Chemistry and Biochemistry

Group Members

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Massoud Kaykhaii 

Research Associate

Years in Group: 2

From: Iran


I am a professor of analytical chemistry, and I have worked at the University of Sistan and Baluchestan (Zahedan, Iran) since 1989. I do research on sample preparation techniques especially microextraction, including SPME, LPME, MESI, PT, SBSE, µCPE and µSPE. I have published around 100 research articles, presented ca. 120 seminars/conferences, and authored two textbooks. In the course of my research, I have introduced two new sample preparation techniques: salt-saturated single-drop microextraction, and micro cloud point extraction. Currently I am a part time member of Linford’s research group, where I work on two projects: novel high-capacity fibers for solid phase microextraction and high efficient essential oils analysis. I am an active member of my scientific community, e.g. acting as secretary of three national mirror committees of ISO/TC and authoring 15 of Iran’s national standards. I am member of editorial advisory board of 41 international journals and editor in chief of another. I also have a strong history of collaboration with industry. I have worked on 25 industrial projects and received research grants from the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, National Iranian Petrochemical Company, and Water & Wastewater Company. In my career, I have (co-) supervised about 100 MSc and PhD thesis, been a counsellor in 10 major companies in Iran, and taught courses in analytical chemistry to graduate and undergraduate students with different majors. In 2017, I awarded the best researcher of the University of Sistan and Baluchestan.

You may find my CV here:

Barry Lunt 

PhD, BYU Professor

BS in Electronics Engineering Technology, BYU, 1978

MS in Computer-Aided Manufacturing and Design, BYU, 1979        

PhD in Occupational and Adult Education, Utah State University, 1992

I have taught electronics engineering technology and information technology at Brigham Young University since 1993 where I now serve as full professor and Director of the School of Technology. I have also taught electronics at USU and Snow College. Prior to academia I worked for seven years as a design engineer for IBM in Tucson, AZ. I have consulted for several companies and have worked summer internships for Bell Labs (now Lucent Technologies), Larson - Davis (Utah), IBM (Vermont), and Micron Technologies (Utah and Idaho). My research areas are permanent digital data storage and engineering/computing education.

I am the author of "Electronic Physical Design" (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004) and “The Marvels of Modern Electronics” (Dover, 2013) and I have produced more than 70 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of electronic physical design, engineering education, and permanent data storage. I have seven U.S. patents and 20 more applied for.

For the full Bio, go to:

Dr. Hussein Samha

Professor of Chemistry

Southern Utah University

BS Chemistry 1984, An-Najah N. University, Nablus, Palestine

MS Inorganic Chemistry 1987, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

PhD Inorganic Chemistry, 1994, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

I have taught general chemistry and Inorganic chemistry at Southern Utah University since 2001. Prior to that, I have I held a postdoctoral position at University of Rochester, NY.  I have also taught a variety of chemistry classes at New Mexico State University and at El Paso Community College in El Paso, TX.

My research is in the area of monolayers and Langmuir-Blodgett Films. I am particularly interested in the fabrication and characterization of thin films of luminescent molecules on water surfaces and on supporting substrates.  I am also interested in investigating the photophysical properties of cyanine aggregates in different media.  I have produced more than twenty peer reviewed publications.

Cody Cushman

Graduate student

Years in group: 3

From: Blackfoot, Idaho, USA

Education: BS in Chemistry from Brigham Young University-Idaho

I characterize surfaces and interfaces using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), low energy ion scattering (LEIS) and water contact angle goniometry. I use chemometric analysis tools like principle components analysis (PCA) and multivariate curve resolution (MCR) to simplify this complex multivariate data. Currently, I am using these skills to understand the complex influence their surface composition has on flat panel display performance and manufacturing. In addition to these skills, my previous work in developing micropatterned carbon-nanotube templated thin-layer chromatography plates has given me experience in the basics of microfabrication, including photolithography, thin-film deposition, and etching. I often help Dr. Linford write a monthly tutorial article on surface analysis in Vacuum Technology and Coating, a trade magazine for the thin film industry. I learned many of the problem-solving skills I use as a scientist from working as a glazier in the family business. On weekends, I still love to work with my hands as a blacksmith/custom knife maker.

Tuhin Roychowdhury

Graduate Student

Years in group: 2

From: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Education: in Nanoscience and Technology from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

 I have been actively involved in developing novel extraction phases for solid phase microextraction (SPME) using vapor deposition techniques. I characterize these new SPME materials using using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) and water contact angle goniometry. The drawbacks of commercial coatings for SPME have been addressed by our nanoporous solid phases that provide high surface area, and hence better efficiencies. My job is to produce better porous coatings and extraction phases using silane chemistry and to apply these fibers to the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of real-world samples. My previous work in developing micropatterned thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plates introduced me to the vast world of separation science. Photography for relaxation and soccer for passion are my escape paths from the stress and burdens of graduate life.

Brian Johnson

Graduate Student

Years in Group: 2

From California, USA

Degrees: BS in Chemistry at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) (Magna Cum Laude).

 I am an inorganic chemist and I deposit mono layers onto surfaces using silanes using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) oven.  I then characterize these surfaces using spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), contact angle goniometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS).  I use my experience with the CVD to optimize deposition methods and control the amount of deposition thickness obtained during surface modification processes.  In addition to surface characterization, I am experienced in the use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). I am also versed in inorganic chemistry and I am using this knowledge to design experiments for novel modification of silanes. I work with multiple projects and people in Dr. Linford’s lab to deposit functionalized silane compounds onto various surfaces for modification and characterization purposes.  In my off time I enjoy spending time with my family camping, barbecuing, and swimming. 

Shiladitya Chatterjee

Graduate student in Analytical Chemistry

Years in group: 1

Degrees: Master of Technology in Materials Science and Nanotechnology from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.  Bachelor of Technology from West Bengal Univeristy of Technology, Kolkata, India.

I am working on developing new materials for Thin-layer chromatography. This technique is the oldest form of chromatography, but it is still widely used in forensics, plant analysis, and the pharmaceutical industry. My goal is to develop low-cost micropatterned TLC plates that dramatically improve the speed and resolution of the technique. For my research, I use techniques like ellipsometry, water contact angle goniometry, microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and various spectroscopies (X-ray photoelectron, Raman, Fourier transform infrared). I have a growing interest in chemometrics, and I am working on developing a new algorithm for noise reduction and component detections in total ion chromatograms (TIC). My thesis work for my Master’s degree focused on the fabrication of acetone sensing nanostructured nickel incorporated tin-dioxide gas sensors. I have a continued interest in nanotechnology, including superhydrophobic surfaces, sensors for detecting acetone, alcohol, and carbon monoxide, carbon nanotubes, nanoporous materials, percolation theory, and transparent semiconductor gas sensors.   For my previous academic achievements, BYU awarded me the Nicholes-Maw scholarship.

Varun Jain

Graduate student

Years in group: 1

From: Chhindwara, (M.P.), India

Education: B.Pharm from Dr. H.S. Gour University Sagar, M.S. (Pharm) from NIPER, Mohali

I am developing an electrode via sputtering of carbon on a substrate. This working carbon electrode will be an integral part of an electrochemical biosensor unit. Each unit will work as a biosensor and hundreds of these biosensors will fabricated on a single chip. These biosensor arrays will be used to detect DNA/RNA, peptides and other metabolites in urine and blood samples. I use physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique to sputter different materials then characterize the surface using techniques like X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) and water contact angle goniometry. I have also learned to use voltammetry to check the conductivity of sputtered carbon surfaces. Apart from this, I will be involved in functional modification of sputtered carbon surface for attaching the DNA. I have acquired good knowledge of surface characterization from the technique I am using and am still learning many new things. In my spare time, I love to learn new languages. 

Nitish Bhardwaj  

Graduate student

Years in group:  Recently Joined

From: Karnal, Haryana , India

Education:  B.Sc. (Honours) in Chemistry from University of Delhi, New Delhi (2010-2013)

M.Sc. in Chemistry from University of Delhi, New Delhi (2013-2015)

Currently, I am working on a project which is a part of collaboration between Dr. Matthew Linford and Dr. Jaron Hansen. It deals with the significant problem of particulates as part of air pollution, particularly here in the state of Utah where we live. As an analytical chemistry student, I work on a cutting edge equipment that Dr. Hansen and his group has developed to analyze particles (2.5 microns and smaller) collected from the air. As a part of Dr. Linford’s collaboration, I analyze the collected particles using time of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and also using the bulk chromatographic methods that Dr. Hansen's group has developed. Previously,  I had worked on “Sol-gel synthesis of Ferroelectric Perovskites: Chemical Kinetics, Spectroscopic Analysis and Dielectric Characterization” funded by the University Grants Commission (Government of India) and  on another Delhi University funded Innovation Project titled “Development of Innovative eco-friendly Biodegradable Polymer Composites”. Apart from science, I am into singing , soccer and guitar.

Dhananjay Patel

Graduate student

Years in group:  Recently Joined


B.S. Pharmaceutical Science, Gujarat University

M.S. Medicinal Chemistry, Niper Mohali

Dhruv Shah

Graduate student

Years in group:  Recently Joined


B.S. Pharmacy, Delhi University, India

M.S. Medicinal Chemistry, Duquesne University

Former Group Members

Ph.D.: Anubhav Diwan, Bhupinder Singh, David Hung, David Jensen, Feng Zhang, Gaurav Saini, Guilin Jiang, Landon Wiest, Lei Pei, Li Yang, Michael Lee, Nitesh Madaan, Supriya Kanyal, Yit-Yian Lua

Masters Degree: Lloyd Zilch, Vipul Gupta, and Todd Wickard