B.S. Wayne State University, 2001
Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2006
I am interested in the relationships between surface and solid-state properties of materials and their technologically important behavior. The size and composition of semiconductor particles affects how they absorb light and conduct electrical charge, and we use this to design particles effective in solar energy conversion devices. We also explore how the self-assembly of organic molecules into ordered monolayers at the liquid/solid interface influences solution and surface phenomena. This research is interdisciplinary and problem-focused, using techniques and models traditional to organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry, as well as physics and geology. Learn more about interdisciplinary materials research at F&M at our Materials Studies website.
Grants & Awards
2016 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
"Engineering Copper Sulfide Nanoparticles to Modulate Ion Exchange and Photocatalysis"
2008-2012 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-up Awards Program
“Synthesis, Surface Passivation, and Band Gap Tuning of Earth-Abundant Semiconductors for Solar Energy Conversion”
2008-2011 Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award
“Synthesis and Photoelectrochemical Characterization of Earth-Abundant Semiconductors for Solar Energy Conversion”
2008-2011 Petroleum Research Fund Undergraduate New Investigator Award
“Adsorption of Thiophenes at Liquid/Solid Interfaces”
2012-2017 National Science Foundation (CHE-1149646) CAREER Award
“CAREER – Development of Earth-Abundant Mixed-Metal Sulfide Nanoparticles for use in Solar Energy Conversion”
2003 to Present
(Undergraduate student coauthor are in bold.)
Freymeyer, N. J.; Cunningham, P. D.; Jones, E. C., Golden, B. J.; Wiltrout, A. M.; Plass, K. E. Influence of solvent reducing ability on copper sulfide crystal phase. Cryst. Grow. Des. 2013, 13, 4059–4065.
Heller, L. E.; Whitleigh, J.; Roth, D. F.; Oherlein, E. M.; Lucci, F. R.; Kolonko, K. J.; Plass, K. E. Self-Assembly of Mono-Functionalized Thiophenes. Langmuir, 2012, 28 (42), 14855–14859.
Machani, T.; Rossi, D. P.; Golden, B. J.; Jones, E. C.; Lotfipour, M.; Plass, K. E. Synthesis of monoclinic and tetragonal chalcocite nanoparticles by iron-induced stabilization. Chem. Mater, 2011, 23, 5491-5495.
Wiltrout, A. M.; Freymeyer, N. J.; Machani, T.; Rossi, D. P.; Plass, K. E. Phase-Selective Synthesis of Bornite Nanoparticles. J. Mater. Chem, 2011, 21, 19286-19292.
Lotfipour, M.; Machani, T.; Rossi, D. P.; Plass, K. E. alpha-Chalcocite Nanoparticle Synthesis and Stability. Chem. Mater., 2011, 23, 3032-3038.
Plass, K.E.; Filler, M.A.; Spurgeon, J.M.; Kayes, B.M.; Maldonado, S.; Atwater, H.; Lewis, N.S. Flexible Polymer-Embedded Silicon Wire Arrays. Adv. Mater. 2009, 21, 325-328. Patent awarded.
Spurgeon, J.M.; Plass, K.E.; Kayes, B.M.; Maldonado, S.; Atwater, H.; Lewis, N.S. Repeated epitaxial growth and transfer of arrays of patterned, vertically aligned, crystalline Si wires from a single Si(111) substrate. App. Phys. Lett. 2008, 93, 032112. Patent awarded.
Kayes, B.M.; Filler, M.A.; Henry, M.D.; Maiolo III, J.R.; Kelzenberg, M.D.; Putnam, M.C.; Spurgeon, J.M.; Plass, K.E.; Lewis, N.S.; Atwater, H.A. Radial p-n Junction Si Wire Array Solar Cells. Proceedings of the 33rd IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists 2008.
Plass, K.E.; Liu, X.; Brunschwig, B. S.; Lewis, N.S. Passivation and Secondary Functionalization of Allyl-Terminated Si(111) Surfaces. Chem. Mater. 2008, 20, 2228-2233.
Plass, K.E.; Engle, K.M.; Matzger, A.J. Contrasting Two- and Three-Dimensional Crystal Properties of Isomeric Dialkyl Phthalates. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 15211-15217.
Maldonado, S.; Plass, K.E.; Knapp, D.W.; Lewis, N.S. Electrical Properties of Junctions Between Hg and Si(111) Surfaces Functionalized with Short Chain Alkyls. J. Phys. Chem. C 2007, 111, 17690-17699.
Plass, K.E.; Grzesiak, A.L.; Matzger, A.J. Molecular Packing and Symmetry of Two-Dimensional Crystals. Acc. Chem. Res. 2006, 40, 287-293.
Plass, K.E.; Matzger, A.J. Molecule-Based Nanopatterning with Expanded Periodicity. Poly. Mater. Sci. Eng. 2006, 95, 923-924.
Plass, K.E.; Matzger, A.J. Spatial and Temporal Control Over Adsorption from Multicomponent Solutions. Chem. Comm. 2006, 33, 3486-3488. Featured on the cover.
Furukawa, H.; Kim, J.; Plass, K.E.; Yaghi, O.M. Crystal Structure, Dissolution, and Deposition of a 5 nm Functionalized Metal–Organic Great Rhombicuboctahedron. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 8398-8399.
Plass, K.E.; Engle, K.M.; Cychosz, K.A.; Matzger, A.J. Large-periodicity Two-Dimensional Crystals by Cocrystallization. Nano Lett. 2006, 6, 1178-1183.
Kim, K.; Plass, K.E.; Matzger, A.J. Structure of and Competitive Adsorption in Alkyl Dicarbamate Two-Dimensional Crystals. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 4879-4887.
Kim, K.; Plass, K.E.; Matzger, A.J. Conformational Pseudopolymorphism and Orientational Disorder in Two-Dimensional Alkyl Carbamate Crystals. Langmuir 2005, 21, 647-655.
Plass, K.E.; Kim, K.; Matzger, A.J. Two-Dimensional Crystallization: Self-Assembly, Pseudopolymorphism, and Symmetry Independent Molecules. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 9042-9053.
Rowe, M.P.; Plass, K.E.; Kim, K.; Kurdak, Ç.; Zellers, E.T.; Matzger, A.J. Single-Phase Synthesis of Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles. Chem. Mater. 2004, 16, 3513-3517.
Kim, K.; Plass, K.E.; Matzger, A.J. Kinetic and Thermodynamic Forms of a Two-Dimensional Crystal. Langmuir 2003, 19, 7149-7152. Featured on the cover.
Dr. Plass teaches the following courses:
- CHM 111 - General Chemistry I
- CHM 222 - Inorganic Chemistry
- CHM 374 - The Chemistry of Solar Energy Conversion
In the News
In a Franklin & Marshall College lab, senior chemistry major Angus Unruh alternates between a control panel with dials and a computer mouse as fellow researcher, junior Han Le, watches the images he...Read More
Associate Professor of Chemistry Kate Plass, who is to receive the American Chemical Society's 2015 Rising Star Award, presented annually to 10 women who make exceptional contributions in the field...Read More
F&M Chemistry professor, Dr. Katherine Plass, has won the American Chemical Society’s 2015 Rising Star Award, from their Women Chemists Committee, for her excellence in the scientific enterprise.Read More
Shake and Bake
Nanovation Podcast: An interview with Kate Plass