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Student Hosted Colloquia: Professor Troy Van Voorhis, MIT

Troy Van Voorhis
April 16, 2018 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm
Sapp Center Auditorium

Student Hosted Colloquia: Professor Troy Van Voorhis, MIT (Host: Hannah Wayment-Steele)

"Electronic Dynamics in Complex Environments: From Electron Transfer to Singlet Fission"

About the Seminar

Some of the most basic chemical reactions are those that involve primarily the motion of electrons with little rearrangement of the nuclei. Prominent examples include electron transport and excitonic energy transfer as well as more exotic phenomena such as singlet fission. These reactions are the centerpiece of artificial photosynthetic complexes, organic PVs and essentially all of redox chemistry. In treating the dynamics of these reactions, it becomes clear that knowledge of the molecular conformation alone is not sufficient to define a reaction coordinate (since the nuclei may not more appreciably during the course of the reaction). In this talk, we will discuss how the “reactant” and “product” states for these types reactions can be clearly defined using the electron density as the fundamental variable. We will then illustrate how this discovery has advanced our understanding of the building blocks of artificial photosynthesis: electron transfer in solution, energy transfer in films and singlet fission in organic photovoltaics. 

About the Speaker

Ph. D. Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley, 2001, Advisor: Martin Head-Gordon
B. A. cum laude, Chemistry and Mathematics, Rice University, 1997
Professional Experience
Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University 2001-2003
Advisor: Eric Heller
Assistant Professor of Chemistry, MIT 2003-2008
Associate Professor of Chemistry, MIT 2008-2012
Professor of Chemistry, MIT 2012-Present
Associate Chemistry Department Head, MIT, 2015-Present
Robert T. Haslam and Bradley Dewey Professor of Chemistry, MIT, 2015-Present
Awards and Honors
30th Annual Robert S. Mulliken Lecture, 2016
MIT School of Science Prize for Excellence in Graduate Teaching 2007
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow 2007-2008
David & Lucille Packard Fellow 2006-2011
NSF CAREER Award 2006-2011
Paul M. Cook Career Development Chair 2005-2008
Wiley-IJQC Young Investigator Award, 2005
National Science Foundation Fellowship for Graduate Study, 1997-2000.
Department of Chemistry Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (UCB), 1998, 2000

This event belongs to the following series