The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

NST Colloquium: Imaging Glass Dynamics and Excited State Dynamics on the Sub-nm Scale

Type Of Event
Martin Gruebele, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Sarah Wieghold
Start Date
Start Time
11:00 a.m.


Abstract: In my talk, I’ll cover two topics in the general area of tunneling microscopy: looking at surface dynamics of glasses on a millisecond to hour scale, and excited state dynamics of nanomaterials on the sub-picosecond to nanosecond scale, both with sub-nm resolution. The technique of “SMA-STM” works by shining modulated light on a sample and detecting the resulting change in electron density with an STM tip, which also enhances the evanescent light wave that excites the sample. I’ll show that we can build energy landscapes of glass surfaces and characterize the collective units that underly glassy dynamics. I’ll also discuss results on excited state dynamics of nanomaterials such as quantum dots, carbon dots and carbon nanotubes, including recent results to look at energy and charge migration with sub-picosecond time resolution.

Bio: Martin Gruebele was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1964. He obtained his BS in 1984 and his PhD in 1988 at UC Berkeley, did a postdoc with Ahmed Zewail at Caltech, and then joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1992.  There, he is currently the James R. Eiszner Chair in Chemistry, Professor of Physics, of Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, in the Center for Advanced Studies, and in the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine.  His research interests include protein and RNA folding; fast dynamics in live cells; vibrational energy flow in molecules, quantum computing, measurement, and control; nanoscale imaging of excited states; glassy dynamics; and locomotion behavior.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical, Chemical and Biophysical Societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences.  He has edited for the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The work is published in over 300 papers and reviews. Martin Gruebele is married to Nancy Makri, with two children, Alexander and Valerie. In his free time, he runs, bikes, swims and builds tiny models.


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