Dr. Lance Wheeler received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, in 2009. As a departmental fellow, his graduate work was performed at the University of Minnesota under the advisement of Prof. Uwe Kortshagen, where Lance received a Ph.D. in 2014. Within the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics—U.S. Department of Energy Energy Frontier Research Center—his research was dedicated to developing novel surface chemistries to enable the integration of group IV semiconductor quantum dots into photovoltaic devices. This work led to multiple publications, patents, and awards. He has continued work in quantum dots at NREL and now develops switchable photovoltaic technology and designer materials for solar thermochemical fuel production.

Research Interests

  • Design and synthesis of low-dimensional materials
  • Basic science of solution-phase phenomena of nanomaterials
  • Switchable photovoltaics
  • Solar thermochemical fuel production


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

B.A., St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota

Featured Work

Lance M. Wheeler, Asa W. Nichols, Boris D. Chernomordik, Nicholas C. Anderson, Matthew C. Beard, and Nathan R. Neale, “All-inorganic germanium nanocrystal films by cationic ligand exchange,” Nano Letters 16 (3), 1949–1954 (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b05192

David Nenon, Jeffrey A. Christians, Lance M. Wheeler, Jeffrey Blackburn, Erin M. Sanehira, Benjia Dou, Kai Zhu, Joseph J. Berry, and Joseph M. Luther, “Structural and chemical evolution of methylammonium lead halide perovskites during thermal processing from solution,” Energy & Environmental Science 1–11 (2016). DOI: 10.1039/c6ee01047d

Lance M. Wheeler, Nicholas C. Anderson, Peter K. B. Palomaki, Jeffrey L. Blackburn, Justin C. Johnson, and Nathan R. Neale, “Silyl radical abstraction in the functionalization of plasma-synthesized silicon nanocrystals,” Chemistry of Materials 27(19), 6869–6878 (2015). DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b03309

Lance M. Wheeler, Nathan R. Neale, Ting Chen, and Uwe R. Kortshagen, “Hypervalent surface interactions for colloidal stability and doping of silicon nanocrystals,” Nature Communications 4, 2197 (2013). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3197