The University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Stephen S. Nonnenmann

Assistant Professor

My research interests combine materials science, surface science, electrochemistry, and nanomechanics approaches to answer the question: “What mechanisms drive transduction and transport across interfaces under realistic operation conditions?” Material structure dictates functionality and significantly influences the performance of many device applications involving electrodes and active surfaces. I impact this field by identifying the environmental factors inducing / limiting materials functionality and then pioneering advanced microscopy approaches to directly observe interfacial phenomena in situ, yield key parameters, and inform materials theory and synthesis. I fully expect to leverage our unique local probes to address challenges at dissimilar materials interfaces that affect energy, electronic, and bio technologies.

Current Research

The Nonnenmann Lab leads a multi-faceted, creative, dynamic research program that determine nanoscale structure ↔ property relationships within functional materials that inform energy, electronic, and biological application designs. Our unique research approach targets local heterogeneous stimulus-response cycles of materials under extreme environmental perturbation in situ, or “in position” / “real-time”.

We bridge the gap between experimental and theoretical studies to enable the observation and manipulation of physiochemical phenomena within functional materials under actual environmental conditions by pioneering advanced scanning probe microscopy (SPM) that:
• address defect-mediated electroactivity across electrode-electrolyte interfaces;
• study resistive switching mechanisms within confined geometries;
• clarify the local nanomechanical and nanoelectronic response of soft biopolymers. 

Learn more at

J. Wang, S. Choudhary, W.L. Harrigan, A.J. Crosby, K.R. Kittilstved, and S.S. Nonnenmann, “Transferable Memristive Nanoribbons Comprising Solution-Processed Strontium Titanate Nanocubes”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 9 10847-10854 (2017).
J. Zhu, J. Wang, D.S. Mebane, and S.S. Nonnenmann, “In situ Surface Potential Evolution Along Au/Gd:CeO2 Electrode Interfaces”, APL Materials 5 042503 (2017).
J. Wang and S.S. Nonnenmann, “Area-Dependent Electroforming and Switching Polarity Reversal Across TiO2/Nb:SrTiO3 Oxide Interfaces”, Journal of Materials Science 526469-6475 (2017).
L.-S. Wang, B. Duncan, R. Tang, Y.-W. Lee, B. Creran, S.G. Elci, J. Zhu, G.Y. Tonga, J. Doble, M. Fessenden, M. Bayat, S.S. Nonnenmann, R.W. Vachet, and V.M. Rotello, “Gradient and Patterned Protein Films Stabilized via Nanoimprint Lithography for Engineered Interactions with Cells”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 9 42-46 (2017).
D.E. Acevedo-Cartagena, J. Zhu, E. Trabanino, E. Pentzer, T. Emrick, S.S. Nonnenmann, A.L. Briseno, and R.C. Hayward, “Selective Nucleation of Poly(3-hexyl thiophene) Nanofibers on Multilayer Graphene Substrates”, ACS Macro Letters 4 483-487 (2015).
M.H.M. Cativo, S.-J. Park, C.R. Kagan, K.G. Yager, C.T. Black, S.S. Nonnenmann, D.A. Bonnell, and R.A. Riggleman, “Air-Liquid Interfacial Self-Assembly of Conjugated Block Copolymers into Ordered Nanowire Arrays”, ACS Nano 8 12755-12762 (2014).
Contact Info

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Engineering Laboratory 208E
160 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

(413) 545-4051