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Chemist Elena Jakubikova Receives NSF CAREER Award

ej_web1_smallElena Jakubikova, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at NC State, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award, also known as the NSF CAREER award, is one of the highest awards the foundation bestows upon young faculty in the sciences.

The five-year award will support Jakubikova’s research project entitled “Computational Studies of Light-Induced Dynamics in First-Row Transition Metal Complexes.” The project studies how complexes based on earth-abundant transition metals interact with light.

Jakubikova and her team will use computer modeling to determine how the structure of these complexes affects how they absorb and dissipate light. The unique interdisciplinary project lies at the intersection of computational, inorganic and physical chemistry. It offers a number of potential applications, including a better approach to developing efficient photocatalysts, photomagnetic materials and dyes employed as light-harvesters in photovoltaic solar cells.

The project will also include opportunities to educate high school, undergraduate and graduate students about computational chemistry and allow them to participate in the research. Researchers will also provide local high school teachers of Advanced Placement Chemistry with the tools and expertise to develop and implement their own computational chemistry modules.

Jakubikova received her M.S. in physics from Comenius University in Slovakia in 2000. She received her M.S. in mathematics and Ph.D. in chemistry from Colorado State University in 2005 and 2007, respectively.

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