Kenneth S. Suslick

Marvin T. Schmidt Research Professor of Chemistry

Ken Suslick received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1974, his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1978, and came to the University of Illinois immediately thereafter. He has published more than 418 scientific papers, edited four books, and holds 56 patents and patent applications.

The Suslick Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is multi-disciplinary: our research projects involve individuals with interests not only in inorganic, but also in organometallic, bio-organic, materials (both inorganic and biomaterials), surface, analytical and physical chemistry.

Our three major research areas are the chemical effects of ultrasound (which includes nano-materials synthesis and sonoluminescence), the mechanochemistry of inorganic solids (including shock wave energy dissipation by MOFs, i.e., metal-organic framework solids) and chemical sensing (specifically, our optoelectronic nose, i.e., colorimetric sensor arrays for the detection of VOCs). The latter project in artificial olfaction and molecular recognition is an exciting spinoff of our earlier work on the bioinorganic and materials chemistry of metalloporphyrins.

In addition to his academic research, Professor Suslick has had significant entrepreneurial experience. He was the lead consultant for Molecular Biosystems Inc. and part of the team that commercialized the first echo contrast agent for medical sonography, Albunex™, which became Optison™ by GE Healthcare. In addition, he was the founding consultant for VivoRx Pharmaceuticals and co-inventor of one of the first FDA-approved nanopharmacueticals, Abraxane™ (serum albumin microspheres with a paclitaxel core), which is the predominant current delivery system for taxol chemotherapy for breast cancer; VivoRx became Abraxis Bioscience, which was acquired by Celgene for $2.9 billion. Most recently, Suslick invented, developed, and commercialized the "optoelectronic nose", a simple but highly effective technology for the identification and quantification of gas analytes. This has found important applications in the detection of toxic gases and explosives, the discrimination among complex odorants, and rapid diagnosis of disease based on their smell. This unique sensor technology is licensed to companies that Suslick co-founded: iSense Systems and Specific Diagnostics (both in Silicon Valley).

Selected Awards and Honors:

  • Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids, American Chemical Society.
  • 76th George Eastman Professor, University of Oxford, 2018-2019.
  • Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal, Acoustical Society of America.
  • Chemical Pioneer Award, American Institute of Chemists.
  • Centenary Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.
  • Dreyfus Foundation Senior Scientist Mentor Award.
  • Sir George Stokes Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Senior Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society.
  • Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education, American Chemical Society.
  • Materials Research Society Medal.
  • Acoustical Society of America Mentorship Award.
  • Wolfgang Göpel Award, Intl. Soc. on Olfaction & Electronic Noses.
  • NIH Research Career Development Award.
  • Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship.
  • Silver Medal of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce.
  • Innovation Transfer Award, Economic Development Corporation.

  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors.
  • Fellow, AAAS.
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society.
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Fellow, American Physical Society.
  • Fellow, Acoustical Society of America.
  • Fellow, Materials Research Society.

  • Harold S. Johnston Lectureship in Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Wilsmore Fellow, University of Melbourne.
  • Crano Memorial Lectureship, ACS Akron Section.
  • J.T. Donald Lectureship, McGill University, Montreal.
  • W. Heinlen Hall Lectureship, Bowling Green State University.
  • University of Melbourne Special Public Lectureship.
  • Robert A. Welch Foundation Lectureship.
  • 3ème Cycle Lectureship, Switzerland.
  • Charles William Murtiashaw III Lectureship, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
  • Five College Lecturer (Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hampshire and U. Mass. Amherst).
  • Cherry Emerson Lecturer, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Publication Summary:  

  • > 418 scientific papers, 4 books edited, and 56 patents and patents pending.
  • H-index = 117 (i.e., 117 publications each with 117 or more citations);   >106 avg. citations/publication.
  • Total citations:   >50,500.   i10-index = 333 (# papers with >10 citations).    Google Scholar, 15 Aug 2019.

          For a complete list of publications and patents, with links to pdf files, please click here.

          For Google Scholar's current list of citations to Suslick's publications and patents, please click here.

          For an importable database of Suslick Group publications (in .ciw format for EndNote), please click here.

Selected Publications:

Introductory Reviews
Sonoluminescence and Cavitation
The Sonochemistry of Inorganic Materials
Mechanochemistry and Shockwave Energy Dissipation
The Sonochemistry of Biomaterials
Chemical Sensing, Sensor Arrays, and the Optoelectronic Nose
Metalloporphyrins and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry

Introductory Reviews

Reviews of Sonochemistry, Sonoluminescence, Cavitation, and Nanomaterials:

Reviews of Mechanochemistry:

Reviews of Chemical Sensing and Bioinorganic Chemistry:

Sonoluminescence and Cavitation:

The Sonochemistry of Inorganic Materials:

Mechanochemistry and Shockwave Energy Dissipation:

The Sonochemistry of Biomaterials:

Chemical Sensing, Sensor Arrays, and the Optoelectronic Nose:

  • Rakow, N. A.; Suslick, K. S. "A Colorimetric Sensor Array for Odour Visualization" Nature, 2000, 406, 710-714.
  • Wang, J.; Luthey-Schulten, Z.; Suslick, K. S. "Is the Olfactory Receptor A Metalloprotein?" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2003, 100, 3035-3039.
  • Suslick, K. S.; Rakow, N. A.; Sen, A. "Colorimetric sensor arrays for molecular recognition" Tetrahedron, 2004, 60, 11133-11138.
  • Rakow, N. A.; Sen, A., Janzen, M.C.; Ponder, J. B.; Suslick, K. S. "Molecular Recognition and Discrimination of Amines with a Colorimetric Array" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 4528-4532.
  • Zhang, C; Suslick, K. S. "A Colorimetric Sensor Array for Organics in Water", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 11548-11549.
  • Janzen, M. C.; Ponder, J. B.; Bailey, D. P.; Ingison, C. K.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Sensor Arrays for Volatile Organic Compounds" Anal. Chem. 2006, 78, 3591-3600.
  • Zhang, C.; Bailey, D. P.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Sensor Arrays for the Analysis of Beers: A Feasibility Study" J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006, 54, 4925-4931.
  • Zhang, C.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Sensor Arrays for Soft Drink Analysis" J. Agric. Food Chem., 2007, 55, 237-242.
  • Bang, J. H.; Lim, S. H.; Park, E.; Suslick, K. S. "Chemically Responsive Nanoporous Pigments: Colorimetric Sensor Arrays and the Identification of Aliphatic Amines" Langmuir 2008, 24, 13168-13172.
  • Fang, M.; Wilson, S. R.; Suslick, K. S. "A Four-Coordinate Fe(III) Porphyrin Cation" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 1134-1135.
  • Musto, C. J.; Lim, S.H.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Detection and Identification of Natural and Artificial Sweeteners" Anal. Chem. 2009, 81, 6526-6533.
  • Lim, S. H.; Feng, L.; Kemling, J. W.; Musto, C. J.; Suslick, K. S. "An Optoelectronic Nose for Detection of Toxic Gases" Nature Chemistry, 2009, 1, 562-567.
  • Suslick, B. A.; Feng,L.; Suslick, K. S. "Discrimination of Complex Mixtures by a Colorimetric Sensor Array: Coffee Aromas" Anal. Chem., 2010, 82, 2067-2073.
  • Feng, L.; Musto, C.J.; Kemling, J. W.; Lim, S.H.; Suslick, K. S. "A Colorimetric Sensor Array for Identification of Toxic Gases below Permissible Exposure Limits" Chem. Commun., 2010, 46, 2037-2039.
  • Feng, L.; Musto, C.J.; Suslick, K. S. "A Simple and Highly Sensitive Colorimetric Detection Method for Gaseous Formaldehyde" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 4046-4047.
  • Lin, H.; Suslick, K. S. "A Colorimetric Sensor Array for Determination of Triacetone Triperoxide Vapor" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 15519-15521.
  • Feng, L.; Musto, C.J.; Kemling, J. W.; Lim, S.H.; Zhong, W.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Sensor Array for Determination and Identification of Toxic Industrial Gases" Anal. Chem., 2010, 82, 9433-9440.
  • Kemling, J. W.; Suslick, K. S. "Nanoscale Porosity in Pigments for Chemical Sensing" Nanoscale 2011, 3, 1971-1973.
  • Carey, J. R.; Suslick, K. S.; Hulkower, K. I.; Imlay, J. A.; Imlay, K. R. C.; Ingison, C. K.; Ponder, J. B.; Sen, A.; Wittrig, A. E. "Rapid Identification of Bacteria with a Disposable Colorimetric Sensor Array" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 7571-7576.
  • Lin, H.; Jang, M.; Suslick, K. S. "Preoxidation for Colorimetric Sensor Array Detection of VOCs" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 16786-16789.
  • Mazzone, P. J.; Wang, X.-F.; Xu, Y.; Mekhail, T.; Beukemann, M. C.; Na, J.; Kemling, J. W.; Suslick, K. S.; Sasidhar, M. "Exhaled Breath Analysis with a Colorimetric Sensor Array for the Identification and Characterization of Lung Cancer" J. Thoracic Oncology 2012, 7, 137-142.
  • Mahmoudi, M.; Suslick, K. S. "Protein Fibrillation and the Olfactory System: Speculations on Their Linkage" Trends in Biotech. 2012, 30, 609-610.
  • Zhang, Y.; Askim, J. R.; Zhong, W.; Orlean, P.; Suslick, K. S. "Identification of pathogenic fungi with an optoelectronic nose" Analyst, 2014, 139, 1922-1928. DOI: 10.1039/C3AN02112B
  • Rankin, J. M.; Suslick, K. S. "The development of a disposable gas chromatography microcolumn" Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 8920-8923. DOI: 10.1039/c4cc09915j
  • Zhong, X.; Suslick, K. S.; Zhong, W. "Tensor Sufficient Dimension Reduction" WIREs Comput. Stat. 2015, 7, 178-184. DOI: 10.1002/wics.1350.
  • Li, Z.; Jang, M.; Askim, J. R.; Suslick, K. S. "Identification of accelerants, fuels and post-combustion residues using a colorimetric sensor array" Analyst 2015, 140, 5929-5935. DOI: 10.1039/c5an00806a
  • Li, Z.; Bassett, W. P.; Askim, J. R.; Suslick, K. S. "Differentiation among peroxide explosives with an optoelectronic nose" Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 15312-15315. DOI: 10.1039/C5CC06221G
  • Askim, J. R.; Suslick, K. S. "Hand-Held Reader for Colorimetric Sensor Arrays" Anal. Chem. 2015, 87, 7810-7816. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b01499
  • Askim, J. R.; Li, Z.; LaGasse, M. K.; Rankin, J. M.; Suslick, K. S. "An optoelectronic nose for identification of explosives" Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 199-206. DOI: 10.1039/c5sc02632f
  • Mahmoudi, M.; Lohse, S. E.; Murphy, C. J.; Suslick, K. S. "Identification of Nanoparticles with a Colorimetric Sensor Array" ACS Sensors, 2016, 1(1), 17-21. DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.5b00014
  • Li, Z.; Li, H.; LaGasse, M. K.; Suslick, K. S. "Rapid Quantification of Trimethylamine" Anal. Chem., 2016, 88, 5615-5620. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b01170
  • Li, Z.; Fang, M.; LaGasse, M. K.; Askim, J. R.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Recognition of Aldehydes andKetones' Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2017, 56 9860-9863. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201705264
  • LaGasse, M. K.; McCormick, K.; Li, Z.; Khanjian, H.; Schilling, M.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Sensor Arrays: Development and Application to Art Conservation" J. Amer. Inst. Conservation 2018, 57, 127-140.
  • Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S. 'A Hand-Held Optoelectronic Nose for the Identification of Liquors" ACS Sensors, 2018, 3, 121-127. DOI:10.1021/acssensors.7b00709
  • Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S. "Colorimetric Sensor Array for Monitoring CO and Ethylene" Anal. Chem., 2019, 91, 797-802.
  • Caracciolo, G.; Safavi-Sohi, R.; Malekzadeh, R.; Poustchi, H.; Vasighi, M.; Chiozzi, R. Z.; Capriotti, A. L.; Laganà, A.; Hajipour, M.; Di Domenico, M.; Di Carlo, A.; Caputo, D.; Aghaverdi, H.; Papi, M.; Palmieri, V.; Santoni, A.; Palchetti, S.; Digiacomo, L.; Pozzi, D.; Suslick, K. S.; Mahmoudi, M. "Disease-specific protein corona sensor arrays may have disease detection capacity" Nanoscale Horiz., 2019, in press.
  • Li, Z.; Suslick, K. S. "Chemically-induced Sintering of Nanoparticles" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, in press.

Metalloporphyrins and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry



To all Suslick Group alumni and associates:
     The Suslick Group Celebration on Aug. 12-13, 2016, was spectacular, with nearly 80 people returning to campus.
     Thank you all so very much, and kudos to Sara Skrabalak for all her efforts!
     Click here for the symposium program in pdf format.
     Click here for the Suslick Group Photo Album (192 pages and >600 photos).
     Click here for Ken's presentation, "Time Flies Like a Banana".


Overview Suslick Group
Full CV
List of Publications
with PDFs
Words of
Humor and
A Chemist
Meets Hollywood
"The Seminar
"Time flies like a banana" (Group Reunion Talk) A Chemist
In Court
The Distillers
of Waters"
Laws of
the Universe
of CLS
Expert Witness
& Consulting
Cartoons of
Humor and
Cover Art


Kenneth S. Suslick
Dept. of Chemistry
University of Illinois
  at Urbana-Champaign
600 S. Mathews Av.
Urbana, IL 61801

Office: (217) 333-2794
Fax:    (217) 244-3186





Nature Cover 2002

Science Cover 1990

Science Cover 1991

Accounts Cover 2018

MRS Cover 1995

Supramolecular Chemistry 1998

The Journal of Physical Chemistry 2006
Nature Cover 2002

Science Cover 1990

Science Cover 1991

Accounts Cover 2018

MRS Cover 1995

Supramolecular Chemistry 1998

The Journal of Physical Chemistry 2006