Faculty Faction: Dr. Clovis Linkous

Dr. Linkous and Stephen Rhoden
Dr. Clovis Linkous pictured on the right.

Youngstown State University has often been a place for people to come and make their hopes and wishes a reality. One such person is Dr. Clovis Linkous, STEM College professor of Material Science.

Dr. Linkous chose YSU College of STEM and the Chemistry Department five years ago. After working as research faculty at the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida for many years, Dr. Linkous realized that he wanted to teach as well. YSU was the perfect opportunity for him to do the teaching he wanted and to work with graduate students and their research.

Dr. Linkous earned a bachelor’s degree at Purdue University, majoring in both Physics and Chemistry. He then went on to achieve his doctorate at Michigan State University in Chemistry. Much of his thesis work was performed at the University of Arizona, Tucson.  

Dr. Linkous enjoyed working at UCF and doing research, but he knew there was something missing—student interaction. At YSU, Dr. Linkous saw an opportunity to pursue some ideas he had in energy science, the central theme of his research interests.

Dr. Linkous is currently studying aspects of photoelectrochemistry. Photoelectrochemistry uses light-activated materials in an electrochemical cell. One  project involves constructing a photocatalytic membrane, where semiconductor layers are deposited on either side of a steel sheet. “The objective is to combine the voltages from the two electrode faces to decompose water, evolving oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be used as a fuel,” Dr. Linkous explained.

He has also worked with various students and faculty on other aspects of hydrogen energy. With the Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering at YSU, Dr. Linkous has tried to link hydrogen and borohydrides as a solid-state storage medium to be used as an on-board fuel source for vehicles.

Dr. Linkous is also working on a SOFC, or a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell. A SOFC is a high temperature electrochemical device that derives electricity from landfill gas. Recently, Dr. Linkous attended an Ohio Fuel Cell Corridor conference with post-doctoral associate Stephen Rhoden and Ph.D. Material Science student Feroze Khan. In June, Dr. Linkous will also be going to the YSU Sustainable Energy Forum.

Through his teaching and research, Dr. Linkous has come to love the “Eurekas!” He continued saying, “When you run an experiment and reach an insight you never had before, it can hit you suddenly.” He is very appreciative of the effort students put into his courses, and he enjoys when students tell him they learned a lot.

Dr. Clovis Linkous is not only a professor and researcher, but is also involved on campus and in the community. He can be seen in the REC center and almost all of the home football games. Dr. Linkous is also a member of the MVR Bocce League. He likes going to Mill Creek Park to enjoy the unique nature scene that the Ohio Valley has to offer.  When asked to describe himself using one word, he thought a while and said, “electrochemistry.” Dr. Linkous is also the secretary for Penn-Ohio Border Section, a local American Chemical Society chapter, that covers Youngstown State University, Kent State Trumbull, Thiel College, Westminster College, and Grove City College.

His most recent publication was “Development of a Hydrogen-Evolving Photocatalytic Membrane,” in Energy Procedia, an online journal, with Stephen Rhoden and Howard Mettee.