John M. Vohs
Carl V.S. Patterson Professor


Tel: 215-898-6318

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Professor John M. Vohs holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. Degree, also in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Delaware. He joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 where he is currently the Carl V. S. Patterson Professor of Chemical Engineering. His research interests are in the areas of surface science, catalysis, photocatalysis, and solid-state electrochemistry, and his group specializes in elucidating structure-activity relationships for a variety of catalytic materials, including metals and metal oxides, and the development of anodes and cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers. Prof. Vohs has authored 340 papers that have appeared in scientific journals and holds seven U.S. Patents.


Research Interests
The general theme of the research in Prof. Vohs’ group is to understand the relationships between the local atomic structure of surfaces and their catalytic and electrocatalytic activity for reactions that are of interest in the development of more efficient and renewable energy sources. Current projects in his group include the use of atomic layer deposition (ALD) to grow thin films of functional oxides on high surface area materials for use as supports for transition metal catalysts, the design and synthesis of metal and metal oxide sites in mesoporous materials such as SBA-14, and the use of ALD to tailor the surface catalytic properties of fuel cell electrodes. His group is also studying catalytic routes for the upcycling of waste polymers into higher value products.


Research Areas

Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology; Catalysis and Reaction Engineering; Energy and Environmental Engineering


Educational Background
Ph.D.: University of Delaware (1988)
B.S.: University of Illinois (1983)


2014 George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania
2007 Philadelphia Catalysis Club Award
2002 Carl V.S. Patterson Professorship of Chemical Engineering
1997 Union Carbide Research Innovation Award
1996 Union Carbide Research Innovation Award
1991 Shell Young Faculty Development Award
1989 Victor K. LaMer Award, American Chemical Society, Division of Surface and Colloid Science
1989 NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award


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