December 18, 2019

We are pleased to announce the preprint of our paper is up on the ChemRxiv!

Read about our journey to deciphering the hidden complexity in heterogeneous quantum dots here:

The ChemRxiv (pronounced 'chem-archive') is a free submission, distribution and archive service for unpublished preprints in chemistry and related areas.  Marshall Brennan, PhD alum from UIUC chemistry (Fout lab) is the publishing manager. You can learn more about it here:

November 18, 2019

Our DETEM is being upgraded with a Gatan Image Filter (GIF) and EELS spectrometer. We are facing a couple of hickups, including a bad vacuum leak that required taking everything apart again (see picture), but we are very much looking forward to using our new baby soon!

November 18, 2019

Our team is strengthened by Oliver Lin from UCLA and Jack Burke from UVM. Oliver will work on light-induced dynamics in photovoltaic materials using the DETEM, and Jack will be working on a shared project with the Vura-Weis group focusing on ultrafast optical and X-ray spectroscopy of transition metal complexes. Welcome to the group both!

September 30, 2019

We were honored and excited to present our Dynamic Environmental TEM to our chancellor Robert J. Jones! The chancellor was visiting to learn about the exceptional research capabilities, strong collaborations, and state-of-the-art equipment at the MRL. Allan did a great job presenting our setup and explain to the chancellor why we do what we do!

September 4, 2019

The 2018 Packard Fellows at the Monterey Bay aquarium.

June 14, 2019

Henry was selected as the awardee of the 2019 ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We are very proud of his achievements and wish him best of luck at Stanford!

April 16, 2019

Thomas Rossi is joining our lab as a postdoc to work on ultrafast optical and X-ray spectroscopy of photovoltaic nanomaterials. He received his PhD from the EPFL in the group of Majed Chergui where he worked on charge-carrier dynamics in metal oxides and hybrid lead perovskites. We are excited about his arrival and welcome him to our group!

April 8, 2019

Omid, Allan, Ryan, Eric and Frank were able to find the exact temporal overlap between laser and electron pulses. The difference image movie shows how a short (~200 fs) laser pulse generates a plasma at the edge of a copper grid, which deflects the electron pulse (shown as a bright/dark fringes). This is the final major milestone in the DETEM development. Almost ready to do real experiments!

November 18, 2018

Yuanheng (Henry) gave a talk on his work with Cecilia on simulating charge transfer dynamics of ZnTe/CdSe core/shell quantum dots at the East Central Illinois American Chemical Society Undergraduate Conference. Well done, Henry! 

October 29, 2018

The van der Veen group has added two new graduate students this semester: Rachel Wallick from University of Maryland and Frank Alcorn from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Welcome!

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