Laboratory for Interface Science of Printable Electronic Materials News

We are hiring Postdocs!

Prospective Postdocs: Want to work on printable electronic materials and devices? Interested in stability? Love semiconductor electrochemistry? Have an interest/background in electrochemical impedance, transient spectroelectrochemistry, scanning electrochemical (cell) microscopy and/or photoelectron spectroscopy? We have three postdoc positions available and we want to work with you!  Email Dr. Ratcliff your CV and cover letter.  

Latest and Greatest From LISPEM

May 2020 - Congrats Michael on your travel award!

Michael was awarded the Carter Travel Award by the UArizona Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDP) to attend the 2020 MRS Spring Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Due to COVID-19, Michael can apply his award to a future conference in 2020 or 2021!  Congrats Michael and best of luck finding a conference in Hawaii!

April 2020 - Congrats Jon on your collaborative paper in SENSORS!

Jon's collaborative paper with AFRL has been accepted in Sensors ( "Impact of Self-Assembled Monolayer Design and Electrochemical Factors on Impedance-Based Biosensing"  This exciting work was done summer 2019 when Jon was a Repperger Research Intern at the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).  Way to go Jon and congrats to all our co-authors (Michael C. Brothers, David Moore, Michael St. Lawrence, Ronald M. Joseph, Oscar N. Ruiz, Nicholas Glavin and Steve S. Kim)!

March 2020 - Best of luck Dr. Bharati Neelamraju!

We bid farewell to Bharati, who has started a position at Micron Technology, Inc.  Best of luck B, we know you will do great things! 

February 10, 2020 - Scientists Study Sweat, the Small Stuff

We are excited about our new project - developing methods to collect and analyze sweat for clues about how the body is functioning - funded by SEMI-NBMC (Nano-Bio Materials Consortium).

January 2020 - New Year, New Decade, New Awards!

Congratulations to Michael for winning the top graduate student prize for Environmental Impact and to Zhiting for winning second place in the ACS Women's Chemist Group at the Graduate Professional Student Council Student Showcase! Their award-winning posters are the products of their Institute for Energy Solutions Summer 2019 Fellowships.  Well done Michael and Zhiting!

January 2020 - Welcome Dr. Songyan Yu!

Dr. Yu joins us to work on wearable sweat sensors and conductive polymer electrochemistry from Auburn University.  Welcome to LISPEM Songyan! 


December 2019 - Congratulations Dr. Neelamraju!

Bharati successfully defended her PhD entitled "Doping and Stability of Organic Semiconductors". She was selected as the top graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona, an award presented to her by Dean Hahn. Way to go Bharati! 

November 2019 Congratulations to Zhiting!

Her collaboration paper with Pat Uniwn's group University of Warwick was just accepted in ACS Nano.

September 2019 LISPEM receives DOE BES funding!

August 2019 Congrats to Kristen, Trung, Bharati, and Michael!

Their collaborative paper with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on degradation of organic donors for solar cells was accepted for publication in Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

July 2019 Congrats to Dr. Ratcliff! 

July 2019 Congrats to Jon and Bharati!

Their manuscript was accepted for publication in Chemistry of Materials. 

July 2019 Congrats to Kristen and Bharati!

Their manuscript was accepted for publication in Chemistry of Materials. 

May 2019 Congrats to Dr. Ratcliff - she was selected for the Award for Excellence at the Student Interface: Most Supportive Junior Faculty

May 2019 Congrats to Sean!

Sean graduates this month with his Master's in Materials Science and Engineering, which has been published in Synthetic Metals.  

April 2019 Congrats to Jon! 

Jon was named a Repperger Research Intern at the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Air Force Research Laboratory for Summer 2019!


March 2019 Congrats to Zhiting and Michael! 

Both were named as 2019 Institute for Energy Solutions Summer Fellows:


March 2019 Congrats to Bharati for passing her oral exam!

February 2019 Congrats to Zhiting!

Her poster won the American Chemical Society Women's Chemistry Group Award at the 2019 GPSC Student Showcase. 

December 2018 Congrats to Bharati!

Her travel grant from the GPSC was funded to attend the Fall 2018 MRS meeting.  


November 2018 Congratulations to Bharati and Kristen for their paper published in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters!

October 2018  Dr. Ratcliff gives an invited talk at Orbitaly 2018 

"Gating strategies in organic electrochemical transistors: Fundamental mechanisms, transport effects, and materials design"  Milan, Italy

September 2018  Congratulations to Bharati and Melanie!  

Their paper "Controlling the Kinetics of Charge Transfer at Conductive Polymer/Liquid Interfaces through Microstructure" was published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2018, 122 (37) 21210-21215

August 2018  Our MRI proposal "Acquisition of a Cryogenic Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope with Spatially Resolved Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy" with Brian LeRoy, John Schaibley, Robert Norwood, and Sefaattin Tongay was selected for funding by NSF DMR (Award #1828427)!  Thank you NSF! 

August 2018 Ratcliff selected to be member of the BIO5 Institute.

August 2018 Zhiting Chen joins the Ratpack.  Welcome Zhiting!

July 2018 Our collaboration on MoOx/PbS interfaces with Naval Research Laboratory "Energy Level Alignment of Molybdenum Oxide on Colloidal Lead Sulfide (PbS) Thin Films for Optoelectronic Devices" is published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 10, 30, 24981-24986  


July 2018 Michael Anderson joins the Ratpack.  Welcome Michael!

June 2018 Our new step-scan FT-IR with electrochemical capabilities is delivered and installed!


May 2018 Jon collects NEXAFS spectra on a recent trip to SSRL



April 2018 Justin and Bharati work on depositing thin films of organic semiconductors


March 2018 Sean gets the last piece of GIWAXS data he needs for his thesis!


February 2018 Bharati is named as one of twelve 2018 Carson Scholars! Congratulations Bharati!  

MSE Grad Student Cultivates Communication Skills…



October 2017 Melanie's paper is published in Nature Communications

"Normal and inverted regimes of charge transfer controlled by density of states at polymer electrodes” is now available online:  

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 1048 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01264-2

Researchers demonstrate new ways to achieve selectivity for biomarkers in bioelectronics

Postdoctoral associate Melanie Rudolph pours electrolyte onto a thin-film polymer for experiments on electron transfer reactions. Credit: University of Arizona

October 2017 Ratcliff lab in the news!  

Researchers demonstrate new ways to achieve selectivity for biomarkers in bioelectronics

Engineers at the University of Arizona have experimentally verified the electrochemical processes that control charge transfer rate from an organic polymer to a biomarker molecule, using common materials and measurement techniques to make their results widely accessible and reproducible.


Erin Ratcliff, left, and undergraduate student Zachary Kushlan examine an organic semiconductor thin film prepared in the Ratcliff lab. Credit: University of Arizona

Read more at:



September 2017 Ratcliff Co-PI of $3 million National Science Foundation grant to help fit sustainable systems to existing infrastructure with the Navajo Nation…

new five-year, $3-million NSF-funded program(link is external) will develop a diverse STEM workforce with the intercultural awareness and multidisciplinary knowledge necessary to address this problem. Through the program, at least 26 University of Arizona graduate students will apply their STEM education to food, water, and energy-related challenges in Navajo Nation.  


August 2017 New paper on "Critical Interface States Controlling Rectification of Ultrathin NiO–ZnO p–n Heterojunctions" published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (36), pp 31111–31118  DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b08899

Abstract Image

July 2017 Jonathan Harris joins the RatPack.  Welcome Jon!

May 2017 Trung Nguyen graduates with his masters in MSE.  Congrats Trung!  

February 2017 Ratcliff named Summer Fellow in 2017 ONR Summer Faulty Research Program at the Naval Research Laboratory

USN Office of Naval Research (ONR) Science & Technology Seal

September 2016 - Ratcliff lab on YouTube.  


August 2016 Our pilot proposal "Wearable sensor arrays for real-time analysis of sweat biofluid" is funded by UA Office of Research and Discovery!  

July 2016 - Our NSF grant is featured in UANews!


June 2016 - Sean Arnold and Zack Kushlan join the Ratpack

Welcome Sean and Zack!


May 2016 - Release of Advanced Materials Special Issue:  Metal Oxide Heterointerfaces in Hybrid Electronic Platforms

Advanced Materials

Dr. Ratcliff's co-edited special issue of Advanced Materials can be found here:

And our editorial with Martyn McLachlan

May 2016

Bharati Neelamraju joins the Ratpack as a PhD student.  Welcome Bharati!

April 2016

Thank you to the National Science Foundation Division of Materials for awarding our joint proposal with Jeanne Pemberton (Chemistry, University of Arizona).  

The project entitled "In Operando Characterization of Degradation Processes in Organic Semiconductor Materials" is for $590,000 and runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019.  

March 2016

Congratulations to Ankush!  His poster "Band gap Engineering of ZnO Selective Contacts with Mg Additives" was nominated for best poster award at the Spring MRS 2016 meeting!


March 2016

The RatPack visits Phoenix for the Spring 2016 MRS meeting.  Come join us at Symposium EP5: Metal Oxide Hetero-Interfaces in Hybrid Electronic Platforms, chaired by Dr. Ratcliff.

December 2015

Dr. Ratcliff gives an invited talk at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source (SSRL) and conducts experiments with Dr. Leah Kelly.  

Dr. Kelly at beam line 8-2 (SSRL)

December 2015

Dr. Ratcliff gives an inivted talk at Fall MRS in Boston "Doping and nano-texturing of polymer semiconductors" in Symposium AA: Organic Semiconductors -Surface, Interface and Bulk Doping.  

November 2015

Dr. Melanie Rudolph joins the group as a postdoctoral researcher after completing her Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany.  Welcome to the University of Arizona Melanie!

October 2015

The new IPES has arrived!  Assembly is underway.......

September 2015

Dr. Ratcliff travels to Arizona State University to meet with researchers part of QESST.  The title of her seminar talk was "Selectivity of Contacts in Thin Film Photovoltaics".  

August 2015

Dr. Ratcliff gives a seminar "Overcoming Materials Challenges with Interfaces in Thin Film Optoelectronic Devices" and visits with researchers at US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC.  

August 2015

Trung Nguyen (Ph.D. student in MSE) joins the Ratcliff group and our organic thermoelectric effort.  Welcome to the group and to Tucson Trung!

August 2015

Dr. Leah Kelly joins us as joint postdoctoral researcher with Oliver Monti's group in Chemistry.  Leah is working on characterizing doping in organic semiconductors.  Welcome Leah!

July 2015

Dr. Ratcliff travels to Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Source (SSRL) for spectroscopy experiments of colloidal quantum dots with Naval Research Laboratory collaborators.  

June 2015

Ankush Nayak (Masters student, MSE) and Zack Fortuno (undergraduate, MSE) join the lab to work on photoelectrochemistry of oxides and polymers.  Welcome Ankush and Zack!

Congratulations to Kira Rundel on graduating with a Bachelor's degree from University of Arizona.  Kira leaves us for first a summer internship at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO) before heading off to Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) to pursue a Ph.D.  Best of luck Kira!

May 2015

Ratcliff proposal funded with Oliver Monti (UA Chemistry) "Organic Thermoelectrics: Breaking the Barrier for Conversion of Heat to Electricity"   by TRIF UA Renewable Energy Network  $60,000.  Thank you REN!

April 2015

Kira Rundel wins the Distinguished Poster Award at the Arizona Student Energy Conference (AzSEC).  Congratulations Kira!

January 2015

Ratcliff proposal "Inverse Photoemission Spectrometer" was selected for funding by the Water, Environmental and Energy Solutions (WEES) competitive equipment grants program.  Thank you WEES!

Homecoming 2014

Kira Rundel and her poster “Exploring the Effect of Donor Polymer Molecular Weight in Bulk Heterojunction All-Polymer Solar Cells” win multiple prizes at UA Homecoming, including First Place in Undergraduate Division of Engineering Student Showcase, First Place from the American Chemical Society Women’s Chemistry Group, and the President’s Award for the Best Undergraduate Research Project.  Excellent work Kira!