Akiko Fillinger

Akiko Fillinger

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Biochemistry

Specialty:Analytical chemistry (alternative energy & fuels)
Phone:(607) 274-1854
Office:367 Ctr for Natural Sciences
Ithaca, NY 14850

Fall 2013 Courses

  • Principles of Chemistry (CHEM 121)
  • Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics (CHEM 331)
  • Chemistry Seminar (CHEM 487)


My research theme is materials for alternative energies. The material that we are investigating now is nanocrystalline cuprous oxide (Cu2O). By illuminating nanocrystalline Cu2O in water with sunlight, the photon energy can be absorbed by the nanocrystalline Cu2O and can be converted to electricity. Our ultimate goal with nanocrystalline Cu2O is to generate hydrogen gas by splitting water (i.e., the production of an environmentally friendly energy source in an environmentally sensible manner).


Akiko Fillinger received her B.S. in Chemistry in 1995 from Portland State University where she became interested in chemical solar-to-electricity conversion under the guidance of Professor Carl Wamser.  She went on to perform her graduate work at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 2000.  For her graduate thesis, she studied dye sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2 solar cells with Professor Bruce Parkinson

In 2001 she became a Dreyfus Post-doctoral Fellow in Environmental Chemistry at the Division of Applied Sciences and Engineering at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Professors Steven Wofsy and Scot Martin).  After the post-doc experience, she taught for a year at Grinnell College at Grinnell, Iowa as a visiting assistant professor.  She began teaching at Ithaca College in the fall of 2003, and has since taught Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics & Kinetics, Quantum Mechanics), Instrumental Analysis, Quantitative Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Experimental Chemistry I and V.  She maintains an active research group investigating materials for harvesting solar energy and convert to electricity or catalyze fuel (H2) production as well as monitoring the quality of local well water using ion chromatography as a proxy technique to prepare for a possible hydrofracturing practice in this area.

Selected Publications

(Bold: Ithaca College Undergraduate Students)

Alyssa de Villiers (Faculty Advisor: Akiko Fillinger), "Investigation of an Herbal Dewormer as an Alternative Treatment Method.  Part II: Chemical Analyses with HPLC and Handheld XRF", Proceedings of the National Counference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2010, 732-744 (2010).

Kelly L. Sowers and Akiko Fillinger, “Crystal Face Dependence of p-Cu2O Stability as Photocathode,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society 156, F80-F85 (2009).

Clifford J. Engel, Thomas A. Polson, Jacy R. Spado, Jennifer M. Bell, and Akiko Fillinger, “Photoelectrochemistry of Porous p-Cu2O Films,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society 155, F37-F42 (2008).

Recent Student Presentations           

Philip Davidowsky (Physics '13) and Yongqian Zhang (Chemistry '14) presented a poster titled, "Underpotential Deposition of Ni on Cu2O for Solar H2 Generation" at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at New Orleans, LA in April 2013.

Delbert Shoals (Chemistry '12) and Kathleen Sampson (Chemistry '13) presented a poster titled, "Stabilization and Efficiency Enhancement of Cu2O for  Solar Energy Utilization" at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at San Diego, CA in March 2012.

Sarah Fields (Biochemistry '10) presented a poster titled, "Investigation of SHArK (Solar Hydrogen Activity Research Kit) Template with Optical Microscope and Handheld X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer" at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at Boston, MA in August 2010.

Ian Weiss (Chemistry '10) and Layne Kasprzyk (Environmental Science with Chemistry Concentration '10) presented posters titled, "Protecting Cu2O Film from Decomposition While Attracting H+" and "Improvement of Biodiesel Quality with Increased NaOH, Methanol, Reacion Time, and Settling Time" at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at San Francisco, CA in March 2010.

Joshua Thomas (Chemistry '10) gave a talk, "Use of Metallic Overlayer for Cuprous Oxide Stabilization" at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2010 at Missoula, MT in March 2010.



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