Dr. He joined Eastern Illinois University in 2013 and was promoted to an Associate Professor in 2017. He is a two-time recipient of the EIU’s Achievement and Contribution Award in research. Dr. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for RSC Advances and is a regular reviewer for numerous scientific journals. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, and Eastern Illinois University President Research Fund and Creativity. He successfully organized three symposia for the Materials Research Society in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Dr. He regularly teaches undergraduate courses (General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Introduction to Chemical Research) and graduate courses (Energy Chemistry). For details, please visit Dr. He group website.
Ph.D. (1996), Inorganic Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University
M.Sc. (1993), Organometallic Chemistry,Lanzhou University
B.Sc. (1990), Chemistry,Lanzhou University
1. Near-infrared emitting materials for biosensing and imaging
Fluorescent materials are widely used in a variety of medical diagnostic tests, such as immunoassays. Certain lanthanide ions, such as ytterbium (III) with emission at 980 nm, are good candidates for such probes. Over the last two decades, numerous NIR emitting lanthanide-based probes with different sensitizers have been synthesized and their sensitization capability. These materials exhibit poor emission efficiency and require short wavelength excitation, both undesirable for biomedical applications. We are using a molecular engineering approach to design and synthesize novel sensitizers that can be sensitized effectively using red light and emit efficient in the near-infrared light.
2. Photoactive metal complexes for catalysis
Photocatalysts are becoming more and more important in cost-effective production of value-added fine chemicals. However, the photocatalysts are only limited to ruthenium complexes, iridium complexes, copper complexes, eosin Y, 9,10-dicyanoanthracene, and triphenylpyrylium. The Pd-based photocatalyst is scarce. Considering the significance of Pd-catalyzed reactions in synthetic chemistry and petroleum field, it is imperative to develop novel palladium complexes that are capable of photocatalytic reactions, including C-C coupling reactions. We are interested in developing novel palladium-based photoactive complexes for C-C coupling reactions under visible light illumination.
3. Light-harvesting materials for photovoltaics
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) are made from inexpensive materials and can be adapted for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications with minimal environmental impact. However, narrow light absorption and weak binding strength of dye to TiO2 nanoparticles prevent its mass production. We are using an interdisciplinary approach including chemical synthesis, theoretical modeling, spectroscopy, device fabrication, and impedance spectroscopy to address these issues. One major focus is the development of the highly functionalized porphyrin dyes with broad absorption to the near-infrared region.