Edward G. Gillan

Edward Gillan photo
Associate Professor
W325 CB
  • B.S., University of California, Berkeley (1989)
  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (1994) with Prof. Richard Kaner
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Harvard University (1994-95) and Rice University (1995-97) with Prof. Andrew Barron

Materials synthesis via thermochemically driven reactions between molecular precursors; metastable nitrogen-rich carbon nitride synthesis; solvothermal and solid-state synthesis of metal nitride, phosphides, sulfides, and oxide nanoparticles; reactive mechanochemistry; applications to energy or environmentally relevant electrocatalysis and photocatalysis.

Research Interests: 

Our research program exploits low-temperature decomposition routes to produce inorganic materials with unusual structural, morphological, and physical properties.  Conventional solid-state synthetic methods rely on high temperatures to facilitate chemical reaction between relatively stable and inert starting materials.  These are very successful and form the core of many commercial materials growth processes, but they are generally limited to the production of thermodynamic phases with long-range structural order and crystallinity (~ 100 μm dimensions).  New softer materials syntheses are required in order to exploit recently discovered advantages of compositional and size control of solid-state materials at atomic and nanoscale levels.

The Gillan group is pursuing several materials chemistry research directions.  A few broad research goals are listed below.  Please see the Gillan Group research web site for more specific information.

  • Develop synthetic methodologies for reactive molecular precursors that will lead to organic and inorganic oxide and non-oxide materials (e.g., TiO2, InN, C3N4) with unique and kinetically stable local bonding, crystal phases, and structural morphologies.
  • Design energetic decomposition reactions that will produce materials with unique chemical, structural, physical, and morphological properties as compared to those from conventional syntheses.  The flexibility of modifiable chemical synthetic methods will allow access to materials with:
    1. kinetically stabilized structures with new and functional physical properties.
    2. crystalline metastable chemical compositions and doped arrangements with tunable variability in structure and properties, e.g., magnetic dopant effects and band shifting by incorporation of visibly absorbing metal centers.
    3. controlled morphology - nanoscale geometries (particles, rods), high surface areas.
  • Explore applications for the unique properties resulting from precursor-synthesized inorganic and organic materials to technologically relevant areas including:
    1. structural materials (hard ceramics and composites)
    2. magnetic systems (dilute semiconductor dopants)
    3.  catalytic and support systems (visible light photocatalysis, fuel cells, H2 storage)

In(N3)3 solvothermal decomposition to nanocrystalline InN

Cartoon scheme for In(N3)3 solvothermal decomposition to nanocrystalline InN



Recent Publications: 
  • “Phosphorus-rich metal phosphides:  Direct and tin-flux assisted synthesis and evaluation as hydrogen evolution electrocatalysts,” Coleman Jr., N.; Lovander, M. D.; Leddy, J.; Gillan, E. G., Inorg. Chem. 2019, 58 (8), 5013-5024.  DOI
  • “Photocatalytic carbon nitride materials with nanoscale features synthesized from the rapid and low-temperature decomposition of trichloromelamine,” Montoya, A. T.; Gillan, E. G., ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2018, 1, 5944-5956.  DOI
  • “Mechanochemical reaction pathways in solvent-free synthesis of ZSM-5,” Nada, M. H.; Gillan, E. G.; Larsen, S. C., Microporous Mesoporous Mater. 2019, 276, 23-28 (online Sept. 2018).  DOI
  • “Botanically templated monolithic macrostructured zinc oxide materials for photocatalysis,” Black, N. M.; Ciota, D. S.; Gillan, E. G., Inorganics 2018, 6, 103 (16 pages).  DOI
  • “Enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from transition-metal surface-modified TiO,” Montoya, A. T.; Gillan, E. G., ACS Omega 2018, 3, 2947-2955.  DOI
  • “Rapid solid-state metathesis route to transition-metal doped titanias,” Coleman Jr., N; Perera, S.; Gillan, E. G., J. Solid. State Chem. 2015, 232, 241-248.  DOI
  • Gillan E. G., “Precursor Chemistry - Group 13 Nitrides and Phosphides (Al, Ga, and In). In: Jan Reedijk and Kenneth Poeppelmeier, Eds. Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry II, Vol 1 (Chp. 31). Oxford: Elsevier; 2013, pp. 969-1000.  DOI
  • “Titania and silica materials derived from chemically dehydrated porous botanical templates,” Zimmerman, A. B.; Nelson, A. M.; Gillan, E. G. Chem. Mater. 2012, 24, 4301-4310.  DOI
  • “Solvothermal metal azide decomposition routes to nanocrystalline metastable nickel, iron, and manganese nitrides,” Choi, J.; Gillan, E. G. Inorg. Chem. 2009, 48, 4470-4477.  DOI
  • “From triazines to heptazines:  Deciphering the local structure of amorphous nitrogen-rich carbon nitride materials,” Holst, J. R.; Gillan, E. G. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 7373-7379.  DOI
  • “Low-temperature solvothermal synthesis of phosphorus-rich transition-metal phosphides,” Barry, B. M.; Gillan, E. G. Chem. Mater. 2008, 20, 2618-2620.  DOI