Michael J. Therien

Michael J. Therien

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Chemistry in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

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.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Chemistry in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
  • Professor of Chemistry
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

Education

  • California Institute of Technology, 1990
  • Ph.D. University of California at San Diego, 1987
  • B.S. University of St. Andrews (Scotland), 1982

Research Interests

Michael J. Therien's 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.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Fellow. Flemish Academy of Arts and Sciences . 2009
  • International Francqui Chair. Belgium . 2008
  • Fellow. American Association for the Advancement of Science . 2005
  • American Chemical Society Philadelphia Section Award . American Chemical Society . 2004
  • Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines Young Investigator Award . Society of Porphyrins & Phthalocyanines . 2002
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar . Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.. 1997
  • E. I. duPont de Nemours Young Faculty Award . DuPont. 1995
  • Sloan Research Fellowship-Chemistry. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 1995
  • National Science Foundation Young Investigator . National Science Foundation . 1993
  • Beckman Young Investigators (BYI). Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. 1992
  • Scholars. Searle Scholars. 1991

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 393: Research Independent Study
  • CHEM 394: Research Independent Study
  • CHEM 493: Research Independent Study
  • CHEM 494: Research Independent Study
  • CHEM 521: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 524: Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 990-2: Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Rawson, J; Angiolillo, PJ; Therien, MJ, Extreme electron polaron spatial delocalization in π-conjugated materials., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, vol 112 no. 45 (2015), pp. 13779-13783 [abs].
  • Polizzi, NF; Migliore, A; Therien, MJ; Beratan, DN, Defusing redox bombs?, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, vol 112 no. 35 (2015), pp. 10821-10822 [abs].
  • Olivier, JH; Park, J; Deria, P; Rawson, J; Bai, Y; Kumbhar, AS; Therien, MJ, Unambiguous Diagnosis of Photoinduced Charge Carrier Signatures in a Stoichiometrically Controlled Semiconducting Polymer-Wrapped Carbon Nanotube Assembly., Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol 54 no. 28 (2015), pp. 8133-8138 [abs].
  • Rawson, J; Angiolillo, PJ; Frail, PR; Goodenough, I; Therien, MJ, Electron Spin Relaxation of Hole and Electron Polarons in π-Conjugated Porphyrin Arrays: Spintronic Implications., The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces and Biophysical, vol 119 no. 24 (2015), pp. 7681-7689 [abs].
  • Olivier, JH; Bai, Y; Uh, H; Yoo, H; Therien, MJ; Castellano, FN, Near-Infrared-to-Visible Photon Upconversion Enabled by Conjugated Porphyrinic Sensitizers under Low-Power Noncoherent Illumination., The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part A: Molecules, Spectroscopy, Kinetics, Environment and General Theory, vol 119 no. 22 (2015), pp. 5642-5649 [abs].