Suljo Linic

Martin Lewis Perl Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering


[email protected]

(734) 647-7984


Chemical Engineering

B28-1041W NCRC
2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

Primary Website


University of Delaware
PhD Chemical Engineering ’03

West Chester University
BS Physics ’98

Research Interests

Research Philosophy
The objective of our work is to develop predictive theories of surface chemistry related to heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis and photocatalysis. We are currently working on a number of projects in the fields of sustainable energy generation and conversion, functional nanomaterials, fundamental and applied heterogeneous catalysis. We use a range of experimental techniques including those aimed at performance assessment, kinetic analysis of chemical transformations, in operando spectroscopy, and electron microscopy. These experimental techniques are combined with first principles theoretical tools such as electronic structure calculations (DFT), ab initio kinetics and thermodynamics, and optical simulations.

Research Focus


Plasmonic metal nanoparticles are an emerging class of materials for heterogenous photocatalysis. Our research focuses on understanding the mechanism of this process using both experimental and modeling techniques.

More description is on Professor Linic’s group page


The electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction limits the performance of low-temperature hydrogen fuel cells. We have developed models to help guide the design of nanostructures which can drive this reaction more efficiently. Learn more

More description is on Professor Linic’s group page

Heterogeneous Catalysis

Most commercial heterogenous catalysts have been discovered through trial-and-error approaches. We focus on the bottom-up design of optimal catalysts through a detailed understanding of underlying physical mechanisms governing these processes.

More description is on Professor Linic’s group page

See Linic Laboratory Resources

An ACS Interview with Suljo Linic in 2014. Featuring Editor-in-Chief of ACS Catalysis, Christopher Jones, with Suljo.


Professional Experience

University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Martin Lewis Perl Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering, 2020
Professor, 1938 Faculty Scholar Fellow, 2014
Associate Professor, 2010
Assistant Professor, 2004

Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Theory Department
Berlin, Germany

Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2003-2004

Courses Taught


ChE 341: Fluid Mechanics
ChE 344: Reaction Engineering and Design


CHE 495/695: Electronic Structure Calculations in Engineering
CHE 495/696: Molecular Foundation for Heterogeneous Catalysis and Electro-catalysis
CHE 496/696 course: Ab initio Electronic Structure Calculations in Engineering
ChE 528: Chemical Reaction Engineering

Courses Developed

2008: New ChE 496/696 Course
Molecular foundation for heterogeneous catalysis and electro-catalysis.

The course addresses numerous topics including:

Chemical bonding on metal surfaces
Various experimental tools that are used to study chemical transformations on surfaces at molecular level.
Various theoretical tools used to study chemical interactions on surfaces.
The material was discussed through a number of examples addressing contemporary issues related to the fields of energy and environment. These examples focused on the chemistry of fuel cells, chemistry of alloys, chemistry on nano-sized catalytic materials, characterization of these materials, relationships between the electronic structure of a material and its (electro)catalytic activity, etc.

We also discussed strategies that can be utilized to employ molecular insights to identify optimal electro(catalysts) for different electro(chemical) processes. For example, we developed a molecular foundation for a number of important phenomena including Sabatier’s principle, Bronsted-Evans-Polanyi (BEP) relationships, volcano curves, and many others.

2006: New ChE 496/696 Course
Ab initio Electronic Structure Calculations in Engineering

This course described various methods of solving the governing equation of quantum mechanics (Schrodinger equation) with a particular emphasis on Density Functional Theory (DFT). Furthermore it was illustrated how to utilize the electronic structure calculations to develop atomistic insights into elementary processes that govern the performance of heterogeneous catalysts, fuel cell electrodes, chemical sensors, etc. We also discussed different methodologies that allow us to use the atomistic insights obtained in the DFT calculations to draw conclusions about macroscopic observables such as catalytic activity and selectivity.


Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis, 2017
North American Catalysis Society

Giuseppe Parravano Memorial Award for Excellence in Catalysis Research, 2016
Michigan Catalysis Society

Associate Editor for the ACS Catalysis journal, 2014 –

ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science, 2014
American Chemical Society

1938 Faculty Scholar Professorship
University of Michigan

Thiel Lectureship, 2013
University of Notre Dame Department of Chemical Engineering

Monroe-Brown Foundation Research Excellence Award, 2012
University Of Michigan College Of Engineering

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Young Investigator Award, 2011
American Institute of Chemical Engineers

1938E Award, 2010
University of Michigan College of Engineering

Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid and Surfactant Science, 2009
American Chemical Society

Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2009
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

DuPont Young Professor Award, 2008–2010
DuPont Chemical Company

Departmental Excellence Award, 2007
University of Michigan Department of Chemical Engineering

NSF Career Award, 2006–2011
National Science Foundation

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Fellowship
Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany

Young Scientist Prize, July 2004
Council of the International Association of Catalysis Societies, Paris, France

Faculty Deveopment Grant
University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School

Competitive Fellowship Award, 2002
University of Delaware

Outstanding Student Award, 1998
West Chester University College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty Scholarship, 1995–1998
West Chester University

Soros Foundation Fellowship, 1995–1998


Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

See also the complete list of publications

Plasmonic-metal nanostructures for efficient conversion of solar to chemical energy, S. Linic, P. Christopher, D. B. Ingram, Nature Materials, 10, 911, 2011. 5th most cited in Nature Materials between 2010-2016 per Google Scholar Metrics.

Visible light enhanced catalytic oxidation reactions on plasmonic silver nanostructures, P. Christopher, H. Xin, S. Linic, Nature Chemistry, 3, 467, 2011. 13th most cited in Nature Chemistry between 2010-2016 per Google Scholar Metrics.

Water splitting on composite plasmonic-metal/semiconductor photo-electrodes:
Evidence for selective plasmon induced formation of charge carriers, D. B. Ingram, S. Linic, JACS, 133, 5202, 2011. 75th most cited in JACS between 2010-2016 per Google Scholar Metrics.

Photo-chemical transformations on plasmonic metal nanoparticles, S. Linic, U. Aslam, C. Boerigter, M. Morabito, Nature Materials, 14, 567, 2015.

Singular Characteristics and Unique Chemical Bond Activation Mechanisms of 
Photocatalytic Reactions on Plasmonic Nanostructures, P. Christopher, H. Xin, M. Andiappan, S. Linic, Nature Materials, 11, 1044, 2012.

Tuning selectivity in propylene epoxidation by plasmon mediated photo-switching of Cu oxidization state, M. Andiappan, J. Zhang, S. Linic, Science, 339, 1590, 2013.

Enhancing photo-chemical activity of semiconductor nanoparticles with optically active Ag nano-structures: Photo-chemistry mediated by Ag surface plasmons, P. Christopher, D. B. Ingram, S. Linic, J. Phys. Chem. C, 114, 9173, 2010.

Engineering Selectivity in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Ag Nanowires as Selective
Ethylene Epoxiation Catalysts, P. Christopher, S. Linic, JACS, 130, 11264, 2008.

Predictive model for the design of plasmonic metal/semiconductor composite
photocatalysts, D. B. Ingram, P. Christopher, J. Bauer, S. Linic, ACS Catalysis, 1, 1441, 2011.

High Activity Carbide Supported Catalysts for Water Gas Shift, N. Schweitzer, J. Schaidle, E. Obiefune, X. Pan, S. Linic, L. Thompson, JACS, 133, 2378, 2011.

Catalytic and Photocatalytic Transformations on Metal Nanoparticles with 
Targeted Geometric and Plasmonic Properties, S. Linic, P. Christopher, M. Andiappan, H. Xin, Accounts of Chemical Research, 46, 1890, 2013.

High performance Ag-Co alloy catalysts for electrochemical oxygen reduction, A. Holewinski, J. Idrobo, S. Linic, Nature Chemistry, 6, 828, 2014.

Evidence and implications of direct charge excitation as the dominant mechanism in plasmon-mediated photocatalysis, C. Boerigter, R. Campana, M. Morabito, S. Linic, Nature Communications, 7, 10545, 2016.

Mechanism of Charge Transfer from Plasmonic Nanostructures to Chemically Attached Materials, C. Boerigter, U. Aslam, S. Linic, ACS Nano, 10, 6108, 2016.

Invited Book Chapters and Publications 

E. Nikolla, S. Linic*, “Rational Design of Heterogeneous Catalysts: From Molecular Insights to Novel Catalysts”, Springer, in press

S. Linic*, M. A. Barteau*, “Heterogeneous Catalysis of Alkene Epoxidation,” Chapter 14.11.6 in the Handbook of Heterogeneous
Catalysis, 2nd edition, volume 7, G. Ertl, H. Knözinger, F. Schüth, J. Weitkamp (eds.), Wiley-VCH, 2008, pp. 3448-3464.

Government, University, or Industrial Reports (Non-Refereed)

E. Nikolla, S. Linic, “Hybrid Experimental/Theoretical Approach Development of a Carbon-Tolerant Alloy Catalyst,”, DOE-NETL Annual review, 2006

E. Nikolla, S. Linic, “Hybrid Experimental/Theoretical Approach Development of a Carbon-Tolerant Alloy Catalyst,”, DOE-NETL Annual review, 2007

E. Nikolla, S. Linic, “Hybrid Experimental/Theoretical Approach Development of a Carbon-Tolerant Alloy Catalyst,”, DOE-NETL Annual review, 2008

S. Linic was one of co-authors of the report by DOE-BES on Basic Research Needs: Catalysis for Energy, published by DOE-BES in 2008


UM 4082: Highly Selective Catalysts for Epoxidation of Ethylene to Form Ethylene Oxide. US Patent No. 7,820,840
UM 4414: Nanostructures for Photo-Catalytic Applications. US Patent Application No. 12/800,294
UM 4719: Plasmon Driven Chemical Reaction. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/346,771