I was born and raised in the small town of Wilno, ON, Canada, known as the first Polish settlement in Canada, and now spend my time pursuing my passion for novel nanomaterials and composites, especially in controlling the optical properties of nanomaterials through precise synthesis. The work has impact in optical electronics, light-harvesting, photocatalysis, biomedicine and chemical sensing. After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees at the universities of Waterloo and Ottawa, respectively, I became a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame in 2013. I have been an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University since 2016.
At the Stamplecoskie Group, our broad goal is to develop new photonic materials with tunable optical properties for application in several focus research fields: light-harvesting and solar energy, advanced optical electronics, chemical sensing and biomedicine. The engineering of new photonic materials relies heavily on the fundamental understanding of materials properties, which is often referred to as the ‘structure-function relationship’. In the pursuit of novel photonic materials, we foster a culture of innovation and excitement for understanding materials at the molecular level and using this understanding to drive innovation.
Our group is a mix of both graduate (PhD and MSc) and undergraduate students and consists of both domestic and international students from a variety of countries, including France, Brazil, and India. These students come from a range of chemistry backgrounds, in organic and inorganic synthesis, as well as in cell design and electrochemistry. Due to the nature of our research, students in the lab continue to develop skills not only in physical chemistry, but in synthesis and analytical chemistry through the collection and analysis of absorbance spectra for clusters, the synthesis of organic-based ligands, and the separation of clusters using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). We are hard-working and passionate, and are always looking for eager students who have an interest in photonic materials!
Currently, our research looks at synthesizing gold clusters and tuning their optical and electronic properties through composition, size and shape. By varying conditions under which the molecules are synthesized, such as pH, we can synthesize different gold clusters and tune their functions accordingly. Through redox reactions with thiolated gold, we can synthesize clusters for use in solar cells, cell imaging and catalysis. We use a variety of instrumentation both in the lab and within the department, including but not limited to UV-VIS absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and mass spectroscopy. In the near future, we will be adding a femtosecond pump-probe spectrometer to the lab, to measure the absorption of a species in the excited state.