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Cathy Wong

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B.Sc. McMaster University, Biological Chemistry (2004, Johan Terlouw)
Ph.D. University of Toronto, Physical Chemistry (2011, Greg Scholes)
Postdoc UC Berkeley (2015, Naomi Ginsberg)



Research in the Wong lab seeks to adapt time-resolved exciton spectroscopies to the measurement of nanoscale building blocks during their self-assembly into mesoscale architectures. We will measure the electronic structure and exciton dynamics in situ and in real-time as irreversible processes occur, such as crystallization, self-assembly and chemical bond formation. By measuring and comparing how exciton behavior changes during self-assembly using various solution deposition techniques, we will develop strategies to control self-assembly and create materials with designer excitonic properties. 

We will measure electronic structure and exciton dynamics using non-linear, ultrafast spectroscopies such as transient absorption, transient grating, and 2D photon echo spectroscopy. These measurements will be performed using a femtosecond laser system, and controlled using home-built software. We will study a number of different chemical samples while they are evolving, using various methods of materials preparation and controlled degradation.

The ultimate goal of our research is to establish the physical rules governing both the self-assembly of mesoscale structures and the emergence of collective photophysical properties during these processes. We aim to understand, predict and control the assembly of individual building blocks, and utilize the collective behavior of these mesoscale systems to provide tunable macroscopic functionality.



  1. C.Y. Wong, B.D. Folie, B.L. Cotts, N.S. Ginsberg (2015) Discerning Variable Extents of Interdomain Orientational and Structural Heterogeneity in Solution-Cast Polycrystalline Organic Semiconducting Thin Films. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. ASAP.
  2. C.Y. Wong, B.L. Cotts, H. Wu and N.S. Ginsberg (2015) Exciton dynamics reveal aggregates with intermolecular order at hidden interfaces in solution-cast organic semiconducting films. Nat. Commun. 6: 5946.
  3. S. Sharifzadeh, C.Y. Wong, H. Wu, B.L. Cotts, L. Kronik, N.S. Ginsberg and J.B. Neaton (2015) Relating the physical structure and optoelectronic function of crystalline TIPS-pentacene. Adv. Funct. Mater. 25: 2038-2046.
  4. C.Y. Wong, S.B. Penwell, B.L. Cotts, R. Noriega, H. Wu and N.S. Ginsberg (2013) Revealing exciton dynamics in a small-molecule organic semiconducting film with subdomain transient absorption microscopy. J. Phys. Chem. C 117: 22111-22122.
  5. C.Y. Wong, R.M. Alvey, D.B. Turner, K.E. Wilk, D.A. Bryant, P.M.G. Curmi, R.J. Silbey and G.D. Scholes (2012) Electronic coherence lineshapes reveal hidden excitonic correlations in photosynthetic light harvesting. Nat. Chem. 4: 396-404.
  6. M.H.J. Oh, M.R. Salvador, C.Y. Wong and G.D. Scholes (2011) Three-pulse photon-echo peak shift spectroscopy and its application for the study of salvation and nanoscale excitons. ChemPhysChem 12: 88-100.
  7. C.Y. Wong and G.D. Scholes (2010) Biexcitonic fine structure of CdSe nanocrystals probed by polarization dependent two-dimensional photon echo spectroscopy. J. Phys. Chem. A 115: 3797-3806.
  8. C.Y. Wong and G.D. Scholes (2010) Using two-dimensional photon echo spectroscopy to probe the fine structure of the ground state biexciton of CdSe nanocrystals. J. Luminesc. 131: 366-374.
  9. E. Collini,* C.Y. Wong,* K.E. Wilk, P.M.G. Curmi, P. Brumer and G.D. Scholes (2010) Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae and ambient temperature. Nature 463: 644-647.
  10. J. Kim, C.Y. Wong and G.D. Scholes (2009) Exciton fine structure and spin relaxation in semiconductor colloidal quantum dots. Acc. Chem. Res. 42: 1037-1046.
  11. C.Y. Wong, C. Curutchet, S. Tretiak and G.D. Scholes (2008) Ideal dipole approximation fails to predict electronic coupling and energy transfer between semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes. J. Chem. Phys. 130: 081104.
  12. C.Y. Wong,* J. Kim,* P.S. Nair, M.C. Nagy and G.D. Scholes (2008) Relaxation in the exciton fine structure of semiconductor nanocrystals. J. Phys. Chem. C 113: 795-811.
  13. J. Kim, P.S. Nair, C.Y. Wong and G.D. Scholes (2007) Sizing up the exciton in complex shaped semiconductor nanocrystals. Nano Lett. 7: 3884-3890.
  14. J. Kim, C.Y. Wong, P.S. Nair, K.P. Fritz, S. Kumar and G.D. Scholes (2006) Mechanism and origin of exciton spin relaxation in CdSe nanorods. J. Phys. Chem. B 110: 25371-25382.
  15. G.D. Scholes, J. Kim, C.Y. Wong, V.M. Huxter, P.S. Nair, K.P. Fritz and S. Kumar (2006) Nanocrystal shape and the mechanism of exciton spin relaxation. Nano Lett. 6: 1765-1771.
  16. G.D. Scholes, J. Kim and C.Y. Wong (2006) Exciton spin relaxation in quantum dots measured using ultrafast transient polarization grating spectroscopy. Phys. Rev. B 73: 195325.
  17. C.Y. Wong, P.J.A. Ruttink, P.C. Burgers and J.K. Terlouw (2004) The isomerization of [H2O-C=O]•+ and [HC(=O)OH]•+ into [HO-C-OH]•+: proton-transport catalysis by CO. Chem. Phys. Lett. 390: 176-180.
  18. C.Y. Wong, P.J.A. Ruttink, P.C. Burgers and J.K. Terlouw (2004) The ionic isomerization [HCOH]•+ - [CH2=O]•+: proton-transport catalysis by CO and CO2. Chem. Phys. Lett. 387: 204-208.
  19. R. Srikanth, K. Bhanuprakash, R. Srinivas, C.Y. Wong and J.K. Terlouw (2004) Protonated silanoic acid HSi(OH)2+ and its neutral counterpart: a tandem mass spectrometric and CBS-QB3 computational study. J. Mass Spectrom. 39: 303-311.
  20. L.N. Heydorn, C.Y. Wong, R. Srinivas and J.K. Terlouw (2003) The isobaric ions CH3O-P=O•+ and CH3O-P-NH2+ and their neutral counterparts: A tandem mass spectrometry and CBS-QB3 computational study. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 225: 11-23.