About the Seminar:
Photon-driven processes have become a powerful tool for achieving challenging bond cleavages and formations. Photocatalysis offers temporal and spatial control with low-energy light, which has been widely advantageous for efficiently building molecular complexity from simple starting materials. The judicious choice of photocatalysts enables the precision of reactivity that is rarely achieved with other forms of catalysis and heating. An underused area of photocatalysis is light-to-heat (photothermal) conversion. Irradiation of specific nanoparticles or dyes with visible light creates intense thermal gradients in a photothermal conversion process. In contrast to bulk heating, where the temperature remains uniform across a reaction medium, substrates would only experience thermal energy within a few nanometers of excitation under temporal heating. Consequently, this process uses irradiation to drive chemical processes at high temperatures with temporal and spatial control. I will show this phenomenon as applied to challenges such as chemical recycling to monomer, broad-spectrum wavelength photocontrolled polymerizations, intramolecular rearrangements, and intermolecular coupling reactions.
About the Speaker:
Erin is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University. Erin received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and proudly completed her PhD at Colorado State University in collaboration with Professor Tom Rovis and Professor Abby Doyle in 2018. She spent two years as a Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow conducting research in the lab of Professor Brett P. Fors at Cornell University and started her independent career there in 2020. The research in the Stache Lab unites areas of synthetic organic chemistry, photochemistry, inorganic materials, and polymer chemistry for new applications in materials science and synthesis. We apply new methods in catalysis to develop new polymerization strategies to access degradable polymers or materials with new properties A major focus of her research involves the underused area of photocatalysis – light-to-heat (photothermal) conversion.