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Linda Peteanu

Carnegie Mellon University
Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Chicago, 1989

Linda Peteanu received her B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago. She was a postdoctoral associate first at the University of California Berkeley, then at UC Riverside before joining Carnegie Mellon University in 1993. She has received a NSF CAREER award, an NSF Special Creativity Extension, an NSF POWRE (Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education) award and a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. She is currently the Acting Head of the CMU Department of Chemistry since January 2016.


We measure several fundamental electronic properties of molecules such as charge transfer and electronic delocalization using a technique known as Stark spectroscopy. Stark spectroscopy involves applying large electric fields to molecules in films or matrices and analyzing the effects of the field perturbation on the absorption or emission spectrum. We have recently focused on the properties of MEH-PPV and other molecules used to make to organic light emitting diodes (OLED's). Stark spectroscopy reveals the mechanism by which a large applied electric field, such as those present in OLEDs, produces undesirable emission quenching and suggests strategies for minimizing this loss of device efficiency through modifications of the polymer structure.
Emission properties of Single Molecules and Aggregates
Recent years has seen a huge growth in the use of organic conjugated oligomers and polymers in the design of light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and photovoltaic cells. When these molecules are placed in thin films to fabricate devices, they typically form aggregates. These confer several desirable properties for device function such as protection from oxidative damage and enhanced charge transport. However, they also typically shift the wavelength of emission to lower energies and often significantly reduce its intensity. Our group is using microscopy and spectroscopy to investigate the relationships between molecular structure and the brightness and photo-stability of molecules in the solid state, both in isolation (i.e. as single molecules) and as aggregates. We are also developing methods to image aggregation in films at high resolution and to follow the nucleation of aggregates in the solution phase. 


Title Position Email
Sikandar Abbas Graduate Student
Daniel Cho Post-baccalaureate
Sourav Dey Graduate Student
Michaela Fascione Undergraduate Student
Sukyung Jeon Post-baccalaureate
Christian Legaspi Graduate Student
Dhrubajyoti Samanta Graduate Student
Woong Young So Graduate Student
Most Cited Publications

"Vibrationally coherent photochemistry in the femtosecond primary event of vision," Wang, Qing, Robert W. Schoenlein, Linda A. Peteanu, Richard A. Mathies, and Charles V. Shank, Science 266, no. 5184 (1994): 422-424.
"Biodegradable nanogels prepared by atom transfer radical polymerization as potential drug delivery carriers: synthesis, biodegradation, in vitro release, and bioconjugation," Oh, Jung Kwon, Daniel J. Siegwart, Hyung-il Lee, Gizelle Sherwood, Linda Peteanu, Jeffrey O. Hollinger, Kazunori Kataoka, and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Journal of the American Chemical Society 129, no. 18 (2007): 5939-5945.
"Light‐induced reversible formation of polymeric micelles," Lee, Hyung‐il, Wei Wu, Jung Kwon Oh, Laura Mueller, Gizelle Sherwood, Linda Peteanu, Tomasz Kowalewski, and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Angewandte Chemie 119, no. 14 (2007): 2505-2509.
"Direct observation of fast proton transfer: femtosecond photophysics of 3-hydroxyflavone," Schwartz, Benjamin J., Linda A. Peteanu, and Charles B. Harris, The Journal of Physical Chemistry 96, no. 9 (1992): 3591-3598.
"The electronic spectrum of the amino acid tryptophan in the gas phase," Rizzo, Thomas R., Young D. Park, Linda A. Peteanu, and Donald H. Levy, The Journal of Chemical Physics 84, no. 5 (1986): 2534-2541.

Recent Publications

"A Mono-Cubocotahedral Series of Gold Nanoclusters: Photoluminescense Origin, Large Enhancement, Wide Tunability and Structure-Property Correlation,"  Q Li, M Zhou, WY So, J Huang, M Li, DR Kauffman, M Cotlet, T Higaki, Z Shao, LA Peteanu, and R Jin.  Journal of the American Chemical Society 141.13 (2019)
"WYSo SI Mechanism of Ligand-Controlled Emission in Silicon Nanoparticles,"  ACS Nano (2018)
"Mechanism of Ligand-Controlled Emmision in Silicon Nanoparticles."     So, W.Y., Li, Q., Legaspi, C.M., (...), Jin, R., Peteanu, L.A. ACS Nano 12(7). (2018).
"Rigidity and Polarity Effects on the Electronic Properties of Two Deep Blue Delayed Fluorescence Emitters." Legaspi, C.M., Stubbs, R.E., Wahadoszaman, M., (...), Zheng, Q., Rothberg, L.J. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122(22). (2018).
"Eliminating Spurious Zero-Efficiency FRET States in Diffusion-Based Single-Molecule Confocal Microscopy." Dey, S.K., Pettersson, J.R., Topacio, A.Z., Das, S.R., Peteanu, L.A. Journal of  Physical Chemistry Letters 9(9). (2018).