Proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET)

Management of charge transfer is at the heart of chemistry, physics and biology. In biological systems, charge transport occurs in proteins and peptides along well defined pathways. Charge balance must be maintained, meaning that movement of an electron along a pathway is coupled to shorter proton movements in a mechanism which has come to be known as proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET). Examples of PCET include the photo-induced oxidation of water to oxygen at the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) of Photosystem II. A primary goal of the Young Lab is the design and study of model PCET systems that can motivate further development of PCET theory.

Charge transfer in photovoltaic materials

The sun provides enough energy to the Earth’s surface in one day to meet our energy needs for an entire year. Thus, harnessing the sun’s energy is an attractive paradigm to help meet our energy needs using a renewable energy source. PV cells are devices that convert the sun’s light into electricity. These devices show great promise to supplement our energy supply and represent an active area of research in chemistry, materials science, electrical engineering and physics. The focus of work in The Young lab will be to measure and understand kinetic processes on timescales at play in exciton generation and diffusion in organic heterojunction structures.