PURE

Photochemistry undergraduate research experience

PURE is a Kaufman Foundation funded research initiative to provide an immersive year long research experience in photochemistry starting each summer and continuing through the following Fall and Spring semesters. In this combined theory-experiment experience, undergraduates will learn scientific computing along with the spectroscopic techniques required to fully explore new photochemical materials. This unique opportunity will is focused on real-world problems and students will work in cross-disciplinary teams while contributing to basic discoveries in physical chemistry.

Students will work in both the Young and Fredin labs in the Department of Chemistry. Each student will receive $5000 for 10 weeks of work in the summer and 2 semesters of research credit in the following year. For summer 2021 PURE will run from June 2 – Aug 10, 2021.

New Chemical Intuition for Azo Dye Photochemistry

In order to build a clean energy economy, new photochemically-driven reactions are important for efficient solar energy capture and conversion. While driving reactions with light is less conventional than the typical heating of a beaker, it provides unique opportunities to initiate and control chemical reactions. For the past 50 years, physical chemists, especially spectroscopists and theorists, have built our so-called “chemical intuition” or understanding of how electron and proton transfer reactions occur primarily in the lowest energy states of molecules. However, when driving reactions with light, molecules necessarily become excited. The complex nature of excited states makes them more difficult to predict and understand, and thus we must develop a new chemical intuition for their reactivity. This integrated research-education grant will establish a program for undergraduates to build chemical intuition of light-initiated electron and proton transfer in model azo dyes by combining spectroscopy and quantum mechanics.

PURE 2021-2022 Team

Mentors

computational photochemistry

experimental PCET

B.S. in Chemistry and Biology, Lock Haven University
computational mentor

B.S. in Chemistry, Kutztown University
experimental mentor

Students

Keira Englehart

Lehigh Chemistry Major ’22

Athina Jaffer

Lehigh IDEAS Major ’23

Keyri (Katie) Sorto

Lehigh Chemical Engineering Major ’24

Angsara (Ing) Thongchai

Lehigh Chemistry Major ’24

APPLICATIONS for 2022-2023 are now open!

Undergraduate chemistry and related majors currently in their freshman or sophomore year are invited to apply. To be eligible for the program you must be planning to be enrolled as a Lehigh Undergraduate student for the 2022-2023 school year. Participants will take at least 1 credit of research (4 hrs of work a week) in each of the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters. The deadline for applications is March 11, 2022. Awards will be announced April 1 2022.

The mission of PURE is to broaden participation in research by groups who are underrepresented in STEM fields. Therefore we strongly encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, and first generation college students. Previous research experience is not a requirement.

Apply Here. For other questions about your application or the program in general, please contact us at inpure@lehigh.edu.

Students will work in both the Young and Fredin labs in the Department of Chemistry. Each student will receive $5500 for 10 weeks of work in the summer and 2 semesters of research credit in the following year. For summer 2022 PURE will run from June 2 – Aug 10, 2022.