Shivajee is awarded Excellence in Graduate Research Award for 2020

Shivajee Govind is the awarded Excellence in...

Connor and Omar’s paper is selected as an ACS Editors’ Choice

The paper recently published by Connor N. Woods...

New funding supports milestone initiative to advance solar energy research

Penn’s Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and...

Shivajee is awarded CTL Graduate Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

Shivajee Govind is the awarded CTL Graduate...

Sarah is awarded Chemistry Department Teaching Award for 2020

Sarah Wolf is awarded the Chemistry Department...


Fakhraai Group



Our group is interested in studying the effect of nano-confinement and interfaces on the structure, thermodynamics, and physical properties of materials. Materials behave differently on surfaces, interfaces or small length scales compared to their bulk properties.  Understanding such differences are crucial in many technological applications where materials are constrained in nanometer size spaces, such as coatings, organic electronics, polymer applications, and cosmetics. One can take advantage of such difference to produce novel materials, such as stable vapor-deposited glasses or flame-resistant polymer composites or harvest light for various applications. In biological systems, most of the dynamics happen in nanometer size proximity of surfaces and interfaces, and understanding the properties in confinement is a key in predicting function. We focus our efforts on understanding the origins of such modified properties on a fundamental with an eye on applications when we observe novel materials properties or develop new experimental tools.


Available positions:

Our research is multi-disciplinary. The diversity of the backgrounds of our group members enables us to solve problems at the boundary of multiple fields. We welcome students from  diverse range of experiences, expertise, and backgrounds and strive to make our group a welcoming environment for all individuals, including students from underrepresented minority groups, LGBTQI individuals, FGLI students, as well as students with disabilities. We will do our best to accommodate you and collaborate with you. 

Graduate and Undergraduate Students: Our group members have backgrounds in physical and inorganic chemistry, physics, material science, and chemical engineering. Graduate students are typically selected from the cohort of first-year Penn graduate students from various departments. 

Undergraduate Student Fellowship Opportunities:

Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (Penn students only)

Our Group’s Available Project at CURF (Penn students only)

Chemistry Department’s REU Program

LRSM REU Program 


Post-doctoral Fellowship Opportunities: Available postdoc positions will be posted. 

Penn’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity program (US citizens only)

PennPort Postdoctoral Fellowship

VIEST Postdoctoral Fellowship