Professor Stephanie Brock

Chemistry Professor at Wayne State University 



Stephanie Brock is a native of the Pacific Northwest. She attended the University of Washington as an undergraduate (B.S. Chemistry, 1990), performing research on oxygen-atom transfer reactions under the direction of Professor James M. Mayer. Brock attended graduate school at U.C. Davis, where she worked with Professor Susan M. Kauzlarich in the area of slid state chemistry. Her dissertation focused on the synthesis and structure-magnetic property investigations of layered pnictide and pnictide oxide compounds of Mn and Zn. She graduated in March of 1995 and then stayed on for several months as a postdoctoral associate where she studied mixed metal pnictide oxides. Brock began a postdoctoral position at the University of Connecticut in August of 1995 with Professor Steven Suib. There, she developed expertise in soft chemistry routes to nanomaterials through the synthesis and characterization of novel manganese oxide colloids. She also worked with c-glow discharge plasmas for hydrogen generation and carbon dioxide decomposition. In the Fall of 1999, Brock began a tenure-track position in the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2005 and Full Professor in 2009. She has received an NSF-CAREER award, a Research Corporation Research Innovation Award and is presently an A. Paul Schaap Faculty Scholar for the term 2011-2016, a Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow (2013-2014) and a Fellow of the AAAS. Her research interests lie in the synthesis, properties and applications of metal pnictide and chalcogenide nanomaterials; sol-gel methods for nanoparticle assembly, and organic-inorganic hybrid materials for biomedical applications.

Nanostructured Architectures for Energy and the Environment

Inorganic nanomaterials are solid-state materials that are limited in size to <100 nm in one or more directions. As such, they exhibit chemical and physical properties that are size-dependent and distinct from bulk solids. These may be due to extrinsic effects (smaller size = more surface atoms and enhanced surface interaction) or intrinsic effects (fewer orbitals/atoms interacting = less delocalization). Synthetic methods enabling formation of monodisperse nanoparticle samples with exquisite control over size and shape have been realized by solution-phase methodologies, but these methods inevitably produce organic-ligand-terminated “discrete” nanoparticles. A major challenge for the implementation of nanomaterials in 3-dimensional solid state devices is a dearth of suitable methods for nanoparticle assembly that enable access to individual components and/or facilitate interparticle communication while retaining the unique properties associated with the nanoscale dimensions of the primary component. Sol-gel methodologies represent a tried and true approach to the preparation of nanostructured oxides, proceeding from molecular precursors, to discrete nanoparticles, to nanoparticle assemblies, and are characterized by interconnected matter and pore networks. Recent work has demonstrated that sol-gel methodologies can also be applied to the assembly of metal chalcogenide (sulfide, selenide, telluride) nanoparticles, leading to networks with tunable optical properties and soft Lewis acid/base characteristics. The application of these unique features to problems facing renewable energy (photovoltaics) and the environment (heavy metal remediation) will be presented.


For More Information on Professor Brock's Research

A Brief List of Professor Brock's Awards and Distinctions

Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Award, 2013-2014

AAAS Fellow, elected 2012

WSU Schaap Faculty Fellow, 2012-2017

Wayne State University President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2010

NSF CAREER Award, 2001-2006

Research Corporation Research Innovation Award, 2001