The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: "Modeling Solvent-Mediated Interactions at Liquid-Solid Interfaces: From Electron Trapping to Biomolecular Assembly"


Friday, October 29, 2021 - 12:00pm


Professor Richard Remsing, Rutgers


Gunness Student Center, Marcus Hall


Interfaces between crystalline solids and disordered systems like liquids play a key role in nanoscale devices for catalysis, solar energy conversion, sensing, and flexible electronics. Device functionality and the synthesis of materials can often be controlled by the liquid through solvent-mediated interactions. Despite the importance of these interactions at interfaces, they are not well understood. In this talk, I will discuss our ongoing work understanding solvent effects in two related areas. First, I will discuss work focused on understanding the influence of liquids on the behavior of electrons and holes - charge carriers - within two-dimensional semiconductors, in addition to interactions with solid-state defects. We developed a multiscale approach for modeling charge carriers in condensed phases that bridges electronic and nano scales and use this to model the interactions of charge carriers with defects in semiconductors, screening of these interactions by interfacial liquids, and effects of liquid screening on transport. This also enables us to investigate effects of defect-induced trap states on interfacial liquid properties relevant to catalysis. Then, I will discuss recent work on ion-specific effects in protein adsorption to mineral surfaces. We focus on the role of long range interactions in controlling protein adsorption, particularly water polarization-induced interactions. Time permitting, I will conclude with a brief discussion of how we can use these ideas to efficiently model long range interactions in molecular systems.

Rick Remsing is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA. Rick received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where he conducted research in the lab of Guillermo Moyna on biomass dissolution in ionic liquids. He then joined the Chemical Physics program at the University of Maryland under the guidance of John Weeks. Rick’s Ph.D. thesis focused on the theory and simulation of liquid interfaces. After graduate school, he joined the group of Amish Patel at the University of Pennsylvania, working on hydrophobic effects and protein hydration. Rick then moved to Temple University as a postdoctoral fellow with Michael Klein, where he worked on a variety of problems in the energy and materials sciences. The Remsing group ( conducts fundamental theoretical and computational research with applications in renewable and sustainable energy, astrobiology, and materials science