Raymond E. Schaak

Raymond E. Schaak

Main Content

  • DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry
523 Chemistry Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-8600


  1. B.S. Lebanon Valley College, 1998
  2. Ph.D. Penn State University, 2001

Honors and Awards:

  1. NSF CAREER Award, 2006
  2. Beckman Young Investigator Award, 2006
  3. DuPont Young Professor Grant, 2006
  4. Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 2007
  5. Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2007
  6. National Fresenius Award, 2011
  7. Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal in the Physical Sciences, 2012

Selected Publications:

Y. Sun, K. Fujisawa, Z. Lin, Y. Lei, J.S. Mondschein, M. Terrones, R.E. Schaak, “Low-Temperature Solution Synthesis of Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Alloys with Tunable Optical Properties,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 11096-11105.

J.L. Fenton, J.M. Hodges, R.E. Schaak, “Synthetic Deconvolution of Interfaces and Materials Components in Hybrid Nanoparticles,” Chem. Mater. 2017, 29, 6168-6177.

J.M. Hodges, R.E. Schaak, “Controlling Configurational Isomerism in Three-Component Colloidal Hybrid Nanoparticles,” Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50, 1433-1440.

J.L. Fenton, R.E. Schaak, “Structure-Selective Cation Exchange in the Synthesis of Zincblende MnS and CoS Nanocrystals,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 6464-6467.

J.F. Callejas, C.G. Read, C.W. Roske, N.S. Lewis, R.E. Schaak, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Properties of Metal Phosphide Catalysts for the Hydrogen-Evolution Reaction,” Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 6017-6044.

A.E. Powell, J.M. Hodges, R.E. Schaak, “Preserving Both Anion and Cation Sublattice Features during a Nanocrystal Cation Exchange Reaction: Synthesis of Metastable Wurtzite-Type CoS and MnS,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 471-474.

J.M. Hodges, J.R. Morse, M.E. Williams, R.E. Schaak, “Microscopic Investigation of Chemoselectivity in Ag-Pt-Fe3O4 Heterotrimer Formation: Mechanistic Insights and Implications for Controlling High-Order Hybrid Nanoparticle Morphology,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15493-15500.

C.G. Read, T.R. Gordon, J.M. Hodges, R.E. Schaak, “Colloidal Hybrid Nanoparticle Insertion Reaction for Transforming Heterodimers into Heterotrimers,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 12517-12517.

J.M. Hodges, K. Kletetschka, J.L. Fenton, C.G. Read, R.E. Schaak, “Sequential Anion and Cation Exchange Reactions for Complete Material Transformations of Nanoparticles with Morphological Retention,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 8669-8672.

A.J. Biacchi, R.E. Schaak, “Ligand-Induced Fate of Embryonic Seeds in the Shape-Controlled Synthesis of Rhodium Nanoparticles,” ACS Nano 2015, 9, 1707-1720.

E.J. Popczun, C.G. Read, C.W. Roske, N.S. Lewis, R.E. Schaak, “Highly active electrocatalysis of the hydrogen-evolution reaction by cobalt phosphide nanoparticles,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 5427-5430.

E.J. Popczun, J.R. McKone, C.G. Read, A.J. Biacchi, A.M. Wiltrout, N.S. Lewis, R.E. Schaak, “Nanostructured Nickel Phosphide as an Electrocatalyst for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 9267-9270.

M.R. Buck and R.E. Schaak, “Emerging Strategies for the Total Synthesis of Inorganic Nanostructures,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 6154-6178.

M.R. Buck, J.F. Bondi, and R.E. Schaak, “A total synthesis framework for the construction of high-order colloidal hybrid nanoparticles,” Nature Chemistry 2012, 4, 37-44.


The Schaak group’s main research interests are in the general area of synthetic inorganic nanochemistry.  We identify target materials systems that underpin practical, relevant, and emerging applications, but for which a fundamentally interesting synthetic bottleneck precludes their formation.  We then seek to develop new synthetic tools that overcome these challenges, both to generate and study our specific target materials and also to provide conceptually new synthetic approaches that are broadly applicable.  Our targets, materials systems, and applications are diverse, spanning metals, metal alloys, metal oxides, metal chalcogenides, metal phosphides, metal carbides, and metal borides for use in catalysis, photonics, magnetic separations, and energy conversion and storage.  Current research projects include (a) discovering and studing new non-noble-metal catalysts, comprised of inexpensive and Earth-abundant elements, for solar energy conversion and fuel cell applications, (b) developing a “total synthesis” toolkit for the construction of multi-functional hybrid inorganic nanostructures, and (c) synthesizing and studying the formation pathways of metal chalcogenide nanostructures with useful catalytic, magnetic, and optical properties.

Research Interests:


Nanocrystals and solid state materials

Materials and Nanoscience

Nanocrystals and solid state materials