Troy Van Voorhis Seminar



12:30 pm - 1:15 pm, plus Q & A
SERC Building, room 703
Title: Using Chemistry To Harness the Power Of the Sun

SpeakerTroy Van Voorhis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Remote Viewers:
For individuals who will not be on Temple's campus, Dr. Van Voorhis's lecture can be accessed through WebEx.  The meeting number is 648 860 507



The sunlight that strikes eastern Massachusetts supplies enough energy to satisfy the energy demands of the entire human race. The challenge is harnessing that energy to do useful work. Perhaps surprisingly, the energy produced by the sun, which is a million times the size of the earth, is most easily harnessed by molecular structures that are 1 trillionth the size of the head of a pin. On this tiny length scale, chemistry plays a major role both in understanding fundamental questions facing solar (How is current generated? What byproducts are formed?) as well as designing new molecular architectures (polymers, quantum dots, catalysts) that could revolutionize the technology. In this talk, we will highlight some of the more recent developments in this rapidly evolving field and discuss what is yet to be learned. 


Troy Van Voorhis is a professor of chemistry at MIT and an expert in electron transfer dynamics, solar energy, and molecular electronics. Troy Van Voorhis received his bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Rice University and his PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, he joined the faculty of MIT. His research focuses on the intersection of quantum mechanics and chemistry. In particular, his work addresses the fundamental electronic structure questions that underpin solar energy conversion: electronic excited states, molecular interactions, photochemistry and RedOx catalysis are all active areas of research in his group. He is the author of numerous scholarly publications, a David & Lucille Packard fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan fellow.