Ananya, Harshad, and Sam join the Baker group!

January 1, 2020

Welcome to the group!


Elizabeth successfully defends her PhD thesis!

December 16, 2019

Elizabeth presented her work, titled "Understanding the Role of Lattice Defects and Metal Composition Ratio on the Photochemistry of CuFeO2 toward Solar Energy Conversion".  Congratulations, Dr. Fugate!


Yutichai successfully defends his PhD thesis!

December 5, 2019

Yutichai presented his work, titled "Mechanistic Studies of Crotonaldehyde Partial Hydrogenation and Ethanol Steam Reforming Reactions on Planar Catalysts--A Gas-Phase and Ambient Pressure XPS Study".  Congratulations, Dr. Mueanngern!


Baker group participates in tOSU Breakfast of Science Champions

November 6 , 2019

Columbus area middle school students traveled to OSU for the annual Breakfast of Science Champions event. The students were able to experience what it was like to be a scientist in the chemistry department. They traveled to different stations around the department to see cool demos and do hands-on experiments! The Baker group showed the students examples of solubility, molecular interactions, and lasers. The students loved seeing science happen (and taking home some cool lava lamps)!

NSF Establishes National EXtreme Ultrafast Science (NEXUS) Facility at Ohio State Led by Dr. Baker

October , 2019

The NSF Division of Chemistry through the Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-1 program awards $9.5M to a team at The Ohio State University led by Robert Baker to establish NSF NEXUS.  This facility will be a beyond-the-state-of-the-art national XUV light source to serve the scientific and engineering communities as an open-access user facility. This light source will be coupled to a versatile array of experimental capabilities, designed to facilitate transformative progress in areas of national priority with emphasis on energy conversion and quantum information science.

At the heart of this facility is a new laser technology for producing extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray photon energies at repetition rates of hundreds of kilohertz with average power exceeding one kilowatt. The combination of attosecond time resolution, high energies, and high repetition rates enables measurements that currently cannot be made with existing technology.

Read OSU's announcement here and the NSF abstract here.


Somnath receives the FIA Award for Excellence in Academic Achievement!

August 24, 2019

The Federation of Indian Associations selected Somnath to receive the 2019 award due to his high academic achievement while at OSU.  The FIA is a group that celebrates the achievements, contributions, and diversity that Asian Indians living in Ohio facilitate.  Somnath was chosen for this award from the entire FIA -- over 10,000 people.  Congratulations, Somnath!

Savini passes her candidacy exam

August 15, 2019

Congratulations, Savini!

Dr. Baker is awarded the 2019 Young Innovator Award in NanoEnergy!

August 7, 2019

The NanoResearch editorial board conducted a highly competitive process to select young researchers in fields related to nanoscience for this award.  Congratulations to Dr. Baker for being selected as one of the 44 outstanding young investigators under 45!  Read the announcement here.

Dr. Baker gives an invited talk at the 14th Femtochemistry Conference!

August 3, 2019

Dr. Baker traveled Shanghai, China for a week to participate in the conference (FEMTO 14) and give an invited talk.  The meeting was a great scientific as well as cultural experience!

Congratulations to Elizabeth, Somnath, and Mathew for an accepted manuscript!

July 29, 2019

In collaboration with the Asthagiri group, their paper, “The role of phase impurities and lattice defects on the electron dynamics and photochemistry of CuFeO2 solar photocathodes” has been accepted for publication in Nano Research. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Somnath, Spencer, and Savini for an accepted manuscript!

July 25, 2019

Their paper, “Controlling polaron formation at hematite surfaces by molecular functionalization probed by XUV reflection-absorption spectroscopy” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Chemical Physics.  This article was also highlighted as a JCP Featured Article. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Jakub and Somnath for an accepted manuscript!

July 25, 2019

In collaboration with the Allen group, their paper, “Iron(III) Speciation Observed at Aqueous and Glycerol Surfaces: Vibrational Sum Frequency and X-Ray” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Congratulations!

Juni gives her REU final presentation!

July 25, 2019

Juni gave a poster and oral presentation at the Consortium of Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences titled “Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 Through Au/Cu Catalysis”.  Great job this summer, Juni!

Amy passes her candidacy exam

July 19, 2019

Congratulations, Amy!

Somnath is invited to attend the Lindau meeting!

June 25, 2019

Somnath has been invited to attend the meeting and present a poster on his research!  The program chose to interview him after reading about his dedication to scholarship.  Read the interview here.  

Somnath presents his work at the meeting

Somnath with Nobel Laureate William E. Moerner

The Baker group attends ISMS

June 18, 2019

Somnath, Elizabeth, Stephen, Spencer, Savini, Emily, and Dr. Baker gave oral presentations for the 74th annueal ISMS at UIUC. Congratulations on great talks!

Jakub starts his new position at Intel!

June 1, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Jakub Husek for starting a new position at Intel in Oregon!


Juni joins the group as an REU student

June 1, 2019


Dr. Baker receives a grant from the Air Force

May 28, 2019

We would like to thank the Air Force for providing support within the Baker group.

Emily passes her first year oral exam!

May 22, 2019

Congratulations, Emily!

Emily travels to SLAC National Accelerator Lab!

May 12, 2019

Emily spent a week working with researchers on new liquid sheet technologies at SLAC.  It was a very good networking opportunity and gave lots of insight for implementing liquid phase studies!

The Baker group says “goodbye” to Dr. Husek

May 2, 2019

One final barbecue at Dr. Baker’s house before graduation!


Congratulations to Somnath for receiving the Presidential Fellowship!

April 26, 2019

This fellowship is the highest award given by the Graduate School for outstanding scholarship.  Well done, Somnath!

Read more here.

Jakub successfully defends his PhD thesis!

March 19, 2019

Jakub presented his work, titled "Elucidating Surface Charge Carrier Dynamics of Functional Materials By Femtosecond Transient Extreme Ultraviolet Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy".  Congratulations, Dr. Husek!

Stephen and Dr. Baker participated in the Attosecond School

March 11, 2019

Stephen and Dr. Baker traveled to Erice in Sicily, Italy to attend a week-long crash course in attosecond ultrafast x-ray science.  Dr. Baker was an invited speaker for this event.  Read more about it here.

The DOE Office of Science highlights our PCCP article!

February 6, 2019

We would like to thank the office of Basic Energy Sciences for the highlight of our PCCP article describing charge transfer across a Fe2O3/NiO heterostructure.  You can read the highlight here.

Emily joins the Baker group!

January 7, 2019

Welcome, Emily!

Listen to Robert’s interview on Voices of Excellence podcast

November 16, 2018

The College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State has launched a new podcast highlighting the research of its faculty and staff: Voices of Excellence from the College of Arts and SciencesFrom x-ray spectroscopy to the design of nanomaterials for catalysis, Robert describes not just the science that we do, but also some of the joys of being a professor. Listen to Robert talk to David Staley about what it’s like to run a cutting-edge research laboratory.

Mathew participates in Translating Engineering Research to K8 (TEK8) outreach program

November 16, 2018

Translating Engineering Research K-8 (TEK8) is an outreach program developed by the Colleges of Engineering and Education and Human Ecology. The program communicates the broader impacts of federally funded engineering research while increasing urban middle school students’ interest in engineering and preparing practicing teachers and engineering students to introduce middle school students to the engineering design process. An end product of TEK8 are project-based lessons around engineering design challenges created by engineering students and teachers. The design challenges have been tested in an after-school setting and expose students to the essence of engineering: design and problem solving. Mathew’s challenge was to communicate to 3rd and 4th grade students how a catalyst works and how it can be controlled to mediate chemical reactions.

Read more about the outreach program here.

Somnath receives the DOW seminar award!

October 4, 2018

Congratulations!  Read more here.

Congratulations to Somnath, Jakub, Stephen, and Elizabeth for an accepted manuscript!

September 5, 2018

Their paper, “Identifying the Acceptor State in NiO Hole Collection Layers: Direct Observation of Exciton Dissociation and Interfacial Hole Transfer Across a Fe2O3/NiO Heterojunction” has been accepted for publication in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. This article has also been selected for the front cover as well as featured in the 2018 PCCP Hot Articles collection. Congratulations! 

Congratulations to Somnath, Jakub, and Stephen for an accepted manuscript!

August 9, 2018

Their paper, “Ultrafast Electron Trapping and Defect-Mediated Recombination in NiO Probed by Femtosecond Extreme Ultraviolet Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy” has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. Congratulations!

Spencer and Stephen pass their candidacy exams

July 27, 2018

Congratulations, Spencer and Stephen!

Nano Letters Manuscript Highlighted in Advances in Engineering

June 16, 2018

Advances in Engineering published a highlight of Somnath’s Nano Letters manuscript. You can read the highlight here.


Savini passes her first year oral exam

May 25, 2018

Congratulations, Savini!

Congratulations to Jakub, Anthony, and Somnath for an accepted manuscript!

May 9, 2018

Their paper, “Hole Thermalization Dynamics Facilitate Ultrafast Spatial Charge Separation in CuFeO2 Solar Photocathodes” has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Josh, Scott, and Skyler for graduating from Ohio State and moving to graduate school

May 7, 2018

The Baker group is losing three outstanding undergraduate students. Josh Graham, Scott Garner, and Skyler Ware have done outstanding work and earned their Bachelor’s degrees from Ohio State.

Josh is staying at Ohio State to pursue a master’s degree in teaching and learning, Scott will start a PhD program at UC Berkeley, and Skyler will do her PhD at Cal Tech.

We are very proud of you and are excited for your future!

Congratulations to Somnath and Jakub for an accepted manuscript!

April 6, 2018

Their feature article, “Elucidating Ultrafast Electron Dynamics at Surfaces Using Extreme Ultraviolet (XUV) Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy” has been published in Chemical Communications. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Somnath, Jakub, and Stephen for an accepted manuscript!

January 25, 2018

Their paper, “Highly Localized Charge Transfer Excitons in Metal Oxide Semiconductors” has been accepted for publication in Nano Letters.


Savini joins the Baker group!

January 1, 2018


Congratulations to Jakub, Anthony, and Somnath on an accepted manuscript!

October 9, 2017

Their paper, “Surface Electron Dynamics in Hematite (α-Fe2O3): Correlation Between Ultrafast Surface Electron Trapping and Small Polaron Formation” has been accepted for publication in Chemical Science.


Yutichai passes his candidacy

September 14, 2017

Congratulations, Yutichai!

Elizabeth passes her candidacy exam

August 17, 2017

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Robert receives a grant from the NSF Chemical Catalysis Program

August 15, 2017

We would like to thank the NSF for providing support to study the mechanism of CO2 reduction on metal oxide catalysts using sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy.  We look forward to working with the Asthagiri group who will provide theoretical insights on this collaborative project.

First spectroscopy manuscript accepted!

July 27, 2017

Congratulations to Anthony, Jakub, and Somnath on getting the first XUV spectroscopy published. The manuscript “Achieving Surface Sensitivity in Ultrafast XUV Spectroscopy: M2,3-Edge Reflection–Absorption of Transition Metal Oxides” has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Yutichai and Xin on their publication!

June 29, 2017

Their paper “Catalysis at Multiple Length Scales: Crotonaldehyde Hydrogenation at Nanoscale and Mesoscale Interfaces in Platinum–Cerium Oxide Catalysts” has been accepted in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Congratulations!

Ohio State receives funding for an Ambient Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer

May 30, 2017

Ohio State receives an NSF MRI award for the purchase of an ambient pressure XPS instrument. Robert Baker is the lead PI on this proposal, and co-PIs include Nicholas Brunelli, Anne Co, David Cole, Gerry Frankel, Umit Ozkan, and Yiying Wu. We would also like to thank Prabir Dutta for his much help with the application process. We are excited for the pending arrival of this new, world class instrument to Ohio State campus!

Anthony Cirri starts his postdoc in the Baker group

May 30, 2017

We are excited to have Anthony join us from Penn State!

Somnath passes his candidacy exam

May 8, 2017

Congratulations, Somnath!

Skyler receives 2 research scholarships

April 14, 2017

Congratulations to Skyler for receiving both the College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship and the Mayers Summer Research Fellowship! These awards will support her research efforts in the Baker group this summer and through the next academic year.

Skyler receives the Outstanding Poster Award

April 10, 2017

Skyler’s poster is recognized as one of the best at the OSU Natural and Mathematical Sciences Undergraduate Research Forum. Nice job, Skyler!

Amy, Stephen, and Spencer join the Baker group

January 1, 2017


Our second manuscript has just been accepted!

November 28, 2016

Congratulations to Xin, Elizabeth, Yutichai on our group’s second accepted manuscript. The paper “Photo-Electrochemical CO2 Reduction to Acetate on Iron-Copper Oxide Catalysts” has been accepted to ACS Catalysis. You can read this manuscript under “Papers.”

Yutichai defends his Master’s thesis

June 8, 2016

Congratulations, Yutichai!

Elizabeth defends her Master’s thesis

June 8, 2016

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Our group’s first accepted manuscript

June 8, 2016

Congratulations to Xin, Yutichai and Quinn on our group’s first accepted manuscript. The paper “Crotonaldehyde Hydrogenation on Platinum–Titanium Oxide and Platinum–Cerium Oxide Catalysts: Selective C=O Bond Hydrogen Requires Platinum Sites Beyond the Oxide–Metal Interface” has been accepted to Catalysis Science & Technology. You can read this manuscript under “Papers.”

Jakub passes his Candidacy exam

May 9, 2016

Congratulations, Jakub!

Baker group participates in Breakfast of Science Champions at OSU

November 12, 2015

On November 4th Columbus middle school students journeyed to OSU for Breakfast of Science Champions. For this event, middle school students got to experience what it was like to be a scientist in the chemistry department. The students traveled to four different stations around the chemistry department with different chemistry demos as well as some hands on activities. The Baker group station consisted of two different activites where students learned about molecular interactions. The students were really excited to be around real scientists!



Jakub helps students understand solubility.

Discovering intermolecular interactions through the use of milk, detergent, and food coloring.

Becky and Jakub guide students through the solubility experiment.

Robert receives the DOE Early Career Award

June 15, 2015

We would like to thank the Department of Energy for supporting our research through the Early Career Research Program.


Robert receives the AFOSR Young Investigator Award

January 22, 2015

We would like to thank the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for providing our group’s first external funding through the 2015 Young Investigator Research Program.

Baker Group website published

January 12, 2015

The group website is now online

Jakub, Becky, Elizabeth, and Yutichai become the first graduate students in the Baker Group!

January 7, 2015

Jakub Husek, Becky Bradley, Elizabeth Fugate, and Yuitichai Mueanngern officially join the group as the first graduate students.

The catalytic reactor is up and running

January 5, 2015

The reactor is assembled, and we have begun measuring reaction kinetics for crotonaldehyde hydrogenation on platinum

Quinn joins the Baker Group and starts setting up the reactor

November 17, 2014

Quinn Baker joins the group as a research assistant and begins assembling the catalytic reactor

Xin starts his postdoc in the Baker Group

October 14, 2014

Dr. Xin Yang joins the Baker Group as the first postdoc and begins fabrication of nano-patterned catalysts

Robert arrives at OSU

July 15, 2014

Dr. Robert Baker arrives at OSU and begins setting up the new lab