Ivana (née Matanovic) Gonzales, Ph.D.



      • Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia


  • B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Natural Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia


2018 - present

  • Research Associate Professor, UNM Center for Micro-Engineered Materials, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA


  • Research Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA


  • Postdoctoral Research, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, USA


  • Postdoctoral Research, New York University, New York, USA


  • Postdoctoral Research, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia


  • Postgraduate Research, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia


Computational design of novel materials and processes for efficient, cost-effective, and clean energy economy (e.g., proton/anion-exchange membrane fuel cells, hydrogen economy), calculation of spectroscopic properties of surface bound species, electronic structure, and transport properties calculations.

  • The oxygen reduction reaction on Platinum Group Metal (PGM) and PGM-free catalysts (structure to property relationships) including the effect of poisoning (e.g., cross over fuel, air contaminants).

  • Electro-reduction of nitrogen to ammonia on metal nitrides and carbides.

  • The oxygen evolution reaction and hydrogen evolution reaction on PGM-free catalysts.

  • Effect of non-carbonaceous supports (metal oxides) on the electro-catalytic activity of PGM catalysts.

  • The effects of the different multifunctional electrolytes (e.g., Nafion fragments, alkali metal cations, organic cations) on the electro-catalytic reactions.

  • Calculation of Pourbaix diagrams and understanding the influence of the surface structure on electro-catalytic activity and selectivity.

  • Engineering of photo-catalytic materials (band gaps, band offsets, thermal stability).

  • Electronic conductivity from Density Functional Theory calculations.

  • Monte Carlo simulations of secondary electron generation and emission.

  • Modeling spectroscopic features of surface species (vibrational, XPS, and Mössbauer spectroscopy).

  • Engineering of optimal protein−support interactions for rationally designed bio-electrodes (effect of support modification on the efficiency of electron transfer on the bio-nano interface).



  • R. Gutierrez, I. Matanovic, M. P. Polak, R. S. Johnson, D. Morgan, and E. Schamiloglu, First principles inelastic mean free paths coupled with Monte Carlo simulation of secondary electron yield of Cu-Ni, Cu-Zn, and Mo-Li, J. Appl. Phys. 127, 175105 (2021).

  • V. Atanasov, A. S. Lee, E. J. Park, S. Maurya, E. D. Baca, C. Fujimoto, M. Hibbs, I. Matanovic, J. Kerres, Y.-S. Kim, Synergistically integrated phosphonated poly(pentafluorostyrene)s for fuel cells, Nat. Mater. 20, 370-377 (2021).

  • J. Li, M. T. Sougrati, A. Zitolo, J. M. Ablett, I. C. Oğuz, T. Mineva, I. Matanovic, P. Atanassov, Y. Huang, I. Zenyuk, A. Di Cicco, K. Kumar, L. Dubau, F. Maillard, G. Dražić and F. Jaouen, Identification of durable and non-durable FeNx sites in Fe-N-C materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Nat. Catal. 4, 10-19, (2021).


  • Y. Liu, T. Asset, Y. Chen, E. Murphy, E. O. Potma, I. Matanovic, D. A. Fishman, P. Atanassov, Facile All-Optical Method for In Situ Detection of Low Amounts of Ammonia, iScience 23 (11), 101757 (2020)

  • I. Matanovic, K. Leung, S. J Percival, J. Eujin Park, P. Lu, P. Atanassov, S. Chou, Towards defect engineering in hexagonal MoS2 nanosheets for tuning hydrogen evolution and nitrogen reduction reactions, Appl. Mater. Today 21, 100812 (2020).

  • I. Matanovic, F. H. Garzon, Assessing Stability of Transition Metal Nitrides in Aqueous Environments: The Case of Molybdenum, Iron, Vanadium and Nickel Nitride, J. Electrochem. Soc. 167, 046518 (2020).

  • I. Matanovic, A. S. Lee, Y.-S. Kim, Energetics of Base-Acid Pairs for the Design of High-Temperature Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolytes, J. Phys. Chem. B 124, 7725-7734 (2020).


      • T. Mineva, I. Matanovic, P. Atanassov, M.-T. Sougrati, L. Stievano, M. Clémancey, A. Kochem, J.-M. Latour, F. Jaouen, Understanding Active Sites in Pyrolyzed Fe–N–C Catalysts for Fuel Cell Cathodes by Bridging Density Functional Theory Calculations and 57Fe Mössbauer Spectroscopy, ACS Catal. 9, 10, 9359-9371 (2019).

      • T. Asset, S. T. Garcia, S. Herrera, N. Andersen, Y. Chen, E. J. Peterson, I. Matanovic, K. Artyushkova, J. Lee, S. D. Minteer, S. Dai, X. Pan, K. Chavan, S. Calabrese Barton, P. Atanassov, Investigating the Nature of the Active Sites for the CO2 Reduction Reaction on Carbon-Based Electrocatalysts, ACS Catal. 9, 7668-7678 (2019).

      • I. Matanovic, S. Maurya, E. J. Park, J. Y. Jeon, C. Bae, and Y. S. Kim, Adsorption of Polyaromatic Backbone Impacts the Performance of the Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel cells, Chem. Mater 31, 11, 4195-4204 (2019).

      • S. He, S. Sankarasubramanian, I Matanovic, P Atanassov, V Ramani, Understanding the Oxygen Reduction Reaction Activity and Oxidative Stability of Pt supported on Nb‐doped‐TiO2, ChemSusChem 12, 3468-3480 (2019).

      • N. Andersen, K. Artuyushkova, I. Matanovic, M. S. Chavez, D. P. Hickey, S. Abdelloui, S. D. Minteer, ModularMicrofluidicPaper-BasedDevicesfor Multi-ModalCascadeCatalysis, ChemElectroChem 6, 2448-2455 (2019).

      • S. Kayak, A. Benavidez, I. Matanovic, F. Garzon, Thermochemical analysis of Mo-C-H system for synthesis of molybdenum carbides, Thermochim Acta 676, 27-32 (2019).

      • D. Li, I. Matanovic, A. S. Lee, C. Fujimoto, H. T. Chung, and Y. S. Kim, Phenyl Oxidation Limits the Durability of Alkaline Membrane Water Electrolyzer, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 11, 9696−9701 (2019).

      • A. S. Lee, Y.-K. Choe, I. Matanovic, Y. S. Kim, The energetics of phosphoric acid interactions reveals a new acid loss mechanism, J. Mater. Chem. 7, 9867-9876 (2019).

      • N. Andersen, K. Artuyushkova, I. Matanovic, D. P. Hickey, S. D. Minteer, Spectro‐Electrochemical Microfluidic Platform for Monitoring Multi‐Step Cascade Reactions, ChemElectroChem 6 (1), 246-251 (2019).

      • I. Matanovic, Selectivity control for electroreduction of ketones, Nat. Catal. 2, 186-187 (2019).


  • S. Mayura, S. Noh, I. Matanovic, E J. Park, C. Narvaez Villarrubia, J. Han, C. Bae, and Y. S. Kim, Rational design of polyaromatic ionomers for alkaline membrane fuel cells with >1 Wcm-2 power density, Energy Environ. Sci. 11, 3283-3291 (2018).

  • S. Maurya, J. H Dumont, C. N. Villarrubia, I. Matanovic, D. Li, Y. S. Kim, S. Noh, J. Han, C. Bae, H. A. Miller, C. H. Fujimoto, D. R. Dekel, Surface Adsorption Affects the Performance of Alkaline Anion- Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, ACS Catalysis 8, 9429-9439 (2018).

  • D. Li, T. Chung, S. Maurya, I. Matanovic and Y. S. Kim, Impact of ionomer adsorption on alkaline hydrogen oxidation activity and fuel cell performance, Curr. Opin. in Electrochem. 12, 189-195 (2018).

  • Y. Chen, I. Matanovic, E. Weiler, P. Atanassov, K. Artyushkova, Mechanism of Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Transition Metal-Nitrogen-Carbon Catalysts: Establishing the Role of Nitrogen- containing Active Sites, ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 1, 5948-5953 (2018).

  • Y. C. Liu, I. Matanovic, D. P. Hickey, S. D. Minteer, P. Atanassov, S. C. Baron, Cascade Kinetics of an Artificial Metabolon by Molecular Dynamics and Kinetic Monte Carlo, ACS Catalysis 8, 7719-7726 (2018).

  • A. Kateryna, M. J. Workman, I. Matanovic, M. J. Dzara, C. Ngo, S. Pylypenko, A. Serov, P. Atanassov, Role of Surface Chemistry on Catalyst/Ionomer Interactions for Transition Metal-Nitrogen-Carbon Electrocatalysts, ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 1, 68-77 (2018).

  • T. Asset, M. Padilla, A. J. Roy, I. Matanovic, M. Chatenet, F. Millard, P. Atanassov, Design of Pd-Pb Catalysts for Glycerol and Ethylene Glycol Electrooxidation in Alkaline Medium, Electrocatalysis 9, 480-485 (2018).

  • I. Matanovic and F. Garzon, Nitrogen electroreduction and hydrogen evolution on cubic molybdenum carbide, a density functional theory study, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 20, 14679-14687 (2018).

  • S. Rojas-Carbonell, K. Artyushkova, A. Serov, C. Santoro, I. Matanovic, P. Atanassov, Effect of pH on the Activity of Platinum Metal-Free Catalysts in the Oxygen Reduction Reaction, ACS Catalysis 8, 3041-3053 (2018) .

  • I. Matanovic, K. Artyushkova, and P. Atanassov, Understanding PGM-free catalysts by linking density functional theory calculations and structural analysis: Perspectives and challenges, Curr. Opin. In Electrochem. 9, 137-144 (2018).

  • Y. Chen, K. Artyushkova, S. Rojas-Carbonell, A. Serov, I. Matanovic, C. Santoro, T. Asset, P. Atanassov, Inhibition of Surface Chemical Moieties by Tris (hydroxymethyl) aminomethane: A Key to Understanding Oxygen Reduction on Iron–Nitrogen–Carbon Catalysts, ACS Applied Energy Materials 1 (50), 1942-1949 (2018).


      • I. Matanovic, H. Taek Chung and Y.-S. Kim, Benzene Adsorption: A Significant Inhibitor for the Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction in Alkaline Conditions, J Phys Chem Lett 8 (19), 4918–4924 (2017).

      • D. Sebastián, A. Serov, I. Matanovic, K. Artyushkova, P. Atanassov, A.S. Aricò, V. Baglio, Insights on the extraordinary tolerance to alcohols of Fe-N-C cathode catalysts in highly performing direct alcohol fuel cells, Nano Energy 34, 195-204 (2017).

      • M. Kodali, C. Santoro, A. Serov, S. Kabir, K. Artyushkova, I. Matanovic, P. Atanassov, Air Breathing Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cell using Mn-, Fe-, Co- and Ni-containing Platinum Group Metal-free Catalysts, Electrochimica Acta 231, 115-124 (2017).

      • K. Artyushkova, I. Matanovic, B. Halevi, P. Atanassov, Oxygen Binding to Active Sites of Fe-N-C ORR Electrocatalysts Observed by Ambient-Pressure XPS, J. Phys. Chem. C 121 (5), 2836-2843 (2017).

      • Perry III, S. Kabir, I. Matanovic, M. S. Chavez, K. Artyushkova, A. Serov and P. Atanassov, Novel Hybrid Catalyst for the Oxidation of Organic Acids: Pd Nanoparticles Supported on Mn-N-3D-graphene Nanosheets, ChemElectroChem 4, 1-10 (2017).

      • S. Babanova, I. Matanovic, J. Cornejo, O. Bretschger, K. Nealson, and P. Atanassov, Outer membrane cytochromes/flavin interactions in Shewanella spp.—A molecular perspective, Biointerphases 12, 021004 (2017).

      • S. Abdellaoui, M. Seow Chavez, I. Matanovic, A.Stephens, P. Atanassov, and S. Minteer, Hybrid molecular/enzymatic catalytic cascade for complete electro-oxidation of glycerol using a promiscuous NAD-dependent formate dehydrogenase from Candida boidinii, Chem. Commun. 53, 5368 (2017).


  • I. Matanovic, K. Artyushkova, M. B. Strand, M. J. Dzara, S. Pylypenko, and P. Atanassov,

  • Core Level Shifts of Hydrogenated Pyridinic and Pyrrolic Nitrogen in the Nitrogen-Containing Graphene-Based Electrocatalysts: In-Plane vs Edge Defects, J. Phys. Chem. C 120(51), 29225-29232 (2016).

  • T. Asset, A. Ray, T. Sakamoto, M. Padilla, I. Matanovic, K. Artyushkova, A. Serov, F. Mailllard, M. Chatenet, K. Asazawa, and P. Atanassov, Highly active and selective nickel molybdenum catalysts for direct hydrazine fuel cells, Electrochim Acta 2015, 420-426 (2016).

  • H. Taek Chung, Y.-K. Choe, U. Martinez, J. H. Dumont, A. Mohanty, C. Bae, I. Matanovic, Y.S. Kim, Effect of Organic Cations on Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction of Carbon Supported Platinum, J. Electrochem. Soc. 163, 14, F1503-F1509 (2016).

  • Taek Chung, U. Martinez, I. Matanovic, and Y-S. Kim, Cation–Hydroxide–Water Coadsorption Inhibits the Alkaline Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7 (22), 4464–4469 (2016).

  • T. Reshetenko, A. Serov, K. Artyushkova, S. Stariha and P. Atanassov, Tolerance of non-platinum group metals cathodes proton exchange membrane fuel cells to air contaminants, J. Power Sources 324, 556 (2016).

  • A. Perry III, S. Babanova, I. Matanovic, A. Neumman, A. Serov, K. Artyushkova, and P. Atanassov, Evaluation of Pt Alloys as Electrocatalysts for Oxalic Acid Oxidation: A Combined Experimental and Computational Study, J. Electrochem. Soc. 163, H787-H795 (2016).

  • I. Matanovic, S. Babanova, M. S. Chavez, and P. Atanassov, Protein-Support Interactions for Rationally Designed Bilirubin Oxidase Based Cathode: a Computational Study, J. Phys. Chem. B 120, 3634–3641 (2016).

  • R. M. E. Hjelm, K. E. Garcia, S. Babanova, K. Artyushkova, I. Matanovic, S. Banta, and P. Atanassov, Functional Interfaces for Biomimetic Energy Harvesting: CNTs-DNA Matrix for Enzyme Assembly, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1857, 612-620 (2016).

  • A. Serov, T. Asset, M. Padilla, I. Matanovic, U. Martinez, A. Roy, K. Artyushkova, M. Chatenet, F. Maillard, D. Bayer, C. Cremers and P. Atanassov, Highly-active Pd–Cu electrocatalysts for oxidation of ubiquitous oxygenated fuels, Appl. Catal. B 191, 76-85 (2016).

Other (selected)

      • D. P. Hickey, D. A. Schiedler, I. Matanovic, P V. Doan, P. Atanassov, S. D. Minteer, M. S. Sigman, Predicting Electrocatalytic Properties: Modeling Structure–Activity Relationships of Nitroxyl Radicals, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137 (51), 16179 (2015).

      • S. Babanova, I. Matanovic, M. S. Chavez, and P. Atanassov, Role of Quinones in Electron Transfer of PQQ-Glucose Dehydrogenase Anodes – Mediation or Orientation Effect. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 7754-7762 (2015).

      • A. Serov, N. I. Andersen, A. J. Roy, I. Matanovic, K. Artyushkova, P. Atanassov, CuCo2O4 ORR/OER Bi-Functional Catalyst: Influence of Synthetic Approach on Performance, J. Electrochem Soc. 4, F449-F454 (2015).

      • I. Matanovic, P. Atanassov, B. Kiefer, F. H. Garzon and N. Henson, Applicability of Density Functional Theory in Reproducing Accurate Vibrational Spectra of Surface Bound Species. J. Comput. Chem. 35, 1921-1929 (2014).

      • I. Matanovic, F. H. Garzon and Neil J. Henson: Electro-reduction of Nitrogen on Molybdenum Nitride: Structure, Energetics, and Vibrational Spectra from DFT. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 16, 3014 (2014).

      • I. Matanovic, P. R. C. Kent, F. H. Garzon and Neil J. Henson, Density Functional Theory Study of Oxygen Reduction Activity on Ultrathin Platinum Nanotubes, J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 16499 (2012).

      • I. Matanovic, J. Belof, B. Space, K. Sillar, J. Sauer, J. Eckert and Z. Bačić, Hydrogen molecule in metal-organic framework-5: Quantum five-dimensional treatment of the coupled translation-rotation dynamics, J. Chem. Phys. 137, 014701 (2012).

      • I. Matanovic ,F. H. Garzon, N. J. Henson, Theoretical Study of Electrochemical Processes on Pt-Ni Alloys, J. Phys. Chem. C 115, 10640–10650 (2011)

      • N. Došlić, V. Gomzi, M. Mališ, I. Matanovic, J. Eckert, Fluxionality of Hydrogen Ligans in Fe(H)2(H2)(PEtPh2)3, Inorg. Chem. 50 (21), 10740–10747 (2011).

      • I. Dokli, I. Matanovic, Z. Hameršak, Sulfur Ylide Promoted Synthesis of N-Protected Aziridines: A Combined Experimental and Computational Approach, Chem. Eur. J. 16, 11744–11752 (2010).

      • I. Matanovic, M. Xu, J. W. Moskowitz, J. Eckert, Z. Bačić: Methane molecule confined in the small and large cages of structure I clathrate hydrate: Quantum six-dimensional calculations of the coupled translation-rotation eigenstates, J. Chem. Phys. 131, 224308 (2009).

      • I. Matanovic, N. Došlić, B. R. Johnson: Generalized approximation to the reaction path: The formic acid dimmer case, J. Chem. Phys. 128 084103 (2008).

      • I. Matanovic, N. Došlić, O. Kühn, Ground and asymmetric CO stretch excited state tunneling splittings in the formic acid dimer, J. Chem. Phys. 127, 014309 (2007).