The Manthiram Lab has moved to Caltech!
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
William H. Hurt Scholar
California Institute of Technology
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2010
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2015
Postdoctoral Research Associate, California Institute of Technology
Karthish received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley. As a graduate student in Professor Paul Alivisatos’ group, Karthish developed transition-metal oxide hosts for redox-tunable plasmons and nanoparticle electrocatalysts for reducing carbon dioxide. During his postdoctoral research in Professor Robert Grubbs’ lab at Caltech, Karthish developed new anion-exchange ionomers. Karthish joined the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2017. In 2021, he moved to Caltech as a Full Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The Manthiram Lab is focused on the development of heterogeneous electrocatalysts for the synthesis and functionalization of organic molecules using carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, and renewable electricity. Karthish’s research has been recognized with several awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, DOE Early Career Award, Sloan Research Fellowship, 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers 35 Under 35, American Chemical Society PRF New Investigator Award, Dan Cubicciotti Award of the Electrochemical Society, and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science. Karthish’s teaching has been recognized with the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, C. Michael Mohr Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, the MIT Chemical Engineering Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, and the MIT Teaching with Digital Technology Award. He serves on the Early Career Advisory Board for ACS Catalysis and on the Advisory Board for Trends in Chemistry, Chem Catalysis, and the MIT Science Policy Review.
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Minju received her B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Seoul National University in 2018. As an undergraduate, Minju worked in Prof. Kookheon Char’s group studying inverse-vulcanization of elemental sulfur with a dual-reactive monomer such as Allyl Glycidyl Ether. She also studied the synthesis of sulfur copolymer nanoparticles via interfacial polymerization in water. Minju is currently studying the selective electrochemical oxidation of olefins. Minju is a recipient of the Kwanjeong Educational Foundation scholarship.
Nathan received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016. As an undergraduate, Nathan worked in Dr. Jean-Luc Brédas’ lab studying the electronic and vibrational properties of donor-acceptor molecular crystals using ab initio quantum mechanical computations. He also spent one summer as a process engineering intern for Dow Corning. His current research focuses on developing catalysts which can operate in new architectures for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Nathan is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
B.S. Chemistry, University of Delaware, 2016
Nik received a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Delaware in 2016. Nik received a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Delaware in 2016. As an undergraduate, he worked with Dr. Joseph Fox studying catalytic interconversion of tetrazines and dihydrotetrazines. He also spent a summer as a process engineering intern at DuPont. Nik is currently developing new catalysts for electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia, with the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Aditya received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2016. Aditya received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2016. As an undergraduate, he worked with Prof. Paul Alivisatos on modeling the mechanical properties of polymer-nanocrystal composites, and later on studying the catalytic properties of bimetallic platinum-gallium nanocrystals. Prior to starting his graduate studies, Aditya worked for two years as a Scientific Associate at D. E. Shaw Research. There, he developed high-accuracy force fields for molecular dynamics simulations of protein-ligand complexes. Aditya is co-advised by Prof. Adam Willard and is working on formulating improved models of chemical dynamics at electrode interfaces. His work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Joseph received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 2017. Joseph conducted undergraduate research with Professor Matteo Cargnello in the Chemical Engineering department at Stanford University studying palladium-cerium based heterobimetallic complexes. He used these as controlled precursors for the synthesis of atomically dispersed methane oxidation catalysts. Later, he studied nickel-cobalt bimetallic nanoparticles to reduce coke formation in the dry reforming of methane. Joseph is currently studying the selective electrochemical oxidation of methane to more valuable products such as methanol. Joseph is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In 2019, he was also awarded a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship.
Zachary received a B.S.E. from Princeton University in Chemical and Biological Engineering with minors in applications of computing and materials science. As an undergraduate, he worked with Prof. Craig Arnold studying the coupling of mechanics and electrochemistry in lithium ion batteries. He also spent a summer simulating the dispersion of bioagent releases using an emergency preparedness toolkit at Sandia National Laboratories. Zachary currently is studying the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen for ammonia production, with support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and an MIT Energy Initiative Fellowship.
Katherine received a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University with minors in Environmental Studies and French. As an undergraduate, she worked in Professor Rohan Akolkar’s lab studying electrochemical reaction kinetics in resistive deep eutectic solvents, and was a Think Energy Fellow. She also spent a summer as an intern in Procter & Gamble’s Feminine Care R&D division. Katherine is currently studying electrocatalytic reduction of nitrogen to ammonia with the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
B.S. Chemistry, University of Alabama, 2016
Kindle received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with majors in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Alabama in 2016. She was a member of the Computer-Based Honors Program. As an undergraduate, Kindle worked on the organic synthesis of molecular electronic components with Dr. Stephen Woski and studied heterogeneous catalysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison withProfessor James Dumesic. In graduate school, Kindle has studied the effect of gas impurities on electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction. She is now working on organic electrosynthesis reactions. Kindle is a member of the GSAB and also completed Practice School in Fall of 2017. She is the recipient of the 2018 William C. Rousseau Award in Leadership and Ethics in Chemical Engineering Practice, the 2020 Rock Award, and a 2020 MIT ChemE Individual Citation, honoring her leadership on key issues in our department.
Joy received a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 2017. As an undergraduate, she worked in Prof. Bruce Clemens’ lab and studied GaAs nanowires coated with protective and catalytic metal oxide layers for solar water splitting applications. She has also spent a summer interning at Shell Oil and a summer interning at Sila Nanotechnologies, a battery materials startup. Joy is now studying molecular complexes for the electroreduction of carbon dioxide. She is an MIT Energy Fellow and a recipient of a Mathworks Engineering Fellowship .
M.Tech. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, 2020
Simar received her B.Tech + M.Tech (Dual Degree) in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2020. She has worked with Prof Shantanu Roy (IITD), as a part of her M.Tech thesis, to study hydrodynamics and heat transfer in Corning Advanced Flow Reactors (microreactors). She has also worked as a Research Intern at WashU with Prof Pratim Biswas’s group on characterization of low cost air quality monitors. She is enthusiastic about sustainable technologies and her current research is focused on lithium mediated electrochemical ammonia synthesis.
Trent Weiss received a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2019. As an undergraduate, he worked in Dr. Michael Filler’s lab studying selective surface chemistry and polymerization techniques to develop area selective patterning methodologies on nanowires. Trent also spent two summers interning for ExxonMobil at their Baytown Technology Engineering Complex. Before attending graduate school, he spent one year working in ExxonMobil’s Supply Chain Optimization group. There he developed mathematical models to analyze and improve decisions made by schedulers, traders, and refinery coordinators. Trent’s research will focus on the role of blended electrolytes in oxygen atom transfer reactions.
Sayandeep received a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics for the University of Minnesota in 2020. As an undergraduate, Sayandeep worked with Dr. Alon McCormick focusing on optimizing ammonia separation using silica supported metal halide absorbents. He has also worked with Dr. Qi Zhang and focused on developing inverse optimization techniques for surrogate modelling. Currently, Sayandeep is researching ways to develop sustainable electrochemical processes to generate C-N bonds.
Fang-Yu received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 2019. As an undergraduate, Fang-Yu worked in Dr. Kuo-Chuan Ho’s lab synthesizing electrocatalysts applied in dye-sensitized solar cells. He also spent six months working as a research assistant in the same group, synthesizing novel organic electrochromic materials. His current research focuses on developing electrochemical reactions to produce acrylic acid.
Hee Jo Song
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, 2017
Hee Jo received his B.S. and Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University. His research interests involve the design and synthesis of nanomaterials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices. As a graduate student, Hee Jo developed pyrophosphate-based nanomaterials for sodium-ion batteries under the supervision of Professor Seong-Hyeon Hong. During his postdoctoral research in Professor Dong-Wan Kim’s group at Korea University, Hee Jo developed electrocatalysts for water-splitting. In the Manthiram Lab, Hee Jo is currently focused on the electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction to ammonia.
Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California San Diego, 2021
Glen received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) in 2016. He obtained his PhD in chemistry in 2021 working with Professor Guy Bertrand at UC San Diego. During his PhD, Glen studied how molecular electronic structure governs reactivity through the synthesis and application of low-valent and low-coordinate main-group compounds, like carbenes, phosphinidines, borylenes, aminoboranes, phosphorus ylides, ketenes, and organometallic complexes. Going forward, he will apply these lessons towards electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction.
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, 2017
Kyoungsuk received his B.S and Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University, under the supervision of Professor Ki Tae Nam. During Ph.D course, he developed bio-inspired Mn based water oxidation electrocatalysts and investigated oxygen evolving reaction mechanism. His research in the Manthiram lab focused on the development of new electrocatalysts for oxygen atom insertion reactions. Kyoungsuk completed a Post-Doc in 2020 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Korea University.
B.Eng. Computer Science, Lanzhou University
M.S. Chemistry, Lanzhou University
Ph.D. Chemistry, Queens University
Dengtao received his BSc in Chemistry, BEng in Computer Science and Master in Chemistry from Lanzhou University, PhD from Queen’s University in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Suning Wang. His PhD research focused on the transformation of boron (B), nitrogen(N)-heterocycles driven by external stimuli, such as heat, light and excitons in OLEDs. His research in the Manthiram lab focused on organic electrosynthesis to generate chemical feedstocks. Dengtao completed a Post-Doc in 2020 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University.
Sierra completed her undergraduate research in the Manthiram Lab in 2019 and is currently a graduate student in Chemical Engineering at UT Austin, working in the Alper Lab.
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, 2017
Postdoctoral Research Associate, MIT, 2018
Minghui obtained his B.S. from Zhejiang University in 2011, and his Ph.D. from Lehigh University in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Israel E. Wachs. His Ph.D. research focused on in situ/operando spectroscopy study of heterogeneous catalysis for various applications (high temperature water gas shift reaction, selective catalytic reduction of NOx, conversion of ethanol to butadiene, etc.). His research in the Manthiram lab focused on atomically precise catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. Minghui completed a Post-Doc in 2018 and is currently an Assistant Professor at East China University of Science and Technology.
Ph.D. Chemistry, Rice University, 2017
Postdoctoral Research Associate, MIT, 2018
Ruquan received his B.S from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2012), under the supervision of Prof. Ben Zhong Tang, and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Rice University (2017), under the supervision of Prof. James M. Tour. His Ph.D. research focuses on the synthesis of nanomaterials in diverse dimensions, from 0D graphene quantum dots to 3D graphene, and their use in fluorescence and electrochemical reactions. His research in the Manthiram lab focused on electrocatlaysts for alcohol oxidation. Ruquan completed a Post-Doc in 2018 and is currently an Assistant Professor at City University of Hong Kong.
Thu received a B.A in Chemistry from Harvard University in 2021. As an undergraduate, she worked in Prof. Jarad Mason’s lab and studied the assembly of porous frameworks composed of metal nanocrystals bridged by organic linkers. She has also spent a summer studying the self-assembly of block copolymers using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) in Prof. Alexander-Katz’s group. Thu is currently studying methods of functionalizing carbon dioxide-derived organic molecules with nitrogen derived from air.
Channing received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2021. As an undergraduate, she worked with Prof. Ian Tonks on the synthesis and characterization of Ti-based catalysts for making heteroaromatic rings. She also worked as a peer tutor and volunteered for ChemFoundations providing extra help to students struggling with general chemistry. Currently, she is developing proton donors for more efficient lithium-mediated electrochemical synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen.
B.S. Chemistry, University of British Columbia, 2020
Chenyu received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia in 2020. As an undergraduate, she worked in Prof. Jennifer Love’s lab and studied carbon-carbon bond formations from Pt(IV) complexes. She presented her research in a poster session at the 102nd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in June 2019. She also spent a summer working with Prof. Ian Tonks at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as a LANDO/NSF fellow to explore the effect of dative directing groups on the regioselectivity of Ti-catalyzed alkyne hydroamination.Chenyu’s current research is focused on electrochemical conversion of aliphatic olefins into oxygenated products, such as ketones, using water as the O-atom source.
Florian did his undergrad in mechanical engineering at ETH Zürich, Switzerland before temporarily joining Climeworks to work in their plant and process engineering teams. During his master’s degree at ETH he did projects in the Electrochemical Energy Systems Laboratory of Prof. Maria Lukatskaya and Energy and Process Systems Engineering Group of Prof. André Bardow. Bacteria and biochemical interfaces have quickly become a passion of his. Here at Caltech, his 6-month research project focuses on bioelectrochemical cell design to study charge transfer from electrodes to bacteria via bacterial nanowires.
Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, University of Toronto, 2022
Rachel received her B.A.Sc. in Engineering Chemistry from Queen’s University in 2017. While at Queen’s, Rachel worked with Professor P. Andrew Evans on the development of metal-catalyzed allylic amination reactions. She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 2022 under the supervision of Professor Mark Lautens. Rachel’s graduate research involved the exploration of cyclopropene reactivity in rhodium-catalyzed cyclopropanation reactions. In the Manthiram group, Rachel will be applying her experience in domino chemistry to electrochemical carboxylation reactions.
Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Princeton University, 2021
Wes received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, where he worked with Professor Daniel Steingart developing a new operando ultrasonic characterization technique for lithium metal batteries. He is currently applying his understanding of battery interphases to lithium-mediated nitrogen reduction as the Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, before he starts his own group in Sep 2023 as an Assistant Professor at Drexel University.
Grace received her B.A. in chemistry from Wesleyan University in 2020. As an undergraduate, she worked with Prof. T. David Westmoreland on the synthesis and characterization of manganese (II)-based MRI contrast agents. She also spent a summer as a WAVE fellow at Caltech working with Prof. Ryan Hadt on investigating the quantum coherence of oxovanadium (IV) and copper (II)-based molecular qubits for quantum information science. Grace is currently studying electrochemical CO2 reduction in non-aqueous electrolytes and will also be working on studying solid-state proton conductors for electrochemical oxidation of olefins.
James received his B.S in Chemical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles in 2021. As an undergraduate, he was first an NIH Research Fellow and then an Amgen Scholar, working on both the biosynthesis of non-ribosomal peptides and mechanistic studies in the areas of computational biology and organic chemistry. In our group, he’s applying that expertise to a new area: eliminating the dependence of bacteria on expensive sugars by supplying them with electrically-driven energy.
Ph.D. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2022
Jason conducted his undergraduate studies at Georgia Tech under Prof. Bill Koros, elucidating the morphology of silica and carbon molecular sieves for gas separations. He then began his graduate studies at UIUC under Prof. David Flaherty in 2016. Here, he conducted fundamental studies into the mechanism of H2O2 formation from H2 and O2 over noble metal nanoparticles, combining reaction engineering, in situ spectroscopy, density functional theory calculations, and comparisons to electrochemical measurements. In the Manthiram Lab, Jason will use similar strategies to design catalytic materials and study the mechanism for the electrochemical oxidation of propylene on both the anode and cathode.
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, 2022
Haochen received his B.E. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2017 and 2022, respectively. While at Tsinghua, Haochen worked on developing efficient catalysts for CO2/CO electroreduction and alkane electrochemical activation employing electrokinetics, DFT calculations, and spectroscopy under the supervision of Professor Qi Lu. Herein the Manthiram Lab, Haochen is currently focused on interfacing electrodes with microbes.
B.S. Material Science and Engineering, University of Arizona, 2017
Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of Notre Dame, 2022
Jeff received his B.S. in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Arizona in 2017, beginning research on the synthesis and assembly of colloidal nanoparticles with Dr. Jeffrey Pyun. He then moved to the University of Notre Dame to complete his PhD with Dr. Prashant Kamat in the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory. There, he utilized spectroscopic and electrochemical methods to study electron/energy transfer interactions in photocatalytic and photovoltaic materials. In the Manthiram Lab, Jeff will be applying advanced microscopy techniques to better understand interactions at the electrode-cell interface for bio-electrocatalysis.
B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, POSTECH, 2017
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, KAIST, 2019
Gangsan received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from POSTECH, South Korea in 2017. He then joined Professor Sangouk Kim’s group in Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST. He earned his master’s degree in 2019 and continued his Ph.D. program in the same group. During his graduate studies, he has focused on the structural engineering of 2D materials, mainly MXenes (transition metal carbide) to better understand their fundamental properties (mechanical, oxidation-resistant) and to apply them toward energy storages, EMI shielding materials, and other applications. Here at Caltech as a visiting researcher, his 6-month research project focuses on artificial solid electrolyte interface (SEI) in lithium-mediated nitrogen reduction reaction.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 2022
B.S. Mathematics, University of Washington, 2022
Michael received two bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Washington in 2022. As a Mary Gates scholar at the University of Washington, he utilized dynamical analysis to accelerate molecular dynamics simulations. He also collaborated with the University of Western Australia to design a new cost-effectiveness metric for wave energy converters. In industry, Michael worked with Boeing to study methods of utilizing recycled carbon fiber for aerospace applications and interned with Phillips 66 as a process engineer. In our group, he is collaborating with John Gregoire’s high-throughput experimentation team to accelerate the discovery of lithium-mediated electrochemical ammonia synthesis processes.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2022
Spencer received a B.A. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2022. As an undergraduate, he worked in Prof. Martin Z. Bazant’s lab, studying Multiphase Porous Electrode Theory (MPET) for the simulation of lithium-ion batteries. He has also spent a summer developing green chemistry software in Prof. Klavs F. Jensen’s lab. Spencer is now studying electrochemical hydroformylation mechanisms through the exploration of substrate, electrolyte, and solvent scopes. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In his free time, Spencer enjoys cooking and painting.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of California-Berkeley, 2022
Anukta received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2022. As an undergraduate, she worked with Prof. John Arnold on the synthesis and computational characterization of novel transition-metal complexes for the purpose of small molecule activation and catalysis. At Berkeley, she was also the President of a student organization ChemE Car, and volunteered as a peer tutor and advisor. Currently, she is developing an aqueous route to synthesize ammonia via a lithium mediated nitrogen reduction reaction.
B.S. Chemistry, University of Kansas, 2022
Emma received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 2022. As an undergraduate, she worked in Prof. James Blakemore’s lab and studied families of rhodium complexes with redox active ligands for hydrogen evolution. As a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship, she also studied how to tune the redox potential of europium and samarium complexes using Lewis acids. Emma’s current research will focus on catalyst and support design for electrification of thermochemical reactions. Emma is a fellow of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program.
We are proud of the accomplishments of our group members during their time in our lab:
ECS Energy Technology Division Graduate Student Award (Zachary Schiffer)
AIChE CRE Travel Award (Minju Chung)
Beckman Fellowship (Wes Chang)
MIT Society of Energy Fellows (Joy Zeng)
MIT Chemical Engineering Dow Travel Award (Joy Zeng)
MIT ChemE Rising Stars (Joy Zeng)
MCSC Impact Fellowship (Glen Junor)
Rock Award (Kindle Williams)
MIT ChemE Individual Citation (Kindle Williams)
Teaching Development Fellowship (Joy Zeng)
MIT Society of Energy Fellows (Zachary Schiffer)
Mathworks Engineering Fellowship (Joy Zeng)
Stanford Knight-Hennessey Scholar (Michal Gala)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (Katie Steinberg)
Kokes Award for the 26th North American Catalysis Society Meeting (Zachary Schiffer)
AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Travel Award (Zachary Schiffer)
William C. Rousseau Award in Leadership and Ethics in Chemical Engineering Practice (Kindle Williams)
MIT Presidential Fellowship (Joy Zeng)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (Nikifar Lazouski)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (Aditya Limaye)
Kwanjeong Fellowship (Minju Chung)
MIT Presidential Fellowship (Zachary Schiffer)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (Zachary Schiffer)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (Nathan Corbin)
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
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Caltech | Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering