Spectroscopy and Dynamics in Condensed Phases; Nonlinear Optics
B.S. Chemistry, University of Nebraska at Omaha, (1999); Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Kansas State University (2002); Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Rochester (2002-2003); Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University (2003-2004); Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago, (2004-2007); National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010-2015)
Light driven electron and energy transfer processes abound in nature and technology. Our research specializes to systems in which these dynamics occur on the femtosecond time scale. The general goal of our experimental work is to understand how interactions between electrons and nuclei control the outcome of photoinduced events. Of particular interest are connections between molecular relaxation processes in condensed phases and the characteristics of "noise" present in such fluctuating environments. Recent studies have been directed at photoinduced relaxation processes in DNA bases, photosynthetic complexes, and organic semiconductors. Our experimental work is complemented by theory and numerical simulations.
Nonlinear laser spectroscopies are the common tool used in our research projects. These experiments effectively synchronize photoinduced events in a large population of individual molecules then track relaxation with femtosecond time resolution. We are particularly interested in developing novel multi- dimensional spectroscopies that correlate electronic motion to nuclear structure in systems composed of interacting chromophores. The development of equipment used to generate laser pulses with widely tunable frequencies and bandwidths is important for meeting our research objectives.