Lab Members

Dana D. Dlott

William H. and Janet G. Lycan Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Professor Dana D. Dlott (he/him) received his undergraduate degree from Columbia in 1974 and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1979. He joined the faculty at Illinois in 1979. Professor Dlott’s research interests are in chemical physics, and physical and materials chemistry. His research is focused on understanding the dynamical behavior of molecules in condensed matter, including crystalline solids, glasses, polymers, biopolymers, surfaces and liquids.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Physical chemistry, chemical physics, materials chemistry and surface and interface chemistry. Ultrafast laser spectroscopy and laser development. Vibrational energy in molecules and materials. Energetic materials, especially nanotechnology energetic materials. High pressure and dynamic shock compression of molecules. Laser-material processes used in high speed imaging. Electrochemical energy generation and storage. Electrochemical surface science.

He can be contacted by emailing to Additional links for peer-reviewed scholarly literature are ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

Xuan Zhou

 Postdoctoral Research Associate

Xuan Zhou (she/her) received her B.S. in Materials Physics at Xi’an Jiaotong University (China) in 2009 and her PhD in the field of Optics and Nanotechnology at the Université de Technologie de Troyes (France) in 2014. Then she came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a postdoctoral research in electrochemistry in the group of Prof. Joaquin Rodriguez-Lopez. She later joined the Dlott Group in 2016 to study the shock compression of materials. Her current research focuses on (1) metal-organic framework as highly-efficient shock absorbers and (2) hot spot ignition and growth on individual explosive crystals. In her spare time, she likes painting, sketching, and hiking.

She can be contacted by emailing to Associated peer-reviewed scholarly literature may be found on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

Meysam Akhtar

 Postdoctoral Research Associate

Meysam Akhtar (he/him) works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Prof. Dana Dlott’s group. He received his Ph.D. degree in Solid-State Physics from the University of Louisville (USA).He is interested in exploring physical and chemical phenomena at extreme conditions. His current research is centered on probing the shock wave response of energetic materials to better understand the kinetics and the mechanisms of shock-induced reactions in nanosecond to microsecond time-domain. The tools and methods range from ultrafast spectroscopy to high-speed imaging and to a variety of materials characterization techniques.

Meysam’s other interests include studying fundamental properties and characterization of nanostructured and two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors under high-pressure conditions.

He can be contacted by emailing to Associated peer-reviewed scholarly literature may be found on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

Siva Kumar Valluri

 Postdoctoral Research Associate

Siva (he/him) received a dual degree in 2014, bachelors (B.E. (hons)) in chemical engineering  and a masters degree (M.Sc.) in chemistry from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences-Pilani (India). He was awarded a masters degree (M.S.) in 2016 and subsequently a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in 2021, in chemical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He specializes in metal combustion, kinetic analysis and powder characterization. His dissertation work resulted in the development of novel reactive material for use as fuels additives, insensitive propellants and agent-defeat material. He recently joined the Dlott group in 2021 and is currently working on the effort to maximize reactivity and energy density through development of metal-organic energetics.

He can be contacted by emailing to Associated peer-reviewed scholarly literature may be found on ResearchGate and Google Scholar