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Cody W. Schlenker

Cody Schlenker

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. University of Southern California, 2010

(Materials, Physical, and Organic Chemistry)

(206) 221-8627


Schlenker group website



Research Interests

Research interests in the Schlenker lab integrate synthetic chemistry and physical chemistry to develop fundamental principles and advanced concepts for designing materials with technological relevance for low-cost, high-efficiency energy conversion and storage devices. The common scientific goal in this work is to deepen our basic understanding of how electronic dynamics within heterogeneous solids are controlled by mesoscale organization. Advancing energy science and technology to scale sustainably to global demand requires that we predictively bridge bottom-up molecular behavior to meet top-down device engineering. At present, there is no such bridge. To overcome this challenge, the goals of the lab are to understand how chemical organization influences charge dynamics in model organic, organic/inorganic, and biogenic composites for devices such as 1) thin-film photovoltaics and 2) next-generation rechargeable batteries. Students joining the group will synthesize model organic, inorganic and organometallic compounds to study their properties in working devices using physical characterization tools such as pump-probe and luminescence spectroscopy, electrochemistry, time-domain and frequency-domain electronic measurements, and in situ structural characterization methods.




Representative Publications

Rao, A.; Chow, P.; Gélinas, S.; Schlenker, C. W.; Li, C.-Z.; Yip, H.-L.; Jen, A. K-Y.; Ginger, D. S.; Friend, R. H. “The Role of Spin for the Kinetic Control of Recombination in Organic Photovoltaics." Nature 2013, 500, 7463, 435–439. (Featured in E&E News, PhysOrg, Science Daily, and other news outlets.)


Colbert, A. E.; Janke, E. M.; Hsieh, S. T.; Subramaniyan, S.; Schlenker, C. W.; Jenekhe, S. A.; Ginger, D. S. “Hole Transfer from Low Bandgap Quantum Dots to Conjugated Polymers in Organic/Inorganic Hybrid Photovoltaics.” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2013, 4, 280–284.


Schlenker, C. W.; Chen, K.-S.; Yip, H.-L.; Li, C.-Z.; Ochsenbein, S.; Bradshaw, L.; Ding, F.; Li, X. S.; Gamelin, D. R.; Jen, A. K.-Y.; Ginger, D. S. "Polymer Triplet Energy Levels Need Not Limit Photocurrent Collection in Organic Solar Cells.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134(48), 1966119668.


Schlenker, C. W.; Barlier, V; Chin, S. W.; Whited, M. T.; McAnally, R. E.; Forrest, S. R.; Thompson, M. E. “Cascade Organic Solar Cells.” Chem. Mater. 2011, 23(18), 4132–4140.


Schlenker, C. W. and Thompson, M. E. “The Molecular Nature of Photovoltage Losses in Organic Solar Cells.” Chem. Commun. 2011, 47(13), 3702–3716. (Feature/Cover Article.)


Gomez De Arco, L.; Zhang, Y.; Schlenker, C. W.; Ryu, K.; Thompson, M. E.; Zhou, C. "Continuous, Highly Flexible, and Transparent Graphene Films by Chemical Vapor Deposition for Organic Photovoltaics.” ACS Nano 2010, 4(5), 2865–2873.


Awards & Activities

  • 2019 CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
  • 2013 Science Communication Fellow, Pacific Science Center
  • 2012 SEES Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, National Science Foundation
  • 2010 Michael J. Dulligan Memorial Research Award in Physical Chemistry, University of Southern California
  • 2006 Anton B. Burg Foundation Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry, University of Southern California


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