Zaikina Group


We are a synthetic solid state chemistry research group focusing on the development of novel synthetic methods toward new functional materials that address current scientific challenges in sustainable energy.

Students in Zaikina group will learn unconventional synthesis methods toward inorganic solid state materials, will become experts in various characterization techniques (X-ray crystallography, magnetochemistry, spectroscopy) and will be introduced to the methods of computational chemistry with the primary goal of development of novel synthetic methods and study of structure-property correlations in different classes of emergent functional materials.

From left to right: Aishwarya, Gourab, Nife, Thomas; (not pictured) Willie, Sandita, Paul, Rain

Group News and Events

We are adding 4 new group members! Welcome aboard, Paul, Rain, Sandita, and William (co-advised with Prof. Aaron Rossini)!

December 6 2022

Julia was elected to serve on SNS-HFIR User Group Executive Committee at ORNL

December 6 2022

Our reserach on using Deep Eutectic Solvents for synthesis of oxides is now funded by ACS PRF!

November 22 2022

Congratulations to Tori for a successful final defense! All the best wishes for your future, Dr. Cox, you will be missed!

November 8 2022

Aishwarya gave a talk at 2022 ACS Midwest Regional Meeting!

Oct 19-21 2022

In collaboration with Kirill Kovnir (Chemistry and Ames Lab) and Duane Johnson (MSE and Ames Lab), we have been awarded the first grant from LAS Frontier Science Fund to pursue new high-temperature thermoelectric materials!

September 28 2022

Exciting opportunity to share our reserach with a broader community - Julia gave an invited talk at 11st International Symposium on Boron, Borides and related materials in Paris, France, on the campus Pierre and Marie Curie of Sorbonne University.

September 5-9 2022

Congratulations to Tori Cox for Leadership in Mentoring Recognition from American Chemcial Soceity
July 29 2022

A lot of travelling in August...Julia attended 2023 Quantum Materials Young Investigators Workshop at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and gave a talk at ACS Fall 2022 meeting in Chicago!

August 19-24 2022

Julia and Aishwarya attended Gordon Reserach Conference: Solid State Chemistry 2022 (New London, NH)
Julia gave a talk and Aishwarya presented a poster. Had such a great time learning and networking!

July 24-29 2022

Congratulations to Nife for a successful final defense! Wishing you all the best along each step of your journey, Dr. Adeyemi!

July 20 2022

We have hosted ACS SEED student Brittanya Cena Saenz for hands-on summer research project!

July-August 2022

Congratulations to Gourab for a successful final defense! Good luck on your new adventure, Dr. Bhaskar!

June 15 2022

Just in time for the final defense - Gourab's first-aurthor paper was just accepted into ACS MATERIALS Au, a gold open-acces journal from ACS!
This paper will be included into 2022 Rising Stars Virtual Issue!

June 10 2022

Dr. Abhijit Bera (co-advised with Matt Panthani, CBE) has joined our group! Welcome!

June 6 2022

In May we are setting a new productivity record for our group!
We are adding 3(!) papers into our portofolio.
Fun fact - all 3 are OPEN ACCESS publications!

May 2-11 2022

Julia was elected to serve on APS Users Organization Steering Committee

May 16 2022

Congratulations to Julia for receiving the LAS Award for Early Achievements in Research!

May 5 2022

Our Reserach was featured in virtual issue of ACS Inorganic Chemistry Periodic TableTalks: An Oasis of Science within a Conference Desert

This virtual issue showcases reserach by a junior and established investogators across the six ACS Division of Inorganic chemistry. Solid State chemistry - Julia2 - 🙂 represented by Julia Zaikina and Julia Chan research programs!

April 25 2022

Congratulations to Award Winners ! Tori and Aishwarya recieved ISU Teaching Excellence Award, Gourab - Alpha Chi Sigma Research Award, and Nife - Arthur P. Hellwig Memorial Scholarship!

April 20 2022

Congratulations to Rae Earnest for being accepted into "Nuclear and Radiochemistry Summer School !

March 28 2022

Such a great time at Symposium in Honor of Susan Kauzlarich: ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (ACS Spring 2002, San Diego)

Aishwarya presented a poster and Julia gave an invited talk.

March 18-23 2022

Nife's paper is published in open-access MDPI journal Molecules! There are so many firsts about this paper: 1st first-aurthor publication for Nife, 1st paper for Rae, and 1st paper of 2022 for our group!

March 10 2022

Open House 2022! We are recruiting future solid state chemists!

March 3 2022

Our Paper Topochemical Deintercalation of Li from Layered LiNiB: toward 2D MBene is among 3 articles that received the most votes in Pick Your Favorite JACS Editors’ Choice Article of 2021

February 7 2022

Two Papers published in Inorganic Chemistry this December! Such a nice wrap-up of a very productive 2021

One paper is about metatsbale oxide prepared using deep eutectic solvent, and another is a results of our collaboration with Paul C. Canfield group (Physics and Ames Lab)

December 2021

Pizza lunch with Nobel Laureate (Chemistry, 2011) Professor Dan Shechtman

Fun time learning about the discovery of quasicrystals and personal journey in academia

September 28 2021

Two of Volodymyr's papers have been recently accepted for publication in Inorganic Chemistry and Chemistry- A European journal!

June-August 2021

Two of Volodymyr's papers have been recently accepted for publication in Inorganic Chemistry and Chemistry- A European journal!

June-August 2021

Congratulations to Gourab on winning a gold in the poster prizes at North American Solid State Conference 2021 !
Gourab also gave a talk, while Nife and Tori presented posters

July 28-31 2021

Congratulations to Gourab, who was accepted into highly competetive Paradim Summer School 2021 Intro to DFT for Experimentalists !

July 11-17 2020

Congratulations to Nife, who has been accepted into highly competetive 2021 National School on Neutron & X-ray Scattering Summer School !

July 12-31 2020

Congratulations to Nife for being selected as an award winner for an exceptional presentation at Materials Chemistry session, ACS Great Lakes Regional Meeting 2021! ! Well done! Tori and Gourab also gave talks at ACS Great Lakes Regional Meeting

June 10 2021

Congratulations to Sangki for a successful final defense! 1st PhD from Zaikina group! Good luck with your future endeavours, Dr. Hong!

May 10 2021

Congratulations to Gourab for David N. and Minnie I. Wall Graduate Fellowship and to Tori for Witiak Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry! Great Job!

April 16 2021

Gourab's paper is accepted to JACS !
The paper is also featured as ACS Editor's choice article and highlighted in Spotlights on Recent JACS Publications . Congratulations!

March 15 2021

Sangki's paper published in Chemistry of Materials !

February 16 2021

Our research is featured on the cover of ACA Reflexions, Journal of American Crystallographic Association !

January 15 2021

Volodymyr's paper got accepted to Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers !
This paper is selected for Themed collection 2020 Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers HOT articles and is featured on Inside Front Cover


November 16 2020

Welcome new graduate students!
Thomas Seymour-Cozzini has joined our group

Gourab shares his thoughts about National School on Neutron and X-Ray Scattering (virtual NXS 2020) he attended in June.

Tori's paper got accepted to Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. !
Such a beautiful structure of the new clathrate type! Two undergadute students, Mark and Kristian, have contributed to this project and are co-aurthors in this paper. Congratulations!

September 14 2020

Julia receives 2021 Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award from American Crystallographic Association (ACA) "in recognition of her work in synthetic solid state chemistry and materials characterization"

This award commemorates the memory of crystallographer Margaret Etter , who had been an active leader within the ACA, as well as a noteworthy researcher and educator.

June 14 2020

Congratulations to Volodymyr on receiving the 2020 Postdoctoral Research Excellence Award from the Graduate College, ISU! Good job and well deserved!

May 28 2020

Congratulations to Gourab and Aishwarya, who have been accepted into highly competetive Summer Schools!

Gourab will be attending 2020 National School on Neutron & X-ray Scattering. The School is jointly conducted by Argonne National Laboratory's, Advanced Photon Source and Materials Science Division, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Neutron Sciences Directorate.

Aishwarya will be learning more about superconductivity at 5th JHU Summer School on Materials Growth and Design: Frontiers in Superconductivity .

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, both Summer Schools will be conducted online.

June 15-26 2020

Congratulations to Nife and Gourab for ISU Teaching Excellence Award and to Sangki for Edward V. Sayre Chemistry Scholarship!
Gourab's excellence in teaching was also recognized by award from Graduate and Professional Student Senate! Great Job, Everyone!

March 31 2020

Julia received NSF-Career award from NSF-DMR Solid State Chemistry Program !

December 16 2019

Congratulation to Mark, who has been awarded Dean’s High Impact Award for his undergadute research !

November 2019

Volodymyr's paper got accepted to Chem. Mater. !
Panoramic synthesis yielded by high-temperature powder X-ray diffraction at Argonne Natianal Lab! Congratulations!

October 3 2019

Our paper got accepted to Angew. Chem. !
This paper is a result of fruitful collaboration with a diverse team of researchers from four continents! Congratulations!

August 1 2019

Volodymyr and Sangki attended North American Solid State Chemistry conference (Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO)

July 31 - August 2, 2019

Sangki presented a poster, while Volodymyr did a great job giving invited talk about research in our group on behalf of Julia

Aishwarya, Brittany and Gourab attended 2019 Midwest Retreat for Diversity in Chemistry (Luther College, Decorah, IA)

July 19-21, 2019

Mark was awarded Alice and Donald Hudson Undergraduate Research Scholarship! Congratulations!

This scholarship provides Mark with funds for his undergraduate research experience in our group, and we are looking forward productive summer!

Sangki took part in the 3PD Pittsburgh Practical Powder Diffraction Workshop (Duquesne University, Pittsburg, PA)

Organized by Prof. Jennifer Aitken , this workshop is a perfect opportunity to refresh knowledge in X-ray crystallogrpahy and learn more about GSAS II software.

Sangki was selected to give a talk about using X-ray and neutron powder diffraction in his research.

May 20-22 2019

Sangki's first paper got accepted to the Journal of Materials Chemistry A!
This paper is a result of our collaboration with the group of Prof. Frank Osterloh (UC Davis). Congratulations!

April 8 2019

Tori was awarded Frank J. Moore and Thoreen Beth Moore Scholarship! Congratulations!

April 8 2019

Julia attended National ACS meeting in Orlando (FL) and gave an invited talk at a solid-state chemistry symposium "Structure-Property Correlations in Functional Inorganic Materials".

March 31 - April 3 2019

This symposium was orgainized by Prof. Jennifer Aitken (Duquesne University) and Prof. Efrain Rodriguez (University of Maryland). Great opportunity to present research from our group, see friends, mentors and collaborators, and meet new generation of scientists in the field of solid-state chemsitry!

Volodymyr's paper got accepted to the Chemistry - A European Journal !
This paper brought together a dream team of collaborators from Chemistry and Physics ISU and Ames Lab! Congratulations!

January 16 2019

Kristian received Undergraduate Research Scholarship! Congratulations!

January 10 2019

Our Paper on hydride synthesis of antimonides in Chem. Mater. was selected for the the ACS Virtual Issue "Emerging Investigators in Solid-State Inorganic Chemistry!"

The issue showcases recently published research papers from Inorganic Chemistry, Chemistry of Materials, and The Journal of the American Chemical Society to demonstrate the creativity, range, and areas of interest of selected up-and-coming researchers in this field who have started their independent laboratories in the past five to eight years.


Volodymyr's paper got accepted to the Special Issue "Advances in Zintl Phases" in open access journal Materials . Congratulations!

December 17 2018

Welcome new graduate students!
Aishwarya Mantravadi and Brittany Courteau (co-advised with Dr. Javier Vela)


First paper from Zaikina Group just got accepted to Chemistry of Materials! Congrats to Tori and Volodymyr!

November 13 2018

ACS Midwest Regional Meeting in Ames was a success!

Gourab, Tori, Nife and Sangki presented their reserach at the poster session. Julia was one of the co-organizers of "Inorganic Chemistry for All" Symposium.

October 21-23,2018

Congrats to Sangki Hong for passing his preliminary oral exam and advancing to PhD candidacy!

September 27 2018

Our collaboration with Prof. Javier Vela group resulted in Chem. Mater. publication.

Nife, Tori and Julia attended 2018 Midwest Women Chemists Retreat (Luther College, Decorah, IA)

July 27-29, 2018

Founded by Prof. Robyn Anand (Department of Chemistry, Iowa State Univerisity), 2018 Midwest Women Chemists Retreat is a great networking event, bringing together a group of women at different career stages to discuss the challenges women face in science and in seeking career-life balance.

Nife and Tori presented posters about their research projects, while Julia took part in Academic Discussion Panel.

Julia presented a poster at Solid State Chemistry Gordon Research Conference (New London, NH)

July 22-27, 2018

Terrific conference to learn about frontiers of the field, establish new collaborations, and see friends and mentors! Julia and her postdoctoral advisers Prof. Susan Kauzlarich (UC Davis) and Prof. Susan Latturner (FSU)

Julia gave a talk at the Aperiodic 2018 conference

July 12th, 2018

Great opportunity to present our research and learn more about aperiodic structures!

Ying Li, a summer student from internship program with Beijing Normal University, has joined the group. Welcome Ying!

May 30th, 2018

Ying will stay with us till August 1st and will work on the synthesis from deep eutectic solvents together with Sangki and Nife.

Volodymyr has joined the group. Welcome Dr. Gvozdetskyi!

January, 2018

Tori, Sangki, and Julia has traveled to Argonne National Lab to collect in-situ powder XRD data at 17-BM


Welcome new graduate students
Adedoyin (Nife) Adeyemi, Gourab Bhaskar and Tori Cox!


Julia's Paper from Postdoctoral Work at FSU on La-rich spin glass is out!

November 17, 2017

Switching on a Spin Glass: Flux Growth, Structure, and Magnetism of La11Mn13–x–yNixAlySn4-d Intermetallics. Inorg. Chem., 2017, 56, 15194–15202.

October and November: considerable progress with lab setup !

October-November, 2017

Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) unit has arrived and .....been installed!

Gloveboxes are here!

First reaction in the Lab!

August 29, 2017

Julia has attended 6th CSC New Faculty Workshop in Washington, D.C.

August 3-5, 2017

We are setting up a new lab in Hach Hall.


Zaikina group is currently recruiting new members!


Sangki Hong has joined the group!

August, 2017

2nd-year gradute student Sangki Hong has joined the group. Welcome!