received various poster awards, including the SACNAS Outstanding Poster Award in 2019 and the Wolfram Alpha Award. He will be a co-author in one publication about using SECM to detect ion fluxes at battery electrodes. Heriberto accepted a graduate student position at the University of California, Irvine, where he will start in the Fall of 2019.

Taeyoung Park - Class of 2019, Specialized Chemistry.

Arjun Bhardwaj - Class of 2020, Chemistry.

Mihail Krumov - Class of 2018, Chemical Engineering. Distinctions: Mihail received a national analytical chemistry award, the Eastern Analytical Symposium Undergraduate Award. He also first-authored a publication in Analytical Chemistry about the detection of reactive intermediates on hematite and the use of collection SECM on discharged products. Mihail is heading to grad school to Cornell University in the Fall of 2019.

Zhe Wang - Summer Student, 2016 from Peking University.

Terry Qin - Summer Student, 2016 from Nankai University.

Hung Nguyen -Summer Student, 2016 from Hanoi University of Science.

Jasmine A. Davila - 3M REU Student, 2016 from Monmouth College Distinctions: Jasmine is a co-author on a publication about mechanisms of charge percolation in redox polymers.

Marissa Kneer - NSF REU Student, 2015 from Taylor University Distinctions: Marissa is a co-author on a publication about redox-active colloids.

Sona Avetian - NSF REU Student, 2015 form the University of Arizona Distinctions: Sona is a co-author on an award-winning publication about the use of rotating disk electrode for investigating redox polymers.

Amanda Genise - Class of 2016, Chemical Engineering.

Emily Benson - B.S. Chemistry, Class of 2015. Distinctions: Dow Summer Fellowship, 2014; Undergraduate Fellowship, 2014. Emily works currently at the Grain Processing Corporation in Iowa.

Richa Bhargava - B.S. Chemical Engineering, Class of 2015. Distinctions: Gieseking Research Award, 2014 and will be co-author in one manuscript. Richa is heading to Heinz in Pittsburgh PA.

Timothy Lichtenstein - B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Class of 2015. Achievements:Tim is a Co-author in two manuscripts. Tim is currently a graduate student in Penn State University.

Minseok Kim - B.S. Chemistry, Class of 2015. Distinctions: Gieseking Research Award, 2014. Min went back to Korea.

Adam Chinderle - B.S. Chemistry, Class of 2014. Achievements: Co-author in two manuscripts. Adam took an industrial job in Indiana.

Nadia Elbaar - NSF/3M Research Experience for Undergraduates visiting student, 2013.

Daniel Ziegler - B.S. Chemical Engineering, Class of 2015. Dan took an industrial job in Illinois.

Anna Mesa - B.S. Chemistry, B.A. Spanish, Class of 2013. The first undergrad in the group!