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Justin Johnson received his Doctorate degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004, working under Prof. Richard Saykally on near-field microscopy and ultrafast spectroscopy of single semiconductor nanowires. That same year he joined Dr. Arthur Nozik's group at NREL as a postdoctoral researcher through a collaboration with Professor Josef Michl at the University of Colorado Boulder. He joined the research staff in 2008 and is a senior scientist in the Spectroscopy and Photosciences group.

Research Interests

  • His research has included the search for and characterization of novel molecules and mechanisms for singlet fission, and the potential consequences for photovoltaic devices. He has co-hosted the Singlet Fission Workshop for seven consecutive summers in Peaceful Valley, CO.
  • He has used novel femtosecond techniques to investigate the ultrafast dynamics associated with multiple exciton generation, exciton-plasmon coupling, exciton delocalization, and charge and energy transport in both molecular systems and a variety of quantum-confined nanostructures and their assemblies.
  • Most recently, he worked on developing novel covalent organic frameworks for optoelectronics and gas storage.


B.A. Chemistry and Physics, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota

Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Featured Work

Hughes, B.K.; Braunecker, W.; Bobela, D.; Nanayakkara, S.; Reid, O.; Johnson, J.C., “Covalently Bound Nitroxyl Radicals in an Organic Framework,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7, 3660 (2016).

Arias, D.; Ryerson, J.; Cook, J.; Damrauer, N.; Johnson, J., “Polymorphism Influences Singlet Fission Rates in Tetracene Thin Films,” Chem. Sci. 7, 1185 (2016).

Schrauben, J.N.; Zhao Y.; Mercado, C.; Ryerson, J.; Dron, P.; Michl, J.; Zhu, K.; Johnson, J.C.,  “Photocurrent Enhanced by Singlet Fission in a Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7, 2286 (2015).

Crisp, R.W.; Schrauben, J.N.; Beard, M.C.; Luther, J.M.; Johnson, J.C., “Coherent Exciton Delocalization in Strongly Coupled Quantum Dot Arrays,” Nano Lett. 13, 4862 (2013).

Johnson, J.C.; Nozik, A.J.; Michl, J., “The Role of Chromophore Coupling in Singlet Fission,” Acc. Chem. Res. 46, 1290 (2013). 

Johnson, J.C.; Nozik, A.J.; Michl, J., “High Triplet Yield from Singlet Fission in Thin Films of 1,3-Diphenlyisobenzofuran,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 16302 (2010).

Paci, I.; Johnson, J.C.; Chen, X.; Rana, G.; Nozik, A.J.; Ratner, M.A.; Michl, J., “Singlet Fission for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells: Can a Suitable Sensitizer Be Found?,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128 16546 (2010).

Johnson, J.C.; Choi, H.-J.; Knutsen, K.P.; Schaller, R.D.; Yang, P.; Saykally, R.J., “Single Gallium Nitride Nanowire Lasers,” Nat. Mater. 1, 106 (2002).

Johnson, J.C.; Yan, H.; Schaller, R.D.; Haber, L.H.; Yang, P.; Saykally, R.J., “Single Nanowire Lasers,” J. Phys. Chem. B 105, 11387 (2001).

View all NREL publications for Justin Johnson.