Steven J. Sibener

Carl William Eisendrath Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Chemistry and The James Franck Institute


  • Phone
  • Address

    Gordon Center for Integrative Science
    GCIS E-215
    929 East 57th Street
    Chicago, IL 60637

  • Email
    s-sibener at


The Sibener Group has active research activities in surface/materials chemistry and physics with focus on interfacial reaction dynamics, gas-surface interactions, nanoscience, electronic interfaces, polymeric thin films, water and ice chemistry, materials chemistry in the space environment, and superconducting RF materials, with particular expertise in molecular beam scattering and scanning probe microscopy.


Steven J. Sibener, the Carl William Eisendrath Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry and The James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago, has made seminal contributions to a wide variety of forefront areas of modern chemistry encompassing chemical physics, surface and materials chemistry, catalytic reaction kinetics, polymeric systems, and nanoscience. His contributions have focused on elucidating the atomic-level dynamical properties of interfaces, as well as the chemical processes and transformations that occur on such interfaces. Molecular beam scattering, scanning probe microscopy imaging, numerical simulations and theory all play prominent roles in his research. He is especially proud of the accomplishments achieved by the many outstanding postdoctoral fellows, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students who have participated in his research program.

Amongst his many honors are the American Chemical Society’s Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry, the Marlow Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the American Vacuum Society’s Prairie Chapter Outstanding Research Award.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been twice elected a Visiting Fellow of the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics.

Sibener chaired the two university committees, charged by the president and provost, that recommended the establishment of the Institute for Molecular Engineering and defined its ambitious horizons. Previously, he was founding director of two national science centers, the Center for Materials Chemistry in the Space Environment that spanned seven universities, funded by the Department of Defense, as well as the ten university, National Science Foundation chemical innovation program’s Center for Energetic and Non-equilibrium Chemistry at Interfaces.

Sibener received his ScB in chemistry and BA in physics, both with honors, from the University of Rochester, and his MS and PhD degrees in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Yuan T. Lee. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Laboratories.

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