Scholes Group Research


Gregory D. Scholes

Greg Scholes is a Full Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Chemistry. He undertook his PhD studies at the University of Melbourne, then spent time at Imperial College London as a Ramsay Memorial research fellow (Prof David Phillips), then pursued further postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley (Prof Graham Fleming). His present research addresses questions about chemical dynamics initiated by light in systems ranging from semiconductor nanocrystals to conjugated polymers to photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins. Recent awards include the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences 2011 for contributions to the field of molecular dynamics of chemical reactions. Dr. Scholes serves as a Senior Editor for the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Current Positions:
• 2010– Professor, Chemistry, University of Toronto
• 2011– Director, Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control
• 2010– Visiting Professor, FRIAS, University of Freiburg
• 2011– Visiting Professor, Beijing Institute of Technology

Previous Positions:
• 2005–10 Associate Professor, Chemistry, University of Toronto
• 2000–05 Assistant Professor, Chemistry, University of Toronto
• 1997–00 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, with Prof. G. R. Fleming
• 1995–97 Postdoctoral Fellow, Imperial College, London, with Prof. D. Phillips

• B.Sc. with Honors in Chemistry, University of Melbourne, 1990
• Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, University of Melbourne, 1994, with Prof. K. P. Ghiggino

Fellowships and Honors:
• The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences 2011
• NSERC Accelerator Grant award 2010–2013
• Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 2009–
• Dean's Excellence Award, University of Toronto, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
• Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry, 2007
• NSERC Steacie Memorial Fellow, 2007–2009
• Visiting Fellow, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2006
• Chemical Institute of Canada Keith Laidler award, 2006
• Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 2004–2006
• Research Innovation Award (Research Corporation) 2002
• Premier's Research Excellence Award 2000
• Ramsay Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 1995–1997

Selected Recent Service Activities:
• American Physical Society Focus Symposium Organizer 2011
• NSERC Steacie Award Selection Committee 2010
• Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Medal in Physics Selection Committee 2010
• Departmental Advisory Committee 2010–
• EPSRC Academic Advisory Group: Cambridge-Imperial College program grant
• Chair Gordon Research Conference 2010: Electronic Processes in Organic Materials
• Journal of Physical Chemistry standards subcommittee 2010
• Editorial Advisory Board, Chemistry of Materials 2010–2013
• Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award Judge 2010
• International Advisory Board for the International Conference on Photochemistry 2009–
• Senior Editor, Journal of Physical Chemistry 2009–
• Editorial Advisory Board, Chemical Physics Letters 2008–2014
• Associate Editor, Journal of Nanophotonics 2008–
• Department Colloquia Committee 2007–
• Grant Reviewer (NSERC, NSF, DoE, ESF, ARC, and others)
• Journal reviewer (~50 papers/year for ACS journals & ~50 papers/year for other journals)

Dr. Scholes' research includes the design and study of new nanocrystalline semi-conductors, ultrafast laser spectroscopy, theory of energy transfer and the photophysics of p-conjugated systems. A theme of the research program centers around solar energy conversion. Major goals include the application of a new two-dimensional spectroscopy to watch chemical reactions and see how the electrons form bonds and how the other electrons in the system respond. The goal is to understand correlated motions of electrons so that synthetic design can move beyond the mean-field concepts proposed by Pauling and others almost a century ago. The second major goal is to investigate how photosynthetic antenna proteins in marine algae collectively transfer solar energy to the photosystems. Recent work in his group has shown that even at physiological temperature, the light-absorbing molecules in each protein are quantum-mechanically wired together. New work is aimed at understanding how these quantum mechanical energy transfer processes evolved.

Five significant publications:
• Gregory D. Scholes & Garry Rumbles, “Excitons in Nanoscale Systems” Nature Materials 5, 683–696 (2006). Invited Review.
• Elisabetta Collini & Gregory D. Scholes, “Quantum coherent energy migration in a conjugated polymer at room temperature” Science 323, 369-373 (2009).
• Elisabetta Collini, Cathy Y. Wong, Krystyna E. Wilk, Paul M. G. Curmi, Paul Brumer, and Gregory D. Scholes, “Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature” Nature 463, 644–648 (2010).
• Gregory D. Scholes, “Controlling the optical properties of inorganic nanoparticles” Adv. Funct. Mater. Invited Feature Article 18, 1157–1172 (2008). [Among top 5 most accessed papers 2008.]
• Gregory D. Scholes, “Long range resonance energy transfer in molecular systems,” Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 54, 57–87 (2003).

Contact information:

Phone: +1 416 946 7532
Fax: +1 416 978 8775
Department of Chemistry
University of Toronto
80 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3H6
(Lash-Miller Building Room 241)



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