Jillian Buriak


Faculty of Science - Chemistry
(780) 492-1821
4-255 Centennial Ctr For Interdisciplinary SCS II
11335 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5



Jillian Buriak received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1990, and a Ph.D. from the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France, in 1995. After an NSERC postdoctoral appointment at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Buriak started her independent faculty career at Purdue University in 1997, being promoted to associate professor, with tenure, in 2001. In 2003 she joined the University of Alberta as a full professor, Canada Research Chair, and Senior Research Officer. She was on the Board of Reviewing Editors (BoRE) at Science from 2003 to 2008 (impact factor = 37.2; handlng 7-10 papers per week), was an Associate Editor at ACS Nano from 2009 to 2013 (impact factor = 13.7; handling >500 papers per year), from 2014 to 2020 was the Editor-in-Chief of the American Chemical Society journal Chemistry of Materials (impact factor = 9.89; handling ~5000 papers per year), is the Editor-in-Chief of the new ACS Materials Letters, and has recently returned to her role as Associate Editor with ACS Nano. Buriak has co-authored over 100 papers in the area of surface chemistry, nanoscience, synthetic materials chemistry and inorganic nanomaterials, has an h index of 61, and over 13,000 total citations. 


Nanoscience and Materials Chemistry

The manipulation of matter on the nanometer scale has become a central focus from both fundamental and technological perspectives. Unique, unpredictable and highly intriguing physical, optical and electrical phenomena can result from the confinement of matter into nanoscale features. In our laboratory, we are working on synthesizing, characterizing and applying a range of different nanoscale structures, some of which are outlined here.

Nanoscale structures for solar energy

One of humanity’s foremost challenges is satisfying our ever-growing demand for secure, clean energy. As the earth’s population is projected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, global energy consumption is expected to increase commensurately, with at minimum a two-fold increase by 2050. In raw demand, this is an increase from the present consumption of 13.5 terawatts (TW) to at least 27 TW. In this research program, we direct our efforts towards a multidisciplinary approach, with the goal of utilizing inexpensive conducting polymers (some of which we design and make in-house), and highly abundant, inexpensive "rock-like" materials. These materials are combined into a manufacturable third generation photovoltaic technology. By building multilayer films of inorganic nanoparticles in a highly controllable fashion, we focus upon the production of both excitonic and dye-sensitized cells. The program builds upon a highly interdisciplinary team consisting of an industrial partner, industry and government laboratory supporters, and university and government collaborators.

Using self-assembly to build sub-50 nm features on silicon

Fabrication of nanoscale features integrated with a range of technologically important semiconductor surfaces, on a sub-100 nm length scale, is a rapidly growing area of research with respect to future semiconductor applications, including hybrid semiconductor-organic and nanoparticle devices, tissue integration, molecular electronics, micro- and nanofluidics, sensing, photovoltaics, and others. Lithography is the single most expensive cost factor in chip manufacturing. To be considered viable from a commercial perspective in the near to mid-term, and beyond, new lithographic approaches should ideally be compatible with existing silicon-based micro- and nanofabrication techniques, presently in operation. Because of the ubiquity of polymers in silicon fabrication (as photoresists, for example), polymer self-assembly to produce nanoscale structures has recently emerged as a possible approach to the production of uniformly patterning broad areas of surfaces. Block copolymer self-assembly is explicitly mentioned in the Semiconductor Industry Association Roadmap as a potential "innovative technology" may be utilized to produce sub-45 nm features on integrated circuits (ICs). In this project, we are developing a number of ways to “convince” block copolymers to form beautiful, complex and useful patterns, with the goal of integrating these processes into chip manufacturing lines on silicon.


Recently, nanoparticles (NPs) have come to the forefront as potential catalysts for a wide variety of reactions including olefin and arene hydrogenations. NP catalysts are advantageous for many reasons including high surface areas and energies, unique electronic effects and potentially lower cost: high surface to volume ratios mean less metal is ‘wasted’ in the particle interior, and higher selectivity produces fewer undesirable side products. In this project, we build combinatorial libraries of heterogeneous catalysts for a number of hydrogenation reactions to discover leads to highly active and previously undiscovered catalysts.

Nanoscale patterning via stamp lithography

Considerable effort has been ongoing in recent years to improve and build upon the ability of various patterning techniques. Our approach towards this challenge has been the introduction of catalytic stamps, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based stamps integrated with nanopatterned transition metal catalysts. Using these functional stamps, a variety of catalytic reactions have been carried out on Si surfaces, and molecular patterns with down to 15 nm resolution have been produced. Reactions include hydrogenation, hydrosilylation, Click chemistry, and Heck reactions.

Nanomedicine and Transplantation

Through a collaboration with a highly multidisciplinary team, we are producing the vehicles that could help prevent organ rejection in humans through a immunogenic process called “tolerance”. We hope to solve the problem of blood group incompatibility via the development of nanoparticles and stents that are functionalized with the very blood group antigens that induce organ rejection. Through application of these materials at the precise time in an infant’s life when the immune system is still learning (up to about 24 months of age), we hope to promote tolerance in the individual, thus lessening the chances of organ rejection later in life, should the need arise.


Kinetics of Plasmon-Driven Hydrosilylation of Silicon Surfaces: Photogenerated Charges Drive Silicon-Carbon Bond Formation

Author(s): C Rao, B. C. Olsen, E. J. Luber, J. M. Buriak
Publication Date: 8/9/2021
Volume: 125
Issue: 32
Page Numbers: 17983–17992
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpcc.1c04738

Beyond Thin Films: Clarifying the Impact of c-Li15Si4 Formation in Thin Film, Nanoparticle, and Porous Si Electrodes

Author(s): Jasper C. Woodard, W. Peter Kalisvaart, Youssef Sayed Sayed, Brian C. Olsen, E. J. Luber, Jillian M. Buriak
Publication Date: 8/6/2021
Volume: 13
Issue: 32
Page Numbers: 38147–38160
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acsami.1c04293

Solvent Vapor Annealing, Defect Analysis, and Optimization of Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers Using Machine Learning Approaches

Author(s): Gayashani Ginige, Youngdong Song, Brian C Olsen, Erik J Luber, Cafer T Yavuz, Jillian M Buriak
Publication Date: 3/17/2021
Volume: 13
Issue: 24
Page Numbers: 28639–28649
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.1c05056

Bipolar Resistive Switching in Junctions of Gallium Oxide and p-type Silicon

Author(s): Mahmoud N Almadhoun, Maximilian Speckbacher, Brian C Olsen, Erik J Luber, Sayed Youssef Sayed, Marc Tornow, Jillian M Buriak
Publication Date: 3/10/2021
Volume: 21
Issue: 6
Page Numbers: 2666-2674
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00539

Optimization of the Bulk Heterojunction of All-Small-Molecule Organic Photovoltaics Using Design of Experiment and Machine Learning Approaches

Author(s): Aaron Kirkey, Erik J Luber, Bing Cao, Brian C Olsen, Jillian M Buriak
Publication Date: 11/23/2020
Volume: 12
Issue: 49
Page Numbers: 54596-54607
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsami.0c14922

Stabilizing Tin Anodes in Sodium-Ion Batteries by Alloying with Silicon

Author(s): Sayed Youssef Sayed, W Peter Kalisvaart, Erik J Luber, Brian C Olsen, Jillian M Buriak
Publication Date: 9/23/2020
Volume: 3
Issue: 10
Page Numbers: 9950-9962
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsaem.0c01641

van der Waals Epitaxy of Soft Twisted Bilayers: Lattice Relaxation and Mass Density Waves

Author(s): Cong Jin, Brian C Olsen, Erik J Luber, Jillian M Buriak
Publication Date: 9/15/2020
Volume: 14
Issue: 10
Page Numbers: 13441-13450
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsnano.0c05310

Reconsidering XPS Quantification of Substitution Levels of Monolayers on Unoxidized Silicon Surfaces

Author(s): Minjia Hu, Erik J. Luber, and Jillian M. Buriak
Publication Date: 6/30/2020
External Link: https://pubs-acs-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/doi/10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c04101

Redox Flow Batteries: How to Determine Electrochemical Kinetic Parameters.

Author(s): Hao Wang, Sayed Youssef Sayed, Erik J. Luber, Brian C. Olsen, Shubham M. Shirurkar, Sankaranarayanan Venkatakrishnan, Ushula M. Tefashe , Anna K. Farquhar, Eugene S. Smotkin, Richard L. McCreery, and Jillian M. Buriak
Publication Date: 3/17/2020
Volume: 14
Page Numbers: 2575-2584
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsnano.0c01281#

Water-soluble pH-switchable cobalt complexes for aqueous symmetric redox flow batteries

Author(s): Hao Wang, Sayed Youssef Sayed, Brian C. Olsen, Erik J. Luber, and Jillian M. Buriak
Publication Date: 3/10/2020
Volume: 56
Page Numbers: 3605-3608
External Link: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/cc/d0cc00383b/unauth#!divAbstract

Adhesion and Surface Layers on Silicon Anodes Suppress Formation of c-Li3.75Si and Solid-Electrolyte Interphase

Author(s): Hezhen Xie, Sayed Youssef Sayed, W. Peter Kalisvaart, Simon. J. Schaper, Peter Müller-Buschbaum, Erik J. Luber, Brian C. Olsen, Martin Haese, and Jillian M. Buriak
Publication Date: 1/14/2020
Volume: 3
Page Numbers: 1609-1616
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsaem.9b02090

Understanding the Mechanism of Enhanced Cycling Stability in Sn–Sb Composite Na-Ion Battery Anodes: Operando Alloying and Diffusion Barriers

Author(s): W. Peter Kalisvaart, Hezhen Xie, Brian C. Olsen, Erik J. Luber, and Jillian M. Buriak
Publication Date: 6/7/2019
Volume: 2
Page Numbers: 5133-5139
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsaem.9b00819

Alternating Silicon and Carbon Multilayer-Structured Anodes Suppress Formation of the c-Li3.75Si Phase

Author(s): Sayed Youssef Sayed, W. Peter Kalisvaart, Brian C. Olsen, Erik J. Luber, Hezhen Xie, Jillian M. Buriak
Publication: Chemistry of Materials
Volume: 31
Issue: 17
Page Numbers: 6578-6589
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b00389

Plasmonic Stamps Fabricated by Gold Dewetting on PDMS for Catalyzing Hydrosilylation on Silicon Surfaces

Author(s): Chengcheng Rao, Erik J. Luber, Brian C. Olsen, Jillian M. Buriak
Publication: ACS Applied Nano Materials
Volume: 2
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 3238-3245
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsanm.9b00538

Sb–Si Alloys and Multilayers for Sodium-Ion Battery Anodes

Author(s): W. Peter Kalisvaart, Brian C. Olsen, Erik J. Luber and Jillian M. Buriak
Publication: ACS Applied Energy Materials
Volume: 2
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 2205-2213
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsaem.8b02231

Understanding the Mechanism of Enhanced Cycling Stability in Sn–Sb Composite Na-Ion Battery Anodes: Operando Alloying and Diffusion Barriers

Author(s): W. Peter Kalisvaart, Hezhen Xie, Brian C. Olsen, Erik J. Luber, Jillian M. Buriak
Publication: ACS Applied Energy Materials
Volume: 2
Issue: 7
Page Numbers: 5133-5139
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsaem.9b00819