Melissa A. Hines earned a S. B. in chemistry from M.I.T. in 1984 and a Ph. D. in chemistry from Stanford in 1992. After two years of postdoctoral research at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill NJ, she joined the Cornell faculty in 1994. She received the 2014 Arthur Adamson Award for Surface Chemistry from the American Chemical Society and is a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been named a Beckman Young Investigator, a Lily Teaching Fellow, and a Cottrell Scholar. She is also the recipient of a NSF Career Award and the Stephen and Margaret Russell Distinguished Teaching Award. Of all her awards, she is most proud of having been named a Weiss Presidential Fellow in recognition of her contributions to and excellence in undergraduate education.
We use scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), surface spectroscopies, as well as density functional theory (DFT) and Monte Carlo simulations to understand and control chemical reactivity at the nanoscale. Much of our current research is aimed at developing a new surface-science approach to understanding sustainable nanocatalysis and photocatalysis on earth-abundant metal oxides under technologically relevant conditions. This research probes catalytically active sites with atomic-scale spatial resolution and submonolayer spectroscopic sensitivity — studies that have been previously infeasible due to technical limitations. Although TiO₂ is our current focus, our goal is to use these techniques on a much wider variety of sustainable metal oxide nanocatalysts, such as oxygen evolution catalysts, environmental remediation photocatalysis, and electroactive materials for battery applications.
- J. Balajka, M. A. Hines, W. J. I. DeBenedetti, M. Schmid, and U. Diebold, “High affinity adsorption leads to molecularly ordered interfaces on TiO₂ in air and solution,” Science 361, 786 (2018).
- W. J. I. DeBenedetti, E. S. Skibinski, D. Jing, A. Song, and M. A. Hines, “Atomic-scale understanding of catalyst activation: Carboxylic acid solutions, but not the acid itself, increase the reactivity of anatase (001) faceted nanocatalysts,” J. Phys. Chem. C 122, 4307 (2018).
- E. S. Skibinski, A. Song, W. J. I. DeBenedetti, A. G. Ortoll-Bloch, and M. A. Hines,“Solution deposition of self-assembled benzoate monolayers on rutile (110): Effect of π-π interactions on monolayer structure,” J. Phys. Chem. C 120, 15881 (2016).
- A. Song, E. S. Skibinski, W. J. I. DeBenedetti, A. G. Ortoll-Bloch, and M. A. Hines, “Nanoscale solvation leads to spontaneous formation of a bicarbonate monolayer on rutile (110) under ambient conditions: Implications for CO2 photoreduction,” J. Chem. Phys. C 120, 9326 (2016).
- E. S. Skibinski, and M. A. Hines, “Finding needles in haystacks: Scanning tunneling microscopy reveals the complex reactivity of Si(100) surfaces,” Acc. Chem. Res. 48, 2159 (2015).
- M. A. Hines, M. F. Faggin, A. Gupta, B. S. Aldinger, and K. Bao, “Self-propagating surface reactions produce near-ideal Si(100) surfaces,” J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 18920 (2012).