Chemistry Events

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Professor Will Gutekunst

Department Seminar
Professor Will Gutekunst
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Georgia Institute of Technology
Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer

Abstract

Development of New Chemical Platforms for Polymer Synthesis

Synthetic polymers have permeated nearly every facet of modern life. From the ubiquity of polyolefins to recent advancements in 3-D printing, organic materials continue to shape the world around us. While tremendous accomplishments have been made with relatively few polymer families, the future requires the development of materials with increased control over structure to produce systems that can respond to programmed inputs, as well as the exploration of entirely new polymer compositions. Our group takes a chemistry-focused approach to address these challenges through the strategic application of organic methodologies to design new monomer families and reagents for precision polymer synthesis. This presentation will specifically highlight (1) the utility of enyne chemistry to impart degradability and expedite functionalization of metathesis-derived materials and (2) the development of a new class of living polymerization that is enabled by the unusual reactivity profiles of twisted amide molecules.

Professor Gutekunst's research

The Gutekunst Lab is interested in pushing the limits of complexity in macromolecular systems using innovative concepts from synthetic organic chemistry. Specific projects in the lab explore the design of novel monomers for the construction of functional polyamides, the development of small molecule reagents for the dynamic modulation of branched polymer architectures, and the investigation of new concepts for creating covalent bonds in challenging contexts. Each project enables the generation of new functional materials with structures or assemblies that were previously inaccessible for study. 

Professor Theodore Goodson III

Professor Theodore Goodson III
Department of Chemistry
University of Michigan
Host: Professor Aaron Massari

Abstract

Optical Properties of Novel Functional Organic Materials 

Organic conjugated molecules for optical and electronic applications have received great attention due to their versatility and relatively low manufacturing costs. While there has been great improvement of light conversion efficiency in certain photovoltaic materials, there still remain questions concerning the structural and inhomogeneity of the electron and energy transport processes. In this regard, understanding the fast processes (fs) at a local level (nm) in these systems is crucial in the design criteria for better performance in optical and electronic applications. In this presentation, the results of photo-physical dynamics of organic light harvesting materials will be described. These materials have been analyzed using time-resolved absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy as well as a nonlinear and quantum optical spectroscopy. Ultra-fast interferometric microscopic measurements were carried out to investigate the role of coherent energy transport in these organic photovoltaic materials. The use of these methods provide insights in to the dynamics and degree of heterogeneity in novel organic materials for optical and electronic applications.

Research

Professor Goodson's research group utilizes a number of spectroscopic techniques towards investigating the optical properties and applications of novel organic macromolecular materials. A major emphasis is placed on the new properties observed in organic macromolecules with branching repeat structures as well as organic macromolecules encapsulated with small metal particles. These materials have been suggested to be candidates for variety of applications involving light emitting devices, artificial light harvesting, strong optical limiters, enhanced nonlinear optical effects, quantum optical effects and as sensors in certain organic and biological devices.

Professor Joanna Atkin

Professor Joanna Atkin
Department of Chemistry
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Host: Professor Renee Frontiera

Researchers in Professor Atkin's group develop and use techniques based on atomic-force microscopy (AFM) combined with optical spectroscopy to understand how nanoscale structure underpins functionality in molecular and inorganic semiconductors, solar cells, and biological systems. They take advantage of the “optical antenna” properties of the AFM tip to concentrate and locally enhance light, and use simulation tools to study how improve the light-matter interaction to increase spatial resolution, improve sensitivity, and explore new types of materials.

Professor Ashley Theberge

Professor Ashleigh Theberge
Department of Chemistry
University of Washington
Host: Professor Christy Haynes

Professor Theberge

Ashleigh Theberge is an assistant professor of chemistry and adjunct assistant professor of urology at the University of Washington. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Williams College and a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. Her group develops microscale culture and analysis methods to study cell-cell, cell-extracellular matrix, and host-microbe interactions. She is also developing new methods for 3D printing using open microfluidics. Selected awards include a National Institutes of Health (NIH) K Career Development Award (2014), a Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge Award grant (2017), an NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for Early Stage Investigators (2018), a Beckman Young Investigator Award (2018), and a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (2019). She was elected co-chair for the Gordon Research Conference on Microfluidics in 2021.

Professor Richmond Sarpong

Professor Richmond Sarpong
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley

Richmond Sarpong is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where he and his group specializes in synthetic organic chemistry. He became interested in chemistry after seeing, firsthand, the effectiveness of the drug ivermectin in combating river blindness during his childhood in Ghana, West Africa. He described his influences and inspirations in a TEDxBerkeley talk in 2015 (Face of Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa).

Professor Sarpong completed his undergraduate studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, with Professor Rebecca C. Hoye and his graduate work was carried out at Princeton. He conducted postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology.

At Berkeley, Sarpong’s laboratory focuses on the synthesis of bioactive complex organic molecules, with a particular focus on secondary metabolites that come from marine or terrestrial flora and fauna. These natural products continue to serve as the inspiration for new medicines. It is Richmond’s hope that through the work in his laboratory, he and his coworkers will uncover methods and strategies for synthesis that may contribute to more efficient ways to prepare bioactive compounds that may inspire new medicines.

Professor Timothy Swager

Kolthoff Lecture #1
Professor Timothy Swager
Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer

Professor Timothy Swager's research is at the interface of chemistry and materials science, with specific interests in carbon nanomaterials, polymers, and liquid crystals. Reseachers in his group are interested in a spectrum of topics with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Molecular recognition pervades a great deal of our research. Chemosensors require recognition elements to discriminate chemical signals. Electronic polymers are one of the areas that our group is well known for having made many innovations. They are constantly developing new electronic structures, properties, and uses for these materials. Recently, Swager's group launched an effort to create functionalized carbon nanotubes and graphenes. Researchers have advanced new chemical methods for their functionalization and utilization in electrocatalysis and chemical and radiation sensing. In the area of liquid crystals, they make use of molecular complimentarity and receptor-ligand interactions to provide novel organizations.

Professor Swager joined the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, holding the title of John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry. He is also director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Previously, he was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Montana State University, and his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Timothy Swager

Kolthoff Lecture #2
Professor Timothy Swager
Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer

Professor Timothy Swager's research is at the interface of chemistry and materials science, with specific interests in carbon nanomaterials, polymers, and liquid crystals. Researchers in his group are interested in a spectrum of topics with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Molecular recognition pervades a great deal of our research. Chemosensors require recognition elements to discriminate chemical signals. Electronic polymers are one of the areas that our group is well known for having made many innovations. They are constantly developing new electronic structures, properties, and uses for these materials. Recently, Swager's group launched an effort to create functionalized carbon nanotubes and graphenes. Researchers have advanced new chemical methods for their functionalization and utilization in electrocatalysis and chemical and radiation sensing. In the area of liquid crystals, they make use of molecular complimentarity and receptor-ligand interactions to provide novel organizations.

Professor Swager joined the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, holding the title of John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry. He is also director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Previously, he was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Montana State University, and his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Timothy Swager

Kolthoff Lecture #3
Professor Timothy Swager
Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer

Professor Timothy Swager's research is at the interface of chemistry and materials science, with specific interests in carbon nanomaterials, polymers, and liquid crystals. Reseachers in his group are interested in a spectrum of topics with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Molecular recognition pervades a great deal of our research. Chemosensors require recognition elements to discriminate chemical signals. Electronic polymers are one of the areas that our group is well known for having made many innovations. They are constantly developing new electronic structures, properties, and uses for these materials. Recently, Swager's group launched an effort to create functionalized carbon nanotubes and graphenes. Researchers have advanced new chemical methods for their functionalization and utilization in electrocatalysis and chemical and radiation sensing. In the area of liquid crystals, they make use of molecular complimentarity and receptor-ligand interactions to provide novel organizations.

Professor Swager joined the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, holding the title of John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry. He is also director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Previously, he was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Montana State University, and his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Lasse Jensen

Professor Lasso Jensen
Department of Chemistry
Penn State
Host: Professor Renee Frontiera

Professor Jensen's research lies in the field of theoretical chemistry and involves developing new methods for simulations of metal-molecule interactions. Researchers in his group seek to use computer simulations to gain a fundamental understanding of the underlying physics and chemistry. They are particularly interested in understanding the optical properties of molecules at the interface of plasmonic nanomaterials. The theoretical and computational methods developed and applied in our group combine electronic structure theory and electrodynamics to describe light-matter interactions at the nanoscale.

Professor Eric Schelter

Professor Eric Schelter
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania
Host: Valérie Pierre

Projects in Professor Schelter's group involve inert atmosphere/Schlenk line synthesis of inorganic and organometallic complexes. Rigorous characterization of new compounds is achieved through X-ray crystallography, NMR, FTIR, and UV-Visible absorption spectroscopies, electrochemistry and magnetic susceptibility studies. Current projects are focused on the chemistries and electronic structure effects of the lanthanides, uranium and main group elements.