Chemistry professor Michael Barnes has been chosen by the Connecticut Valley Section of the American Chemical Society (CVS-ACS) to receive its 2014 John S. Burlew Award in recognition outstanding contributions to chemistry.
Barnes’ expertise is in the area of single molecule spectroscopy. Traditionally, spectroscopic and photophysical studies are done on large groups of molecules—an ensemble—that provide powerful insights into average properties of collections of molecules. Single molecule spectroscopy, a recently developed tool, provides a treasure trove of information on each unique molecule. Unlike traditional spectroscopic/photophysical techniques, the instrumentation for single molecule studies has to be developed and assembled in-house.
Moreover, many single molecule experiments are technically very challenging both in terms of setup and in terms of analysis. Using these methods, Barnes has investigated the photophysics of individual quantum dots, conjugated polymer nanostructures and chirooptical properties of conjugated organic molecules. His studies on these systems will have a large impact in the area of photovoltaic devices, energy harvesting systems, and optoelectronic display devices, according to CVS-ACS.
Barnes will give the keynote address at the CVS-ACS Undergraduate Research Day to be held on campus in April.