Elizabeth Young

Assistant Professor
(610) 758-5753
Seeley G. Mudd, Room 597
Research Interests: 
Proton-coupled electron transfer
Solar energy
Physical chemistry
Teaching Interests: 
Physical chemistry
General chemistry
Thermodynamics and Kinetics

What you should know about me is that I am dedicated to giving and receiving support to achieve more, I believe that progress is fueled by seeing results both big and small, that it is imperative to pursue balance and see the bigger picture, and that we need to be open to new ideas and different ways.

As an experimental physical chemist I am interested in how molecular structure influences the properties of molecules. I study molecules that absorb light and use that energy to carry out interesting and relevant reactions involving charge transfer. Through the use of an ultrafast laser system, we deliver energy to initiate reactions of interest and to track the progress of these reactions. In one area of our research, we design molecular model systems that are inspired by proteins in which both positive and negative charges must move in order to efficiently carry out reactions. Leveraging this concerted motion of protons and electrons, or proton-coupled electron transfer, can allow chemists to perform chemical transformations that are both driven by light and avoid high energy intermediates, which slow down reactions and take more energy to carry out. In another research thrust, we study the photo-physics of molecules and materials used in new types of solar cells. By studying how these molecules behave when they absorb light, interact with other materials, and undergo charge transfer, we aim to develop an understanding of how molecular structure influences molecular properties, and how molecular properties influence the function of solar cells. Researchers can then use this information to inform the design of improved molecules and devices. 

Selected Recent Publications:

Graduate§ and undergraduate† students, and postdocs‡ co-authored advised (or mentored⸙) by Young (bold) are denoted accordingly. The corresponding author is designated with an *.

Martin, S.M.§; Repa, G.; Hamburger,R.C.§; Pointer, C.A.§; Ward, K.; Pham,T.-N.; Martin, M.I.; Rosenthal, R.;* Fredin, L.A.,* Young, E.R.* “Elucidation of Complex Triplet Excited State Dynamics in Pd(II) Biladiene Tetrapyrroles.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics202325, 2179 – 2189. (https://doi.org/10.1039/D2CP04572A)

Huang, T.‡; Martin, S.M.§; Hamburger, R.C.§; Pointer, C.A.§; Fredin, L.A.;* Young, E.R.* “Extending Excited-State Lifetimes in Azo Organic Dyes: Ultra-fast Excited-state Dynamics of substituted trans-Naphthalene Azo Moieties.” Submitted2023

Cai, Q.; Rice, A.T.; Pointer, C.A.§; Martin, M.I.; Davies, B.; Yu, A.; Ward, K.; Hertler, P.R.; Warndorf, M.C.; Yap, G.P.A.; Young, E.R.; Rosenthal, J.* “Synthesis, Electrochemistry and Photophysics of Pd(II) Biladiene Complexes Bearing Varied Substituents at the sp3-Hybridized 10-Position.” Inorg. Chem202160, 15797–15807. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.1c02458

Pointer, C.§; Buettner, P.; Scheler, F.; Döhler, D.; Mínguez-Bacho, I.; Bachmann, J.; Young, E.R.* “Elucidating Mechanistic Details of Photo-Induced Charge Transfer in Antimony Sulfide-Based pin Junctions.” J. Phys ChemC2021125, 18429–18437. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.1c03962

Martin, S.M.§; Oldacre,A.N.‡; Pointer, C.§; Huang, T.‡; Repa, G.M.; Fredin, L.A.; Young, E.R.* “Proton-controlled non-exponential photoluminescence in a pyridylamidine-substituted Re(I) complex.” Dalton Transactions202150, 7265-7276. (https://doi.org/10.1039/D1DT01132D

Büttner, P.; Scheler, F.; Pointer, C.§; Döhler, D; Yokosawa, T.; Spiecker, E.; Boix, P.P.; Young, E.R.*; Mínguez-Bacho, I.*, Bachmann, J.* “ZnS Ultrathin Interfacial Layers for Optimizing Carrier Management in Sb2S3-based Photovoltaics.” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces., 20211310, 11861–11868. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c21365

Wehrmann, C.M.; Imran, M.; Pointer, C.A.§; Fredin, L.A.*; Young, E.R.*; Chen, M.S.*, Spin Multiplicity Effects in Doublet versus Singlet Emission: The Photophysical Consequences of a Single Electron. Chem. Sci., 202011, 10212-10219. (https://doi.org/10.1039/D0SC04211K

Oldacre, A. O.‡, Young, E.R.* “Electrochemical proton-coupled electron transfer of an anthracene-based azo dye.” RSC Advances, 202010, 14804-14811. (https://doi.org/10.1039/D0RA01643H

Büttner, P.; Scheler, F.; Pointer, C.§; Döhler, D.; Barr, M.K.S.; Koroleva, A.; Pankin, D.; Hatada, R.; Flege, S.; Manshina, A.; Young, E.R.*; Mínguez-Bacho, I.*, Bachmann, J.* “Adjusting Interfacial Chemistry and Electronic Properties of Photovoltaics Based on a Highly Pure Sb2S3 Absorber by Atomic Layer Deposition.” ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 20192, 12, 8747-8756. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.9b01721

Coissart B.M.*, Dempsey, J.L.*, Young, E.R.* “The Chemistry Women Mentorship Network (ChemWMN): A Tool for Creating Critical Mass in Academic Chemistry.” Inorg. Chem.201958, 12493-12496. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b02707

Martin, K.L.⸙; Smith, J.N.; Young, E.R*; Carter, K.R.* “Synthetic Emission Tuning of Carborane-Containing Poly(dihexylfluorene)s.” Macromolecules201952, 7951-7960. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.9b01325

Pascual-Leone, N.†; Conklin, E.†; Khomein, P.; Andrade, G.A.; Rosenthal, J.*; Young, E.R.* “Role of Electrostatics in Influencing the Pathway by Which the Excited State [Ru(bpy)3]2+ Is Deactivation by Ferrocene Derivatives.” J. Phys ChemA2019123, 7673-7682. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.9b04427)  

Ly, J.⸙; Martin, K.⸙; Thomas, S.; Yamashita, M.; Yu, B.; Pointer, C.§; Yamada, H.; Carter, K.R.; Parkin, S.; Zhang, L.; Bredas, J.-L.*; Young, E.R.*; Briseno, A.L.* “Short Excited-State Lifetimes Enable Photo-Oxidatively Stable Rubrene Derivatives.” J. Phys ChemA2019123, 7558-7566. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.9b04203

Strahan, J.†; Popere, B.C.; Khomein, P.; Pointer, C.A.§; Martin, S.M.§; Oldacre, A.O.‡; Thayumanavan, S.; Young, E.R.* “Modulating Absorption and Charge Transfer in Bodipy-Carbazole Donor-Acceptor Dyads through Molecular Design.” Dalton Trans201948, 8488-8501. (https://doi.org/10.1039/C9DT00094A

Oldacre, A.O.‡; Pointer, C.A.§; Martin, S.M.§; Kemmerer, A.†; Young, E.R.* “Anthracene-based azo dyes for photo-induced proton-coupled electron transfer.” Chem. Comm201955, 5875-5877. (https://doi.org/10.1039/C9CC01206K)

Martin, K.A.⸙; Krishnamurthy, A.†; Strahan, J.†; Young, E.R.*; Carter, K.R.* “Excited state characterization of carborane-containing poly(dihexyl fluorene)s.” J. Phys ChemA 2019123, 1701-1709. (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.8b07955

Oldacre, A.‡; Young, E.R.* “Iron hits the mark.” Science2019363, 225-226. (https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aav9866

Drolen, C.†; Conklin, E.†; Hetterich, S.J.†; Krishnamurthy, A.†; Andrade, G.A.; Dimeglio, J.L.; Martin, M.I.; Tran, L.K.; Yap, G.P.A; Rosenthal, J.*; Young, E.R.* “pH-Driven mechanistic switching from electron transfer to energy transfer between [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and ferrocene derivatives.” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018140, 10169-10178. (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.8b03933)  

Bange, C.A.⸙; Conger, M.A.; Novas, B.T.; Young, E.R.; Liptak, M.D.; Waterman, R. “Light-driven, zirconium-catalyzed hydrophosphination with primary phosphines.” ACS Catalysis20188, 6230-6238. (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acscatal.8b01002)