Group Photo Spring 2018. From left to right: Omid Zandi, Eric Thornburg, Cecilia Gentle, Henry Wang, Allan Sykes, Alexandra "Sasha" Lamtyugina, Ryan Cornelius, Renske van der Veen (with Oscar), Conner Dykstra, and the Tyler Haddock.

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Renske M. van der Veen

Principal Investigator - renske@illinois.edu

Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

 

Project group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, affiliated with the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg, Germany

 

Postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA

 

Ph.D. in Chemistry, EPFL, Switzerland

 

M.S. in Physical Chemistry, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

B.S. in Chemistry, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

2015-Today

 

 

2013-2015

 

 

 

2011-2013

 

 

2006-2010

 

2005-2006

2002-2005

Postdoctoral Scholars

2018-Present

 

2017

2011

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Ph.D. in Atomic, Molecular, Optical Physics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE

Ph.D. in Telecommunication Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

I am interested in ultrafast sciences specifically in electron diffraction and imaging. I am working on a project that introduces nanosecond and femtosecond laser pulses into an environmental transmission electron microscope (Hitachi 9500) to generate and observe light-induced dynamics in a pump-probe configuration.  

2019-Present

 

2014-2018

2010-2012

2007-2010

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ph.D. in Photonics, ​Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

M.S. in Material Science, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France

B.S. in Chemistry, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France

My research combines ultrafast optical and X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques to investigate charge-transfer processes at the interface between dye molecules and single crystal surfaces. The goal is to identify the mechanisms of energy loss in dye-sensitized solar cells related to electron localization in semiconductor materials. I am also interested in the mechanisms and dynamics of charge-carrier cooling in lead halide perovskites and metal oxide semiconductors which have a broad impact in optoelectronic technologies.

Graduate Students

Cecilia M. Gentle

5th Year Ph.D. Candidate - gentle2@illinois.edu

Lab Safety Officer

Springborn Fellow, UIUC

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

2015-Today

 

 

2012-2015

Ph.D. Student in Materials Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

B.S. in Chemistry (ACS certified) with minors in Mathematics and Physics, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

My research seeks to understand photoinduced charge transfer dynamics in novel solar cell materials via ultrafast x-ray spectroscopy. Currently, I am interested in nanoscale quantum dot heterostructures.  Many of my experiments are performed in collaboration with 7ID-D beamline at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab. 

Tyler Haddock

4th Year Ph.D. Candidate - tylernh2@illinois.edu

Website Manager

IT Manager

Laser Safety Officer

2016-Today

 

 

2012-2016

Ph.D. Student in Materials Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

B.S. in Chemistry and B.S. in Nanoscience, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO

I am interested in studying spin-crossover coordination polymers using ultrafast laser and x-ray absorption spectroscopy. Our goal is to unravel the time scales and mechanisms of photoinduced phase transitions in cooperative nanoscale coordination polymers as model for photoswitching materials. Femtosecond laser experiments will be done in-house at the MRL, while we will do X-ray experiments at synchrotron facilities such as the Advanced Photon Source.

Allan Sykes

4th Year Ph.D. Candidate - allans2@illinois.edu

PCHEM Seminar Representative

2016-Today

 

 

2012-2016

Ph.D. Student in Physical Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

B.S. in Chemistry with minor in Mathematics, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR

I am interested in photovoltaics, ultrafast spectroscopy, and ultrafast electron microscopy.  Currently, I am working on finishing the construction of a dynamic transmission electron microscope (DTEM) with the goal of using this instrument to study the structural dynamics in the hysteresis loop of spin crossover systems.

Ryan Cornelius

3rd Year Graduate Student - rdc4@illinois.edu

2017-Today

 

 

2013-2017

Ph.D. Student in Analytical Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

B.S. in Chemical Physics with minor in Mathematics, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN

My work utilizes the Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscopy (DTEM) system within the van der Veen group. I am currently studying the dynamics of photo-induced spin-crossover materials with the goal of elucidating the ultrafast dynamics of the light-induced phase transition. 

Conner Dykstra

3rd Year Graduate Student - connerd2@illinois.edu

2017-Today

 

 

2010-2014

Ph.D. Student in Materials Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

B.S. in Chemistry , Northwestern, Evanston, IL

I am working on characterizing charge transfer dynamics in PbSe-TiO2 heterostructured nanomaterials with X-ray spectroscopy. PbSe-TiO2 is a promising sensitizer-acceptor system for solar energy conversion because of the near epitaxial match up of PbSe and TiO2. There is also potentially hot electron transfer from PbSe to TiO2, which could could be engineered to provide an efficient pathway for charge separation, and thus current generation solar cell materials.

Rachel Wallick

2nd Year Graduate Student - wallick3@illinois.edu

2018-Today

 

 

2012-2016

Ph.D. Student in Physical Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Spanish, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

I am studying molecular complexes that undergo conformational changes for energy conversion using ultrafast laser and X-ray spectroscopy. I work in collaboration with the Olshanksy group.

Frank Alcorn

2nd Year Graduate Student - falcorn2@illinois.edu

2018-Today

 

 

2014-2018

Ph.D. Student in Materials Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Physics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

I am studying the restructuring dynamics of photocatalytic nanoparticles in-operando using a dynamic transmission electron microscope, working with Dr. Prashant Jain, in order to better understand the way these materials degrade.

Undergraduate Students