Workshop on Light-Driven Processes in Bio-Inspired Materials

December 14-16, 2014
BioScience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main St.

Organizers: Christy Landes, Rice University
Stephan Link, Rice University
Neal Waxham, University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
Richard Willson, University of Houston


Photosynthetic organisms have the ability to capture sunlight and convert it into useful chemical energy using a hybrid materials framework. In contrast, much of our energy‐related materials development efforts usually start from either a hard or soft material perspective. The goal of this workshop will be to explore opportunities for bio‐inspired materials in a range of energy applications based on recent advances in the fields of nano‐materials, colloidal and interfacial chemistry, imaging, spectroscopy, and photosynthetic energy transfer. Fundamental scientific questions relevant to this topic include “What are the forces driving nano‐confined charge and mass transport?”; “Do novel frameworks result in new types of photo‐induced reaction pathways or structures?”. Applied topics will include “What design principles must be developed for hybrid materials synthesis?” and “How can bio‐inspired materials best be applied to energy‐related problems?”. The workshop will include materials scientists, plasmonics experts, engineers, spectroscopists, and theoreticians. In particular, we aim to form interdisciplinary teams to research photo‐induced charge and molecular transport in hard and soft hybrid materials for the development of bio‐inspired devices.

Sponsored by a 2013 Dunn Foundation Collaborative Event Award
and the Rice Faculty Initiative Fund