Contact: Pamela Bogdanski

Department Administrator

Chemical Engineering

(734) 764-7368

3074E H.H.Dow

Suljo Linic | Faculty

Suljo Linic

Professor, Chemical Engineering;
Class of 1938E Faculty Scholar

2641 Beyster
(734) 647-7984



Short Bio


University of Delaware
PhD Chemical Engineering '03

West Chester University
BS Physics '98


University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Professor, 2014
  • Associate Professor, 2010
  • Assistant Professor, 2004

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

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2003-2004

Research Interests

The Linic Research Group applies first principles theoretical (electronic structure DFT calculations, ab initio kinetic and thermodynamic simulations) and various experimental tools (surface science, in-situ reactor studies, electron microscopy, et cetera) to study chemical transformations on surfaces.

The central objective of the group's work is the development of predictive theories of surface chemistry related to heterogeneous catalysis, electro-catalysis and photo-electro-catalysis. We are currently working on a number of projects that aim to address various issues in the fields of energy and environment, functional nanomaterials and fundamental heterogeneous catalysis.

Teaching Interests



  • 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


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

The course addresses numerous topics including:

  1. Chemical bonding on metal surfaces
  2. Various experimental tools that are used to study chemical transformations on surfaces at molecular level.
  3. 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.

Honors and Awards

  • 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



  • M. Andiappan, S. Linic*, “Tuning selectivity in propylene epoxidation by plasmon mediated photo-switching of Cu oxidation state” (accepted, Science, 11/2012)
  • P. Christopher, H. Xin, M. Andiappan, S. Linic*, “Singular characteristics and unique chemical bond activation mechanisms of photocatalytic reactions on plasmonic nanostructures”, accepted for publication in Nature Materials, 11, 1044–1050, 2012
  • A. Holewinski, S. Linic*, “Elementary Mechanisms in Electrocatalysis: Revisiting the ORR Tafel Slope”, J. Electrochem. Soc., 159, H864, 2012.
  • M. Andiappan, P. Christopher, S. Linic*, “Design of Plasmonic Platforms for Selective Molecular Sensing Based on Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy”, J. Phys. Chem. C, 116, 9824, 2012.
  • H. Xin, A. Holewinski, N. Schweitzer, E. Nikolla, S. Linic*, “Electronic Structure Engineering in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Identifying Novel Alloy Catalysts Based on Rapid Screening for Materials with Desired Electronic Properties”, Topics in Catalysis, 55, 376, 2012.
  • H. Xin, A. Holewinski, S. Linic*, “Predictive Structure-Reactivity Models for Rapid Screening of Pt-based Multimetallic Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction”, ACS Catalysis, 2, 12, 2012.
  • S. Linic*, P. Christopher, D. B. Ingram, “Plasmonic-metal nanostructures for efficient conversion of solar to chemical energy”, Nature Materials, 10, 911, 2011.
  • H. Xin, A. Holewinski, S. Linic*, “Predictive Structure-Reactivity Models for Rapid Screening of Pt-based Multimetallic Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction”, ACS Catalysis, 2, 12, 2012.
  • P. Christopher, H. Xin, S. Linic*, “Visible light enhanced catalytic oxidation reactions on plasmonic silver nanostructures”, Nature Chemistry, 3, 467, 2011.
  • D. B. Ingram, P. Christopher, J. Bauer, S. Linic*, “Predictive model for the design of plasmonic metal/semiconductor composite photocatalysts”, ACS Catalysis, 1, 1441, 2011.
  • 11.D. B. Ingram, S. Linic*, “Water splitting on composite plasmonic- metal/semiconductor photo-electrodes: Evidence for selective plasmon induced formation of charge carriers near the semiconductor surface”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133, 5202, 2011
  • N. Schweitzer, J. Schaidle, E. Obiefune, X. Pan*, S. Linic*, L. Thompson*, “High Activity Carbide Supported Catalysts for Water Gas Shift”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133, 2378, 2011
  • S. Linic*, P. Christopher, “Overcoming limitation for the design of selective heterogeneous catalysts by manipulating shape and size of catalytic particles: Epoxidation reactions on silver (Ag)”, ChemCatChem, 2, 1061, 2010.
  • H. Xin, S. Linic*, “Exceptions to the d-band Model of Chemisorption on Metal Surfaces: the Dominant Role of Repulsion between Adsorbate States and Metal d- states”, J. Chem. Phys., 132, 221101, 2010. (Selected to the 2010 Editors' Choice list, highlighting “notable JCP articles published in 2010 that present ground- breaking research”)
  • P. Christopher, D. B. Ingram, S. Linic*, “Enhancing photo-chemical activity of semiconductor nanoparticles with optically active Ag nano-structures: Photo- chemistry mediated by Ag surface plasmons”, J. Phys. Chem. C, 114, 9173, 2010.
  • H. Xin, N. Schweitzer, E. Nikolla, S. Linic*, “Developing Relationships between the Local Chemical Reactivity of Alloy Catalysts and Physical Characteristics of Constituent Metal Elements”, J. Chem. Phys., 132, 111101, 2010.
  • P. Christopher, S. Linic*, “Shape and size specific chemistry of Ag nanostructures in catalytic ethylene epoxidation”, ChemCatChem, 2, 78–83, 2010 (listed as one of the three most accessed articles from the journal's first year in print).
  • N. Schweitzer, H. Xin, E. Nikolla, Suljo Linic*, “Establishing relationships between the geometric structure and chemical reactivity of alloy catalysts based on their measured electronic structure, Topics in Catalysis”, 53, 348, 2010.
  • E. Nikolla, J. Schwank, S. Linic*, “Improving the tolerance of Ni electro-catalysts to carbon-induced deactivation in direct electrochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons on SOFCs by alloying”, Journal of Electro-chemical Society, 156(11), B1312-B1316, 2009
  • D. Ingram, S. Linic*, “First-Principles Analysis of the Activity of Transition and Noble Metals in the Direct Utilization of Hydrocarbon Fuels at Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Operating Conditions”, Journal of Electrochemical Society, 156, B1457, 2009.
  • S. Laursen, S. Linic*, “Geometric and Electronic Characteristics of Active Sites on TiO2-supported Au Nano-catalysts: Insights from First Principles”, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 11, 11006, 2009.
  • S. Laursen, S. Linic, “Strong chemical interactions between Au and off- stoichiometric defects on oxides as a possible source of chemical activity of nano- sized Au adsorbed on the oxide”, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113, 6689– 6693, 2009
  • E. Nikolla, J. Schwank, and S. Linic*, “Measuring and Relating the Electronic Structures of Nonmodel Supported Catalytic Materials to Their Performance, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131 (7), 2747–2754,2009.
  • E. Nikolla, J. Schwank, and S. Linic*, “Comparative study of the kinetics of methane steam reforming on supported Ni and Sn/Ni alloy catalysts: the impact of the formation of Ni alloy on chemistry”, Journal of Catalysis, 263, 220–227, 2009.
  • J. Carlson, F. Henke, S. Linic*, M. Scheffler*: “Two-step mechanism for low temperature oxidation of vacancies in graphene”, Physical Review Letters, 102, 166104, 2009.
  • P. Christopher, S. Linic*, “Engineering Selectivity in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Ag Nanowires as Selective Ethylene Epoxiation Catalysts”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130 (34), 11264, 2008.
  • E. Nikolla, J. Schwank, and S. Linic*, “Hydrocarbon steam reforming on Ni alloys at solid oxide fuel cell operating conditions”, Catalysis Today, 136(3-4), 243-248, 2008.
  • E. Nikolla, J. Schwank, S. Linic*, “Promotion of the long-term stability of reforming Ni catalysts by surface alloying”, Journal of Catalysis, 250(1), 85-93, 2007.
  • J. Mukherjee, S. Linic*, “First principles investigations of electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen at solid oxide fuel cell operating conditions", Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 154(9), B919-B924, 2007.
  • E. Nikolla, A. Holewinski, J. Schwank, S. Linic*; “Controlling Carbon Surface Chemistry by Alloying: Carbon Tolerant Reforming Catalyst”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 128(35) 11354-11355, 2006.
  • S. Laursen, S. Linic*, “Oxidation catalysis by oxide-supported Au nanostructures: The role of supports and the effect of external conditions” Physical Review Letters, 97 (2), 026101, 2006.
  • M. Enever, S. Linic, K. Uffalussy, J.M. Vohs and M. A. Barteau*, “Synthesis, Structure and Reactions of Stable Oxametallacycles from Styrene Oxide on Ag(111)”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109, 2227, 2005.
  • S. Linic*, M.A. Barteau*, “On the Mechanism of Cs promotion in Ethylene Epoxidation on Ag”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 126, 8086, 2004.
  • S. Linic, H. Piao, K. Adib, M. A. Barteau*, “Ethylene Epoxidation on Ag: Identification of the Crucial Surface Intermediate by Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of its Electronic Structure”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 43, 2918, 2004.
  • S. Linic, J. Jankowiak, M.A. Barteau*, “Selectivity driven design of bimetallic ethylene epoxidation catalysts from first principles”, Journal of Catalysis (Priority Communication), 224, 489, 2004.
  • S. Linic, M. A. Barteau*, Construction of a Reaction Coordinate and a Microkinetic Model for Ethylene Epoxidation on Silver from DFT Calculations and Surface Science Experiments”, Journal of Catalysis, 214, 200, 2003.
  • S. Linic, M. A. Barteau*, “Formation of a Stable Surface Oxametallacycle that Produces Ethylene Oxide”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 124, 310, 2002.
  • S. Linic, M. A. Barteau*, “Control of Ethylene Epoxidation Selectivity by Surface Oxametallacycle”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 125, 4034, 2003.
  • S. Linic, J.W. Medlin, M.A. Barteau*, Synthesis of Oxametallacycles from 2- iodoethanol on Ag(111) and the Structure Dependence of their Reactivity , Langmuir, 18, 5197, 2002.


  • 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.


  • 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