Department Seminar

Upcoming Seminar

Photochemistry in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems
Dr. Garrett McKay, Texas A&M University

April 24, 2024
4:00pm-5:00pm in HSCI-105

Garrett McKay

The chemical structure of chromophores in dissolved organic matter (DOM) governs the mechanisms and rates of key processes in aquatic systems—elemental cycles, attenuation of contaminants, and productivity of the Earth's oceans, among others. Despite the importance of DOM chromophores, knowledge of the molecular-level phenomena that shape DOM's optical and photochemical properties remains elusive. A crucial step to obtaining this knowledge is to elucidate the chemical composition and quantitative contribution of charge-transfer complexes (non-covalent interactions between molecules that produce new, lower-energy electronic transitions) to DOM absorbance, fluorescence, and photochemistry. This presentation will describe my group's efforts to address this knowledge gap using a variety of approaches, including (i) selective reduction of chromophores in DOM with sodium borohydride, (ii) using autoxidized hydroquinone as a "bottom up" approach to test the charge-transfer model, and (iii) comparison of aquatic DOM to other carbon-based nanostructures (i.e., atmospheric brown carbon and eumelanin). These results will be used to discuss the importance of both specific functional groups and three-dimensional structure in governing DOM photophysical properties.

charge-transfer model
Fig. An interesting charge-transfer model.

Seminars are held on Wednesdays at 4:00pm. All are invited to attend.

Seminar Coordinator

For information and suggestions about our Department Seminar series, please contact the seminar coordinator:

Dr. Fangyuan Tian


The following is the schedule for Spring 2024.

Seminar Schedule
DateTitleSpeaker and Affiliation
April 24, 2024Photochemistry in Natural and Engineered Environmental SystemsDr. Garrett McKay, Texas A&M University
May 1, 2024Introduction of Defects and Ligands into a Metal Organic FrameworkLauren Benz, University of San Diego
May 8, 2024(topic: inorganic chemistry)Joshua Figueroa, UC San Diego

Previous Seminars

Previous Seminars
DateTitleSpeaker and Affiliation
April 17, 2024From Betty Crocker Homemaker to Chemist in the KitchenDr. Margaret Merryfield, CSU Long Beach
April 10, 2024Solar Water Splitting using Ensembles of Artificial Photosynthetic NanoreactorDr. Shane Ardo, UC Irvine
March 27, 2024Quest for the Nature of Noncovalent Interactions Using Energy Decomposition AnalysisDr. Yuezhi Mao, San Diego State University
March 13, 2024The Chemistry of the Canopy: A Data-Driven Exploration of Atmospheric Chemistry at the Urban-Biosphere InterfaceDr. Sarah Kavassalis, Harvey Mudd College
March 6, 2024Nanocrystal Self-Assembly: Designing Materials with Complexity and FunctionDr. Andrea Tao, UC San Diego
February 28, 2024Measurement in Chemistry Education: Examining the Past and Supporting the FutureDr. Regis Komperda, San Diego State University
February 14, 2024From Ab Initio Data to Action: Leveraging Many-Body Potentials for Realistic Simulations of Water Harvesting and Carbon Capture Using Metal-Organic FrameworksDr. Francesco Paesani, UC San Diego

The Seminar Archive has Department Seminars from previous semesters.

The Department Seminar is supported by The Allergan Foundation.