Solar Seminar: Billions and billions of molecules

When Oct 21, 2016
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Shumaker Research Building Room. 139
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Seminar: Billions and billions of molecules: Exploring chemical space
Join us for this special seminar featuring Dr. Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Many of the challenges of the twenty-first century are related to molecular processes such as the generation, transmission, and storage of clean energy, water purification and desalination. These transformations require a next generation of more efficient and ecologically friendly materials. In the life sciences, we face similar challenges, for example drug-resistant bacterial strains require novel antibiotics.

One of the paradigm shifts that the theoretical and experimental chemists needs to embrace is that of accelerated molecular discovery: The design cycles need to be sped up by the constant interaction of theoreticians and experimentalists, the use of high-throughput computational techniques, tools from machine learning and big data, and the development of public materials databases. In this seminar, Dr. Aspuru-Guzik will describe three projects from my research group that aim to operate in this accelerated design cycle. First, he will describe efforts on the Harvard Clean Energy Project, a search for materials for organic solar cells. He will continue by talking about his work on developing organic molecules for energy storage in flow batteries. Finally, he will describe work towards the discovery of novel molecules for organic light-emitting diodes.

Professor Aspuru-Guzik carries out research at the interface of quantum information and chemistry. In particular, he is interested in the use of quantum computers and dedicated quantum simulators for chemical systems. He carries out research in the high-throughput search of organic materials, especially organic semiconductors, photovoltaics, organic batteries and organic light-emitting diodes. In 2009, Professor Aspuru-Guzik received the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award and the Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2010, he received the Everett-Mendelsohn Graduate Mentoring Award and received the HP Outstanding Junior Faculty award by the Computers in Chemistry division of the American Chemical Society. In the same year, he was selected as a Top Innovator Under 35 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology T Review magazine. In 2012, he was elected fellow of the American Physical Society, and in 2013, he received the ACS Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry. He is associate editor of the journal Chemical Science and a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) fellow. Alán received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1999. After receiving his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Martin Head-Gordon at UC Berkeley from 2005-2006.

Other activities with Dr. Aspuru-Guzik:

  • Roundtable discussion “Hispanic Students and College” - DuPont Manual High School 9:00 - 10:15 am.
  • ‘Food for Thought’ Luncheon: “Conversations around Diversity in Academia” - UofL Cultural Center, 12:00 - 1:30 pm. RSVP here 

This is a UofL Sustainability Week event!.