Department of Chemistry

Katherine Shulenberger

Katherine ShulenbergerAssistant Professor of Chemistry


University of Colorado Boulder, Postdoc
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD
Wellesley College, BA


Semiconductors are ubiquitous in modern life. From TVs in our living rooms to solar panels on our roofs to the cell phones in our pockets, it is nearly impossible to go through the day without interacting with a semiconductor-based device. While recent decades have seen great advances in these technologies, there is still a need to improve device efficiencies and expand the available renewable energy technologies. One exciting avenue for next-generation devices is the use of semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs). NCs are particularly promising for improving efficiency of optoelectronic devices and pushing for new renewable energy technologies due to their facile bandgap tunability and colloidal processability.

research image for Katherine Shulenberger

While these devices almost exclusively operate in the solid state in thin-film morphologies, optical characterization of NC materials are often performed either in solution or in very dilute films. In device-relevant thin-films, however, the intrinsic properties of each individual NC are only one contribution to performance. Interparticle interactions can have a defining impact on the film behavior. Therefore, my group develops optical characterization techniques that can unravel the properties of each NC under device-relevant conditions. We use both novel photon-counting measurements and ultrafast optical characterization to bridge the gap between existing ensemble and single-particle techniques. Through these methodologies, my lab is building a comprehensive understanding of thin-film properties based on intrinsic NC excited state dynamics and interparticle interactions. We place particular emphasis on NC systems which are heavy metal free and have direct application in improving optoelectronic device efficiency or addressing pressing challenges in renewable energy generation.

Selected Publications

  • “Photocharging of Colloidal CdS Nanocrystals.” Katherine E. Shulenberger,* Helena R. Keller,* Lauren M. Pellows, Niamh L. Brown, Gordana Dukovic. Phys. Chem. C 2021, 125, 41, 22650-22659.
  • “Resolving the Triexciton Recombination Pathway in CdSe/CdS Nanocrystals through State-Specific Correlation Measurements.” Katherine E. Shulenberger,* Sophie C. Coppieters 't Wallant,* Megan D Klein,* Hendrik Utzat, Moungi G. Bawendi.  Nano Lett. 2021, 21, 18, 7457–7464.
  • News in Nanocrystals Seminar: Self-Assembly of Early Career Researchers toward Globally Accessible Nanoscience.” Dmitry Baranov, Tara Šverko, Taylor Moot, Helena R Keller, Megan D Klein, EK Vishnu, Daniel M Balazs, Katherine E Shulenberger.  ACS Nano 2021, 15, 7, 10743–10747.
  • “Size-Dependent Biexciton Spectrum in CsPbBr3 Perovskite Nanocrystals.” Matthew N. Ashner,* Katherine E. Shulenberger,* Franziska Krieg, Eric R. Powers, Maksym V. Kovalenko, Moungi G. Bawendi, William A. Tisdale. ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 11, 2639-2645.
  • “Setting an Upper Bound to the Biexciton Binding Energy in CsPbBr3 Perovskite Nanocrystals.” Katherine E. Shulenberger,* Matthew N. Ashner,* Seung Kyun Ha, Franziska Krieg, Maksym V. Kovalenko, William A. Tisdale, Moungi G. Bawendi.   Phys. Chem. Lett. 2019, 10, 18, 5680-5686.
  • “Multiexciton Lifetimes Reveal Triexciton Emission Pathway in CdSe Nanocrystals” Katherine E. Shulenberger,* Thomas S. Bischof,* Justin R. Caram, Hendrik Utzat, Igor Coropceanu, Moungi G. Bawendi. Nano Lett. 2018, 8, 5153-5158.