Events / Seminar: Dr. Jillian Dempsey

Seminar: Dr. Jillian Dempsey

April 7, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

How Molecular Catalysts mediate the Electrochemical Generation of Fuels

Carol Lynch Lecture Hall | Chemistry Complex
231 S. 34th St. | Philadelphia, PA 19104

Hybrid Event:


The conversion of energy-poor feedstocks like water and carbon dioxide into energy-rich fuels involves multi-electron, multi-proton transformations. In order to develop catalysts that can mediate fuel production with optimum energy efficiency, this complex proton-electron reactivity must be carefully considered. Using a combination of electrochemical methods and time-resolved spectroscopy, we have revealed new details of how molecular catalysts mediate the reduction of protons to dihydrogen and the experimental parameters that dictate catalyst kinetics and mechanism. Through these studies, we are revealing opportunities to promote, control and modulate the proton-coupled electron transfer reaction pathways of catalysts.



Dr. Jillian L. Dempsey is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and currently holds the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professorship. She is currently the Deputy Director of the Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE), and serves as the Director of Undergrad Studies for the Dept of Chemistry.

She received her S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005 where she worked in the laboratory of Prof. Daniel G. Nocera. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, she carried out research with Prof. Harry B. Gray and Dr. Jay R. Winkler at the California Institute of Technology, receiving her PhD in 2011. From 2011–2012 she was an NSF ACC Postdoctoral Fellow with Daniel R. Gamelin at the University of Washington.

In 2012 she joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jillian’s research group explores charge transfer processes associated with solar fuel production, including proton-coupled electron transfer reactions and electron transfer across interfaces. Her research bridges molecular and materials chemistry and relies heavily on methods of physical inorganic chemistry, including transient absorption spectroscopy and electrochemistry. She has received numerous awards including the Harry B. Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator (2019), the J. Carlyle Sitterson Award for Teaching First-Year Students (2017), a Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), and a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (2015).