The University of Iowa

Edward G. Gillan

Edward G. Gillan
Associate Professor
Phone: 
319-335-1308
Office: 
W325 CB
Biosketch: 
  • B.S., University of California, Berkeley (1989)
  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (1994)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Harvard University (1994-95) and Rice University (1995-97)
Keywords: 

Materials synthesis via controlled decomposition of energetically unstable molecular precursors; metastable nitrogen-rich carbon nitride synthesis; solvothermal synthesis of metal nitride and oxide nanoparticles.

Research Interests: 

Our research program exploits low-temperature decomposition routes to produce inorganic materials with unusual structural, morphological, and physical properties.  Conventional solid-state synthetic methods rely on high temperatures to facilitate chemical reaction between relatively stable and inert starting materials.  These are very successful and form the core of many commercial materials growth processes, but they are generally limited to the production of thermodynamic phases with long-range structural order and crystallinity (~ 100 μm dimensions).  New softer materials syntheses are required in order to exploit recently discovered advantages of compositional and size control of solid-state materials at atomic and nanoscale levels.

The Gillan group is pursuing several materials chemistry research directions.  A few broad research goals are listed below.  Please see the Gillan Group research web site for more specific information.

  • Develop synthetic methodologies for reactive molecular precursors that will lead to organic and inorganic oxide and non-oxide materials (e.g., TiO2, InN, C3N4) with unique and kinetically stable local bonding, crystal phases, and structural morphologies.
  • Design energetic decomposition reactions that will produce materials with unique chemical, structural, physical, and morphological properties as compared to those from conventional syntheses.  The flexibility of modifiable chemical synthetic methods will allow access to materials with:
    1. kinetically stabilized structures with new and functional physical properties.
    2. crystalline metastable chemical compositions and doped arrangements with tunable variability in structure and properties, e.g., magnetic dopant effects and band shifting by incorporation of visibly absorbing metal centers.
    3. controlled morphology - nanoscale geometries (particles, rods), high surface areas.
  • Explore applications for the unique properties resulting from precursor-synthesized inorganic and organic materials to technologically relevant areas including:
    1. structural materials (hard ceramics and composites)
    2. magnetic systems (dilute semiconductor dopants)
    3.  catalytic and support systems (visible light photocatalysis, fuel cells, H2 storage)

Cartoon scheme for In(N3)3 solvothermal decomposition to nanocrystalline InN

 

 

Recent Publications: 
  • “Sulfur dioxide adsorption on ZnO nanoparticles and nanorods,” Wu, C.-M.; Baltrusaitis, J.; Gillan, E. G.; Grassian, V. H. J. Phys. Chem. C 2011, 115, 10164-10172.
  • “A general and flexible synthesis of transition-metal polyphosphides via PCl3 elimination,” Barry, B. M.; Gillan, E. G. Chem. Mater. 2009, 21, 4454-4461.
  • “Solvothermal metal azide decomposition routes to nanocrystalline metastable nickel, iron, and manganese nitrides,” Choi, J.; Gillan, E. G. Inorg. Chem. 2009, 48, 4470-4477.
  • “From triazines to heptazines:  Deciphering the local structure of amorphous nitrogen-rich carbon nitride materials,” Holst, J. R.; Gillan, E. G. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 7373-7379.
  • “Low-temperature solvothermal synthesis of phosphorus-rich transition-metal phosphides,” Barry, B. M.; Gillan, E. G. Chem. Mater. 2008, 20, 2618-2620.
  • “A facile solvothermal route to photocatalytically active nanocrystalline anatase TiO2 from peroxide precursors,” Perera, S.; Gillan, E. G. Solid State Sci. 2008, 10, 864-872.