The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is thrilled to announce that the newest addition to our faculty will be Assistant Professor Andrew Musser. Dr. Musser is an ultrafast spectroscopist who studies the interactions between molecules and light with the goal of improving our ability to harvest solar energy and control chemistry with electromagnetic radiation. He performed his PhD research at the University of Cambridge with Richard Friend, where he employed ultrafast spectroscopy to study electronic dynamics in organic semiconductors. His primary focus was the phenomenon of singlet fission, a process which has the potential to dramatically boost solar cell efficiencies through carrier multiplication. Following completion of his PhD in 2013, he continued as a post-doctoral researcher in the Friend group, extending his fission studies into covalent dimers and the ultrafast nuclear dynamics that drive the process.
Dr. Musser moved to the University of Sheffield in 2016 to work with Jenny Clark and David Lidzey on the fundamental properties of polaritons. Polaritons are fascinating entities wherein the electronic states of organic materials are mixed with light. At the same time, he has increasingly focused on understanding the nature of the triplet-pair state central to singlet fission and triplet fusion. His major breakthrough was the discovery that polaritons can be used to manipulate the property of this state through strong light-matter interactions. He now aims to use the tools of ultrafast spectroscopy to explore how organic materials can be controlled through their interactions with light.