The Schaak group’s primary research interests are in the general area of synthetic inorganic nanochemistry. We identify target materials systems that underpin practical, relevant, and emerging applications, but for which fundamentally interesting synthetic bottlenecks preclude their formation. We then seek to develop new synthetic tools that overcome these challenges, both to generate and study our specific target materials and to provide conceptually new synthetic approaches that are broadly applicable. Our targets, materials systems, and applications are diverse, spanning stand-alone or integrated metals, metal alloys, metal oxides, metal chalcogenides, metal phosphides, and metal carbides for use in applications that include catalysis, photonics, and energy conversion and storage.
This faculty member is associated with the Penn State Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP) in Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) where a multitude of perspectives and cross-disciplinary collaboration within research is highly valued. Graduate students in the IGDP in MatSE may work with faculty members from across Penn State.
- L.T. Alameda, R.W. Lord, J.A. Barr, P. Moradifar, Z.P. Metzger, B.C. Steimle, C.F. Holder, N. Alem, S.B. Sinnott, R.E. Schaak, R.E. “Multi-Step Topochemical Pathway to Metastable Mo2AlB2 and Related Two-Dimensional Nanosheet Heterostructures,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 10852-10861.
- L.T. Alameda, P. Moradifar, Z.P. Metzger, N. Alem, R.E. Schaak, "Topochemical Deintercalation of Al from MoA1B: Stepwise Etching Pathway, Layered Intergrowth Structures, and Two-Dimensional MBene, "J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 8833-8840.
- J.L. Fenton, B.C. Steimle, R.E. Schaak, "Exploiting Crystallographic Regioselectivity to Engineer Asymmetric Three-Component Colloidal Nanoparticle Isomers using Partial Cation Exchange Reactions," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 6771-6775.
- J.L. Fenton, B.C. Steimle, R.E. Schaak, "Tunable Intraparticle Frameworks for Creating Complex Heterostructured Nanoparticle Libraries," Science 2018, 360, 513-517.
- X. Li, R.E. Schaak, "Size and Interface Modulated Metal-Insulator Transition in Solution-Synthesized Nanoscale VO2-TiO2-VO2 Heterostructures," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 15550-15554.
- Y. Sun, K. Fujisawa, Z. Lin, Y. Lei, J.S. Mondschein, M. Terrones, R.E. Schaak, “Low-Temperature Solution Synthesis of Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Alloys with Tunable Optical Properties,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 11096-11105.
- J.L. Fenton, R.E. Schaak, “Structure-Selective Cation Exchange in the Synthesis of Zincblende MnS and CoS Nanocrystals,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 6464-6467.
- A.E. Powell, J.M. Hodges, R.E. Schaak, “Preserving Both Anion and Cation Sublattice Features during a Nanocrystal Cation Exchange Reaction: Synthesis of Metastable Wurtzite-Type CoS and MnS,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 471-474.
- J.M. Hodges, J.R. Morse, M.E. Williams, R.E. Schaak, “Microscopic Investigation of Chemoselectivity in Ag-Pt-Fe3O4 Heterotrimer Formation: Mechanistic Insights and Implications for Controlling High-Order Hybrid Nanoparticle Morphology,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15493-15500.
- NSF CAREER Award, 2006
- Beckman Young Investigator Award, 2006
- DuPont Young Professor Grant, 2006
- Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 2007
- Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2007
- National Fresenius Award, 2011
- Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal in the Physical Sciences, 2012
- ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, 2016
- Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2017