The McCusker Group

Our group is interested in the physical and photophysical properties of transition metal complexes. Our approach relies on a confluence of synthetic chemistry, a cornucopia of physical techniques ranging from magnetism to femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy, and high-level theory. The simultaneous examination of chemical problems on all three of these fronts places us in a unique position to explore the physical chemistry of inorganic compounds.


A highlight of our recent paper on using ligand design to control ultrafast dynamics in iron(II) polypyridyls was just published in Nature Reviews Chemistry!  To read the original paper click here and to read the new highlight article click here.

A perspective article was published in Nature Reviews Chemistry today on Exploiting chemistry and molecular systems for quantum information science! The link for the article is below:
Perspective Article

Congratulations to our boss, Prof. James McCusker, on winning the Royal Society of Chemistry 2020 Chemical Dynamics Award! To read more about the award and his interview by RSC click here.

Our new paper on using strategic ligand design and excited-state coherence with caged iron(II) polpyridyls to control ultrafast dynamics is online now at Nature! Check it out at the link below:

Nature Article

Our paper was also a featured article by the College of Natural Science, MSU Today, and Research@MSU!

Our new paper on the effect of solvent on the high-spin to low-spin conversion in [Fe(bpy)3]2+ is online now at Chemical Science! Check it out at the link below:

DOI: 10.1039/D0SC01506G

Our new paper on the influence of electrolyte composition on ultrafast interfacial electron transfer in iron-sensitized solar cells is online now! Check it out at the link below:

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b09404

We would like to welcome the newest member of our group, Jyun Lien!

Our paper on the use of ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy to address the spin-state of an iron(II) ligand-field excited-state is out now! Check it out at the link below:

DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b01063

Hayden Beissel succesfully passed his 2nd year oral examination! Now for some well deserved relaxation before getting back to his science!

Shuxian Li walked at commencent today graduating with her Ph.D in chemsitry! Congratulations on all your hard work!
*Shuxian is pictured third from the left in the front row

Bryan, Sara, and Jon attended the ACS Orlando National Meeting and gave talks in inorganic spectroscopy and synthesis!! Phenomenal work you three! Glad to have you back!

Matt attended the BioLEC workshop at Princeton University and presented his current research with iron(II) polypyridyls

Jim's new paper on how the primogenic effect plays an important role in electron transfer reactions of  transition metal chromophores is out now! Click the DOI below for a link to the paper or the URL for a link to a related article in MSU today:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav9104


The McCusker Group is proud to be part of BioLEC, a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center established on August 1, 2018 involving researchers from Princeton University, MIT, North Carolina State, Arizona State, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory (and, of course, Michigan State). The Center is focused on the development of bio-inspired approaches for using light in synthetic chemistry. Information about the science being carried out through BioLEC can be found at or by clicking the picture below.


Monica and Sara's variable temperature ultrafast spectroscopy paper is out in Chemical Science! Check it out at the link below:

DOI: 10.1039/C8SC04025G


Katy Humphries and Sam Brineman have officially joined the McCusker group! Welcome to the group guys!


Our paper on ultrafast vibrational dynamics in Ru-bpy-CN is out now! Check it out at the link below:

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.8b06197


Website Updated: 7/8/2020