Brandon Rugg works as a postdoctoral researcher at NREL in Justin Johnson’s group studying the electron spin dynamics of photoexcited molecules. He is currently researching how the process of singlet fission can be used to generate entangled, pure spin states at room temperature for potential applications in quantum information science. In addition to his main project, he is also exploring how his unique expertise in transient electron paramagnetic resonance can be used to benefit the broader NREL research mission.

Brandon received his doctorate in chemistry from Northwestern University working under Professors Michael R. Wasielewski and Mark A. Ratner. During his time in graduate school, he was responsible for the first demonstration of quantum teleportation mediated by an electron transfer reaction.

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Research Interests

Molecular photophysics- singlet fission and charge transfer

Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy

Materials for spin-based quantum information science / spintronics


Ph.D., Chemistry, Northwestern University

B.S., Chemistry, James Madison University

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher, NREL (2019–present)

Graduate Research Assistant, Northwestern University (2012–2019)

Undergraduate Research Assistant, James Madison University (2010–2012)

Featured Work

Conversion between Triplet Pair States Is controlled by Molecular Coupling in Pentadithiophene Thin Films, Chemical Science (2020) 

Photodriven Quantum Teleportation of an Electron Spin State in a Covalent Donor-Acceptor-Radical System, Nature Chemistry (2019)

CNOT Gate Operation on a Photogenerated Molecular Electron Spin-Qubit Pair, Journal of Chemical Physics (2020)

Photoinduced Plasmon-Driven Chemistry in Trans-1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene Gold Nanosphere Oligomers, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2018)

Detecting and Visualizing Reaction Intermediates of Anisotropic Nanoparticle Growth, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2018)

Effect of Electron-Nuclear Hyperfine Interactions on Multiple-Quantum Coherences in Photogenerated Covalent Radical (Qubit) Pairs, Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2018)

Spin-Selective Photoreduction of a Stable Radical within a Covalent Donor-Acceptor-Radical Triad, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2017)

Zero Quantum Coherence in a Series of Covalent Spin-Correlated Radical Pairs, Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2017)

Fast Photo-Driven Electron Spin Coherence Transfer: The Effect of Electron-Nuclear Hyperfine Coupling on Coherence Dephasing, Journal of Materials Chemistry C (2015)

Understanding the Mechanism of Solvent-Mediated Adhesion of Vacuum Deposited Au and Pt Thin Films onto PMMA Substrates, Advanced Functional Materials (2013)

Awards and Honors

SHARED-EPR International Travel Award (2015)

Northwestern Graduate School Leadership Fellowship (2012)

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship (2010)