Robert joined the Durrant group in August 2015 following his studies in Canada. During his PhD with Prof. Gonzalo Cosa at McGill University, his PhD research advanced techniques to visualize, monitor and control oxidation-reduction (redox) processes at the single molecule level to understand biological and material systems. His study of heterogeneous single molecule chemical reactions spanned chemical oxidation processes to optoelectronic systems under electrochemical control. Central to his studies was the development of single molecule spectroelectrochemistry techniques that take advantage of electrochemical control and ultrasensitive single molecule fluorescence.
Having built up expertise in photochemistry and advanced spectroscopic techniques over the course of his career, Robert joined the Durrant to expand his toolbox to include transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS).TAS is a powerful time-resolved optical technique that helps elucidate the key processes that determine efficiency in photocatalysts. Further breakthroughs are needed for solar renewable technologies to pierce the global market and gain widespread use, and crucial to deliver these breakthroughs is a complete description of processes on a wide range of timescales (from femtoseconds to seconds). To reach this goal, he has studied a wide range of materials including metal oxides, lead halide perovskites and conjugated polymers. His main focus has been on carbon-based materials, such as carbon nitride and carbon dots, which hold the promise of being low-cost light harvesters easily prepared from abundant elements (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen). Continued advancements in the understanding the underlying photophysical processes that occur in photoexcited materials during operation will help focus research in material synthesis and processing techniques.
His professional interests span fundamental photophysics to photocatalytic reaction schemes for sustainable (photo)chemistry, while personally he enjoys hockey, exploring the greenest corners of London, electronic gadgets and losing at squash.
et al., 2017, Enhancing Light Absorption and Charge Transfer Efficiency in Carbon Dots through Graphitization and Core Nitrogen Doping, Angewandte Chemie-international Edition, Vol:56, ISSN:1433-7851, Pages:6459-6463
Godin R, Kafizas A, Durrant JR, 2017, Electron transfer dynamics in fuel producing photosystems, Current Opinion in Electrochemistry, Vol:2, ISSN:2451-9103, Pages:136-143
et al., 2017, Tuning CH3NH3Pb(I1-xBrx)(3) perovskite oxygen stability in thin films and solar cells, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol:5, ISSN:2050-7488, Pages:9553-9560
et al., 2017, Time-Resolved Spectroscopic Investigation of Charge Trapping in Carbon Nitrides Photocatalysts for Hydrogen Generation, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol:139, ISSN:0002-7863, Pages:5216-5224
et al., 2017, Solar H-2 evolution in water with modified diketopyrrolopyrrole dyes immobilised on molecular Co and Ni catalyst-TiO2 hybrids, Chemical Science, Vol:8, ISSN:2041-6520, Pages:3070-3079