Our group is primarily interested in molecular nanoscience, studying self-assembled structures such as single-molecule junctions and surface-bound monolayers whose function is strongly influenced by the properties of the incorporated molecule(s). These structures, for example, allow us to evaluate individual molecules as electronic circuit elements (e.g., wires or switches), or to modulate chemical reactions at interfaces by controlling the relative positions of molecules in space with nanometer precision. Our interdisciplinary approach combines the design and synthesis of new compounds with electrochemical and scanning probe microscope-based characterization methods. Ultimately, we aim to develop new principles for the rational preparation of functional, molecule-based materials that address urgent societal challenges by driving innovation in areas such as catalysis, chemical sensing, and energy storage.
All group members have opportunities to gain extensive experience with both synthetic chemistry (making molecules) and physical characterization methods (measuring molecular properties). It is also possible for researchers to focus exclusively on synthesis- or characterization-only projects, depending on their interests. We routinely design, prepare, and analyze new organometallic, coordination, and organic compounds using Schlenk line, glove box, microwave, flash chromatography, NMR, UV-vis, IR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and single-crystal X-ray diffraction techniques. We use potentiostats and scanning probe microscopes (both commercial and custom-built) to study the electrochemical and electronic properties of these materials in solution, on surfaces, and in the solid state down to the single-molecule level. Explore the instrumentation and equipment available in our lab here.
Follow the links below to read more about specific projects underway in our lab or check out our group’s latest publications.