Abdelaziz Houmam

Prof Houman
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 ext. 56429
MACN 123
MACN 060/130


  • Doctorat (PhD) Université Paris 7, Paris, France 1994
  • DEA (MSc) Université Paris 7, Paris, France 1991
  • BSc Université Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco


Our research interests lie in the areas of organic and interfacial electrochemistry surface chemistry, and nanoscience. Essentially, we use our experience in 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 application in many areas, are directly related to advances in techniques to associate organic structures to metallic and semi-conducting materials.


  • The investigation of electron transfer initiated chemical reactions
  • The development of new approaches for the efficient organic modification of solid surfaces, including the rigorous characterization of surfaces and investigation of the electrochemical properties of the films. We also study the electrochemical local manipulation of adsorbates
  • The synthesis and characterization of metal sulfide materials and their potential applications for solar energy applications

Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research associates have been involved in Houmam's research group over the years. All group members perform a wide range of research activities including sample preparation, use of state of the art equipment, data analysis and interpretation and report writing. Because our research is multidisciplinary, all group members gain knowledge in a wide range of areas, develop various skills and learn different techniques. Members will synthesize the precursors they will use for surface modification and/or nanometerials synthesis. They will also investigate the electrochemical behaviour of these precursors. The group members will thus develop synthetic skills and use a wide range of analytical, electrochemical and surface characterization techniques.

Houmam's group is part of the Electrochemical Technology Center ate the University of Guelph which involves groups from both the Chemistry and Physics Department. Group members have therefore access to excellent expertise in all areas related to electrochemistry. This environment fosters exchange and collaborations with all members of the ETC which is very beneficial to all group members. Houmam's group members are asked to provide regular research report and participate to group meetings. This is essential to the development of communication skills. Group members are encouraged to present their results in national and international meeting and interact with leading experts in the field. This broad range of training provides all group members the necessary qualifications to allow them to be successful in their future carriers.

Postdoctoral Fellows Graduate Students Undergraduate Students
Afroza Khanam Goli Pourmand
Yimeng He
Grant Walters
Carrie Costa
Hasan Mir Ali
Adeel Hussain
Adrian d'Alessandro


  • Hamida Muhamad (PhD student, 2009 – 2013)
  • Serhat Un (MSc student, 2010 – 2013)
  • Kallum Koczkur (PhD student, 2007 – 2012)
  • Dr. Golam Moula (Research Associate, 2010 – 2012)
  • Scott Cowen (MSc student (co-supervised), 2007 – 2009)
  • Emad Hamed (PhD student, 2001 – 2006; presently Associate Professor at the Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan)
  • Dr. M’Hamed Chahma (Research Associate, 2005 – 2006, presently Associate Professor at the Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada)
  • Dr. Chang Ji (Research Associate, 2002 – 2004, presently Associate Professor at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA)
  • Jamal Baba (MSc student, 2004 – 2006)
  • Mohammed Ahmida (MSc student, 2004 – 2006)
  • Jungie Zhang (MSc student, 2002 – 2003)
  • Adrian D'Alessandro (undergraduate student, Fall 2012 and Winter 2013)
  • Callin Hesp (USRA undergraduate student, Summer 2009)
  • Callin Hesp (USRA undergraduate student, Summer 2009)
  • Melody Ng (USRA undergraduate student, Summer 2008)
  • Kathryn Hoo (USRA undergraduate student, Summer 2008)
  • Renee Weber Adrian D'Alessandro (undergraduate student, Summer and Fall 2005)
  • Nigel Hearns (undergraduate student, Fall 2002 and Winter 2003)
  • Ben Fuerth (USRA undergraduate student, Summer 2003)
  • Ashleigh Farrel (USRA undergraduate student, Summer 2003)
  • Christopher MacLaughlin (USRA undergraduate student, Summers 2001 and 2002)
  • Chantalle Nistico (undergraduate student, Fall 2003)
  • Hanh Doai (Coop undergraduate student Winter and Summer 2001)

Publications in Refereed Journals

Publications in Refereed Journals

1- “Thiobis(hexamethyldisilazane) as a New Precursor for the Deposition of Sulfur on Gold: A One-Step Concerted Adsorption Process” K. M. Koczkur and A. Houmam, Surface Science 2014, 624, 44.

2- “The Intriguing Reaction of Aromatic Sulfonyl Phthalimides with Gold Surfaces” K. M. Koczkur, E. M. Hamed, C. R. Hesp and A. Houmam, PhysChemChemPhys. 2013, 15, 348.

3- “Rapid Formation of a Dense Sulfur Layer on Gold Through Use of Triphenylmethane Sulfenyl Chloride as a Precursor” A. Houmam, H. Muhammad and K. M. Koczkur, Langmuir 2012, 28, 16881.

4- “Nitro-Substituted Arene Sulfenyl Chlorides as Precursors for the Formation of Aromatic SAMs” H. Muhammad, K. M. Koczkur, A. H. Kycia and A. Houmam, Langmuir 2012, 28, 15853.

5- “Dissociation of Aryl Sulfonyl Phthalimide Radical Anions: Relevance to the Biological Activity of Aryl Sulfonyl Amides” A. Houmam and E. M. Hamed, Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 11328.

6- “Application of the Dissociative Electron Transfer Theory and Its Extension to the Case of In-Cage Interactions in the Electrochemical Reduction of Arene Sulfonyl Chlorides” A. Houmam and E. M. Hamed, PhysChemChemPhys. 2012, 14, 113.

7- “New Insights into Sulfur Deposition on Gold: The Nature of the Debated Rectangular Structures” A. Houmam, Md. G. Moula, K. M. Koczkur and E.M. Hamed, ChemPhysChem 2012, 13, 1240.

8- “Electrochemical Reduction of 4-Iodophenyl Sulfonyl Chloride and 4-Iodopheyl Sulfonyl Phthalimide” E. M. Hamed and A. Houmam, J. Electrochem. Soc. 2011, 158, 162.

9- “Gold Catalyzed Reduction of a Hexavalent Aromatic Sulfonyl Phthalimide to Sulfur” K.M. Koczkur, E. M. Hamed, C.R. Hesp and A. Houmam, Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 12128.

10- “Physical Structure of Standing-Up Aromatic SAMs Revealed by Scanning Tunneling Microsopy” A. Houmam, H. Muhammad, and K. M. Koczkur, Langmuir 2011, 27, 13544.

11- “Sulfur Multilayer Formation on Au(111): New Insights from the Study of Hexamethyldisilathiane" K. M. Koczkur, E. M. Hamed and A. Houmam, Langmuir 2011, 27, 12270.

12- “4-Nitrophenyl Sulfenyl Chloride as a New Precursor for the Formation of Aromatic SAMs on Gold Surfaces” A. Houmam, H. Muhammad, M. Chahma, K. Koczkur, and D.F. Thomas, Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 7095.

13- “Electron Transfer Initiated Reactions: Bond Formation and Bond Dissociation” A. Houmam, Chem. Rev. 2008, 108, 2180.

14- “Radical/Ion Pair Formation in the Electrochemical Reduction of Arene Sulfenyl Chlorides” C. Ji; M. Ahmida; M. Chahma and A. Houmam, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 15423.

15- “Counter Thermodynamic Processes in the Regioselective bond Cleavage in the Dissociative Electron Transfer to Benzyl Thiocyanates” E. M. Hamed; H. Doai, C. Maclaughlin; A. Houmam, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 6595.

16- “The Role of Nonbonded Sulfur-Oxygen Interaction in the Dissociative Electron Transfer to Nitro-Substituted Arenesulfenyl Chlorides” C. Ji; J. D. Goddard; A. Houmam, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 8076.

17- “Solid catalysts for the production of fine chemicals: the use of natural phosphate alone and doped base catalysts for the synthesis of unsaturated arylsulfones” M. Zahouily; M. Salah; B. Bahlaouane; A. Rayadh; A. Houmam; E. M. Hamed; S. Sebti, Tetrahedron 2004, 60, 1631.

18- “Regioselective Bond Cleavage in the Dissociative Electron Transfer to Benzyl Thiocyanates” A. Houmam; E. M. Hamed, P. Hapiot, J. M. Motto and A. L. Schwan, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 12676.

19- “Spectroscopic and Calorimetric Studies on the Mechanism of Methylenecyclopropane Rearrangements Triggered by Photoinduced Electron Transfer” H. Ikeda; K. Akiyama; Y. Takahashi; T. Nakamura; S. Ishizaki; Y. Shiratori; H. Ohaku; J. L. Goldman; A. Houmam; D. D. M. Wayner; S. Tero-Kubota and T. Miyashi, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 9147.

20- “A Unique Autocatalytic Process and Evidence for a Concerted-Stepwise Mechanism Transition in the Dissociative Electron Transfer Reduction of Aryl Thiocyanates” A. Houmam; E. M. Hamed and I. W. J. Still, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 7258.

21- “Hole Transfer Equilibrium in Rigidly Linked Bichromophoric Molecules” L. Chen; N’ Qi; A. Houmam; D. D. M. Wayner; S. J. Weininger; W. G. McGrimpsey. J. Phys. Chem. A., 1999, 103, 9167.

22- “The Ferrocene Moiety as a Structural Probe: Redox and Structural Properties of Ferrocenoyl Oligoprolines Fc-Pron-OBzl (n = 1-4) and Fc-Pro2-Phe-Obzl”. H-B. Kraatz ; D. M. Leek ; A. Houmam, G. D. Enright ; J. Lusztyk ; Danial D.M. Wayner. J. Organomet. Chem. J. Organomet. Chem., 1999, 589 (1): 38.

23- “Solvent Effects on Redox Properties of Radical Ions” M. Jonsson; A. Houmam; G. Jocys; D. D. M. Wayner. J. Chem. Soc. Perkin transactions II, 1999 Mar. (3): 425.

24- “Electrosynthesis of sulfonium and bisulfonium salts. Addition of alkenes and ketones to thianthrene radical cation and thianthrene diradical dication”. A. Houmam; D. Shukla; D. D. M. Wayner. J. Org. Chem., 1999, 64, 3342. 25- “Direct Observation of Two Different Types of TMM Intermediates in the Photoinduced Electron Transfer Degenerate Methylenecyclopropane Rearrangement”. H. Ikeda; T. Nakamura; T. Miyashi; J. L. Goodman; K. Akiyama; S. Tero-Kubota; A. Houmam; D. D. M. Wayner. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1998, 120, 5832.

26- “Redox Properties of Free Radicals”. D. D. M. Wayner and A. Houmam. Acta Chem. Scan., 1998, 52 (4): 377.

27- “Electrochemical Reduction of 3-(Trimethylstannyl)adamant-1-yl and 4-(trimethylstannyl)bicyclo [2.2.2]oct-1-yl Bromides and Iodides”. W. Adcock; C. A. Clark; A. Houmam; A. Kristic; J. M. Savéant. J. Org. Chem. 1996, 61, 2891.

28- “Ion-Radical Complexes and SRN1-like Reactions in Gas-Phase. A Negative-Ion Mass Spectrometric Investigation of Arylazo Sulfides” C. Dell’Erba; A. Houmam; N. Morin; M. Novi; G. Petrillo; J. Pinson; C. Rolando. J. Org. Chem. 1996, 61, 929.

29- “Photochemical and Electrochemical Induction of Nucleophilic Substitution. Non-Chain SRN1 Processes in the Reaction of 1-Iodoadamantane with Arenethiolate Ions”. P. Hapiot; A. Houmam; J. Pinson; J.M. Savéant. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1995, 117, 11488.

30- “Dissociative Electron Transfer to Dihaloalkanes. Electrochemical Reduction of 1,3-Dihaloadamantanes, 1,4-Dihalobicyclo[2.2.2]octanes, and 1,3-Dihalobicyclo[1.1.1]pentanes” w. Adcock, William, C. I. Clark, A. Houmam, A. R. Krstic, J. Pinson, J-M. Savéant, D. K. Taylor, J. F. Taylor. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1994, 116, 4653.

31- “Very Fast, In-Cage, Recombination of a Radical With a Nucleophile. Arylazo Sulfides in SRN1 Aromatic Nucleophilic Substitutions” C. Dell'Erba, A. Houmam, M. Novi, G. Petrillo, J. Pinson. J. Org. Chem. 1993, 58, 2670.