Wesleyan portrait of Michelle Louise Personick

Michelle Louise Personick

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Hall-Atwater Laboratories, 135

Associate Professor, Integrative Sciences

Hall-Atwater Laboratories, 135


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BA Middlebury College
PHD Northwestern University

Michelle Louise Personick

Research in the Personick lab focuses on the synthesis of noble metal and noble metal alloy nanoparticles with well-defined shapes and catalytically active high-energy surfaces. Our research takes place at the interface between inorganic chemistry, materials science, and chemical engineering. We are developing materials-generalizable chemical tools for controlling the shape, composition, and surface ligand environment of metal nanoparticles at the atomic scale. These materials provide a platform for structure-activity studies of catalytic transformations at the intersection of macroscopic single crystal model surfaces and working catalysts, thereby facilitating catalyst design from fundamental principles. We are also using visible light illumination to excite non-thermal electron distributions in noble metal nanoparticles to achieve reaction selectivity that is not possible using purely thermal reaction chemistry in both materials synthesis and catalytic transformations. Our overall goal is to develop tailored metal nanomaterials that function as improved catalysts for energy- and resource-efficient chemical synthesis and the clean production of energy.

Michelle Personick received her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College in 2009 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University in 2013. Her doctoral research focused on the development of a comprehensive set of design guidelines for controlling the shape and crystallinity of gold and silver nanoparticles. From 2013 to 2015, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University. As a member of the Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC) Energy Frontier Research Center, she studied selective oxidative transformations of alcohols on nanoporous gold alloy catalysts. Personick joined the chemistry faculty at Wesleyan in July 2015. In 2016, she was awarded the Victor K. LaMer Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry in recognition of her research.  

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Thursdays 1:30-2:30 pm in HA 135

and by appointment.


Fall 2022
CHEM 361 - 01
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

CHEM 521 - 01
Chemistry Symposia I