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Gary A. Baker

Research Emphasis

Analytical Chemistry; Nanochemistry; Energy Applications of Ionic Liquids; Nanocarbons; Biocatalysis in Non-aqueous Solvents; Porous Materials; All Things Luminescent


  • BS, The State University of New York at Oswego, 1995
  • PhD, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 2001

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2011-present
  • Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2005-2010
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2001-2005

Honors and Awards

  • George W. Thorn Award, University at Buffalo Distinguished Alumni Award, 2010
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), U.S. Department of Energy, 2008
  • Office of Science Outstanding Mentor Award, U.S. Department of Energy, 2007
  • Eugene P. Wigner Fellowship, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2005-2007
  • Frederick Reines Postdoctoral Fellowship, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2002-2005
  • American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Graduate Fellowship, 2000
  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy Graduate Student Award, 1999


A unifying theme linking a considerable portion of our research entails the synthesis, exploration, invention, and unique exploitation of ionic liquids as problem-solving fluids or designer materials. These efforts take varied, and often cross-disciplinary, form. Until such time as this website is fully built (*), some examples of the sorts of research problems and topics we are tackling in our laboratories shall hopefully suffice; these include the development and exploration of:

  • Expedient and eco-friendly routes toward tailored, "exotic", or morphologically distinct nanomaterials
  • Advanced functional nanotechnology to address the energy challenge (e.g., nanocarbon-based solar cells)
  • Approaches for effective chemical analysis in resource-poor settings (e.g., inkjet printed bioassays, naked eye detection, plasmonic devices)
  • Design rules elucidation and knowledge gap bridging in ionic liquids research

* Please visit this website again as more detailed information becomes available. If interested in joining our research group, or for general inquiries, please feel free to contact me at:

 Recent Representative Publications

(updated on 06 Jan 2011)

  1. S. N. Baker and G. A. Baker, "Luminescent Carbon Nanodots: Emergent Nanolights," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 6726-6744.
  2. R. Rai, G. A. Baker, K. Behera, P. Mohanty, N. D. Kurur and S. Pandey, "Ionic Liquid-Induced Unprecedented Size Enhancement of Aggregates within Aqueous Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate," Langmuir 2010, 26, 17821-17826.
  3. W. T. Heller, H. M. O'Neill, Q. Zhang and G. A. Baker, "Characterization of the Influence of the Ionic Liquid 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium Chloride on the Structure and Thermal Stability of Green Fluorescent Protein," J. Phys. Chem. B 2010, 114, 13866-13871.
  4. Y. Tang, G. A. Baker and X. Zeng, "Conditioning Poly(Vinyl Ferrocene) with Ionic Liquids for Doping/Undoping of Glycylglycylglycine Peptide," J. Phys. Chem. C 2010, 114, 13709-13715.
  5. C. Wang, S. M. Mahurin, H. Luo, G. A. Baker, H. Li and S. Dai, "Reversible and Robust CO2 Capture by Equimolar Task-Specific Ionic Liquid/Superbase Mixtures," Green Chem. 2010, 10, 870-874.
  6. X. Wang, P. F. Fulvio, G. A. Baker, G. M. Veith, R. R. Unocic, S. M. Mahurin, M. Chi and S. Dai, "Direct Exfoliation of Natural Graphite into Micrometre Size Few-Layer Graphene Sheets using Ionic Liquids," Chem. Commun. 2010, 46, 4487-4489.
  7. H. Zhao, G. A. Baker and J. V. Cowins, "Fast Enzymatic Saccharification of Switchgrass after Pretreatment with Ionic Liquids," Biotechnol. Progress 2010, 26, 127-133.
  8. D. K. Bwambok, B. El-Zahab, S. K. Challa, M. Li, L. Chandler, G. A. Baker and I. M. Warner, "Near Infrared Fluorescent NanoGUMBOS for Biomedical Imaging," ACS Nano 2009, 3, 3854-3860.
  9. J. S. Lee, X. Wang, H. Luo, G. A. Baker and S. Dai, "Facile Ionothermal Synthesis of Microporous and Mesoporous Carbons from Task Specific Ionic Liquids," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 4596-4597.
  10. A. Tesfai, B. El-Zahab, D. K. Bwambok, G. A. Baker, S. O. Fakayode, M. Lowry and I. M. Warner, "Controllable Formation of Ionic Liquid Micro- and Nanoparticles via a Melt-Emulsion-Quench Approach," Nano Lett. 2008, 8, 897-901.
  11. G. A. Baker, R. Desikan and T. Thundat, "Label-Free Sugar Detection Using Phenylboronic Acid-Functionalized Piezoresistive Microcantilevers," Anal. Chem. 2008, 80, 4860-4865.
  12. H. Zhao, G. A. Baker, Z. Song, O. Olubajo, T. Crittle and D. Peters, "Designing Enzyme-compatible Ionic Liquids that can Dissolve Carbohydrates," Green Chem. 2008, 10, 696-705.
  13. H. Jin, B. O'Hare, J. Dong, S. Arzhantsev, G. A. Baker, J. F. Wishart, A. Benesi and M. Maroncelli, "Physical Properties of Ionic Liquids Consisting of the Bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide Anion with Various Cations and the 1-Butyl-3-Methyl Imidazolium Cation with Various Anions," J. Phys. Chem. B 2008, 112, 81-92.
  14. R. E. Del Sesto, T. M. McCleskey, A. K. Burrell, G. A. Baker, J. D. Thompson, B. L. Scott, J. S. Wilkes and P. Williams, "Structure and Magnetic Behavior of Transition Metal Based Ionic Liquids," Chem. Commun. 2008, 447-449.
  15. S. Arzhantsev, H. Jin, G. A. Baker and M. Maroncelli, "Measurements of the Complete Solvation Response in Ionic Liquids," J. Phys. Chem. B 2007, 111, 4978-4989.
Gary Baker

Assistant Professor

102 Schlundt
Tel: 573-882-1811