In general, converting the energy of electronic excited states to useful energy, such as electric or chemical potential energy, requires efficiently shuttling both excited states and bound charge carriers over distance until they reach a final destination, be it a catalytic surface or an organic donor/acceptor interface. Our group concentrates on studying the mechanisms responsible for the motion of these quasi-particles.
In order to relate light harvesting function to the microstructure of the assembly or device, we use a combination of spectroscopic and structural probes to interrogate our systems. Using steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy, we study the energetics and the energy transfer dynamics of electronic excited states. To obtain structural information on solutions, we use angle-dependent dynamic light scattering, which is a type of photon correlation spectroscopy. We combine this with resonant and non-resonant elastic X-ray scattering at small and wide angles using highly-brilliant X-rays generated at national synchrotron user facilities.