Our research is focused on fundamental problems in nanoscience and how they impact the application of nanoscale materials to solar energy harvesting. Our approach integrates the design and synthesis of novel nanomaterials with detailed electronic spectroscopy in order to reveal how such materials interact with light. The group welcomes a broad spectrum of scientists, with interests ranging from synthetic chemistry to femtosecond spectroscopy.
One of the defining themes in nanoscience is the control of physical properties of a material (such as its electronic structure) through solution-phase synthesis that produces nanostructures of well-defined composition, size, and shape. Our synthetic efforts are directed at creating complex nanomaterials that incorporate the properties necessary for solar energy applications, such as optimized light absorption and spatial separation of photoexcited charges.
Time-resolved electronic spectroscopy allows us to directly probe the behavior of excited electrons and holes created when a material absorbs sunlight. Events such as charge separation, transfer, recombination, and trapping determine the efficiency of solar energy harvesting. We are interested in mapping out the dynamics of such events to understand how to improve the design of next generation solar materials.