Wasielewski Group

Research Professors
Research Professors
Dick T. Co


co[at]northwestern.edu Tech L110 | 7-3396

Research Associate Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University Founding Member, Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI) Director of Operations and Outreach, Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center


Yi-Lin Wu



Research Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University

Ph.D. Chemistry, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, 2012

M.Sc. Chemistry, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, 2008

B.S. Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 2005

Ryan 1015 | 7-2918

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Ryan Young





Research Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University

Camille & Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Chemistry, 2012-2014

Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2011

B.S. Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 2006

Ryan 1015 | 7-2918

Full Profile


BS:  University of California, Los Angeles – 2006 Advisor: Prof. Benjamin J. Schwartz

PhD: University of California, Berkeley – 2011 Advisor:  Prof. Daniel M. Neumark Dissertation:  “Dynamics of Excess Electrons in Atomic and Molecular Clusters”


Research Description

We employ a variety of time-resolved optical spectroscopies to explore the structure-function relationship of small organic molecules.  My role within the group is to oversee our ultrafast laser spectroscopy lab and to work with the students and postdocs on their research projects, as well as to conduct my own research within the group on things such as charge transport in quantum dot/organic ligand systems, DNA, and excimers. I am also working to expand our capabilities and cover an increasing spectral and temporal range, with the ultimate goal of having total spectral coverage from the sub-picosecond to hundreds of microsecond time range.  This includes extending our femtosecond transient infrared absorption and stimulated Raman spectroscopies into the microsecond regime.  We are also developing an implementation of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy.

Our quantum dot research has demonstrated a strategy for acquiring multiple charges onto the same organic acceptor using a dimer approach.  By weakly coupling two electron acceptors into a dimer, the reductions potentials are only weakly perturbed, allowing for multiple charges to be deposited into the acceptor with the same energy and avoiding the coulombic penalty normally associated with doubly reducing a ligand.  The doubly reduced state can be tracked by unique absorption or vibrational features. My research is focused on exploiting this dimeric acceptor strategy for both higher energy electron acceptors and also for multiple hole scavenging with the goal of using these multiply charged acceptors as charge sinks or redox shuttles for catalysis.

I have also worked extensively on charge transport dynamics in DNA with the goal of developing DNA into a platform useful for molecular electronics.  The ability to move holes through DNA constructs with modest efficiencies has been well established, however there are still many challenges involved in determining the location of the charge while in transit from one end to the other.  We have recently been able to observe several of the key intermediates to hole transport in DNA, specifically the transient guanine radical cation and the adenine polaron, which allow us to directly track the hole position in real time.  Further, we have developed and studied a modified phenylethynyl guanine base surrogate that is electronically similar to guanine, but has more obvious electronic and Raman features that can distinguish it from the neighboring guanine and better determine the precise hole location.  We have also looked into charge transport behavior of larger DNA architectures such as 3-way junctions and quadruplex structures.

We also are interested in the fundamental photophysics of excimer states using ultrafast vibrational and 2D spectroscopies.  These excimer states serve largely as traps for other, more useful photodriven processes such as charge transfer and singlet fission. These states are usually described as linear combinations of the locally excited and charge resonance states, but what governs the ratio of each of those contributions is still largely unexplored.


Awards and Honors:

2012       Camille & Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Chemistry, The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation

2011       Department of Chemistry Fellowship, UC Berkeley

2010       Samuel Ruben/Irv Fatt Fellowship, UC Berkeley

2009       Distinguished Teaching Award, UC Berkeley

2006       Magna cum laude with departmental honors, UCLA

2006       Ramsay Award – Excellence in Physical Chemistry, UCLA

2005-2006            Beckman Scholar, The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

2002-2006            Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship


Online Publication List: Google Scholar | ORCID: 0000-0002-5108-0261 | Scopus ID: 36574489000

Selected Publications







Matthew Krzyaniak



Research Associate

Post-doctoral fellow, The University of Alabama, 2010-2013

Ph.D. Chemistry, Michigan State University, 2010

B.S. Chemistry, University of Michigan,  2005

Ryan 1038 | 7-1896 | Subgroup: Molecular Spintronics

Nathan La Porte


Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Chicago, 2015

B.A. Chemistry, Swarthmore College, 2008

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2011-2014; Freud Scholar Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2010

Ryan 2025 | 1-4409 | Subgroup: Solar Fuels

Aritra Mandal


B.Sc.(Hons.) Chemistry, Jadavpur University, 2006

 M.Sc. Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, 2008

Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015

Post-doctoral Research Associate, Boston University, Mar 2015-Feb 2017

Ryan 1027 | 1-4855 | Subgroup: Electron Transfer Dynamics

Jacob Olshansky


Ph.D. Chemistry, UC Berkeley, 2017

B.S. Chemistry and Physics, Haverford College, 2012

Ryan 2025 | 1-4409 | Subgroup: Spintronics

Jinyuan Zhang


Ph.D. Chemistry, North Carolina State University, 2016

B.S. Chemistry, Xiamen University, 2010

Ryan 1031 | 7-4944 | Subgroup: Molecular Spintronics

Xingang Zhao


Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, 2014-2017

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013-2014

Research Assistant, ICCAS, China, 2012-2013

PhD, Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), China,2012

MS, Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Petrochemistry, Heilongjiang Academy of Sciences,China, 2009

BS, Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Hebei University of Technology, China, 2006

The first-class scholarship of ICCAS director (2011)

J-Wing 423 | 7-7707 | Subgroup: Singlet Fission

Jiawang Zhou


Ph.D. Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, 2016

B.S. Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, 2010

Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, China Scholarship Council, 2016

Langmuir Cresap Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2015

Ryan 1033 | 7-4948 | Subgroup: ET Dynamics

Graduate Students

Michelle Chen

CHEN_M_2015 michellechen2015[at]u.northwestern.edu

Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2015 – present B.A. Chemistry and Economics, Dartmouth College, 2015

Ryan 1030 | 7-6696 | Subgroup: Singlet Fission

Joseph Christensen



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2014 – present

B.S. Chemistry, Creighton University, 2014

Ryan 2022 | 1-4420 | Subgroup: Solar Fuels

Adam Coleman


Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2015-present

S.B. Chemistry, University of Chicago, 2014

Ryan 1027 | 1-4855

Rita Cook



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2010-present

B.A. Chemistry, Ohio Wesleyan University, 2010

DOE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship, 2012-2015

Ryan 2022 | 1-4420 | Subgroup: Solar Fuels


Patrick Hartnett



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2011-present Joint student, with Professor Tobin Marks

B.A. Biochemistry, Swarthmore College, 2011

Ryan 1030 | 7-6696 | Subgroup: Solar Electricity


Noah Horwitz



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2011-present

B.S. Chemistry, University of Washington, 2011

DOE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship, 2012-2015

Ryan 1027 | 1-4855 | Subgroup: Molecular Spintronics


Rebecca Lindquist



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2011 – present

B.A. in Chemistry and Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Morris, 2011

Ryan 2025 | 1-4409 | Subgroup: Solar Fuels


Jenna Logsdon



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2014-present

B.S. Chemistry, University of Tampa, 2014

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2015-2018

Ryan 1030 | 7-6696 | Subgroup: Solar Electricity

Eric Margulies



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2011-present

B.S. Chemistry, McGill University, Quebec, 2011

Ryan 1033 | 7-4948 | Subgroup: Singlet Fission


Jose Martinez



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2013-present

B.A. Chemistry and Computer Science, Cornell College, 2013

Ryan 2022 | 1-4420 | Subgroup: Solar Fuels

Catherine Mauck



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2012-present

B.A. Chemistry, Oberlin College, 2009

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2013-2016

Ryan 1032 | 7-4947 | Subgroup: Singlet Fission

Claire Miller



Ph.D Student, Northwestern University, 2014-present

B.S. Chemistry and Applied Math, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2014

Ryan 1033 | 7-4948 | Subgroup: Singlet Fission

Jordan Nelson



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2014-present

B.S. Chemistry, University of San Francisco, 2013

Ryan 1027 | 1-4855 | Subgroup: Molecular Spintronics

Brian Phelan



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2013-present

M.S. Teaching Chemistry (2011) and B.S. Chemistry (2009), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ryan 1032 | 7-4947 | Subgroup: Solar Fuels, Molecular Electronics

Natalia Powers-Riggs
May 2016


Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2015-present

B.A. Chemistry and East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, 2013

Ryan 1033 | 7-4948 | Subgroup: Solar Electricity

Brandon Rugg



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2012-present Joint student with Professor Mark Ratner

B.S. Chemistry, James Madison University, 2011

Ryan 2025 | 1-4409 | Subgroup: Molecular Spintronics


Yilei Wu



Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, 2012-present

M.S. Chemistry, Bologna University, Italy, 2010

B.S. Chemistry, University of Perugia, Italy, 2008

Ryan 1031 | 7-4944 | Subgroup: Molecular Electronics, Spintronics, Solar Electricity


Dr. Joseph Bullock Dr. Kristen Brown Prof. Raanan Carmieli Dr. Sam Chen Dr. Erin Chernick Prof. Boiko Cohen Dr. Michael Colvin Dr. Sarah Mickley Conron Dr. Zachary Dance Dr. Scotty Dyar Dr. Sam Eaton Dr. Dan Gardner Dr. Emilie Giacobbe Dr. Jovan Giaimo Dr. Randy Goldsmith Dr. Vickie Gunderson Dr. Won-Sik Han Dr. Brooks Jones Dr. Steven Karlen Dr. Richard F. Kelley Dr. Chul-Hoon Kim Dr. Greg Kuzmanich Eric Latch Dr. Jenny Lockard Dr. Kelly Lefler Prof. David McCamant Dr. QiXi Mi Dr. Stephen Miller Dr. Tomoaki Miura Jessie Nock Dr. Marcia Payne Dr. Premaladha Poddutoori Dr. Danny Powell Dr. Sheela Ramanan Dr. Annie Butler Ricks Dr. Vladimir Roznyatovskiy Dr. Walter Salamant Dr. Amanda Samuel Dr. Amy Scott/td> Daniel Finkelstein-Shapiro Dr. Leah Shoer Dr. Amanda Smeigh Prof. Michael Tauber Dr. Anton Trifonov Dr. Michael Vagnini Dr. Brad Veldkamp Dr. Josh Vura-Weis Dr. Thea Wilson Dr. Ann Woys Andrew Yousef Dr. Chongchao Zhao