Summary of work while a Link Energy Fellow
Electrons have an intrinsic property called spin, which is found in one of two states, an “up” and a “down”. The spin state of an electron can be observed and differentiated by applying an external magnetic field and inducing transitions with microwaves. The bulk of my graduate work has focused on understanding, controlling, and transferring spin information in molecular systems in the presence of light. If we can understand and transfer spin information it could be used for quantum computing which could revolutionize computing and information processing. This undertaking is difficult and at this point remains largely unexplored in organic molecular systems, requiring fundamental understanding how spin evolution occurs in molecular systems, how to impart information into these systems and direct its movement. We have chosen to examine stable organic free radicals covalently attached to chromophores, and donor-bridge-acceptor systems which undergo charge separation upon photoexcitation. In addition to my main project I have also been involved in several other projects: examining how bridge dynamics affects charge separation, recombination, and triplet-triplet energy transfer in donor-bridge-acceptor systems, understanding how the redox state of a molecule can induce motion along the backbone of a molecule. My research have or will result in 4 first author, and 8 co-author papers during the duration that I was a Link fellow, which are listed at the end of this summary. Several more first author and co-author publications should result within the next year from projects begun while a Link fellow.