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Roel Tempelaar

Assistant Professor

B.S.: University of Groningen, Netherlands 2009
Ph.D.: University of Groningen, Netherlands 2015

Research Statement 

Our group seeks to unravel how quantum mechanics dictates the optical and dynamical properties of biologically relevant and emerging materials. In many such materials, a multitude of components such as electrons, nuclei, and optical modes interact, resulting in behavior that seems nontrivial based on known fundamental principles. Examples can be found in the light-to-energy conversion in photosynthesis, charge interactions in semiconducting atomic monolayers, and the hybridization of photons and electronic states inside nano cavities. By developing new numerical and analytical tools we make such behavior comprehensible, while advancing our fundamental understanding of the chemistry and physics at the nano scale. Our research benefits from collaborations with experimentalists, especially those applying optical techniques to study dynamical phenomena on-the-fly. Students in our group have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of quantum mechanics, algebraic tools, data analysis, and programming.


Selected Publications 

Tempelaar, R. & Berkelbach, T. C. Many-body simulation of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy of excitons and trions in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides. Nat. Commun. 10, 3419 (2019).

Thyrhaug, E., Tempelaar, R., Alcocer, M. J. P., Žídek, K., Bína, D., Knoester, J., Jansen, T. L. C., & Zigmantas, D. Identification and characterization of diverse coherences in the Fenna–Matthews–Olson complex. Nat. Chem. 10, 780 (2018).

Tempelaar, R. & Reichman, D. R. Generalization of fewest-switches surface hopping for coherences. J. Chem. Phys. 148, 102309 (2018).

Breen, I., Tempelaar, R., Bizimana, L. A., Kloss, B., Reichman, D. R., & Turner, D. B. Triplet separation drives singlet fission after femtosecond correlated triplet pair production in rubrene. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 11745 (2017).

Tempelaar, R., Jansen, T. L. C., & Knoester, J. Vibrational beatings conceal evidence of electronic coherence in the FMO light-harvesting complex. J. Phys. Chem. B 118, 12865 (2014).

Halpin, A., Johnson, P. J. M., Tempelaar, R., Murphy, R. S., Knoester, J., Jansen, T. L. C., & Miller, R. J. D. Two-dimensional spectroscopy of a molecular dimer unveils the effects of vibronic coupling on exciton coherences. Nat. Chem. 6, 196 (2014).

Selected Honors/Awards 

  • 2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Penn Conference in Theoretical Chemistry 
  • 2016 Rubicon Grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
  • 2010 Huygens Scholarship Programme from the Dutch Ministry of Education