*Rossini Group May 2021: (Top Row) Kipper Riemersma, Yuhua Chen, Sarah Ference, Ben Atterberry, Scott Carnahan, Rick Dorn and Aaron Rossini.

The Rossini Group Overview

Welcome to the home page for the Rossini research group in the Department of Chemistry of Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy Ames Laboratory. We are an experimental physical chemistry research group interested in the structural characterization of inorganic materials, catalysts and pharmaceuticals. The primary tool we use to accomplish this is solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

For more information about our research please visit the Research and Publication pages.

To see some photos of our labs and facilities please visit the Facilities page.

If you are interested in joining our group please email Professor Rossini at arossini@iastate.edu. We are always looking for talented graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in performing research.


08/2021 – Congratulations to Scott Carnahan for passing his PhD Defense. We thank Scott for all of his hard work over the past 5 years for his contributions to the group. Best of luck to Scott in his new teaching position.

07/2021 – Aaron is officially promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Thanks to all of the current and former members of the Rossini group who’s hard work made this promotion possible.

06/2021 –  Controlled Grafting Synthesis of Silica-Supported Boron for Oxidative Dehydrogenation Catalysis is published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Congratulations to co-first authors Melissa Cendejas (UW Madison) and Rick Dorn. Highly Selective Carbon-Supported Boron for Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Propane is published in ChemCatChem. Congrats to co-first authors Lesli Mark (UW Madison) and Rick. Both papers are part of our ongoing NSF-funded collaboration with Ive Hermans group at University of Wisconsin Madison.

Active Sites in a Heterogeneous Organometallic Catalyst for the Polymerization of Ethylene appears in ACS Central Science. Rick and Amrit obtained some nice 27Al NMR spectra for Prof. Matt Conley’s group at UC Riverside.

05/2021 – Yunhua and Rick’s paper Revealing the Surface Structure of CdSe Nanocrystals by Dynamic Nuclear Polarization-Enhanced 77Se and 113Cd Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy is accepted for publication in Journal of the American Chemical Society. Great job Yunhua and Rick! Thanks to Javier Vela (ISU) for a wonderful collaboration.

04/2021 – Amrit’s paper Proton-detected solid-state NMR spectroscopy of spin-1/2 nuclei with large chemical shift anisotropy is published in Journal of Magnetic Resonance.

Amrit was awarded a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship to support his post-doctoral studies at EPFL with Prof. Lyndon Emsley.  Amrit was also awarded the Zaffarano Prize for his PhD Dissertation.  Way to go Amrit!

12/2020 – Rick’s paper Structure Determination of Boron-Based Heterogeneous Catalysts for Oxidative Dehydrogenation With Ultra-High Field 35.2 T 11B Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy is out now in ACS Catalysis.  This paper was part of an ongoing collaboration with Ive Herman’s group. We were also fortunate to collaborate with Ivan Hung and Zhehong Gan at the National High Magnetic Field Lab to use the 35 T superconducting magnet. Congrats to Rick and the rest of the team!

02/2021 – Mike’s paper Elucidating the Location of Cd2+ in Post-synthetically Treated InP Quantum Dots Using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization 31P and 113Cd Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy is published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. This was nice collaboration with Prof. Brandi Cossairt’s group at University of Washington.

11/2020 – Congrats to Amrit Venkatesh for successfully defending his PhD! We are grateful to Amrit for all of his contributions to the group and to ISU chemistry. We wish him the best of luck in his post-doctoral position with Lyndon Emsley.

10/2020 – Amrit’s paper The Structure of Molecular and Surface Platinum Sites Determined by DNP-SENS and Fast MAS 195Pt Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy appears in Journal of the American Chemical Society. This project was a nice collaboration with the groups of Christophe Coperet (ETH Zurich) and Anne Lesage (ENS Lyon). We used fast MAS and 1H detection and DNP to obtain 195Pt solid-state NMR spectra of silica-supported platinum compounds. Congrats to Amrit and the rest of the team!

08/2020– Congrats to Amrit on publication of his paper t1-Noise Eliminated Dipolar Heteronuclear Multiple Quantum Coherence Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy in Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. Amrit has developed a set of modified D-HMQC pulse sequences that remove t1-noise and provide improved sensitivity for proton detection of unreceptive nuclei such as 17O, 25Mg and 35Cl. Check it out!

07/2020 – Congrats to Michael Hanrahan for completing his PhD. We will miss Mike and are grateful for all of the contributions he made to the lab. We wish him the best of luck in his next position at Kansas Analytical Services.

04/2020 – Congratulations to Viraj Wijesekara for successfully defending his MSc thesis. We wish Viraj the best in his PhD studies at University of Florida and are grateful for his contributions to the group.

Viraj and Amrit’s paper Fast Acquisition of Proton Detected HETCOR Solid‐State NMR Spectra of Quadrupolar Nuclei and Rapid Measurement of NH Bond Lengths by Frequency Selective HMQC and RESPDOR Pulse Sequences is published in Chemistry a European Journal.  This paper was in collaboration with Joe Lubach and Karthik Nagapudi (Genentech) and Ivan Hung, Zhehong Gan and Peter Gor’kov (NHMFL). The paper demonstrates modified HMQC and RESPDOR experiments that use frequency selective excitation pulses to preserve 1H magnetization in between scans and reduce recycle delays. Check it out if you are interested in speeding up your 14N, 17O and 35Cl solid-state NMR experiments.

03/2020 – Congratulations to Amrit Venkatesh for winning the prestigious Ritchey Travel Award at the Experimental NMR Conference!

Yunhua Chen’s paper The Surface Termination of CsPbBr3 Perovskite Quantum Dots Determined by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy is published in Journal of the American Chemical society.  This paper was in collaboration with Sara Smock and Richard Brutchey (University of Southern California). Anne Flintgruber, a participant in the Ames Lab Summer Laboratory Intern (SULI) and Fred Perras also contributed. In this paper Yunhua used 1H, 14N, 133Cs and 207Pb solid-state NMR experiments to demonstrate that the surfaces of CsPbBr3 nanoparticles are Cs terminated with substitution of some surface Cs for cationic ammonium ligands. Congrats to Yunhua and all of the other authors!

02/2020 – Aaron is awarded a 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship. Thanks to all of the members of my group for their hard work that made this award possible.

It was a great month for 11B solid-state NMR spectroscopy in the group.

Rick Dorn and Brijith Thomas publish the paper B‐MWW Zeolite: The Case Against Single‐Site Catalysis in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. This paper was in collaboration with Prof. Ive Hermans group at University of Wisconsin – Madison. Congrats to Rick and Brijith and thanks to Ive’s group for the nice collaboration!

Rick’s paper Identifying the Molecular Edge Termination of Exfoliated Hexagonal Boron Nitride Nanosheets with Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy and Plane-Wave DFT Calculations is published in Chemistry of Materials.  In this paper Rick used 11B, 14N (with fast MAS) and 15N (with DNP) solid-state NMR experiments and plane-wave DFT calculations to determine the molecular structure of the edges of hexagonal boron nitride. Congrats to Rick and the other members of the team!

12/2019 – Amrit’s paper Suppressing 1H Spin Diffusion in Fast MAS Proton Detected Heteronuclear Correlation Solid-State NMR Experiments is published in Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. This paper demonstrates some ways to suppress 1H spin diffusion and preserve spatial information in 2D HETCOR spectra. Al(ORF)3 (RF = C(CF3)3) activated silica: a well-defined weakly coordinating surface anion appears in Chemical Science. This paper was lead by the group of Matt Conley at UC Riverside. Amrit performed some nice 2D 1H-27Al NMR experiments that help to define the structure of a surface supported aluminum compound. Way to go Amrit!

11/2019 – The  paper Silicene, Silicane, or Siloxene? Characterizing Silicon Nanosheets from Deintercalated Calcium Disilicide is published in Chemistry of Materials. This paper was lead by Matt Panthani’s group (ISU CBE). Mike obtained performed some nice 1H and 29Si SSNMR experiments that confirm the 2D silicane sheets consist of singly protonated silicon atoms. Congrats Mike!

We welcome new graduate student Cameron Jensen (co-advised with Prof. Wenyu Huang) to the group.

10/2019 – Rick’s paper Investigating the Microstructure of Poly(Cyclosilane) by 29Si Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy and DFT Calculations appears in Chemistry of Materials. This paper was a collaboration with Rebekka Klausen’s group at Johns Hopkins. Congrats Rick!

Synthesis and Characterization of Silica Supported Boron Oxide Catalysts for the Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Propane appears in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. In this paper Brijith Thomas used 1D and 2D 11B solid-state NMR experiments to characterize boron oxide and hydroxide species on silica that act as catalysts for the oxidative dehydrogenation of propane. This paper was in collaboration with Ive Herman’s group at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

09/2019 – Amrit and Aaron attend the Alpine Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Solids. Amrit gives a round-table talk on Fast MAS, 1H detected methods for unreceptive nuclei. Aaron gave a talk on DNP-enhanced solid-state NMR and received the Caldarelli Prize in Magnetic Resonance for Young Investigators.

08/2019 – Mike and Yunhua’s paper Probing the Surface Structure of Semiconductor Nanoparticles by DNP SENS with Dielectric Support Materials appears in Journal of the American Chemical Society. This paper shows improved sample preparation protocols for DNP NMR experiments on semiconductor nanoparticles. With DNP we were able to perform 2D NMR experiments on CdS, Cd2P3 and silicon nanoparticles. This work was in collaboration with Javier Vela, Brandi Cossairt and Nate Neale. Congrats to Mike and Yunhua!

07/2019 – New papers are online. Scott’s paper Magic Angle Spinning Dynamic Nuclear Polarization With Radicals Created by γ-Irradiation appears in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. In collaboration with the group of Dr. James Wishart (Brookhaven National Lab) we show that γ-irradiation can be used to create radical centers for polarizing nuclear spins in materials such as quartz and glucose. Congrats to Scott and the rest of the team!

The paper Ambient Synthesis of Coordination Polymer Nanomaterials by in situ Heterogeneous Metal/Ligand reactions (HetMet) appears in Nanoscale.  This paper was lead by the group of Prof. Martin Thuo (ISU Materials Science and Engineering). Brijith used 1H, 13C and 71Ga SSNMR to characterize the structures of coordination polymers. Congrats Brijith!

Computationally-driven discovery of 2D MBene layers in the family of LiNiB polymorphs appears in Angewandte Chemie. This paper was lead by Prof. Julia Zaikina’s group (ISU Chemistry). Scott obtained some nice fast MAS 11B and 7Li SSNMR spectra of different lithium nickel borides.

06/2019 – We welcome Anne Flintgruber to the lab. Anne is participating in the Ames Lab Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Intern (SULI) program.

The Comment on “Chirality-Induced Electron Spin Polarization and Enantiospecific Response in Solid-State Cross-Polarization Nuclear Magnetic Resonance” appears in ACS Nano. In the Comment we argue that there are no chirality-induced effects on CPMAS NMR signal intensities. Rather the effects observed in the original article can likely be attributed to the fact that T1 widely varies from batch to batch of a compound and the NMR spectra in the original article were recorded with improper recycle delays of less than 5 x T1 of the slowest relaxing enantiomer. See our Comment for more details.

05/2019 – A new paper appears in the Molecular Pharmaceutics. David and Viraj’s article Rapid Characterization of Formulated Pharmaceuticals Using Fast MAS 1H Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy 
describes how fast MAS enables 1H NMR experiments to rapidly detect active pharmaceutical ingredients in tablets. This work was performed in collaboration Joe Lubach and Karthik Nagapudi at Genentech. Congrats to David, Viraj and the rest of the team!

Matt Ryan was recently awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship and a Spedding Scholarship through ISU. Way to go Matt!

01/2019 – We are pleased to welcome Camaryn Mohan to the group as an undergraduate researcher through the ISU Honors program.

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