Amanda J. Morris
Inorganic and Energy Chemistry
Office: 3109 Hahn Hall South
Lab Phone: No lab phone yet
Morris Group Website: http://www.ajmorrisgroup.chem.vt.edu/
B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 2005
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2009
Postdoctoral Associate, Princeton University, 2009-2011
Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, 2011-present
Honors and Awards
2012 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award
2012-2013 College of Science Diversity Award
The finite supply of fossil fuels and the possible environmental impact of such energy sources has garnered the scientific community’s attention for the development of alternative, overall carbon-neutral fuel sources. The sun provides enough energy every hour to power the earth for a year. However, two of the remaining challenges that limit the utilization of solar energy are the development of cheap and efficient solar harvesting materials and advances in energy storage technology. Natural photosynthetic systems utilize the sun’s energy to transform carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates, nature’s stored solar fuel. Artificial photosynthetic systems that can oxidize waer and reduce carbon dioxide efficiently to a solar fuel could represent the breakthrough solar power needs to become a viable energy source.
In my lab, the projects focus on two aspects of solar energy conversion: direct catalysis at photoactive electrodes and the development of solar cells from inexpensive materials. Current efforts include:
- Investigating the structure-function relationship of novel molecular materials for water-splitting and carbon dioxide reduction
- Utilizing pulsed laser techniques to investigate the mechanism of molecular carbon dioxide reduction catalysis
- Exploring inorganic charge-transfer spin crossover complexes for use in low-cost, highly efficient quantum dot dye-sensitized solar cells
- Morris, A.J.; McGibbon, R.T.; Bocarsly, A.B. “Electrocatalytic Carbon Dioxide Activation: the Rate-Determining Step of Pyridinium-catalyzed CO2 Reduction.” ChemSusChem, 2011, 4, 191-196.
- Cole, E. B.; Lakkaraju, P.S.; Rampulla, D.M.;Morris, A.J.; Abelev, E.; Bocarsly, A.B. “Using a One Electron Shuttle for the Multi-electron Reduction of CO2 to Methanol: Kinetic, Mechanistic, and Structural Insights.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 11539.
- Morris, A.J.; Meyer, G.J. “Dynamics and Equilibrium of Heme Axial Ligation in Mesoporous Nanocrystalline TiO2 Thin Films.” Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 29-37.
- Morris, A.J.; Meyer, G.J.; Fujita, E. “Molecular Approaches to the Photocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide for Solar Fuels.” Acc. Chem. Res. 2009, 42, 1983-1994.