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Ultrafast photoinduced energy and charge transfer: Faraday Discussion

8 - 10 April 2019, Ventura, California, United States



Join us in Ventura, California in April 2019 for this addition to our Faraday Discussion series. For over 100 years and 300 meetings, Faraday Discussions have been the forefront of physical chemistry. Many of these Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field.
We invite you to join us to discuss the topic of Ultrafast photoinduced energy and charge transfer and make your contribution to this cutting-edge dialogue alongside leaders in this field.
This meeting is for established scientists, post-graduate students and industrial researchers interested in an ever-increasing range of spectroscopic probes and computational methods to explore photo-induced biomolecular and nanoscale dynamics. Given the impressive recent advances in the commercialisation of ultrafast laser technology and on many theoretical fronts, plus the societal emphasis on solar energy, the unique format of the Faraday Discussions will allow for in-depth discussions and opportunities to establish new collaborations.
On behalf of our committee, we look forward to welcoming you to California.
Mike Ashfold
Steve Bradforth


Faraday Discussions remain amongst the only conferences to distribute the speakers’ research papers in advance, allowing the majority of each meeting to be devoted to discussion in which all delegates can participate.  Following each meeting a written record of the discussion is published alongside the papers in the Faraday Discussions journal.

Find out more about the Faraday Discussions in this video:


This Faraday Discussion aims to bring together leading experimental and theoretical colleagues who use an ever-increasing range of spectroscopic probes and computational methods to explore photo-induced biomolecular and nanoscale dynamics.

Topics for discussion will span, but not be limited to, the mechanisms of energy transfer in both natural and synthetic systems, including the role of electronic/vibronic coherences, key design features required for efficient proton coupled electron transfer, and molecular mechanisms of natural photo-protection.

The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes:

Energy and charge-transfer in natural photosynthesis
Photosynthetic organisms harness energy from sunlight to power most biological activity on Earth, and have been intensely studied by experiment and theory. This session will seek to, for example, (i) explore the extent to which we can visualise, through experiment and companion high level ab initio theory, the transfer of energy and charge in pigment-protein light harvesting antennae, (ii) address whether electronic/vibronic coherences play a role in energy transduction at reaction centres (of higher plants and bacteria), and (iii) establish a photosystem or membrane level model of energy transfer in photosynthesis.
Photovoltaics and bio-inspired light harvesting
Intense research activity is currently being directed at synthesising devices incorporating efficient photovoltaic materials that take advantage of the abundant solar flux on Earth for transduction into electricity. This session will focus on fundamentals, including (i) investigating the ultrafast molecular mechanisms underpinning efficient light capture and subsequent hole and charge carrier formation, (ii) elucidating the nature of trap states in thin films of photovoltaic material, (iii) establishing links between the very early time charge/exciton/hole dynamics and the spatial homogeneity and morphology of such films, and (iv) exploring the extent to which molecular based architectures from biology could be incorporated into future photovoltaic materials and/or devices.
Photo-induced electron transfer
Proton-coupled electron transfer reactions are increasingly becoming recognized as one of the key mechanistic steps in photosynthesis, water splitting, enzyme catalysis and redox reactions. Despite their prevalence in nature, a general set of principles for their operation has yet to be fully established. This session will explore topics like (i) the extent to which experiments can distinguish between the operation of concerted PCET or sequential proton/electron transfer processes, (ii) what molecular requirements are necessary for the operation of a photo-induced PCET process, and (iii) how these design principles might be exploited in potential water splitting or future designer enzyme catalysts.
Photo-protection/photo-damage in natural systems
Natural systems such as photosynthetic membranes and DNA have in-built molecular mechanisms for photo-protection and repair. This session will focus on topics such as (i) understanding the role of dark states in carotenoid photophysics, (ii) probing further the molecular mechanisms of non-photochemical quenching in plants, i.e. state transitions, energy dependent quenching (qE), etc., and (iii) understanding the photo-damage processes that occur in excited states of model DNA and related systems. 
Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers - CLOSED

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 23 July 2018 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 19 November 2018

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.

Poster Abstracts - CLOSED

Submit your poster abstract by 11 February 2019. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference. 

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.
Please read the registration information before registering.  You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.  Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

For non-member registrants attending this event, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry is available until the end of 2018, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all 3 days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on Monday 8 April
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Tuesday 9 April
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
  • A copy of the final theme issue of Faraday Discussion Volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)**
Regsitration fees are as follows:
Early Bird
(by 18 February 2019)
(by 11 March 2019)
Members* $500 $554
Non-members $635 $689
Student Members* $263 $331
Student Non-members $297 $365
Guest Fee*** $182 $182

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

 ** Excluding students, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference. 

*** This includes all lunches, refreshments and the conference dinner but does not include attendance at any scientific sessions.

Student Delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available. 

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner on Tuesday 9 April is included in the regsitration fee. 

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

We have two types of Royal Society of Chemistry grants available to attend this meeting:
  • A limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 are available for PhD students and early career scientists. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis.  Applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
  • Competitive grants of up to £800 are available to assist with international travel expenses for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians and industrialists) within 10 years of leaving full time education. In addition, applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application. 
To take advantage of the competitive grants and many other benefits, become a member. Follow the link on the right hand side to find out more and join today!
Applications for either grant should be submitted as early as possible, but at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the meeting. Please see respective terms & conditions for full eligibility information.


Association of British Spectroscopists

You may also be interested in funding from the Association of British Spectroscopists (ABS). UK-based students wishing to present and/or discuss spectroscopic matters at this meeting may apply for a bursary to help support attendance. The ABS is a grant-awarding trust, independent of the RSC, who award travel funds for attendance at conferences. 

Applicants should apply directly to the ABS Trust in the way described at  <>. 

Note: The ABS Trust eligibility requirements are not the same as those of the RSC. Applicants should thus check the details on the ABS Trust web site before applying to avoid disappointment.

United States Department of Energy 

The United States Department of Energy has generously provided support in the form of $500 bursaries for up to 30 graduate students and 10 post-doctoral researchers based at Universities in the United States to attend this meeting.  To be eligible, the student or postdoctoral applicant should present a poster at the meeting. 

Delegates should book and register for the meeting as normal and apply for their reimbursement at the Discussion meeting from the University of Southern California.

Any queries may be directed to Professor Steve Bradforth at the University of Southern California (

Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2019 Faraday Discussion series

There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or Poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.
Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2019 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu
Four Points by Sheraton

Four Points by Sheraton, 1050 Schooner Drive, Ventura, California, CA 93001, United States

Delegates need to contact the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort directly in order to book accommodation. 

Please call the in-house reservation line for discounted group rates on +1 805-658-1212 extension 1290 and mention the "Royal Society of Chemistry" to receive your discount.  Please note that this discount is available until 18 March 2019.

Standard Guestroom per night - King $164.92

  • Professor Mike Ashfold (Co-Chair) University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Professor Steve Bradforth (Co-Chair) Univeresity of Southern California, United States
  • Professor Naomi Ginsberg University of California, Berkeley, United States
  • Professor Jennifer Ogilvie University of Michigan, United States
  • Dr Tom Oliver University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Professor Vas Stavros University of Warwick, United Kingdom

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