Gregory S. Girolami

William and Janet Lycan Professor of Chemistry

Professor Gregory S. Girolami received two B.S. degrees, one in chemistry and one in physics, from the University of Texas at Austin, and went on to obtain his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley under Prof. Richard A. Andersen. Thereafter, he was a NATO postdoctoral fellow with Nobel prizewinner Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson at Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. He joined the Illinois faculty in 1983, where he is now the William and Janet Lycan Professor of Chemistry. He has served as Head of the Chemistry Department twice, first from 2000 until 2005 and again from 2013 to 2016.

Professor Girolami has received numerous awards for his research, including the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and a University Scholar Award. He is the author of several popular and well-regarded textbooks, and is regularly named to the list of excellent teachers on the University of Illinois campus. Prof. Girolami has been elected a Fellow of several academies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the American Chemical Society.

Professor Girolami is also co-founder of a start-up company, Tiptek LLC, which manufactures ultrasharp probe tips for use in scanning tunneling microscopy and for fault diagnosis and testing of integrated circuits. See Tiptek's website for more information.


Current Research. Professor Girolami's research primarily involves the synthesis, properties, and reactivity of new inorganic, organometallic, and solid state species. Much of the research in his group relates to one of four areas: mechanistic studies of organometallic reactions such as the activation of saturated alkanes, the chemical vapor deposition of thin films from "designed" molecular precursors, the chemistry of the actinides, and the synthesis of new "molecule-based" magnetic materials. For more information about research in the Girolami group, click here