Erin S. Boyle

Erin backpacking in Big Bend National Park.

My research in the Wright group has been focused on developing new nonlinear spectroscopy methodologies. These new experiments are designed to give information about the vibrational structure of a low concentration molecular system. The experiments selectively get signal from the species of interest by using a unique electronic state as a 'handle', much like in resonance Raman. Two remaining laser interactions are in the infrared and give vibrational (structural) information. The purpose of this method will be to study protein metal centers, which tend to have unique electronic states in the visible range.

We are interested in eventually learning more about the mechanism of photosynthetic water splitting within the Oxygen Evolving Complex of Photosystem II (PSII). Photosynethic water splitting is the reaction 2H2O --> 4H+ + 4e- + O2. People would like to drive this reaction using solar energy to create hydrogen fuel. Much of the biological mechanism for efficiently driving this reaction is unknown, so we hope our experiments will shed light on it that will be useful for the design of artificial catalysts.



Wright group:

Keutsch group:

Blough group:


  • (invited talk) Society for Applied Spectroscopy, SciX conference, Reno, NV, September 2014.
  • "A New 2D Vibrational Spectroscopy: the Resonance IR Analogue to Resonance Raman", Poster, Coherent Multidimensional Spectroscopy, Eugene, OR, July 2014. 
  • "A New 2D Vibrational Spectroscopy: the Resonance IR Analogue to Resonance Raman", Talk, UW-Madison Analytical/Physical Seminar, April 24, 2014.
  • "A New 2D Vibrational Spectroscopy: the Resonance IR Analogue to Resonance Raman", PosterAnnual Graduate Student - Faculty Liaison Committee poster session, UW-Madison, April 2014. (poster award winner)
  • "Triply Resonant Sum Frequency Spectroscopy: Combining Advantages of Resonance Raman and 2D-IR", TalkSociety for Applied Spectroscopy, SciX, Milwaukee, WI, October 2013.
  • "Fully Coherent Hybrid Raman-IR Multidimensional Spectroscopies", PosterSociety for Applied Spectroscopy, SciX, Milwaukee, WI, September 2013. (poster award winner)
  • "Toward Fully Coherent Mixed Electronic/Vibrational Multidimensional Spectroscopy", Poster, Time Resolved Vibrational Spectroscopy, Beppu, Japan, May 2013.
  • "Techniques Towards Multidimensional Spectroscopic Analysis of the Oxygen Evolving Complex of Photosystem II", Poster, Midwest Universities Analytical Chemistry Conference, Madison, WI, Sept 2012.
  • "Wavelength Dependence of Fluorescence Lifetimes in Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter", Poster, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, St. John's, Newfoundland, June 2008.

Awards and Funding

  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy Barbara Stull Graduate Student Award, SciX Conference (awarded July 2014, invited talk at conference September 2014)
  • "Resonance IR" article chosen as ACS Editors' Choice (featured on April 20, 2014) and featured as a concentrate in C&E News (April 28, 2104)
  • Roger J. Carlson Memorial Award for Research Excellence (spring 2014)
  • Annual UW-Madison Chemistry Dept. GSFLC poster award winner (spring 2014)
  • Beverly and John Schrag Travel Award (spring 2014)
  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy Student Poster Award, SciX Conference (Sept 2013)
  • National Defense Science & Engineering graduate fellow (2011-2014)
  • UW Pei Wang graduate fellow (2009-2010)
  • American Chemical Society undergraduate award in Analytical Chemistry (2008)
  • UMCP President's Scholar (2004-2008)