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 April 24, 2015

Chemistry Welcomes Pengfei Huo

PENGFEI HUOPENGFEI (FRANK) HUO will officially join our Chemistry faculty in July 2015. Frank received his B.S. in chemistry from Lanzhou University of China in 2007. He then moved to Boston University to pursue his Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry with David Coker. Frank's Ph.D. work focused on developing efficient and accurate nonadiabatic dynamic methods to understand the excitation energy transfer process and the electronic coherence in natural light harvesting systems. In 2012 he joined CalTech as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Tom Miller where he worked on extending the linearized path-integral method to simulate the electron and excitation transfer dynamics, as well as applying a variety of novel computational methods such as ab-initio molecular dynamics tools and wavefunction-in-DFT embedding approach to explore the fundamental aspects of electron and proton transfer mechanisms in cobaltbased hydrogen evolution catalysts. He was recognized as one of the "top reviewers for The Journal of Chemical Physics" (2012) and received an "ACS PHYS Division Postdoctoral Research Award" (2014). The Huo research group develops and applies multiscale theoretical approaches that combine novel dynamics and methods and scalable electronic structure methods to investigate the complex reaction dynamics associated with solar energy harvesting and storage processes.

In particular, the primary research interests focus on: excitation-induced charge separation dynamics in organic photovoltaic devices; photo-induced protoncoupled electron transfer reaction; catalytic fuel generation reactions such as hydrogen evolution.

Frank is also excited about teaching Computational Chemistry (CHM 459), which will focus on the theoretical foundation of computational techniques as well as practical applications in research problems.

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