Published: Nov. 28, 2022

Elucidating how photoexcited semiconductor nanocrystals drive multi-electron redox catalysis

Gordana Dukovic

University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Chemistry

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute | Materials Science and Engineering

Date: December 6th, 2022 at 4:00 - 5:00 PM MST

Location: SEEC Building, Room S228 - Sievers Room

Abstract: Gordana Dukovic

Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals are remarkably versatile materials with highly tunable electronic structure, optical spectra, and surface properties. My research group works on the photophysics and photochemistry of nanoscale semiconductors with a particular emphasis on light-driven processes involved in multi-electron redox reactions relevant for renewable and sustainable chemical transformations. I will discuss coupling of semiconductor nanocrystals with redox enzymes to photochemically drive reactions such as reduction of H+ to H2, N2 fixation to make NH3, and carbon-carbon bond formation. Using time-resolved spectroscopy over a broad range of timescales (100 fs – 10 μs), in conjunction with kinetic modeling, we examine charge transfer between photoexcited nanocrystals and enzymes to identify structural and chemical parameters that govern the overall photochemical reactivity. I will also describe the dynamics of photoexcited holes in nanocrystals and the implications of those dynamics on oxidation photochemistry. In particular, I will discuss the spatial dynamics of trapped holes on nanocrystal surfaces and the consequences of their behavior on charge transfer.


Gordana Dukovic is a professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering and a fellow and associate director of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on structure, excited state properties, and light-driven chemistry of nanoscale materials. She received a PhD in chemistry from Columbia University in 2006 and carried out postdoctoral research at the University of California Berkeley (2006-2009). She has received the NSF CAREER Award, and was named a Sloan Research Fellow, a Cottrell Scholar, a Beckman Young Investigator, and a Finalist for the Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists.

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