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

Kareem Asham (kasham at
B.S. CSU, Long Beach, 2020
M.S. CSU, Long Beach 2023
*co-advised with Prof. Greg Hartland

Hello! My name is Kareem Asham and I am from Asyut, Egypt. I relocated to Long Beach, California where I did my B.S. and M.S. at California State University, Long Beach. During my time at CSU, Long Beach, I carried out research on CO2 electrocatalysis in ionic liquids. Now, I do spectroscopic studies of hybrid bronzes under high pressure. In my free time, I really enjoy playing or watching football (soccer), hanging out with friends, and volunteering at my local church.

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.

Alex Padilla (apadill3 at
B.S. SUNY Oswego, 2022

Yo! My name is Alex, I am from Brooklyn, NY. I got my B.S. in Chemistry at SUNY Oswego. During my undergrad, I did research in organometallic chemistry. I worked primarily with bimetallic N-heterocyclic carbene complexes to investigate the photophysical properties exhibited by these complexes. Since undergrad, my focus in chemistry has shifted from organometallics to solid-state chemistry and materials science. In my free time, I like to draw, write in my journal, read, mess around on my bass, and go for walks.

Grace Robertson (grobert3 at
B.S. University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, 2019

Hello! My name is Grace Robertson and I am from Appleton, Wisconsin. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh where I got my B.S. in chemistry. During my undergraduate career, I did research on the synthesis of organometallic catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. After graduating I worked in an analytical lab for three years where I worked on the development of various pharmaceutical products, however, I am looking forward to getting back into an inorganic lab setting. In my free time, I enjoy baking, reading, and playing the guitar and harmonica.

Raúl Torres Cadena (rtorresc at
B.S. Autonomous University of Mexico State, 2015
M.S. National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2019

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.

Anton Walte (awalte at
B.S. University of Heidelberg, Germany, 2020
M.S. University of Heidelberg, Germany, 2023

Hi! I am Anton Walte and I am originally from Schwerin in the north of Germany. I relocated to the picturesque town of Heidelberg to undertake my Bachelor and Master of Science in chemistry at the University of Heidelberg. During my master’s I had the pleasure of spending 8 months at the University of Notre Dame in the Jaffe lab. My previous research focused on many different fields for example on organic fluorescence probes in an inorganic chemistry group. Now that I am back, I am working on the synthesis of mixed metal bronzes as well as the modification of their electronic structure. In my free time I love to hang out with friends, do sports, and play video games.

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

Maddie Schearer (mscheare at
Chemistry major with minors in Energy Studies and Environmental Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 2026

Hello! My name is Maddie Schearer and I am from Saint Paul, Minnesota. I am currently studying Chemistry with minors in Energy Studies and Environmental Earth Sciences. I joined the Jaffe Lab because I am interested in solutions to energy challenges. Particularly, I am intrigued by the hybrid combination of organic and inorganic materials within the Jaffe Lab. I love camping, Notre Dame football, and being with my family and 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

Please see Openings

Administrative Support