Sessler Lectureship: Professor Peng Chen, Cornell University (Host: Ed Solomon)
About the Lecture
"Single-molecule catalysis: nanoparticles and polymers"
This presentation will describe our efforts in developing single-molecule approaches to study catalysis, focusing on two stories. The first story will be about our single-molecule fluorescence imaging work on the catalytic properties of individual nanoparticles at single-turnover resolution and nanometer precision. I will describe the insights we gained into the catalytic activity and dynamics of individual metal nanoparticles, and the surprising spatial and temporal activity patterns and dynamics within single nanocatalysts. The second story will be about our work in using magnetic tweezers to track single polymer growth in real time under living polymerization catalysis conditions. I will describe how the real-time growth dynamics of single polymers reveal the formation and unraveling of conformational entanglements that play key roles in the polymerization kinetics and kinetic dispersion among individual polymers.
About the Speaker
Peng Chen is the Peter Debye Professor of Chemistry at Cornell University. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Nanjing University, China in 1997. After a year at University of California, San Diego with Prof. Yitzhak Tor learning organic synthesis, he moved to Stanford University and did his Ph.D. with Prof. Edward Solomon in bioinorganic/physical inorganic chemistry. In January 2004, he joined Prof. Sunney Xie’s group at Harvard University for postdoctoral research in single-molecule biophysics. He started his faculty appointment at Cornell University in July 2005. His current research focuses on single-molecule imaging of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, as well as of metal homeostatic machineries in vitro and in living cells. He has received Dreyfus New Faculty Award, NSF Career Award, Sloan Fellowship, Paul Saltman Award, CAPA Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, Coblentz Award, ACS Phys Division Early-Career Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry, Excellence in Catalysis Award from the Catalysis Society of Metro NY, and Bau Family Award in Inorganic Chemistry, etc.