Dr. Garry Rumbles is a research fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He joined NREL in 2000 and is widely recognized for his research in photochemistry and photophysics of conjugated molecular systems, energy conversion in organic light emitting diodes and organic photovoltaic devices, and nanoscale morphology.

Rumbles' research interests are in solar energy with a focus on the basic science of solar photoconversion processes and photoinduced electron transfer processes in polymer-based nanostructured interfaces. His primary research expertise lies in photochemistry and photophysics, with a specialty in kinetics.

In 2018, he was named associate editor of Royal Society of Chemistry’s new publication Sustainable Energy and Fuels. Rumbles became a professor adjoint in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at CU Boulder and a fellow of the joint CU/NREL adventure: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) in 2009. In 2004, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Rumbles has published more than 150 journal articles and more than 50 book sections and conference proceedings.

Research Interests

  • Excited-state kinetics in synthetic polymers; cis-trans isomerization of natural chromophores in biomolecules; spectroscopy of transient, gas-phase molecules; photophysics at solid-solution interfaces; third-order nonlinear optical properties of conjugated molecules; frequency upconversion and optical refrigeration in dye solutions; and the fundamental photophysics of conjugated (electroluminescent) polymers, colloidal quantum dots, and single-walled carbon nanotubes

  • Laser-based experiments (time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy; time-resolved resonance Raman spectroscopy; laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy; time-resolved evanescent wave-induced fluorescence spectroscopy; picosecond coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy; transient absorption spectroscopy; and time-resolved microwave conductivity)

  • Organic photovoltaic research, exploring some of the more applied solar energy problems. He is using time-resolved microwave conductivity to study the dissociation and recombination kinetics of nanoscale excitons at interfaces formed between molecular-based species.


  • Ph.D. in Photophysics of Synthetic Polymers, University of London, 1984
  • B.S. in Chemistry with Electronics, University of Southampton, 1980

Professional Experience

Rumbles conducted his Ph.D. research under the supervision of Professor David Phillips in the Davy Faraday Research Laboratory (DFRL) at the Royal Institution in London. He spent more than three years as a postdoctoral researcher first at the University of Arizona with professor George Atkinson and then at the University of California, Irvine, with the late professor Edward K.C. Lee.

Rumbles returned to the DFRL in 1987; in 1989, he became a lecturer in Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College. He was promoted to senior lecturer in 1996 and reader in 2001. During his tenure at Imperial College, Rumbles graduated 12 Ph.D. students and received two Imperial College awards for excellence in teaching.

Rumbles joined NREL as a sabbatical scientist in 2000, working with Dr. Arthur Nozik, and in 2001 became a senior research scientist. He retained his affiliation with Imperial College through the award of a visiting professorial chair, a position that he still holds, and he is a member of the Chemistry Department's Advisory Board.

In 2005, Rumbles was promoted to principal scientist at NREL and became the group manager of the Chemical and Nanoscale Science team within the Center for Basic Sciences, and subsequently within the Chemical and Biosciences Center. In 2008, he was named an NREL research fellow. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a member of the American Chemical Society. He has 150 research publications and an H-index of 46.