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Emily Ann Sprague-Klein

Postdoctoral Appointee


Emily is a postdoctoral research associate in the Solar Energy Conversion Group at Argonne with a joint appointment at Northwestern University.  She is an expert in ultrafast spectroscopy, single particle two-color surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), stimulated Raman spectroscopy, and transient absorption (TA) spectroscopy.  Emily uses pulsed and cw-based laser techniques to examine fundamental light-matter interactions that underlie important chemical reactions such as water-splitting and CO2 reduction.  Currently, she is working towards combining electrochemical in situ and operando studies with optical/X-ray spectroscopy for the understanding of structure-function relationships in solar materials and artificial leaf photovoltaics.  Her research in basic energy science has broader applications to the fields of catalysis, inorganic material design and function, and soft materials for biomedical sensing platforms.

Having experienced the importance of mentorship and relatable role models in STEM, Emily strives to enrich the experiences of students and young scientists through numerous community initiatives aimed at increasing early exposure to STEM research in fundamental science.  She advocates for women and underrepresented groups in STEM through her leadership and professional service roles that include former president of the Society for Women in Physics at UIUC, founding board member of Northwestern’s Mentorship for Research Engagement, and a committed member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.  

Ph.D., Applied Physics, Northwestern University, 2018 
B.S., Engineering Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012 

Awards & Honors
LDRD Award in Emerging Materials, Department of Energy, 2020
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014 - 2017
Department of Defense, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, 2014 
Ryan Fellowship, Northwestern University, 2012

Selected Publications

E. A. Sprague-Klein, M. O. McAnally, D. V. Zhdanov, A. B. Zrimsek, V. A. Apkarian, T. Seideman, G. C. Schatz, and R. P. Van Duyne, Observation of Single Molecule Plasmon-Driven Electron Transfer in Isotopically Edited 4,4’-Bipyridine Gold Nanosphere Oligomers.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017, 139, 15212-15221. link

E. A. Sprague-Klein, B. Negru, L. R. Madison, S. C. Coste, B. K. Rugg, A. M. Felts, M. O. McAnally, M. Banik, V. A. Apkarian, M. R. Wasielewski, M. A. Ratner, T. Seideman, G. C. Schatz, R. P. Van Duyne, Photoinduced Plasmon-Driven Chemistry in trans-1,2-Bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene Gold Nanosphere Oligomers.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2018, 140, 10583-10592. link

B. V. Kramer, B. T. Phelan, E. A. Sprague-Klein, B. T. Diroll, S. Lee, K. Otake, R. Palmer, M. W. Mara, O. K. Farha, J. T. Hupp, L. X. Chen, Single-Atom Metal Oxide Sites as Traps for Charge Separation in nano Zr-MOF NDC-NU-1000.” ACS Energy & Fuels, 2021, doi: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.1c02623. link

E. A. Sprague-Klein, R. Ho-Wu, D. Nguyen, S. C. Coste, Y. Wu, J. J. McMahon, T. Seideman, G. C. Schatz, R. P. Van Duyne, Modulating the Electron Affinity of Polypyridine Molecules on Single Gold Nanoparticles for Plasmon-Driven Electron Transfer.” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2021, doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.1c07803. link