The Group

We are a group of researchers at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo. Led by David Zigler, the group is composed entirely of undergraduate students. We work with students from a range of experiences (first year to graduating) and majors (BCHM, CHEM, EE, CSC, ME, BIO, etc). Undergraduate students interested in joining only need to show an interest in learning chemistry and desire to grow into independent scientists.

Our research interests are broadly centered on the interaction of light and molecules. We study how changes at the molecular level affect how compounds absorb light, hold onto energy as an excited state, and then dissipate that energy through chemical reactions. This process is broadly called photochemistry and is important in the fields of chemical synthesis, alternative fuels, phototherapeutics, and materials processing. Students working on our team have the opportunity to learn and apply:

  • Synthesis and characterization
  • Quantum chemical methods (computational chemistry and scientific programming)
  • Steady-state optical spectroscopy
  • Time-resolved optical spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry
  • Nanoparticle synthesis and modification
  • Instrument design and construction
  • Photochemical methods
  • Chemical kinetics and reaction mechanisms

See also Dr. Zigler’s Faculty Page

The Principal Investigator

David (Dave) F. Zigler is an assistant professor of chemistry at California Polytechnic State University. He completed a B.S. in chemistry with biochemistry concentration at Eastern Illinois University in 2003, followed by a Ph.D. in chemistry at Virginia Tech in 2008. He continued his training with postdoctoral appointments at UC - Santa Barbara (first row coordination chemistry and quantum dots) and UNC - Chapel Hill (time-resolved EPR, ultrafast microscopy, fs-transient absorption spectrscopy). At Cal Poly, Dr. Zigler teaches general chemistry and inorganic chemistry. His research interests are derived from a desire to understand the photophysics and photochemistry of small molecules and interfaces.

Link to recent curriculum vitae

Dave gets pied

Contact Dr. Zigler