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

B28-1046W NCRC
(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, 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


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

Photocatalysis Photocatalysis

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

Electrocatalysis Electrocatalysis

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 Heterogenous 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

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

  • Paul H. Emmet 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



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.


  • 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