Rodney Smith

Rodney Smith
Associate Professor
Location: C2 365
Phone: 519-888-4567 x48388


Rodney Smith's research interests lie in the fabrication and characterization of solid-state materials that mediate the electrochemical synthesis of sustainable fuels. Rodney develops innovative fabrication techniques, examines the structure of materials, and studies reaction kinetics and dynamics in an effort to improve the efficiency and selectivity of reactions such as electrochemical CO2 reduction. The research is interdisciplinary in nature, involving materials synthesis and a diverse selection of spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques.

Research Interests

  • Inorganic materials
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Reaction dynamics
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Energy storage
  • Energy Materials
  • AI assisted Materials Development
  • Synthetic Chemistry and Catalysis
  • Next Generation Energy Systems
  • Nanomaterials


  • 2012 Ph.D., Electrochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
  • 2007 B.Sc., Honours Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Canada

Professional Associations

  • Canadian Society for Chemistry, Member since 2008
  • American Chemical Society, Member since 2008
  • Electrochemical Society, Member since 2010
  • Materials Research Society, Member since 2018
  • International Academy of Electrochemical Energy Science, Member since 2018

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Member since 2017
  • Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute, Member since 2022


  • CHEM 313 - Main Group and Solid State Chemistry
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • CHEM 400 - Special Topics in Chemistry
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023
  • CHEM 710 - Selected Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
    • Taught in 2020, 2022

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Identification of Non-Traditional Coordination Environments for Iron Ions in Nickel Hydroxide Lattices. Alsac, E. P.; Zhou, K.; Rong, W.; Salamon, S.; Landers, J.; Wende, H.; Smith, R. D. L. Energy Environ. Sci. 2022, 15, 2638-2652. (designated as EES HOT article)
  • Linking Lattice Strain and Electron Transfer Kinetics in Crystalline Layered Double Hydroxides. Alsac, E. P.; Smith, R. D. L. ACS Catalysis, 2022, 12, 12419-12431.
  • Differentiating Defects and Their Influence on Hematite Photoanodes Through X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Raman Microscopy. Liu, Y; Smith, R. D. L. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 6615.
  • How Cation Substitutions Affect the Oxygen Reduction Reaction on La2-xSrxNi1-yFeyO4. Whittingham, A. W. H.; Liu, X.; Smith, R. D. L. ChemCatChem 2022, 14, e202101684. (special issue invitation: Catalysis Talents)
  • Customizable Machine Learning Models for Rapid Microplastic Identification Using Raman Microscopy. Lei, B.; Bissonnette, J.; Hogan, U.; Bec, A.; Feng, X.; Smith, R. D. L. Anal. Chem., 2022, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c02451.
  • Current State of Microplastic Pollution Research Data: Trends in Availability and Sources of Open Data. Jenkins, T.; Persaud, B.; Cowger, W.; Szigeti, K.; Roche, D. G.; Clary, E.; Slowinski, S.; Lei, B.; Abeynayaka, A.; Nyadjro, E. S.; Maes, T.; Hampton, L. T.; Bergmann, M.; Aherne, J.; Mason, S. A.; Honek, J. F.; Rezanezhad, F.; Lusher, A. L.; Booth, A. M.; Smith, R. D. L.; Van Cappellen, P. Front. In Env. Sci., 2022, 10, 912107.
  • Characterizing the Al-Si Coating on Aluminized 22mnb5 Steel Using Raman Spectroscopy. Klassen, C. M.; Smith, R. D. L.; Daun, K. Materials Char. 2022, 189, 112002.