Erin Iski

Erin Iski

Assistant ProfessorKeplinger Hall U337

Combining aspects from both my graduate work at Tufts and my postdoctoral work at Argonne, my research program at TU will be centered on the use of ambient, liquid Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) to study the self-assembly of amino acids on metal surfaces. This research field pertains to the origin of homochirality in biology, the preference for specific secondary structures of proteins, and the characterization of non-covalent supramolecular interactions. The use of ambient STM utilizes both the incredible molecular resolution of STM and the ability to apply the findings to real-world applications, since the data is obtained at ambient pressures and temperatures.  My aim is to develop strong interdisciplinary collaborations in a variety of fields such as nanoscience, engineering, and biochemistry, and to significantly engage with the TU Nanotechnology Institute. Students in my research group will be trained in highly valuable scientific techniques, be exposed to groundbreaking science, and obtain results publishable in notable scientific journals. My long term goals are twofold: i) to examine and characterize the self-assembly of amino acids in ambient, aqueous environments; and ii) to extend that knowledge to larger assemblies of amino acids and/or protein structures.

Education and Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Tufts University, 2011
  • B. S., (Cum Laude), Chemistry, The University of Tulsa, 2005
  • Post-doc, Argonne National Lab, 2011-2013

Areas of Research Focus

  • Surface Chemistry
  • Nanotechnology
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy (STM/AFM)
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Nanostructures

Previous Teaching Experience

  • TA, General Chemistry (Tufts University)
  • TA, Physical Chemistry Lab (Tufts University)
  • Guest lecturer, Surface Chemistry (Tufts University and Governors State University)
  • Science outreach (Boston and Chicago)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Vacuum Society
  • Materials Research Society
  • American Physical Society


Courses Taught at TU

  • General Chemistry I (CHEM 1013)

Awards & Recognition

  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship, United States Department of Education (2007)
  • Iota Sigma Pi, Founding member, Einsteinium Chapter (National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry), 2005
  • Outstanding Contribution to Undergraduate Education Award, Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering, (May 2008).
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Elected 2005
  • Delegate to Germany with the Young Chemists Committee of the Northeast Section of the American Chemical Society German Exchange Program to Essen, Germany, (March 2009).


  • Extraordinary Atomic Mobility of Au{111} at 80 Kelvin: Effect of Styrene Adsorption
    Ashleigh E. Baber, Stephen C. Jensen, Erin V. Iski, and E. Charles H. Sykes. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 128, (2006), 15384 – 15385
  • Surface-Mediated 2D Growth of the Pharmaceutical Carbamazepine
    Erin V. Iski, Blair T. Johnson, Alastair J. Florence, E. Charles H. Sykes, and Andrew J. Urquhart. ACS Nano., 4, (2010), 5061.
  • Spontaneous Transmission of Chirality through Multiple Length Scales
    Erin V. Iski, Heather L. Tierney, April D. Jewell, and E. Charles H. Sykes. Chem.- Eur. J., 17, (2011), 7205-7212. [Cover Story]
  • Atomic-scale Investigation of Highly Stable Pt clusters Synthesized on a Graphene Support for Catalytic Applications
    EunKyung Cho, Esmeralda N. Yitamben, Erin V. Iski, Nathan P. Guisinger, and Thomas F. Kuech. J. Phys. Chem. C, 116, (2012), 26066−26071.
  • The Extraordinary Stability Imparted to Silver Monolayers by Chloride
    Erin V. Iski, Mahnaz El-Kouedi, Darin O. Bellisario, Camillo Calderon, Feng Wang, Tao Ye, and E. Charles H. Sykes. Electrochim. Acta, 56, (2011), 1652-1661.
  • Experimental Demonstration of a Single-Molecule Electric Motor
    Heather L. Tierney, Colin J. Murphy, April D. Jewell, Ashleigh E. Baber, Erin V. Iski, Harout Y. Khodaverdian, Allister F. McGuire, Nikolai Klebanov, and E. Charles H. Sykes. Nat. Nanotechnol., 6, (2011), 625-629. [Cover Story]