Abdelaziz Houmam

Department of Chemistry
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ext. 56429
MacN 123

Education and Employment Background

Dr. Abdelaziz Houmam received his PhD from the Universite Denis Diderot in 1994. In 1994, he held a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the Universite Denis Diderot. From 1995 to 1998 Houmam worked as a Research Associate in the Steacy Institute for Molecular Sciences in Ottawa. Between 1998 and 2000, he worked as a Research Associate at McGill University in the Department of Chemistry. Houmam joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Guelph in 2000 where he is now a full Professor.

Research Themes 

Houmam’s research interests focus on the areas of organic and interfacial electrochemistry surface chemistry, and nanoscience. He applies electron transfer-based reactions, electrosynthesis, and self-assembly to develop chemical solutions to the issues of surface derivatization, local manipulation and material synthesis. Developments in molecular electronic devices, which have applications in many areas, are directly related to advances in techniques to associate organic structures to metallic and semiconducting materials. Key areas of focus include:

  1. The investigation of electron transfer initiated chemical reactions. Houmam and his research team investigate the electrochemical characteristics of many series of organic compounds with specific functional groups. These studies reveal important fundamental aspects of the electron transfer theories to organic molecules. Mechanisms, Kinetics and thermodynamics of the involved reactions have been determined along with factors controlling them. Determination of the dependence of the electrochemical characteristics as well as the dynamic aspects on the molecular structure has been established in all investigated cases.
  2. The development of new approaches for the efficient organic modification of solid surfaces. This includes the rigorous characterization of surfaces and investigation of the electrochemical properties of the films as well as the electrochemical local manipulation of adsorbates. The desire to attach molecules to surfaces and manipulate them is driven by the need for reliable immobilization techniques of organic molecules on solid surfaces as routes to surface passivation and incorporation of chemical/biochemical functionality at interfaces.
  3. The synthesis and characterization of metal sulfide materials and their potential applications for solar energy applications. Houmam has successfully developed a new method for the synthesis of metal sulfide materials using  a variety of novel chemical precursors including thiocyanates, sulfenyl halides, sulfenamides, sulfenates, sulfonium, bis-sulfonium salts, and N-substituted phthalimides. Various materials of different structures, sizes, and shapes were readily obtained using a series of metals (Au, Pt, Ag, Cu, Fe, etc.). This new method is quite general, simple and use non-harmful chemicals and non-harsh conditions.


Major funding, Awards, National or International Recognition, Prestigious affiliations, Memberships on editorial boards or societies

  • Top 10 Fall 2017 Favourite Professors Award, University of Guelph, 2017
  • Presidential Distinguished Professor and Librarian Award, University of Guelph, 2005
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grant, 2002, 2007, 2015
  • NSERC Research Tools and Instruments, 2017
  • NSERC Engage Grant, 2013, 2016
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation grant, 2007