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Jinjun Liu

Assistant Professor

Jinjun Liu
Division: Physical Chemistry
Specialty: Molecular Spectroscopy
Phone: 502-852-1223

Education and Research Experience

1999 B.S. East China Normal University
1999-2001 State Key Laboratory for Optical and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (now State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy) Shanghai, Research Assistant
2007 Ph.D. The Ohio State University
2007-2010 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Postdoctoral Researcher
2010-2011 The Ohio State University, Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Interests

Research in the Liu Group consists of spectroscopic studies on gas-phase molecules and molecular complexes, and condensed-phase materials in both frequency domain (using high-resolution lasers) and time domain (using ultrafast laser systems). Our high-resolution studies center around the spectroscopic detection and characterization of reactive chemical intermediates, e.g., free radicals, molecular ions, and molecules in excited electronic states. [Selected publication 1,2,4.] These studies lead to a detailed understanding of molecular structures and dynamics, and the nature of chemical bonding. Unambiguous identification and analysis of the experimentally obtained spectra is a prerequisite to our subsequent work on the chemical reactions that involve these intermediates. We are particularly interested in molecular species with so-called Jahn-Teller effect. This effect causes spontaneous distortion of the symmetry of polyatomic molecules and crystal structure and is associated with many interesting phenomena such as superconductivity. [Selected publication 1.] Quantum chemistry calculations are used to help understanding these molecules and molecular systems.

The goal of the ultrafast spectroscopy study in the Liu Group, which is carried out in the Ultrafast Laser Facility in the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, is to contribute to the advancement of renewable energy science and technology through basic spectroscopic studies. Currently, our research efforts are focused on the characterization of solar cell materials and understanding the fundamental dynamical processes in the materials and their interfaces, which are essential to their functions and applications.
Research opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students (as Research Assistants), and post-docs are available. 


“Spectroscopic Investigation of Vibronic Interactions in Molecules with Low Symmetry”,
American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund - Doctoral New Investigator Program (53476-DNI6) - 09/01/2013-08/31/2015
“Ultrafast transient optical spectroscopy in biomolecular assemblies”, co-PI with Dr. Sergio B. Mendes.
University of Louisville Office of Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation - Intramural Research Incentive Grant (IRIG) – Multidisciplinary Research Grant (MRG) - 2012
“Nanoscale materials and architectures for energy conversion”, co-PI 
DOE-EPSCoR, Grant Number: DE-FG02-07ER46375, 07/2011—06/2014
"Quantum chemical calculations of molecular constants and potential energy surfaces for spectroscopic studies of free radicals", Supervisor
University of Louisville Office of Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation - Intramural Research Incentive Grant (IRIG) - Undergraduate Research Scholar Grant (URS) - 2012
“Molecular identification by high-resolution infrared spectroscopy”, PI
University of Louisville Office of Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation - Intramural Research Incentive Grant (IRIG) - Research Initiation Grant (RIG) - 2012
“Investigation of photoinduced dynamics involving triplet states of organic solar cell materials by ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy”, PI
University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences - Research and Creative Activities Grants - 2012
University of Louisville Start-up Funds - 2012
Agilent Technologies Foundation - Applications and Core Technology University Research Grant (ACT-UR) - 2011

Publications (recent or significant)

  1. “High-resolution spectroscopy and quantum-defect model for the gerade triplet np and nf Rydberg states of He2”, D. Sprecher, J. Liu, T. Krahenmann, M. Schafer, and F. Merkt, J. Chem. Phys. 140, 064304 (2014).
  2. “Charge transfer in rare earth oxide hybrid solar cells”, K. Fernando, B. Pandit, J. Liu, B. W. Alphenaar, Chem. Phys. Lett. 592, 155 (2014).
  3. “Spectroscopic investigation of photoinduced charge transfer Processes in FTO/TiO2/N719 photoanodes with and without covalent attachment through silane-based linkers”, B. Pandit, T. Luitel, D. Cummins, A. K. Thapa, T. Druffel, F. Zamborini and J. LiuJ. Phys. Chem. A. 117, 13513 (2013). 
  4. “Rotationally resolved B ̃ ←X ̃ electronic spectra of the isopropoxy radical: A comparative study”, J. Liu, D. Melnik, T. A. Miller, J. Chem. Phys. 139, 094308 (2013).
  5. “The spectroscopic characterization of the methoxy radical. I. Rotationally resolved  A-X electronic spectra of CH3O”,  J. Liu, M.-W. Chen, D. Melnik, J. T. Yi, and T. A. Miller, J. Chem. Phys.130, 074302 (2009). 
  6. “Determination of the ionization and dissociation energies of the hydrogen molecule”,  J. Liu, E. J. Salumbides, U. Hollenstein, J. C. J. Koelemeij, K. S. E. Eikema, W. Ubachs, and F. Merkt, J. Chem. Phys. 130, 174306 (2009).
  7. “Generation of tunable Fourier-transform-limited terahertz pulses in 4-N,N-dimethylamino-4'-N'-methyl stilbazolium tosylate crystals”, J. Liu and F. Merkt, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 131105 (2008). 
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