Assistant Professor


PostDoctoral Scholar: Stanford University, 2016-2020
Ph.D.: Chemical Physics; Columbia University, 2011-2016
B.A.: Chemistry & Literature; Macaulay Honors College, CUNY, 2005-2009

Areas of Expertise

Physical Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry, Chemical Physics

Awards and Honors

2017: PostDoctoral Fellow Award, Penn Conference in Theoretical Chemistry
2013: Jack Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching, Columbia University
2012-2013: Rutgers Fellowship for Academic Excellence, Columbia University


Ressearch in the Montoya-Castillo group is highly interdisciplinary, straddling the interfaces between chemistry, physics, materials science & engineering, and quantum information, and centers around how we can understand and harness the quantum dynamics of charge and energy transfer in disordered chemical environments occurring both in and out of equilibrium. In particular, we focus on developing and applying quantum dynamics methods to:

  1. ​elucidate the mechanisms of chemical reactivity (proton and electron transfer) at electrochemical surfaces which underlies catalysis and clearn energy solutions;
  2. simulate and decode the linear and nonlinear spectroscopy that reveals energy transfer processes that determine the optoelectronic processes of nanomaterials and molecular aggregates, which is essential to control their properties for lighting, lasing, and solar energy applications;
  3. characterize and exploit decoherence in near-term quantum computers by developing approaches to uncover the physical origin of noise in quantum devices and exploit photonic processors with low decoherence to develop and test algorithms to calculate the coupled dynamics of electrons and nuclei.

The group welcomes scientists with a broad spectrum of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences to enrich our collective experience of science and ability to solve complex problems.