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College of Engineering and Computing

Faculty and Staff

Stavros G. Karakalos

Title: Research Assistant Professor
XPS Facility Director
Department: Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computing
Phone: (803) 777-3949
Office: Swearingen Engineering Center
Room 3C08
301 Main Street 
Columbia, SC 29208
Resources: CV Stavros Karakalos 


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Greece, 2009
  • MSc., Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Greece, 2005
  • B.S., Physics, University of Ioannina, Greece, 2003 


Understanding the reaction mechanism of various heterogeneous catalytic processes is of fundamental importance for our group. The main goal of a catalyst is to increase the rate of a reaction. This is achieved by creating new energetic pathways for the reaction, through the interaction of the catalyst and the reactants. The interaction can lead to new intermediates and lower activation energies. To this end, the study of model systems is important in order to draw safe conclusions. Important information derived from the study of model catalysts is that a surface can undergo structural and electronic changes during the reaction. The use of efficient techniques under Ultra High Vacuum and the in situ study of catalysts is more than a necessity. In our group we use X-Ray and Synchrotron Radiation Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS, SRPES, NAP-XPS), X-Ray induced Auger Electron Spectroscopy (XAES), Ultra Violet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS), Temperature Programmed Desorption (TPD, TPRS), Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) and in situ Catalytic treatments, to determine the structure, composition and electronic properties of the outermost atomic layers of solid materials.

Selected Publications

  • “Tailoring the oxygen reduction activity of hemoglobin through immobilization within microporous organic polymer‒Graphene composite.” Ahmed B. Soliman, Rana R. Haikal, Arwa A. Abugable, Mohamed H. Hassan, Stavros G. Karakalos, Perry J. Pellechia, Hamdy H. Hassan, Magdi H. Yacoub, and Mohamed H. Alkordi, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, (2017), DOI:10.1021/acsami.7b06146
  • “Post-synthetic immobilization of Ni ions in porous-organic polymer-graphene composite for the non-noble metal electrocatalytic water oxidation.” Ahmed B. Soliman, Mohamed H. Hassan, Arwa A. Abugable, Stavros G. Karakalos, and Mohamed H. Alkordi, ChemCatChem, (2017), DOI:10.1002/cctc.201700601, (Selected to be featured on the front cover).
  • “Synergism of carbon nanotubes and porous-organic polymers (POPs) in CO2 fixation: One-pot approach for bottom-up assembly of tunable heterogeneous catalyst.” Rana R Haikal, Ahmed B Soliman, Muhamed Amin, Stavros G Karakalos, Youssef S Hassan, Ahmed M Elmansi, Inas H Hafez, Mohamed R Berber, Abdou Hassanien, Mohamed H Alkordi, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, (2017), 207, 347-357.
  • “Non-Covalent Bonding Controls Selectivity in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Coupling Reactions on Gold.” Karakalos Stavros, Xu Yun-Fei, Cheenicode Kabeer Fairoja, Chen Wei, Rodriguez-Reyes Juan Carlos F., Tkatchenko Alexandre, Kaxiras Efthimios, Madix Robert J., Friend Cynthia M., Journal of the American Chemical Society, (2016), 138 (46), 15243-15250.
  • “Changes in the Enantiomeric Composition of Chiral Mixtures Upon Adsorption on a Non-Chiral Surface.” Stavros Karakalos, Junghyun Hong, Francisco Zaera, Angewandte Chemie, (2016), 55, (21), 6225-6228.