Loyola University Chicago

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Ciszek, Jacob

Title/s: Associate Professor

Office #: FH-122

Phone: 773.508.3107

E-mail: jciszek@luc.edu

External Webpage: http://jciszek.sites.luc.edu



B. S., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


PhD., Chemistry, Rice University


Postdoctoral Associate, Northwestern University


American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University

Research Interests

The Ciszek group studies the chemical functionalization of optoelectronically relevant surfaces. Modern electronics, especially light emitting diodes (LEDs), have transitioned from inorganic materials to organic. Yet despite the pervasiveness of these materials, no chemistry has been developed to optimize their interfaces with other layers.  This absence is even more glaring as the metal-on-organic contact is crucial to device performance. Our group develops reactions to form “monolayers” on these substrates such that flaws like poor adhesion and charge injection barriers are eliminated.

At its heart, the group is a blend of surface science, organic chemistry, materials science, and device engineering. Our primary focus is on the surface science, where most of the ground-breaking experiments occurs. Through a combination of MALDI, XPS, PM-IRRAS, UV-vis, AFM, x-ray crystallography, and SEM, we tease out the chemical changes at the surface that are necessary for improved device behavior.

Our systems of study are organic molecular crystals (or films)Prototypical semiconductor molecules like pentacene are reacted with vapor dosed adsorbates to yield functionalized surfaces. From a fundamental standpoint, these reactions are fascinating as geometric considerations (based off molecular orientation in the crystal) appear to be the primary determinant of reactivity and isomer selectivity. Electronic effects appear muted at best. We are developing composite mechanisms which examine how factors such as the intercalation pathways for adsorbates, the highly anisotropic nature of reaction loci, the relatively weak intermolecular forces within the molecular crystal, and the material’s low surface energies impact reactivity.  This improved understanding is then utilized to alter the surfaces in such a way that integration with metal top contacts or other overlayers is improved.


NSF CAREER award, 2011.
Fellow - Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Research Program, 2011.

Invited speaker at the CeNTech Nanoscience Symposium for Young Scientists, University of Münster, Germany, 2007.

2015 Sujack Family Award for Excellence in Faculty Research.

Selected Publications

Deye, G. J.; Vicente, J. R.; Dalke, S. M.; Piranej, S.; Chen, J.; Ciszek, J. W. “The Role of Thermal Activation and Molecular Structure on the Reaction of Molecular Surfaces” Langmuir 2017, 33, 8140.,

Hopwood, J. P.; Ciszek, J. W. “Solid state and surface effects in thin-film molecular switches” Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 2017, 16, 1095.

Piranej, S.; Turner, D. A.; Dalke, S. M.; Park, H.; Qualizza, B. A.; Vicente, J.; Chen, J.; Ciszek, J. W. “Tunable interfaces on tetracene and pentacene thin-films via monolayers” CrystEngComm. 2016, 18,6062.

Qualizza, B. A.; Ciszek, J. W. “Experimental survey of the kinetics of acene Diels–Alder reactions” J. Phys. Org. Chem. 201528, 629.

Bartucci, M. A.; Florián, J.; Ciszek, J. W. “Spectroscopic evidence of work function alterations due to photoswitchable monolayers on gold surfaces” J. Phys. Chem. C 2013117, 19471.

Qualizza, B. A.; Prasad, S.; Chiarelli, M. P.; Ciszek, J. W. “Functionalization of organic semiconductor crystals via the Diels–Alder reaction” Chem. Commun201349, 4495.‚Äč

Publication list via Google Scholar.