Benjamin Lovaasen, Ph.D.

Chemistry

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
On Faculty since 2011

Phone: (630)752-7444
Email:

Education

Doctoral dissertation in Chemistry, The University of Chicago, 2011

M.S. in Chemistry, The University of Chicago, 2005

B.S. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, Valparaiso University (Indiana),  2004

About Benjamin Lovaasen

The entire periodic table is the playground of the Inorganic Chemist. The inclusion of d-orbitals in particular in many inorganic compounds lends unique reactivities, electrochemical, photochemical and geometric properties. I am interested broadly in the chemistry of transition metal complexes that interact with light (chromophores). Once excited, these molecules have remarkable chemical properties. For example they are both easier to reduce and to oxidize than they are in their ground state; the energetic excited states of transition metal complexes are competent to perform difficult reactions, such as reducing CO2 to a sustainable fuel or oxidizing water to O2.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Analytical Chemistry
  • Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry
  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry

Research

My research is directed at designing new Cr(III) chromophores that will be useful in systems for capturing solar radiation in the form of fuels. Projects in my laboratory designing new ligands that enable the formation of highly ordered chromophore systems, altering the electronic properties of ligands to impart new properties to this well studied class of chromophores and lengthening the excited-state lifetimes and stabilities of these chromophores by designing a sterically protected environment around the metal center.

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