Andrew C Hillier

  • Professor
  • Reginald R. Baxter Endowed Department Chair

Main Office

2114 Sweeney
Ames, IA 50011-1098
Phone: 515-294-3678
Fax: 515-294-2689 fax


  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1995
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Nebraska, 1990

Interest Areas

    Our research activities focus on the experimental and modeling aspects of interfacial processes, with a particular interest in the optical and electrochemical properties of thin films and coatings. We develop and employ a suite of surface fabrication, analysis and characterization tools to create nanostructured surfaces for plasmonic sensors and diffractive optical elements, metal films and nanoparticle coatings for electrocatalytic applications such as fuel cells and electrochemical synthesis/chemical conversion, and as model surfaces for understanding surface processes, including structure, stability, functionalization and reactivity. We exploit a variety of experimental methods for fabrication, including sputter coating, thermal evaporation, laser lithography, electrodeposition and spin coating. We utilize a suite of surface analysis tools for sample characterization, including atomic force microscopy, ellipsometry, electron microscopy, on-line electrochemical mass spectrometry, atom probe tomography, optical microscopy and various visible and infrared spectroscopies. Current projects include: (1) Nanostructured Surfaces for Plasmonic and Guided-Mode Optical Sensing, (2) Fabrication and In-Situ Reaction Pathway Analysis of Electrocatalytic Systems, (3) Nanostructure-Enhanced Visible and Infrared Spectroscopy, and (4) Nanoscale Surface Fabrication via Optical/Electrochemical Coupling.
Teaching Spring Semester 2018
  • Ch E 695J, Advanced Topics: Polymeric & Nanostructured Materials

Brief Biography

Honors and Awards
    • Reginald R. Baxter Endowed Chair, 2016
    • Wilkinson Professor of Interdisciplinary Engineering, 2013
    • Outstanding Teacher Award, AIChE Student Chapter, 2009, 2010
    • ISU Engineering Student Council Leadership Award, 2005
    • Memminger Faculty Fellow, 2003
    • Young Investigator Award, Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry, 2002
    • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator, 2000
    • NSF CAREER Award, 1999
    • Young Electrochemical Scanning Probe Microscopist Award, 1997
    • Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, 1996

Selected Publications

  • Y. Huang, L. Liu, M. Johnson, A.C. Hillier, M. Lu, “One-step sol-gel imprint lithography for guided-mode resonance structures" Nanotechnology, in press (2015).
  • J.W. Petefish and A.C. Hillier, “Multi-pitched Diffraction Gratings for Surface Plasmon Resonance-Enhanced Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy,” Anal. Chem. 87(21), 10862-10870 (2015).
  • Y. Chen, M. Elshobaki, R. Gebhardt, S. Bergeson, J.-M. Park, A. C. Hillier, K.-M. Ho, R. Biswas and S. Chaudhary,. “Reducing Optical Losses In Organic Solar Cells Using Microlens Arrays: Theoretical-Experimental Investigation Of Microlens Dimensions,” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17, 3723-3730 (2015).
  • J. Wang, J. Petefish, A.C. Hillier, I.C. Schneider, “Epitaxially Grown Collagen Fibers Reveal Diversity in Contact Guidance Behavior among Cancer Cells,” Langmuir, 31, 307-314 (2015).
  • J.W. Petefish and A.C. Hillier, “Angle-Tunable Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy via Grating-Coupled Surface Plasmon Resonance,” Anal. Chem. 86 (5), 2610-2617 (2014).
  • S. Venkatachalam, R.J. Angelici, L.K. Woo, and A. C. Hillier, “High Rate Detection of Volatile Products Using Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry: Combining an Electrode-Coated Membrane with Hydrodynamic Flow in a Wall-Tube Configuration” Anal. Chem. 85, 6059-6065 (2013).
  • W.-H. Yeh and A.C. Hillier, “The Use of Dispersion Images for Grating-Coupled Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensing of Multilayer Langmuir-Blodgett Films,” Anal. Chem., 85, 4080-4086 (2013).
  • D. Joester, A. Hillier, Y. Zhang, T. Prosa, “Organic Materials and Organic/Inorganic Heterostructures in Atom Probe Tomography,” Microscopy Today, 20(3), 26-31 (2012).
  • W.-H. Yeh, J.W. Petefish, A.C. Hillier, “Resonance Quenching and Guided modes Arising from the Coupling of Surface Plasmons with a Molecular Resonance,” Anal. Chem., 84(2), 1139-1145 (2012).
  • Y. Zhang, J. Ai, A. C. Hillier, K. R. Hebert. “Atom Probe Tomography Characterization of of Thin Copper Layers on Aluminum Deposited by Galvanic Displacement,” Langmuir, 28(3), 1673-1677 (2012).
  • A. C. Hillier. “Gradient interfaces for sensing and catalysis,” Soft Matter Gradient Surfaces: Methods and Applications, J. Genzer, Ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-470-52265-3 (2012). pp. 145-198.
  • L. Liu, G.-Y. Kim, A. C. Hillier, A. Chandra. “Microstructural and Electrochemical Impedance Study of Ni-CGO Anodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Fabricated by Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis,” J. Power Sources, J. Power Sources, 196(6), 3026-3032 (2011).
  • W.-H. Yeh, J. W. Petefish, A. C. Hillier. “Diffraction-Based Tracking of Surface Plasmon Resonance Enhanced Transmission Through a Gold-Coated Grating,” Anal. Chem. 83, 6047-6053 (2011).
  • Y. Zhang, A. C. Hillier. “Three Dimensional Atom Probe Tomography of Oxide, Anion and Alkanethiolate Coatings on Gold,” Anal. Chem., 82, 6139-6147 (2010).
  • W.-H. Yeh, J. Kleingartner, A. C. Hillier. “Wavelength Tunable Surface Plasmon Resonance-Enhanced Optical Transmission Through a Chirped Diffraction Grating,” Anal. Chem., 82, 4988-4993 (2010).
  • S. Adhikari, L. S. Chumbley, H. Chen, Y. C. Jean, A. C. Geiculescu, A. C. Hillier, K. R. Hebert. “Interfacial Voids in Aluminum Created by Aqueous Dissolution,” Electrochimica Acta, 55, 6093-6100 (2010).
  • C. H. Choi and A. C. Hillier. “Combined electrochemical surface plasmon resonance for angle spread imaging of multi-element electrode arrays,” Anal. Chem. 82, 6293-6298 (2010).