Department of Chemistry



Jill Millstone

Leo B. and Teresa Y. Wegemer Professor of Chemistry


Chevron Science Center, 219 Parkman Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15260

My Website >

Research Overview

Inorganic and Materials Chemistry; Nanomaterials; Surface and Colloid Chemistry

Nanoscale materials are driving the discovery of physical and chemical phenomena, and providing the basis for cutting-edge technologies that range from low-cost solar cells to targeted gene therapies. At the heart of these advances are controlled chemical synthesis and the development of structure-property relationships. Therefore, for every different nanoparticle synthesized there is the opportunity to uncover new scientific insights and technological capabilities. The next evolution of nanoparticle synthesis will establish rational methods for accessing these materials with an emphasis on controlling surface chemistry and element composition with atomic precision.

The Millstone group works to develop new tools and new insights for nanoparticle synthesis, that allow us to realize this structural control from the bottom-up, ultimately producing nanostructures that incorporate optical, electronic, mechanical, and self-assembly demands into a single nanoparticle architecture.  This work is designed to provide not only significant insight into nanoscale reactions and particle properties, but also generate highly tailored material platforms that, together, will allow us to accelerate the translation of nanoparticles into society-shaping technologies.



  • Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Chemists Committee, Award for Career Excellence in the Chemical Sciences (2019)
  • University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award (2018)
  • Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Award (2018)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2013-2018)
  • Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid and Surfactant Science (2015)
  • Cottrell Scholar Award (2015)




“Optoelectronic Impacts on Particle Size in Water-Dispersible Plasmonic Copper Selenide Nanoparticles,” Gan, X. Y., Crawford, S. E., Eikey, E. A., Sen, R., Killinger, J. R., Millstone, J. E. J. Phys. Chem. C 2020, 124, 4747
“Efficient Control of Atom Arrangement in Ternary Metal Chalcogenide Nanoparticles Using Precursor Oxidation State,” Eikey, E. A., Gan, X. Y., Kaseman, D.C., Murphey, C. G. E., Crawford, S. C., Johnston, K. A., Yazdi, S., Millstone, J. E. Chem. Mater 2020, 32, 1322
“Emerging Investigator Series: Connecting Concepts of Coinage Metal Stability Across Length Scales,” Johnston, K. A., Stabryla, L. M., Gilbertson, L. M., Millstone, J. E. Envi. Sci.: Nano 2019, 6, 2674
“Plasmon-Enhanced Chemical Conversion Using Copper Selenide Nanoparticles,” Gan, X. Y., Keller, E. L., Warkentin, C. L., Crawford, S. E., Frontiera, R. R., Millstone, J. E. Nano Lett. 2019, 19, 2384
“Surface Chemistry-Mediated Near Infrared Emission of Small Coinage Metal Nanoparticles,” Crawford, S. E., Hartmann, M. J., Millstone, J. E. Acc. Chem. Res. 2019, 52, 695
“Evolution of Surface Copper (II) Environments in Cu2-xSe Nanoparticles,” Kaseman, D. C., Gamble Jarvi, A., Gan, X. Y., Saxena S., Millstone, J. E. Chem. Mater. 2018, 30, 7313
“Ligand Mediated Deposition of Noble Metals at Nanoparticle Plasmonic Hotspots,” Straney, P. J., Diemler, N. A., Smith, A. M., Eddinger, Z. A., Gilliam, M. S., Millstone, J. E. Langmuir 2018, 34, 1084
“Impacts of Broth Chemistry on Silver Ion Release, Surface Chemistry Composition, and Bacterial Cytotoxicity of Silver Nanoparticles,” Johnston, K. A., Stabryla, L. M., Smith, A. M., Gan, X. Y., Gilbertson, L. M., Millstone, J. E. Environ-Sci: Nano. 2018
“Efficient Energy Transfer from Near-Infrared Emitting Gold Nanoparticles to Pendant Ytterbium (III),” Crawford, S. E., Andolina, C. M., Kaseman, D. C., Ryoo, B. H., Smith, A. M., Johnston, K. A., Millstone, J. E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 17767
“Correlating Carrier Density and Emergent Plasmonic Features in Cu2-xSe Nanoparticles,” Marbella, L. E., Gan, X. Y., Kaseman, D. C., Millstone, J. E. Nano Lett. 2017, 17, 2414
“Description and Role of Bimetallic Pre-nucleation Species in the Formation of Small Nanoparticle Alloys,” Marbella, L. E., Chevrier, D. M., Tancini, P. D., Shobayo, O., Zhang, P., Mpourmpakis, G., Millstone, J. E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15852
“Ligand-mediated ‘Turn On,’ High Quantum Yield Near-Infrared Emission in Small Gold Nanoparticles,” Crawford, S. E., Andolina, C. M.,Smith, A. M., Marbella, L. E., Johnston, K. A., Straney, P. J., Hartmann, M. J., Millstone, J. E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 14423
“Quantitative Analysis of Thiolated Ligand Exchange on Gold Nanoparticles Monitored by 1H NMR Spectroscopy,” Smith, A. M., Marbella, L. E., Johnston, K. E., Hartmann, M. J., Kozycz, L. M., Seferos, D. S. and Millstone, J. E. Anal. Chem. 2015, 87, 2771
“Decoupling mechanisms of platinum deposition on colloidal gold nanoparticle substrates,” Straney, P. J.; Marbella, L. E.; Andolina, C. M.; Nuhfer, N. T.; Millstone, J.E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 7873
“Photoluminescent Gold–Copper Nanoparticle Alloys with Composition-Tunable Near-Infrared Emission,” Andolina, C. M, Dewar, A. C., Smith, A. M., Marbella, L. E., Millstone, J. E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 5266