Current Members


Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
ajaffe at
University of Notre Dame
Office: Stepan 375
Mailing Address:

Google Scholar
ORCID: 0000-0002-9886-0249

Graduate Students

Lakna Dayaratne (wdayarat at
B.Sc. University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2019

I am Lakna Dayaratne from Sri Lanka, a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean. My undergraduate research focused mainly on Material Chemistry, which drives me to explore interdisciplinary research between Inorganic and Physical chemistry. With a deep-rooted passion for music, I never let go of an opening to voice my heart out. Music relaxes me like no other and I enjoy listening to myself. Yes, I love my voice! My culinary skills never go waste, among friends who commend the dishes, encouraging me to upgrade.

Joshua Morales (jmoral22 at
B.S. University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica, 2020

Hi! I am Joshua. I come from Alajuela, Costa Rica. Before getting my B.S. in Chemistry, I used to research about Ge-based hole-transporting materials. Currently, I am working to develop synthetic strategies to tune solid-state materials. Whenever I have free time, I like to hang out with friends, cook, and play videogames. I also like to go outdoors.

Raúl Torres Cadena (rtorresc at
B.S. Autonomous University of Mexico State
M.S. National Autonomous University of Mexico

I am Raúl Torres from Mexico. I attended Autonomous University of Mexico State (UAEMéx) for my undergraduate studies and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) for my masters in chemistry. My research during my masters degree was focused on the search for new possible lead-free perovskites using a combination of computational and experimental approaches. This project increased my interest in exploring and contributing to the design, synthesis, and study of promising solid-state materials. In my free time, I enjoy going out to grab a drink with friends, reading books, visiting new places, and cooking.

Suchen Wan (swan at
B.S. Beijing Normal University, China, 2019
M.S. University of Rochester, 2021

I am Suchen Wan from Yingtan city, Jiangxi province of China. I got my B.S. degree from Beijing Normal University with my undergraduate research mainly about host-guest materials and rare earth coordination chemistry. After graduating from the University of Rochester with an M.S. degree in chemistry in 2021, I joined the Jaffe lab to research on hybrid vanadium oxide materials. When I have free time, I enjoy reading all kinds of books, writing my wuxia novel, and taking wildlife photography—besides all these, the greatest fun I have is to cook delicious but super spicy food for my friends.

Undergraduate Researchers

Bennett Schmitt (bschmit2 at
Environmental Science and ACMS major, University of Notre Dame, 2025

Hi! My name is Bennett Schmitt, and I am an undergraduate student at Notre Dame originally from Jasper, Indiana. I am currently studying environmental science and ACMS (Applied & Computational Math & Statistics) with the hope of pursuing a research-based career focused on the intersection of environmentalism and mathematics. Outside of the academic realm, I enjoy hiking, hammocking, and attempting to hone my admittedly rudimentary cooking and baking skills.

Hank Webb (wwebb2 at
Chemical Engineering major, University of Notre Dame, 2024

Hi! My name is Hank Webb and I hail from Clyde, Ohio. Currently, I am a Notre Dame undergrad pursuing a degree in chemical engineering. I joined the Jaffe Lab to learn more about electrochemistry, which is the field I hope to work in after I graduate. Nonetheless, I still love learning about solid-state chemistry too! Some of my favorite things to do outside of research is to play gaelic football and hurling with the Notre Dame GAA, watch my beloved Cleveland sports teams, and hang out with friends.

Emma Westrick (ewestric at
Science-Business major and Compassionate Care in Medicine minor, University of Notre Dame, 2024

Hey! My name is Emma Westrick and I am from Elm Grove, Wisconsin. I am currently studying on the pre-med track with a major in Science-Business and a minor in Compassionate Care in Medicine. I joined the Jaffe lab to continue and further my interest in chemistry. Particularly, I am intrigued by the hybrid combination of organic and inorganic materials within the Jaffe Lab. Outside of academics, I enjoy hiking, anything Notre Dame sports, and being with family and friends!

Postdoctoral Researchers

Please see Openings

Visiting Researchers

Nicole Musielak (nmusiela at
B.Sc. University of Heidelberg, Germany, 2021

My name is Nicole Musielak and I’m a research visitor from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. I’m currently in the master’s program of my studies and luckily got the chance to make the thrilling experience of studying abroad for almost eight months in the course of an exchange program. I decided to join the Jaffe Lab because of my interest in “green chemistry”, since the Hybrid Bronzes we try to develop are intended to hold potential for applications in environmentally friendly, energy-related technologies, like solar cells. In my free time, I love to let loose and gather new energy by doing as much sport as possible. My main sports are tennis and running, which to me not only provide a great balance to my studies, but also allow me to challenge myself in tournaments and races. Another hobby of mine is playing the piano, which is always a great way to calm down after so much action every day!

Administrative Support