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Elad Harel

Assistant Professor

B.S.: University of California - San Diego 2003, Ph.D.: University of California - Berkeley 2008

Research Statement

A grand challenge of chemistry is to understand how the properties of molecules emerge from the complex correlations of their quantum states.  Powerful methods including magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, and X-ray crystallography have allowed scientists to resolve ground-state structure, but a general approach to elucidate the connections between the structure, dynamics, and functions of complex molecular systems remains an open problem. 

My lab is developing optical spectroscopic and imaging methods to map the electronic structure and dynamics of a wide variety of chemical, materials, and biological systems far from thermal equilibrium. A major challenge from both an experimental and theoretical perspective is that interactions of the system and its environment that control excited-state processes occur on vastly different time, energy, and length scales. The system may be, for instance, the electrons that move between reactant and product during a chemical transformation, or carriers of charge that determine the current passing through the active layer of a solar cell.   The environment is essentially everything outside the system which interacts by means of intermolecular or intramolecular forces.  These may be, for instance, the vibrations of the nuclei of a molecule along a reaction coordinate that drives bond breaking and formation. 

We have developed high-dimensionality and highly nonlinear optical methods to map the correlations between quantum states in condensed-phase chemical and biological systems ranging from conjugated organic molecules, semiconductor nanostructures, and pigment-protein complexes. Our ongoing efforts include directly mapping non-equilibrium excited-state dynamics in time and space on the nanometer length scale to understand how the environment mediates energy transfer and chemical transduction in living and bio-inspired systems.

Selected Publications

  •  E. Harel, ‘Zooming in on Vibronic Structure by Lowest-Value Projection Reconstruction 4D Coherent Spectroscopy’, J. Chem. Phys. 148, 194201 (2018)
  • A.P. Spencer, W.O. Hutson, S. Irgen-Gioro, E. Harel, ‘Exciton-Phonon Spectroscopy of Quantum Dots Below the Single-Particle Homogeneous Linewidth’, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 9, 1503-1508 (2018)
  • W.O. Hutson, A.P. Spencer, E. Harel, ‘Ultrafast Four-Dimensional Coherent Spectroscopy by Projection Reconstruction', J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 9, 1034 – 1040 (2018)
  • S. Nah, B. M. Spokoyny, X. Jiang, C. M. M. Soe, C. C. Stoumpos, M. G. Kanatzidis, E. Harel, 'Transient Sub-bandgap States in Halide Perovskite Thin Films', Nano Lett., 18, 827-831 (2018)
  • S. Nah, B. M. Spokoyny, C. M. M. Soe, C. C. Stoumpos, M. G. Kanatzidis, E. Harel, 'Ultrafast Imaging of Carrier Cooling in Metal Halide Perovskite Thin Films', Nano Lett., 18, 1044-1048 (2018
  • E. Harel, A. Spencer, B. Spokoyny, 'Compressive Sensing for Single-Shot Two-Dimensional Coherent Spectroscopy', Proc. SPIE, 10117 (2017)
  • E. Harel, 'Four-dimensional Coherent Electronic Raman Spectroscopy', J. Chem. Phys., 146, 154201 (2017
  • S. Nah, B. Spokoyny, C. Stoumpos, C. M. M. Soe, M. Kanatzidis, and E. Harel, 'Spatially segregated free-carrier and exciton populations in individual lead halide perovskite grains', Nat. Photonics., 11, 285-289 (2017)
  • A.P. Spencer, W.O. Hutson, and E. Harel, 'Quantum coherence selective 2D Raman-2D electronic spectroscopy', Nat. Commun., 8, 14732 (2017) (highlighted as a Perspective in Science)
  • W.O. Hutson, A.P. Spencer, and E. Harel, 'Isolated Ground-State Coherence Measured by Fifth-Order Single-Shot Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy', J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 7, 3636-3640 (2016)
  • A.P. Spencer, B. Spokoyny, S. Ray, F. Sarvari, and E. Harel, 'Mapping Multidimensional electronic structure and ultrafast dynamics with single-element detection and compressive sensing', Nat. Commun., 7, 10434 (2016)

Selected Honors/Awards

  • 2017 National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow
  • 2016 Irving M. Klotz Professor of Chemistry
  • 2016 Office of Navy Research Young Investigator Award
  • 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), Northwestern
  • 2014 Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll, Northwestern University
  • 2013 Army Young Investigator Awardee, Northwestern University
  • 2013 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, Northwestern University
  • 2013 Dreyfus Postdoctoral Program Award, Northwestern University
  • 2012 Agilent Early Career Professor Award Finalist
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