Rachael Farber

Rachael Farber

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Chicago

Rachael G. Farber received her B.S. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 2013 and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Loyola University Chicago under the guidance of Dr. Dan Killelea in 2018. At Loyola, she utilized ultra-high vacuum (UHV) surface science techniques to investigate the fundamental properties of catalytically relevant metal surfaces. With a focus on the relationship between surface structure and chemical activity, Rachael investigated water structure formation on highly stepped platinum (Pt) surfaces, oxide formation on rhodium (Rh) and silver (Ag) surfaces, and the influence of dissolved oxygen species on the surface structure and chemical activity of Rh and Ag surfaces. She has received several awards for her doctoral research including the AVS Nellie Yeoh Whetten Award (2017), the AVS Morton M. Traum Surface Science Student Award (2017), Loyola’s Dumbach Award for Excellence in Chemistry (2018), and the Iota Sigma Pi Anna Louise Hoffman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Research (2018). Rachael is currently a Kadanoff-Rice Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago under the supervision of Dr. Steven Sibener. Her ongoing research is focused on applying UHV surface science techniques to analyze material growth mechanisms and surface properties of next generation superconducting radio frequency (SRF) materials for use in accelerator technologies.


  • Surface science
  • Ultra-high vacuum science and technology
  • Fundamental heterogeneous catalysis
  • Fundamental materials growth and characterization


  • PhD in Physical Chemistry, 2018

    Loyola University Chicago

  • BS in Chemistry, 2013

    Case Western Reverse University