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.

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. A comprehensive summary of his professional journal is available on LinkedIn.

Dhanalakshmi Sellan

 Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dhanalakshmi Sellan (she/her) joined the Dlott’s group as Postdoctoral Research Associate in 2022. She received both her Bachelor (B.E) and Master of Engineering (M.E) in Aeronautical Engineering. She received her Ph.D degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH), India. In her PhD thesis work she proposed LPG as an alternative fuel for gas turbine engine. She simulated LPG combustion in laboratory scale swirl burner and characterized using optical and laser diagnostics techniques. Currently, her research work focuses on studying high explosives under dynamic extreme conditions.

She can be contacted by emailing to Associated peer-reviewed scholarly literature may be found on Google Scholar and her professional profile is available on LinkedIn.

Xuan Zhou

 Assistant Professor, University of Texas, San Antonio 

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. She recently left the lab to work as an Assistant Professor at University of Texas, San Antonio in the department of physics and astronomy.

She can be contacted by emailing to Associated peer-reviewed scholarly literature may be found on ResearchGate and Google Scholar. Learn more about her current research by visiting her professional website.

Former Postdocs and Students

Some students who received their degree under Dr.Dlott’s supervision

1. Claire L. Schosser, Ph.D, 1984 (Monsanto Corp.)

2. Eric L. Chronister, Ph.D, 1985 (Professor, University of California, Riverside)

3. Thomas J. Kosic, Ph.D, 1985 (Hughes Research)

4. Jeffrey R. Hill, Ph.D, 1988 (Los Alamos National Lab)(Stanford University)

5. Jay C. Postlewaite, Ph.D, 1990 (Shell Oil Corp.)

6. Hackjin Kim, Ph.D, 1990 (Professor, Chungnam University)

7. Jeffrey B. Miers, Ph.D, 1992 (Center for Naval Analysis Corp.)

8. Xiaoning Wen, Ph.D, 1993 (Northwestern University)

9. Sheah Chen, Ph.D, 1994 (Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Taiwan)

10. Sandy Lee, Ph.D, 1995 (Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

11. Jens Franken, Ph.D., 1998 (Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Taiwan)

12. Lawrence K. Iwaki, 2000 (Northrop Grumman Space Technology)

13. James Patterson, MS Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University, 2004

14. Yoonsoo Pang, MS Seoul National University, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology

15. Aaron Lozano, BS Indiana University, MS Chemistry, US Army, 2010.

16. Ying Fang, BS Beijing University, Rice University, CGG Corp.

17. Jeffrey Carter, BS Virginia Tech, Picarro, Inc.

18. Rusty Conner, BA, Trinity University, Intel Corp.

19. Kathryn Brown, BS Cornell College, Los Alamos National Laboratory

20. Brandt C. Pein, BS University of Washington, MIT

21. Christopher M. Berg, BS Lebanon Valley College, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board

22. Yuanxi Fu, BS Nanjing University, Institute for Basic Science, Ulsan Korea

23. William L. Shaw, BS Illinois State University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

24. Yuxiao Sun, BS California Institute of Technology, Epic, Inc.

25. Will P. Bassett, BS, Texas Tech University

26. Alexander Moore (MS), BS Missouri Western State College

27. James M. Christensen, BS Utah State University

A few former postdoctoral associates

1. Ta-Chau Chang, Ph.D, Iowa State University, Institute for Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Taiwan

2. Taehyoung Zyung, Ph.D, Texas Tech University, Telecommunications Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea

3. Mark Doxtader, Ph.D, University of Pennsylvania, Graphics Technology International Corp.

4. William A. Tolbert, Ph.D, University of Wisconsin, 3M Corporation

5. Xiaoyu Hong, Ph.D, Brown University, SDL Corporation.

6. Sean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D U. Georgia, Naval Research Laboratory

7. David E. Hare, Kansas State University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

8. Guray Tas, Ph.D Brown University, Brown University, Rudolph Technologies

9. Jeffrey R. Hill, Ph.D, University of Iowa

10. J. J. Cavaleri, Ph.D University of Kansas, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Forensic Laboratory

11. John Deàk, Ph.D, University of Rochester, Proctor and Gamble Corp.

12. Glennys Mensing, Ph.D, Vanderbilt University (physics), Beckman Institute, University of Illinois

13. Serguei Koulikov, Ph.D, Russian Academy of Sciences, Troitsk, Russia (physics), Informed Diagnostics, Inc.

14. Andrei Pakoulev, Ph.D, Moscow Technical Physics Institute, University of Wisconsin Madison

15. Zhaoyong Sun, Ph.D. Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of California Davis

16. Yangqiang Yang, Ph.D, Changchun Institute, Chinese Academy of Science (Physics), Dept. of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology

17. Shufeng Wang, Ph.D. Department of Physics Beijing University, Associate Prof. of Physics, Beijing University.

18. Wentao Huang, PhD, Beijing University, University of Colorado

19. Hyunung Yu, PhD Seoul National University, Korean Institute of Standards and Technology (KIST)

20. Shinsuke Shigeto, PhD Tokyo University, Institute of Molecular Science, College of Science, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan

21. Mikhail Zamkov, PhD Kansas State University, Professor of Chemistry, Bowling Green State University

22. S. Eric Surber, PhD University of Arizona, Program Manager, ATK Corp.

24. Selezion Hambir, Ph.D, Michigan State University (chemistry)

25. Zhaohui Wang, Ph.D. Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor of Chemistry, Xiamen University

26. Nak-Hyun Seong, PhD Gwang-Ju Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, S. Korea.

27. Hiroki Fujiwara, PhD Kyoto University, University of Bristol

28. Prabuddha Mukherjee, PhD University of Wisconsin, Materials Research Laboratory University of Illinois.

29. Xianxu Zheng, PhD Institute of Fluid Mechanics, China Academy of Engineering Physics. Currently National key laboratory of shock wave and detonation physics, Institute of fluid physics, China Academy of Engineering Physics.

30. Alex Curtis, PhD. Brigham Young University

31. Jue Wang, PhD Princeton University

32. Alexandr Banishev, PhD. Moscow Lomonosov Moscow State University, IPG Photonics, Oxford, MA

33. Shuichi Toyouchi, PhD Tohoku University, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgiumm.

34. Natalia García Rey, PhD University of Liverpool

35. Mithun Bhomick, PhD Virginia Tech University