Renee Frontiera

portrait of Professor Renee Frontiera

Renee Frontiera

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies for Chemical Physics, Department of Chemistry


Smith Hall
Room 233
207 Pleasant Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


B.S. Carleton College, 2004

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2009, (Richard Mathies)

Post Doctorate Northwestern University, 2010-2013 (Richard P. Van Duyne)

Research Interests

Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry: microscopy, spectroscopy

Nanoscience & Materials Chemistry: molecular plasmonics, nanomaterials

Chemical Biology: biophysical spectroscopy

Experimental Physical Chemistry: ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy

Chemical Physics, Spectroscopy: super-resolution microscopy

Energy & Catalysis

Research in our group investigates fundamental and applied issues in membrane protein biophysics, alternative energy sources, and nanotechnology. We seek to determine the effect of local environments on chemical reaction dynamics, from cellular membranes to photovoltaic devices to plasmonic nanomaterials. We develop and apply new spectroscopic and microscopic techniques to examine how molecules react, following their dynamics on the nanometer length scale with femtosecond time resolution. Currently, we are working on developing a label-free, super-resolution imaging technique, determining the role of vibrations in driving electron transfer reactions, and using plasmons to monitor and catalyze chemical reactions. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, investigating current problems at the interface of chemistry, biology, and materials science.

illustrations of Professor Renee Frontiera's research

Honors and Awards

2019 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar

2018 JPC-PHYS Lectureship Award (Journal of Physical Chemistry and the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society)

Chemical & Engineering News 'Talented 12,' 2017

Department of Energy Early Career Research Program award, 2017

3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant

University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 2017-2019

National Institutes of Health Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (NIH MIRA), 2016

National Science Foundation CAREER, 2016

Mailing Address

Renee Frontiera
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry
B-18, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431