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We fabricate colloidal inorganic nanomaterials of controlled shape and size. We surface-engineer our nanoparticles for chemical sensing, biological imaging, and control of cell behavior. We are keenly interested in the plasmonic properties of gold nanoparticles, environmental implications of nanotechnology, and sustainability.

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The Murphy Group, Fall 2022

News & Events:

 Congratulations to Dr. Max Tetrick, who defended his Ph.D. thesis on June 4, 2024!

Congratulations to Dr. Mahima Unnikrishnan on defending her Ph.D. thesis on May 8, 2024!

Congratulations to Dr. Kelly Powderly for being awarded a 2024 WCC Spring Travel Award to support her attending the 2024 Noble Metal Nanoparticles Gordon Research Conference and Seminar.

Congratulations to Adriana Schroeder for winning the Milan Mrksich Scholarship for Undergraduate Research to support her research this summer!

Congratulations to Katie Hatzis on winning the YCC Professor Peter Beak Graduate Travel Scholarship for the Spring ACS Meeting and the Forbes Raymond Koehler and Harriet Spelly-Otis Koehler Scholarship to attend the 2024 Noble Metal Nanoparticles GRC/GRS.

Congratulations to Diana Pham for being awarded second place in the Undergraduate Image of Research competition.

Congratulations to Dr. Maegen Kincanon, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on March 1, 2024!

The Murphy Group’s gold nanorods will be part of a time capsule called the MoonArk project. Two identical time capsules were made. One time capsule is part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The other time capsule is being launched to the moon. The launch is scheduled for Monday, January 8, 2024, 2:18am EST with an estimated landing on February 23, 2024. Read more in this article. Follow on Twitter/X or the live broadcast. Update: Sadly, the Peregrine Lander our nanorods were on did not make it to the Moon.

Congratulations to Sophia Marcellus on passing her preliminary exam and becoming a Ph.D. candidate!

Well, that was fast. Farewell to summer undergraduate students Ehmely Hernandez and Adriana Schroeder, who were associated with the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Best wishes and come back when you can!

Congratulations to Dr. Nikki Hoang, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on June 29, 2023!

Congratulations to Dr. Sophie McClain, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on June 27, 2023!

Cathy goes on her Centenary Tour of the United Kingdon and Ireland, May 2023. Thanks to hosts and colleagues at the University of Warwick, University of Birmingham, Glasgow University, the University of Strathclyde, and the University of Galway for a wonderful trip!

Cathy gives two talks at the ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, March 2023. Many thanks to the organizers of the exciting symposia!

The Murphy Group welcomes first-year graduate student Emily Cook to the group!

Welcome to our newest postdoc, Kelly Powderly!

Cathy, Mahima and Max present their work at the Fall 2022 ACS National Meeting in Chicago!

Congratulations to Marsophia Marcellus, who has won a CBI Fellowship for 2022-2023!

Congratulations to Dr. Matt Gole, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on May 19, 2022!

Congratulations to Dr. Sean Meyer, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on May 5, 2022!

Congratulations to Max Tetrick and Anita Wo, who passed their prelims in Spring 2022!

The Murphy Group welcomes Amos Shiau to the group!

The Murphy Group welcomes first-year graduate student Sophia Marcellus to the group!

Congratulations to Dr. Jacob Turner, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on June 30, 2021!

Congratulations to Ayman Roslend, who has won a Chemistry Undergraduate Research Scholarship to work with us in Summer 2021!

The Murphy Group welcomes two new first-year graduate students: Catherine Jalomo (joint with S. C. Zimmerman) and Nathan Forney!

The Murphy Group welcomes new graduate student Max Tetrick to the group!

The Murphy Group congratulates Sophie McClain and Max Tetrick, who have won NSF Graduate Research Fellowships!

The Murphy Group welcomes two new graduate students, Anita Wo and Katie Greskovich! Katie will be a joint student with Professor Liviu Mirica.

On behalf of the Murphy Group, Cathy is thrilled about winning the 2020 ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry! She will receive the award at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia, March 22-26, 2020. Previous Illinois chemists who have won this award include Russ Drago, Ted Brown, Walter Klemperer and Tom Rauchfuss. Also, a shout-out to colleagues Jeff Moore and Ken Suslick, who won the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry and the Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids, respectively.

Cathy, Cassie and Dan present Murphy Group work at the ACS national meeting in San Diego, August 25-30, 2019!

Congratulations to Nikki Hoang, Matt Gole, Sean Meyer, Mahima Unnikrishnan, and Jacob Turner for winning departmental fellowships for the 2019-2020 academic year!

Congratulations to Dr. Huei-Huei Chang, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on June 13, 2019!

The Murphy Group welcomes James Brink, Jennifer Conner, and Kathy De La Torre for summer undergraduate research!

The Murphy Group congratulates Danielle Krongauz and Jun Og! They earned their B.S. degrees in May 2019, both with senior theses in the Murphy Group. Danielle is off to graduate school in chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel in the fall, and Jun is off to Princeton for graduate school in chemical engineering in the fall. Best wishes!

Cathy presents six talks at the Spring 2019 ACS National Meeting in Orlando, FL (including ones that honor Naomi Halas, winner of the 2019 ACS Award in Colloid Chemistry, and Lisa McElwee-White, winner of the 2019 Garvan-Olin Medal), chairs two sessions, organizes Naomi’s award symposium, attends the UIUC Chemistry Reception, attends the ACS Awards Banquet as a guest of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, catches up with USC Murphy Group alumni John Stone, Simona Hunyadi and Latha Gearheart, and catches up with UIUC Murphy Group alumni Luke Thompson, Caitlin Coplan and Ji Eun Park. Phew!

Cathy wins the 2019 Remsen Award from the ACS Maryland Section!

The Murphy Group welcomes new graduate student, Sophie McClain!

The Murphy Group welcomes two new graduate students, Nikki Hoang and Mahima Unnikrishnan!

Cathy, Cassie and Meng present Murphy Group work a the Fall 2018 ACS National Meeting in Boston!

Congratulations to Matthew Gole, winner of a W. Brown Fellowship; Jacob Turner, winner of a University Block Fellowship; and Sean Meyer, winner of a Marvel Fellowship!

The Murphy Group welcomes Nikhil Jana for the summer!

The Murphy Group welcomes summer REU students: Caitlin Coplan, Michaela Short, and Anaeli Shockey.

The Murphy Group welcomes Tapan Sau for the summer!

Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Hinman, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on April 3, 2018!

Congratulations to Dr. Jordan Dennison, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on March 26, 2018!

Congratulations to Josh Hinman, Student Researcher of the Week in the Beckman’s Nano group!

The Murphy Group welcomes two new graduate students, Sean Meyer and Yishu Zhang!

The Murphy Group welcomes two new undergraduate researchers, Claire and Namya, to the group.

The Murphy Group says farewell and best wishes to technician Alex Senak, long-time undergraduate Andy Stork, and welcomes undergraduates Danielle Krongauz and Benjamin Ide!

Congratulations to Dr. Wayne Lin, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on May 25, 2017!

Best wishes to our graduating and departing undergraduates: Pimpisa Pechvjitra, Erik Grape, Catherine Montiel and Samantha Heiberger!

Cathy and Josh attend the ACS meeting in San Francisco and give a total of three well-received presentations. Cathy and Prashant Jain run their “Plasmonic Nanomaterials; From Fundamental Physical Chemistry to Societal Impact” symposium at the ACS meeting on Wednesday and Thursday. Cathy and Josh catch up with Murphy Group alum Elissa Grzincic and her husband and Jain alum Jeremy Smith, who live and work in the Bay Area now. Phew!

Congratulations to Josh Hinman, who has won a Graduate College Conference Travel Award! This award will help support Josh’s trip to the ACS meeting in San Francisco.

The Murphy Group welcomes two new graduate students, Jacob Turner and Matthew Gole!

We bid a fond farewell to Dr. Nathan Burrows, now off to Penn State!

Well, that was fast. We say Hello and Goodbye to our summer REU students Christian Franco (nanoREU) and Nicole Moehring (CSN REU). You two were awesome!

Cathy chairs the 2016 Gordon Research Conference on Noble Metal Nanoparticles, gives the introductory lecture at the Faraday Discussion on Nanoparticles with Morphological and Functional Anisotropy, and delivers a keynote lecture at Nano Korea 2016.

Congratulations to Jordan Dennison, who received the Graduate College Travel Award.

Congratulations to Dr. Nardine Abadeer, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on April 26, 2016!

Congratulations to Ji (Ricky) Li, M.S. in chemistry!

Congratulations to our graduating undergraduates Andrei Andreev, Zoe Frankowicz, and Junheng Li!

Congratulations to Dr. Ariane Vartanian and Dr. Elissa Grzincic!! Two successful Ph.D. defenses in one day!

We welcome our new participant-observers: Donna Carnow (Dance), Ester Cho (Architecture), Peggy Flavin (Environmental Design) and Reika McNish (Dance).

Cathy gives 3 talks at Pacifichem 2015 in Hawaii.

The Murphy Group welcomes first-year students Daniel Hofmann, Meng Wu, and Xi (Cassie) Zhang!

Summer is ending. That means we say “farewell” to our undergraduate researchers (thanks!) and “get ready” for the ACS meeting in Boston!

The Murphy Group welcomes REU students Jennifer Lott and Jonathan Dwyer, and returning visiting scholar Priscila Falagan Lotsch!

Congratulations to Cathy on her election into the National Academy of Sciences!

Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Eller, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis!

The Murphy Group welcomes Peng Gu, a visiting student from the University of Strathclyde!

Cathy gives three talks at the ACS national meeting in Denver on behalf of the group. While there, she celebrates Jackie Barton winning the Priestley Medal!

The Murphy Group would like to share an automated rod sizing program (developed by our undergraduate researcher Andrew Ritchhart) for the efficient analysis of TEM images containing nanorods. This program can be found in the “Publications” section of our website.

Cathy has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry!

We bid a fond farewell to Ji Eun Park, who graduated in Dec. 2014.

Cathy, Nathan, Elissa, Nardine, Jonathan and Ariane give amazing (if we do say so ourselves) talks at the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco!

The Murphy Group welcomes back Prof. Alaaldin Alkliany of the University of Jordan!

Congratulations to Elissa! She has won the Drickamer Fellowship!

Congratulations to Wayne! He has won the Ullyot Fellowship!

Congratulations to Dr. Jingyu Huang, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis!

Cathy and the Murphy Group are on the “Highly Cited Researchers 2014” list by Thomson Reuters, both for chemistry and for materials science! See the link at http://highlycited.com/index.htm#table and search by name or institution.

The Murphy Group welcomes undergraduate researchers Samantha Harvey, Fred Idesis, Nelliza Medero, Jennifer Ortiz, and Andrew Wang!

The Murphy group extends congratulations to Jingyu for walking in the PhD ceremony, Bethany for receiving her masters degree, and undergrads Ji Eun and Naima for receiving their bachelors degree.

Cathy, Wayne and Jingyu give talks at the ACS National Meeting in Dallas, TX.

The Murphy Group bids a fond farewell to Priscila Lotsch, who heads back to warm and sunny Brazil!

The Murphy Group welcomes our new undergraduate non-science participant observers: Delia Chang, Athanasia Giannatis, and Travis Norville.

Congratulations to Dr. Jie An Yang, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on October 29, 2013, and is off to Singapore for his job with Mitsui & Co.!

The Murphy Group welcomes Dr. Priscila Falagan Lotsch, who is visiting from Brazil’s, Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Qualidade e Tecnologia-INMETRO.

The Murphy Group welcomes first-year graduate students Jordan Dennison and Joshua Hinman!

Sam, Nathan, Jonathan, Elissa and Cathy present at the ACS meeting in Indianapolis. Elissa gets to go on the race track and Jonathan wins a Colloid and Surface Chemistry Division poster award!

Nardine Abadeer wins an NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Award to work in Sweden, and is highlighted on the UIUC Chancellor’s blog! Congratulations! Read More…

Congratulations to Dr. Stefano Boulos, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on July 29, 2013!

Cathy writes her very first blog post about our Lycurgus Cup trip.

The Murphy Group welcomes Visiting Scholar Prof. Jianjun Li, from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China.

The Murphy Group takes a field trip to Chicago to see the Lycurgus Cup!

The Murphy Group welcomes our REU students Hillary Mitchell and Beth Dewing.

Congratulations, Timothy Yang, B.S. 2013!

Congratulations, Sway Wu, who just received her B.S. degree, May 2013!

Congratulations to Dr. Sean Sivapalan, who was just hooded in the Ph. D. Engineering ceremony, May 2013!

Congratulations to Dr. Stefano Boulos, who was just hooded in the Ph.D. Chemistry ceremony, May 2013!

Jie An’s paper about nano-vacuuming is highlighted at nanotechweb.org.

Cathy wins the 2013 Carol Tyler Award from the International Precious Metals Institute!

Jie An Yang has won the 2013 Dissertation Award in Materials Chemistry! Congratulations!