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Michael J. Therien

William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
Box 90346, Durham, NC 27708-0346
5330 French Family Science Cen, Durham, NC 27708


Our research involves the synthesis of compounds, supramolecular assemblies, nano-scale objects, and electronic materials with unusual ground-and excited-state characteristics, and interrogating these structures using state-of-the-art transient optical, spectroscopic, photophysical, and electrochemical methods. Over chemical dimensions that span molecules to materials, we probe experimental and theoretical aspects of charge migration reactions and ultrafast electron transfer processes. Insights into the structure-property relationships of molecular, nanoscale, and macroscopic materials allow us to fabricate polarizable and hyperpolarizable chromophores, structures for molecular electronics applications, optical limiters, and a wide range of other electrooptic and photonic materials that include novel conducting polymers, structures for solar energy conversion, and new platforms for in vivo optical imaging. Other efforts in our laboratory involve the elaborating de novo electron- and energy-transfer proteins, interrogating catalytic redox reactions, designing catalysts for small molecule activation, and developing new tools to manipulate nanoscale structures.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemistry · 2009 - Present Chemistry, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of Chemistry · 2008 - Present Chemistry, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute · 2008 - Present Duke Cancer Institute, Institutes and Centers
Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative · 2012 - Present Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

University of California, San Diego · 1987 Ph.D.
University of St. Andrews (United Kingdom) · 1982 B.S.