Welcome to the Wilson Lab, a research effort at the intersection of experimental physical chemistry & nanoscience in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto.

We use spectroscopy to understand the excitonic materials that we make, and chart the flow of excitonic energy in the multi-component architectures that we fabricate. We apply this knowledge to build novel optoelectronic devices—particularly those that can interact with infrared light.


Research positions are available for motivated students. Information for graduate students can be found on the Departmental Website, including the Online Application Form. Please contact Prof. Wilson at mark.w.b.wilson@utoronto.ca for further information.


News in brief…

  • 2021-07-07 – Phil spreads the word! We are thrilled that Philippe is presenting his recent work on the nucleation and growth of PbS nanocrystals to the global research community at the News in Nanocrystals seminar series Ya know, someone should give that guy a Ph.D. soon.
  • 2021-06-14 – Born from curiosity, and realized through NMR, Philippe’s latest story on the anisotropic morphology adopted by 9-ACA ligands on the surface of PbS nanocrystals. We show that exciton-extracting 9-ACA ligands used for upconversion preferentially bind to the the weaker sites at the facet-edges on the surface of PbS quantum dots. This clustering may prove crucial for promoting excitonic energy transport in hybrid systems for triplet-fusion upconversion. Directed Ligand Exchange on the Surface of PbS Nanocrystals: Implications for Incoherent Photon Conversion
    ACS Applied Nano Materials, 4(6):5655-5664 (2021)

    We show that exciton-extracting 9-ACA ligands used for upconversion preferentially bind to the the weaker sites at the facet-edges on the surface of PbS quantum dots.

    (Also, ‘TMEDA-man’ might be our favourite TOCfig yet!)

  • 2021-06-12 – Wrapping up a strong scholarship application season, the WilsonLab is proud that Maxine was recognized with an NSERC-PGS-D award, and Francisco with an OGS scholarship. Congrats!
  • 2021-03-05 – The WilsonLab is excited to host Prof. Phil Castellano for a remote colloquium, who told a story-in-many-parts, starting with a PI spotting the significance of some interestingly blue light, and now spans applications in 3D gel-printing, a new (magical!) Zr-based sensitizer for triplet-fusion upconversion, with some of the the very prettiest photos along the way.
  • 2021-03-03 – The lab gears up for the UofT Chemistry Department Graduate Student Weekend. TMEDA-man will be released into the wild! We may be remote, and lobster-less, but our enthusiasm is at a healthy simmer! 🚫🦞🚫
  • 2021-03-02 – Congrats to Kelly for giving a strong 2nd-year PChem seminar on ‘Exciton Auto-Ionization in PbS Nanocrystal Solar Sensitizers.’ More to come :-)
  • 2020-12-01 – Christian gives a triple-threat PChem seminar telling the tale of his research ‘Towards diffusionless triplet-fusion upconversion in solution.’
  • 2020-11-11 – Due to a coincidental overlap of some mandatory in-person laser safety training and ‘shift change’, the entire WilsonLab is on campus at once for the first time since March. And it was (kind of) sunny outside! Seized the chance for a physically-distant photo op (thank you Antoine!). Research continues (stay tuned for more stories!), but year 5 of the Wilsonlab will be unlike any other!

  • 2020-09-25 – The WilsonLab sends its thanks to Nick Uhas for giving his permission to Mark to show his youtube video in CHM135. Because few things demonstrate the power of a catalyst than the ‘Elephant Toothpaste’ reaction… run on the ton scale!!
  • 2020-09-08 – After an extraordinary summer for us all, we were thrilled to welcome new doctoral students Francisco, from the Majewski Lab at Concordia, and Maxine from the Dasog Lab at Dalhousie.
    Canadian Nanoscience: Let our powers combine!
  • 2020-09-07 – Philippe is at it again, with a new paper in J. Mater. Chem. C. showing that glycol ethers themselves can shape the nucleation dynamics of PbS nanocrystals by suppressing the lead-rich cluster intermediate. This effect correlates with multidentate co-ordination to Pb(oleate)_2, corroborated by DFT calculations from our collaborators in Prof. Voznyy’s Clean Energy group at UofT Scarborough.

    In the colloidal synthesis of PbS quantum dots, added glycol ethers variably suppress the formation of metastable cluster intermediates. This achieves control of nanocrystal size in reactions run to completion.

    Check out WilsonLab ResearchTalks to listen to Phil tell his own story!

  • 2020-07-27 – Sometimes science surprises. Read in JPC Letters how Minhal showed that sub-bandgap optical modulation suppresses long-duration ON events in CdSe|ZnS quantum dots—in a timescale-free manner! (Summary) Or, better still, listen to him tell the story himself in one of the first WilsonLab ResearchTalks

    We develop an all-optical modulation scheme and demonstrate that sub-bandgap light tuned to the stimulated emission transition perturbs the blinking statistics of individual CdSe/ZnS core/shell QDs. Resonant optical modulation progressively suppresses long-duration ON events, quantified by a power-law slope that is more negative on average (Δα_ON = 0.46 ± 0.09), while OFF distributions and truncation times are unaffected.


Clara