Prashant Jain

 Prashant Jain
Prashant Jain he/him/his

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics
Professor in Chemistry
(217) 333-3417
A224 Chemical and Life Sci Lab

For More Information

Research Statement

Light-matter interactions are central in nature, life, and in technology. There are three aspects of the quantum light-matter interface that we study using spectroscopy, microscopy, and theory:
i) We employ the rich interplay between visible light and metal catalysts for selective formation of chemical bonds, catalyzing multielectron chemistry, and manufacturing fuels and energetic chemicals.
ii) We image with unprecedented resolution chemical reactions on surfaces or in nanoparticles and uncover their mechanistic pathways.
iii) We design materials and coax them into exhibiting non-natural optical or optoelectronic phenomena.
In summary, we are learning how to control and harness light as a source of energy and as a means to control the attributes and function of advanced materials.

We are a diverse team with interest and expertise in catalysis, spectroscopy, materials science, and condensed matter physics. The tools we use include single-molecule spectroscopy, nanochemistry, high-resolution electron microscopy, plasmonics, and theory. The systems we investigate range from artificial photosynthetic systems to nanophotonic switches. Our research has had direct impact on the follow areas:
Photosynthesis and Energy Conversion: Driving multielectron fuel-forming reactions by plasmonic light excitation.
Catalysis: Discovering active sites and reaction pathways of catalysts by super-resolution imaging.
Nanoscience: Discovery of unconventional excitations, phases, and transport in nanocrystals.

Prospective postdoctoral researchers, graduate students who have been admitted to a program at UIUC, undergraduate students at UIUC, and collaborators interested in the above research projects are welcome to contact us.

Selected Articles in Journals

Teaching Honors

  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students (Fall 12, 15, 16, Spring 14, 15)
  • Journal of Physical Chemistry C Lectureship (2015)

Research Honors

  • Center for Advanced Studies Beckman Fellow (2017)
  • Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar (2018-)
  • American Vacuum Society Prairie Chapter Early Career Award (2017)
  • Campus Distinguished Promotion Award, UIUC (2017)
  • I. C. Gunsalus Scholar (2017-18)
  • Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry and Lectureship, ACS (2017)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2015)
  • Most Cited Researchers in ChemE as per Elsevier Scopus (2016)
  • American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award (2014)
  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2015)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (2014)
  • Arnold and Mabel O. Beckman Young Investigator Award (2014)
  • Dupont Young Professor Award (2013)

Recent Courses Taught

  • CHEM 444 - Physical Chemistry II
  • CHEM 545 - Physical Chemistry Seminar