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Sharon Hammes-Schiffer Theoretical chemist

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer seeks to elucidate the fundamental physical principles underlying energy conversion processes. Her research centers on the investigation of electron, proton, and proton-coupled electron transfer reactions, particularly the roles of dynamical and quantum mechanical effects in chemical and biological systems. Her work encompasses the development of analytical theories and computational methods, as well as applications to a wide range of experimentally relevant systems. The bioinspired part of her group aims to transfer structural and functional concepts from biological systems to molecular catalysts activated electrochemically or via photoexcitation. The insights provided by her work are guiding the design of more effective catalysts for the development of renewable, sustainable energy sources.


Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Member, International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science

Fellow, American Chemical Society

Fellow, Biophysical Society

Relevant Publications

M. T. Huynh, D. Schilter, S. Hammes-Schiffer, and T. B. Rauchfuss, “Protonation of nickel-iron hydrogenase models proceeds after isomerization at nickel,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 12385-12395 (2014).

B. H. Solis and S. Hammes-Schiffer, “Proton-coupled electron transfer in molecular electrocatalysis: Theoretical methods and design principles,” Inorg. Chem. 53, 6427-6443 (2014).

S. Hammes-Schiffer, “Proton-coupled electron transfer: Moving together and charging forward,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 8860-8871 (2015).

P. Goyal and S. Hammes-Schiffer, “Role of active site conformational changes in photocycle activation of the AppA BLUF photoreceptor,” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA (in press).

P. Goyal and S. Hammes-Schiffer, Tuning the ultrafast dynamics of photoinduced proton-coupled electron transfer in energy conversion processes,” ACS Energy Letters (in press).


G. G. Hammes and S. Hammes-Schiffer, Physical Chemistry for the Biological Sciences, 2nd Edition. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, 2015). ISBN: 978-1-118-85900-1



Senior Fellow Bio-inspired Solar Energy


University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignDepartment of Chemistry


PhD (Chemistry) Stanford University

BA (Chemistry) Princeton Unviersity


United States

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