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Principal Investigator
Prof. Trenary

Current Group Members

Dr. Paul Melnikov

Dr. Paul Melnikov

(Senior Visiting Researcher)


Ravi Ranjan

Ravi Ranjan

Integrated B.S. & M.S. in Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, India, 2017


My current research work focuses on finding the mechanistic pathways of Zr(BH4)4 and Hf(BH4)4 on the Pd(111) and ZrB2 (0001) surfaces, respectively. Reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) are the most frequent techniques used in these studies.


Apart from research, I work on physical and mental fitness. I like cycling, meditating, traveling, and watching current affairs.


Buddhika Wijenayake

Buddhika Wijenayake

M.S. in Engineering, University of Yamanashi, Japan, 2016

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 2014   


I am currently studying deposited Pd at low coverage on Ag (111) surface by scanning tunneling microscope (STM). STM is an instrument for imaging surfaces at the atomic level. Therefore, it is the best tool to study the Pd islands on Ag (111) surface. I observe single-layered and double-layered high, triangular shape islands and some vacancy pits upon deposition of 0.05ML Pd on Ag (111) surface at 380 K. 


Apart from my research work, I love watching TV series, listening to songs, and swimming.


David Molina

David Molina

B.A. in Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2018


I am studying the selective hydrogenation of acetylene on a Ag(111) surface and Pd/Ag(111) single-atom alloy (SAA) using reflective absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS), temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) spectrometry and temperature-programmed reaction spectrometry (TPRS). We are interested in seeing the effect that alloying Pd with Ag has on the hydrogenation of acetylene and compare that to the reaction on the Ag(111) surface.


Outside the lab, I like to stay physically active if possible, by playing my favorite sports: soccer, volleyball and biking. I like to enjoy nights out with friends and loved ones and finding new places to eat. I am a fan of cooking and traveling to new places, so whenever possible I take the opportunity to try cooking different dishes from Japanese, Italian, Argentinian, and Spanish cuisines.


Rahat Hossain

Mohammad Rahat Hossain

M.S. in Applied Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2021

B.Sc. in Applied Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2019


My research area covers the selective hydrogenation of Acrolein on Cu (111) and Pd/Cu(111) surfaces using ‘Reflection Absorption Infrared Spectroscopy’ and ‘Temperature-programmed Desorption’ to characterize the surface species and reaction intermediates and ‘Auger Electron Spectroscopy’ to quantify the surface coverages. We aim for a selective approach to obtain a high yield of the desired product, i.e., Propanol.


I go without saying that I love my family and love to spend as much time as I can. I have a strong affection for sports, especially cricket, and cooking. I like to spend my leisure time watching TV series and news, and sometimes sleeping! I also take traveling as an escape plan in vacations.


Ayoyele Ologun

Ayoyele Ologun

B.Sc. Chemistry, Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria, 2018.



My research is focused on understanding the surface reaction mechanism that underlies the metastable growth of metal borohydrides on ZrB2(0001) surface by utilizing surface science methods such as; Reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) , X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), temperature-programmed desorption (TPD), and Low energy electron diffraction (LEED). Using these methods, we aim to understand and establish at both atomic and molecular levels the surface chemistry behind this growth and thereby develop an optimal approach towards the thin film growth process via CVD metal borides and metal borohydrides.


Outside the lab, I love meditating on the wonders of nature, baking, cooking new dishes, and staying active through cycling, playing soccer, and table tennis.


Recent PhD Recipients

Arephin Islam

Arephin Islam 

Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2023

M.Sc. in Applied Chemistry, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2016

B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2014


Thesis title:  Polarization Infrared Spectroscopy of Adsorbed Molecules on Cu(111) and Pd/Cu Bimetallic Surfaces 

Graduation date:  January 3, 2023;

Current position and address:  Postdoctoral Scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973-5000


Mark muir

Mark Muir

Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2020

M.S. in Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2019

B.S. in Mathematics, St. Xavier University, 2016

B.S. in Chemistry, St. Xavier University, 2015


Thesis title: Selective Hydrogenation Reactions on Ag(111) and Pd/Ag(111) Single Atom Alloy Surfaces 

Graduation Date: December 10, 2020

Current position: Postdoctoral Appointee at Argonne National Laboratory,  9700 S Cass Ave, Lemont, IL 60439


Mohammed Abdel-Rahman

Mohammed Abdel-Rahman 

Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2020

B.S. in Chemistry University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012


Thesis title: Bridging the Pressure Gap in the Surface Analysis of Transition Metal Catalyzed Reactions 

Graduation date: November 16, 2020 

Current position and address: Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218


Click Here for PhD Recipients and former Postdoctoral Fellows before 2020

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Professor Michael Trenary
Phone: (312)996-0777