Welcome to the Blank Research Group in the Chemistry Department at the University of Minnesota. Our research group investigates a variety of dynamic events in condensed media. The investigations range from basic chemical reaction dynamics in solution to energy and charge transfer dynamics in new materials targeted at applications in solar energy conversion. Our primary experimental tools are nonlinear time domain spectroscopies, and this includes new methods developed in our laboratory. Computational tools, such as time dependent density functional methods and molecular dynamics simulations, are used to complement the experiments and aid in the interpretation of our data.    
      Recent Highlight:
      Work by graduate student Francesc Molins i Domenech    
      Following photo-initiated charge separation in a neat, aliphatic room temperature ionic liquid, the electron and hole are delocalized over the anions. Sub-picosecond competition between geminate recombination and escape of the electron determines the yield of free, solvated electrons. Subsequent relaxation and localization of the electrons is strongly dependent on the nature of the cation and the viscosity of the liquid, indicating that it is largely controlled by diffusive motions associated with the cations.