Developing efficient and low-cost technologies for energy conversion and storage is one of the most important scientific challenges today. The Lian group’s research program is focused on advancing the fundamental understanding of interfacial structure and dynamics that governs charge transport and energy conversion in these devices. These fundamental advances are essential to the rational improvement of existing approaches and the development of novel energy conversion concepts.

The Lian group develops and applies state-of-the-art ultrafast and nonlinear spectroscopy techniques for the study of these interfacial dynamics in situ under photocatalytic, photoelectrochemical and electrocatalytic conditions (see the Technique page for details).

These techniques are applied in the following ongoing research projects

1) Exciton dynamics in novel low dimensional (0D, 1D and 2D) nanomaterials


2) Mechanisms of long distance charge separation and photocatalysis in nano-heterostructures       

3) Mechanisms of efficient plasmon induced hot carrier transfer        

4) Molecular level understanding of electrochemical interfaces        

5) Inverse design, development and Characterization of catalytic adsorbates at semiconductor/liquid interfaces 6) Solar energy-driven multi-electron-transfer catalysts for water splitting        

7) Direct Observation of Photoexcited Charge Carrier Dynamics and Electrostatic Fields at Photocatalytic Semiconductor/liquid Interfaces 8) CHASE: Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels