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Research Interests

Using CO2 to build valuable organic products

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an inexpensive and abundant C1 source. However, reliable methods for the direct electrochemical reduction of CO2 into useful multi-carbon products are thermodynamically inefficient in comparison to other well-established C1 reduction products, such as carbon monoxide and formate. The goal of this project is to develop electrocatalysts capable of incorporating CO2 into C–C bonds and valuable synthetic intermediates relevant to the production of commodity chemicals, polymers, and bio-active molecules.

Photoactive transition metal complexes

The goal of this research is to design new complexes based on Earth-abundant metals with selective control over absorbance and charge-transfer properties tailored for photophysical and photochemical applications. A combination of electrostatic and non-covalent interactions as well as traditional ligand field theory will inform the design of new photoactive complexes. The impact of these studies range from applications to solar energy harvesting, light-emitting technology, and photoinitiated organic transformations.

Chemical sensing

Anion recognition plays an important role in many biological and environmental systems. Particularly at an electrode surface, anion recognition can provide information about ion-transport, ion-pairing, and charge screening in solution. The goal of these studies will be to develop complexes and materials capable of sensitive and rapid response to subtle environmental changes, allowing for the development of multifunctional sensors.

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