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Richard L. Brutchey

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry

B.S., UC Irvine, 2000
Ph.D., UC Berkeley, 2005
Office: LJS 260
Phone: (213) 821-2554
Fax: (213) 740-0930
Email: brutchey@usc.edu
 Group Homepage


Research Focus

 

Synthetic Methodology
Despite many decades of development in the field of materials chemistry, there are still only a limited number of ways to synthesize functional materials - the majority of which require highly energy intensive conditions. As such, there is a need to develop new rational methodologies for the synthesis of functional materials under more benign conditions, much in the same way that organic chemists have developed a very extensive and diverse toolbox of bench-top reaction chemistry. The Brutchey Group is developing new synthetic routes to compositionally complex inorganic nanocrystals and thin films using low-temperature, high yielding, and scalable methods, and is subsequently studying the growth mechanisms, structure, and functional properties of these materials. Ultimately, our hope is that this will lead to a "materials by design" approach, whereby tailored materials can be rationally synthesized for particular applications.

Semiconductor Nanocrystals for Solar Cells
Semiconductor nanocrystals are a class of materials with size dependent optoelectronic properties that hold tremendous promise for photovoltatics and other applications. These nanocrystals are typically coated with long, insulating ligands in their as-synthesized state, which are deleterious for charge transport in solar cells and therefore must be removed for practical reasons. The Brutchey Group is taking a coordination chemistry approach to enact quantitative exchange of the insulating ligands on the nanocrystal surface with small organic or inorganic ligands that better facilitate interparticle coupling and charge transport. In concert with studying the ligand coordination chemistry, we are also spectroscopically probing the effects that the ligand frameworks have on the photophysics of the resulting nanocrystal/ligand construct. Then, we use these resulting semiconductor nanocrystals to fabricate nanocrystal-based solar cells to test the efficacy of our ligand exchange chemistry with respect to device performance.

Complex Oxide Nanocrystals for Energy Storage
The Brutchey Group has developed a method to synthesize high quality complex oxide nanocrystals, such as perovskites and scheelites, at temperatures as low as room temperature, on the gram scale, and in near 100% isolated yield. We are using synchrotron techniques to study the structure of these nanocrystals as a function of their size and composition in order to develop structure-property relationships. Particular attention is being paid to modifying the surface chemistry of these nanocrystals and studying the effect of surface modification on their functional properties. By controlling the composition and surface chemistry of the complex oxide nanocrystals, we possess a fine level of control over the properties of the final material. Ultimately, the nanocrystals are being incorporated into devices for energy storage applications.

Selected publications

 

 
[46] Greaney, M. J.
; Couderc, E.; Zhao, J.; Nail, B. A.; Mecklenburg, M.; Thornbury, W.; Osterloh, F. E.*; Bradforth, S. E.*; Brutchey, R. L.* Controlling the Trap State Landscape of Colloidal CdSe Nanocrystals with Cadmium Halide Ligands. 2014, manuscript submitted. ( these authors contributed equally)

 
[45] Couderc, E.; Greaney, M. J.; Thornbury, W.;
Brutchey, R. L.*; Bradforth, S. E.* Investigation of Ultrafast Electron Transfer from a Low Band Gap Conjugated Polymer to CdSe Nanocrystals for Applications in Hybrid Photovoltaics. 2014, manuscript submitted.

 
[44] Combs, B. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Effects of Ligand Type on Hybrid P3HT:CdSe Quantum Dot Solar Cell Performance. 2014, manuscript submitted.

 
[43] Buckley, J. J.; Greaney, M. J.;
Brutchey, R. L. Ligand Exchange of Colloidal CdSe Nanocrystals with Stibanates Derived from Sb2S3 Dissolved in a Thiol-Amine Mixture. Chemistry of Materials 2014, manuscript in press.

 
[42] Greaney, M. J.;
Brutchey, R. L. Ligand Engineering in Hybrid Polymer:Nanocrystal Solar Cells. Materials Today 2014, manuscript in press.

 
[41] Lu, H.; Bartynski, A. N.; Greaney, M. J.; Thompson, M. E.;
Brutchey, R. L. Tandem and Triple-Junction Polymer:Nanocrystal Hybrid Solar Cells Consisting of Identical Subcells. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2014, 6, 18306-18311.

 
[40] Antunez, P. D.; Torelli, D. A.; Yang, F.; Rabuffetti, F. A.; Lewis, N. S.*;
Brutchey, R. L.* Low Temperature Solution-Phase Deposition of SnS Thin Films. Chemistry of Materials 2014, 26, 5444-5446.

 
[39] Rabuffetti, F. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Complex Perovskite Oxide Nanocrystals: Low-Temperature Synthesis and Crystal Structure. Dalton Transactions 2014, 43, 14499-14513.

 
[38] García, S.; Buckley, J. J.;
Brutchey, R. L.*; Humphrey, S. M.* Effect of Microwave Heating on the Synthesis of Rhodium Nanoparticles in Ionic Liquids. Inorganica Chimica Acta 2014, 422, 65-69. (Festschrift for Prof. T. Don Tilley)

 
[37] Webber, D. H.; Buckley, J. J.; Antunez, P. D.;
Brutchey, R. L. Facile Dissolution of Selenium and Tellurium in a Thiol-Amine Solvent Mixture under Ambient Conditions. Chemical Science 2014, 5, 2498-2502.

 
[36] Buckley, J. J.
; Couderc, E.; Greaney, M. J.; Munteanu, J.; Riche, C. T.; Bradforth, S. E.*; Brutchey, R. L.* Chalcogenol Ligand Toolbox for CdSe Nanocrystals and Their Influence on Exciton Relaxation Pathways. ACS Nano 2014, 8, 2512-2521. ( these authors contributed equally)

 
[35] Culver, S. P.
; Beier, C. W.; Rafson, J. P.; Brutchey, R. L. Surface Modification of BaTiO3 Inclusions in Polydicyclopentadiene Nanocomposites for Energy Storage. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 2014, 131, 40290. ( these authors contributed equally)

 
[34] Culver, S. P.; Stepanov, V.; Mecklenburg, M.; Takahashi, S.;
Brutchey, R. L. Low Temperature Synthesis and Characterization of Lanthanide-Doped BaTiO3 Nanocrystals.  Chemical Communications 2014, 50, 3480-3483.

 
[33] Rabuffetti, F. A.; Culver, S. P.; Lee, J. S.;
Brutchey, R. L. Local Structural Investigation of Eu3+-Doped BaTiO3 Nanocrystals. Nanoscale 2014, 6, 2909-2914.

 
[32] Rabuffetti, F. A.; Culver, S. P.; Suescun, L.;
Brutchey, R. L. Structural Disorder in AMoO4 (A = Ca, Sr, Ba) Scheelite Nanocrystals. Inorganic Chemistry 2014, 53, 1056-1061. (cover article)

 
[31] Rabuffetti, F. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Local Structure of Ba1–xSrxTiO3 and BaTi1–yZryO3 Nanocrystals Probed by X-ray Absorption and X-ray Total Scattering. ACS Nano 2013, 7, 11435-11444.

 
[30] Couderc, E.; Greaney, M. J.;
Brutchey, R. L.*; Bradforth, S. E.* Direct Spectroscopic Evidence of Ultrafast Electron Transfer from a Low Band Gap Polymer to CdSe Quantum Dots in Hybrid Photovoltaic Thin Films. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2013, 135, 18418-18426.

 
[29] Webber, D. H.;
Brutchey, R. L. Alkahest for V2VI3 Chalcogenides: Dissolution of Nine Bulk Semiconductors in a Diamine-Dithiol Solvent Mixture. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2013, 135, 15722-15725. (highlighted in C&EN and JACS Spotlight)

 
[28] Culver, S. P.; Rabuffetti, F. A.; Zhou, S.; Mecklenburg, M.; Song, Y.; Melot, B. C.;
Brutchey, R. L. Low Temperature Synthesis of AMoO4 (A = Ca, Sr, Ba) Scheelite Nanocrystals. Chemistry of Materials 2013, 25, 4129-4135.

 
[27] Greaney, M. J.; Araujo, J.; Burkhart, B.; Thompson, B. C.;
Brutchey, R. L. Novel Semi-Random and Alternating Copolymer Hybrid Solar Cells Utilizing CdSe Multipods as Versatile Acceptors. Chemical Communications 2013, 49, 8602-8604. (cover article)

 
[26] Antunez, P. D.; Webber, D. H.;
Brutchey, R. L. Solution-Phase Synthesis of Highly Conductive Tungsten Diselenide Nanosheets. Chemistry of Materials 2013, 25, 2385-2387. (highlighted in C&EN)

 
[25] Beier, C. W.; Sanders, J. M.;
Brutchey, R. L. Improved Breakdown Strength and Energy Density in Thin Film Polyimide Nanocomposites with Small Barium Strontium Titanate Nanocrystal Fillers. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2013, 117, 6958-6965. (cover article)

 
[24] Lazarus, L. L.; Riche, C. T.; Malmstadt, N.*;
Brutchey, R. L.* The Effect of Ionic Liquid Impurities on the Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles. Langmuir 2012, 28, 15987-15993.

 
[23] Buckley, J. J.; Rabuffetti, F. A.; Hinton, H. L.;
Brutchey, R. L. Synthesis and Characterization of Ternary SnxGe1-xSe Nanocrystals. Chemistry of Materials 2012, 24, 3514-3516.

 
[22] Rabuffetti, F. A.; Lee, J. S.;
Brutchey, R. L. Low Temperature Synthesis of Complex Ba1-xSrxTi1-yZryO3 Perovskite Nanocrystals. Chemistry of Materials 2012, 24, 3114-3116.

 
[21] Lazarus, L. L.; Riche, C. T.; Marin, B. C.; Gupta, M.; Malmstadt, N.*;
Brutchey, R. L.* Two-Phase Microfluidic Droplet Flow of Ionic Liquids for the Synthesis of Gold and Silver Nanoparticles. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 2012, 4, 3077-3083. (cover article)

 
[20] Webber, D. H.;
Brutchey, R. L. Nanocrystal Ligand Exchange with 1,2,3,4-thiatriazole-5-thiolate and its Facile In-situ Conversion to Thiocyanate. Dalton Transactions 2012, 41, 7835-7838. (cover article)

 
[19] Rabuffetti, F. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Structural Evolution of BaTiO3 Nanocrystals Synthesized at Room Temperature. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012, 134, 9475-9487.

 
[18] Greaney, M. J.; Das, S.; Webber, D. H.; Bradforth, S. E.;
Brutchey, R. L. Improving Open Circuit Potential in Hybrid P3HT:CdSe Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells via Colloidal tert-Butylthiol Ligand Exchange. ACS Nano 2012, 6, 4222-4230.

 
[17] Rabuffetti, F. A.; Lee, J. S.;
Brutchey, R. L. Vapor Diffusion Sol-Gel Synthesis of Fluorescent Perovskite Oxide Nanocrystals. Advanced Materials 2012, 24, 1434-1438.

 
[16]  Webber, D. H.;
Brutchey, R. L. Ligand Exchange on Colloidal CdSe Nanocrystals Using Thermally Labile tert-Butylthiol for Improved Photocurrent in Nanocrystal Films. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012, 134, 1085-1092.

 
[15] Norako, M. E.; Greaney, M. J.;
Brutchey, R. L. Synthesis and Characterization of Wurtzite Phase Copper Tin Selenide Nanocrystals. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012, 134, 23-26.

 
[14] Rabuffetti, F. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Local Structural Distortion of BaZrxTi1-xO3 Nanocrystals Synthesized at Room Temperature. Chemical Communications 2012, 48, 1437-1439.

 
[13] Rabuffetti, F. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Tailoring the Mechanism of the Amorphous-to-Crystalline Phase Transition of PbTiO3 via Kinetically Controlled Hydrolysis. Chemistry of Materials 2011, 23, 4063-4076. (cover article)

 
[12] Antunez, P. D.; Buckley, J. J.;
Brutchey, R. L. Tin and Germanium Monochalcogenide IV–VI Semiconductor Nanocrystals for Use in Solar Cells. Nanoscale 2011, 3, 2399-2411.

 
[11] Webber, D. H.;
Brutchey, R. L. Photochemical Synthesis of Bismuth Selenide Nanocrystals in an Aqueous Micellar Solution. Inorganic Chemistry 2011, 50, 723-725.

 
[10]  Lazarus, L. L.; Yang, A. S.-J.; Chu, S.;
Brutchey, R. L.*; Malmstadt, N.* Flow-Focused Synthesis of Monodisperse Gold Nanoparticles Using Ionic Liquids on a Microfluidic Platform. Lab on a Chip 2010, 10, 3377-3379.

 
[9]  Lazarus, L. L.;
Brutchey, R. L. Heterogeneous Fullerene-Supported Osmium Tetroxide Catalyst for the cis-Dihydroxylation of Olefins. Dalton Transactions 2010, 39, 7888-7890.

 
[8]  Beier, C. W.; Cuevas, M. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Low-Temperature Synthesis of Solid-Solution BaxSr1-xTiO3 Nanocrystals. Journal of Materials Chemistry 2010, 20, 5074-5079.

 
[7]  Franzman, M. A.; Schlenker, C. W.; Thompson, M. E.;
Brutchey, R. L. Solution-Phase Synthesis of SnSe Nanocrystals for Use in Solar Cells. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2010, 132, 4060-4061.

 
[6]  Beier, C. W.; Cuevas, M. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Effect of Surface Modification on the Dielectric Properties of BaTiO3 Nanocrystals. Langmuir 2010, 26, 5067-5071.

 
[5]  Norako, M. E.;
Brutchey, R. L. Synthesis of Metastable Wurtzite CuInSe2 Nanocrystals. Chemistry of Materials 2010, 22, 1613-1615.

 
[4]  Norako, M. E.; Franzman, M. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Growth Kinetics of Monodisperse       Cu-In-S Nanocrystals Using a Dialkyl Disulfide Sulfur Source. Chemistry of Materials 2009, 21, 4299-4304.

 
[3]  Webber, D. H.;
Brutchey, R. L. Photolytic Preparation of Tellurium Nanorods. Chemical Communications 2009, 5701-5703.

 
[2]  Franzman, M. A.;
Brutchey, R. L. Solution-Phase Synthesis of Well-Defined Indium Sulfide Nanorods. Chemistry of Materials 2009, 21, 1790-1792.

 
[1]  Franzman, M. A.; Pérez, V.;
Brutchey, R. L. Peroxide-Mediated Synthesis of Indium Oxide Nanocrystals at Low Temperatures. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2009, 113, 630-636.

 
[0]  Beier, C. W.; Cuevas, M. A.;
Brutchey, R. L.  Room-Temperature Synthetic Pathways to Barium Titanate Nanocrystals. Small 2008, 4, 2102-2106.


 

Chemistry Dept., USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences