March 2024

  • Kunal and a Nikolla Lab alumni, Samji collaborate with Prof. Shannon Boettcher from University of Oregon and publish a paper in Journal of Catalysis as a part of the 60th Commemorative Anniversary Issue of Journal of Catalysis. Congratulations!
    • About this work: This research article focusses its work on the surface reconstruction and the associated formation of a new redox-active phase on LaNiO3 particles, LaNiO3 epitaxial films, and an analogous Ruddlesden-Popper phase, La2NiO4 through the application of both electrochemical and materials-characterization techniques. It aims to further our understanding on the dynamic nature of the catalyst’s structure during the OER and the consequential implications on activity.

February 2024

  • We welcome Julia Lamy as an undergraduate trainee in the Nikolla Lab! With interest in sustainable energy and green chemistry, Julia will be working on the synthesis of metal and alloyed nanoparticles supported on and encapsulated in various oxide supports for selective thermocatalysis.

November 2023

  • Kunal won the 2023 CRE student travel award at the annual AIChE 2023 meeting! Congratulations Kunal!

October 2023

  • We are thrilled to welcome our new first-year students to the Nikolla Lab – Onyema Obi, Jina Cho, and Nicholas Carpentieri! Looking forward to working and learning with them.
  • Kunal publishes his paper as first author in ACS Energy Letters in collaboration with Alex and Prof. Jeff Greeley from Purdue University. Congratulations Kunal!
    • About this work: This research article addresses some of the key challenges governing overall efficiency and long-term stability of Na-O2 batteries that need to be overcome for their potential applicability as an alternative to the state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. This work looks closely into how the discharge mechanisms occurring at the electrode/electrolyte interfaces govern the overall stability of Na-O2 systems. Check it out at the attached link to obtain some great insights!

September 2023

Eranda wins the inaugural Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos Award for Creativity in Catalysis! Congratulations! 

August 2023

  • In collaboration with the Greeley group at Purdue University, Alex and Kunal’s research article has been published in Chemistry of Materials. Congratulations!
    • About this work: In this contribution, mechanistic insights are elucidated by coupling density functional theory calculations with experimental observations to study the surface chemistry of the NaO2 discharge product. The structure of the NaO2 surfaces under realistic operating conditions are first determined by constructing a series of ab initio surface phase diagrams. Following this, a molecular surface dissolution analysis is performed to further investigate the thermodynamics of thin-film formation of sodium oxides over the NaO2 discharge product.
  • We welcome the new students as Fall 2023 starts at University of Michigan! Interested students please contact Prof. Eranda Nikolla and feel free to come visit us. Our lab is located at NCRC Building 28, Room 2109C.
  • Kunal and Samiha successfully pass their Thesis proposal Exam. Congratulations!

June 2023

The Nikolla Group enjoys a fun evening at Jolly Pumpkin!

  • Samiha’s first publication and review article titled “Strategies for Designing the Catalytic Environment Beyond the Active site of Heterogeneous Supported Metal Catalysts” in collaboration with Yomaira Pagan-Torres has been published in Topics in Catalysis. Congratulations!
    • About the work: This work summarizes synthesis strategies that have enabled the design of multifunctional and multidimensional heterogeneous supported catalysts with specific focus on alloys, encapsulated/inverted catalytic structures, and ligand capped metal nanoparticle systems. The effects on catalyst activity, selectivity and stability that arise from modifying the neighboring two/three-dimensional environment of the active site has been highlighted with valuable insights from literature.
  • We welcome Izzy as an Undergraduate research Assistant through the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP)!

May 2023

January 2023

  • Dr. Michael Allen joins the Nikolla Lab as a postdoctoral researcher! He will be looking into controlling catalytic processes and surface reactions mediated through external stimuli. This includes designing of materials for electrochemical water splitting for oxygen evolution and hydrogen evolution reactions and development of reaction conditions for photocatalytic solar fuel production. Great to have you on board!

October 2022

  • Exciting time for the Nikolla Lab!!
    • Hyungdon (Don) Joo joins the Nikolla lab as a first year Doctorate Student. Welcome!
    • We welcome a new postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Rong (Rocky) Ye to the lab. He will be working on machine-learning-guided alloy nanoparticle synthesis and catalytic studies.

September 2022

  • Bingwen has published a research article in ACS Catalysis while in collaboration with Rebecca Fushimi from the Idaho National Laboratory titled “Deciphering the Mechanistic Role of Individual Oxide Phases and Their Combinations in Supported Mn–Na2WO4 Catalysts for Oxidative Coupling of Methane”. Congratulations!
  • Nikolla lab has a new home in the Department of Chemical Engineering at University Of Michigan. Click to know more!
  • Congratulations to Elif for her review article in collaboration with Reinhard Denecke and Jean-Sabin’s group titled “Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 using Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells: Insights into Catalysis by Nonstoichiometric Mixed Metal Oxides”!
    • About the work: The work culminates and critically evaluates the literature on nonstoichiometric mixed metal oxides towards their performance in the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to CO in Solid oxide Electrolysis Cell (SOECs) utilizing both theoretical insights and experimental studies. The objective is to draw relations and assess the activity, selectivity, and stability of these oxides with compositional variations and the impact of oxygen defects.

May 2022

  • Congratulations to Bingwen for her article in collaboration with the Fushimi group, “Mechanistic pathways and role of oxygen in oxidative coupling of methane derived from transient kinetic studies”!
  • Congratulations to Lucas for his article in collaboration with the Pagan-Torres group, “Supported Bifunctional Molybdenum Oxide-Palladium Catalysts for Selective Hydrodeoxygenation of Biomass-Derived Polyols and 1,4-Anhydroerythritol”!

April 2022

  • Exciting news! The Nikolla Research Group is moving to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Fall 2022.
  • Congratulations to Samji Samira for receiving the NAM27 Kokes Award to present his work at the 27th North American Catalysis Society Meeting in New York City, May 2022.
  • Congratulations to Prof. Nikolla for receiving the 2022 College of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award!

March 2022

  • Congratulations to Elif, Gen, and Maikon on their article, “Elucidating the Role of B-Site Cations toward CO2 Reduction in Perovskite-Based Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells”!

February 2022

  • Congratulations to Prof. Nikolla for receiving the 2022 ACS Catalysis Lectureship Award. Prof. Nikolla is being recognized for her work on advancing the understanding of electrocatalytic reactions, specifically those by complex nonstoichiometric mixed-metal oxide catalysts in both low- and high-temperature electrochemical devices.

November 2021

  • Lucas, Elif, and Carl present their work at the 2021 AIChE Annual Meeting.
  • Congratulations to Samji and Carl on their article, “Dynamic Surface Reconstruction Unifies the Electrocatalytic Oxygen Evolution Performance of Nonstoichiometric Mixed Metal Oxides”!

October 2021

  • Samji successfully defends his PhD dissertation focused on gaining molecular-level insights into oxygen electrocatalysis on non-stoichiometric mixed metal oxide electrocatalysts. Congratulations!

September 2021

  • Congratulations to Prof. Nikolla for receiving this year’s Guiseppe Parravano Memorial Award for Excellence in Catalysis Research!  She will receive the award during the 42nd Annual Michigan Catalysis Society Symposium. This prestigious award is in recognition of Prof. Nikolla’s research efforts in heterogeneous thermal and electrocatalysis.

February 2021

  • Samji wins the 2021 Ralph H. Kummler Award for Distinguished Achievement in Graduate Student Research. Congratulations!
  • Samiha joins the Nikolla Lab. Welcome!
  • Congratulations to Samji, Carl, and XiangKui on their article, “Modulating Catalytic Properties of Targeted Metal Cationic Centers in Nonstoichiometric Mixed Metal Oxides for Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction”!
  • Our publication on “Aprotic Alkali Metal–O2 Batteries: Role of Cathode Surface-Mediated Processes and Heterogeneous Electrocatalysis” was featured in the cover art of the February 2021 issue of ACS Energy Letters.
    • About the Cover: In this Perspective, surface- and solution-mediated growth mechanisms of discharge products in alkali metal–O2 (M–O2; M = Li, Na) batteries are discussed.  The advantages and disadvantages of these discharge mechanisms are critically evaluated.  Strategies to design electrocatalysts in combination with engineering of benign electrolytes are shown to be central in developing high-energy density reversible batteries.  Special emphasis is placed on understanding the atomistic phenomena taking place at the solid–solid and solid–liquid interfaces formed from discharge product–cathode and discharge product–electrolyte interactions, respectively.

December 2020

  • Congratulations to Lucas on his joint paper with the Pagan-Torres group!  The study focuses on the Selective C-O Bond Cleavage of Bio-Based Organic Acids over Palladium Promoted MoOx/TiO2.

November 2020

  • Congratulations to Samji for winning first place in the oral presentation at the 5th Joint WSU-UToledo Symposium!

August 2020

  • Congratulations to Juliana, Xiang-Kui, and Elif on their article, “Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 on Metal-Based Cathode Electrocatalysts of Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells”!

June 2020

  • Prof. Nikolla is now a full Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and an Associate Editor in the Journal of Catalysis. Congratulations!
  • Jillian successfully defends her Master’s Thesis on the use of mixed metal oxides for passive NOx adsorption. Congratulations!

May 2020

  • Congratulations to Xiang-Kui, Carl, and Samji on their article, “Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysis using Mixed Metal Oxides Under Acidic Conditions: Challenges and Opportunities”!

April 2020

  • Congratulations to Lucas and Bingwen on their article, “Tunable Catalytic Performance of Palladium Nanoparticles for H2O2 Direct Synthesis via Surface-Bound Ligands”!  This work is in collaboration with the Perez-Ramirez Group and Bare Group of SLAC.