This talk will focus on our efforts to develop new chemistries that will help reduce non-renewable energy use through improved energy efficiency and mitigating carbon dioxide emissions via photochemical and catalytic transformations. Our approach focuses on fully solution-processable (i.e., inexpensive) chemical systems capable of sunlight absorption, color-pure emission, charge transfer, and fuels generation with high efficiency and minimal environmental impact. This approach requires addressing fundamental challenges in the field of nanoscience, specifically controlling the composition and the interfaces of nanomaterials to gain reliable control over their electronic structure. Towards this end, we are interested in making contributions in two key areas: 1) understanding the mechanisms of nucleation and growth of semiconductor nanocrystals and 2) understanding how to productively direct energy transduction in semiconductor nanocrystals for application in energy efficient solid state lighting, electricity generation, and fuel formation. I will address each of these areas briefly, but focus primarily on the progress we have made towards understanding the precursor conversion reactions, nucleation and growth mechanisms, and approaches to the post-synthetic transformation of indium phosphide quantum dots.
Asst. Prof. Brandi Cossairt was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is a first-generation college graduate, having obtained her B. S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 2006 where she carried out undergraduate research with Professor Jonas Peters. Brandi went on to pursue graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the guidance of Professor Christopher C. Cummins and was awarded her Ph.D. in 2010. She then continued her academic career as an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University between 2010 and 2012. Brandi joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington as an Assistant Professor in July of 2012. She has received a number of awards for her research including a Packard Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and the Seattle AWIS Award for Early Career Achievement.