Tsui Research Group

We are looking for enthusiastic graduate students and undergraduates! Opportunities may also be available for interested postdoctoral researchers. Please contact Emily.

Research in the Tsui group will focus on the development of new catalysts using principles and techniques from the areas of bioinorganic, organometallic, and nanomaterials chemistry. Biological enzymes and heterogeneous catalysts are capable of activating very strong bonds in small molecules with high activity and specificity. We will design transition metal complexes and nanoscale materials as models of these systems, incorporating new structural or compositional motifs from enzymatic or heterogeneous active sites to enhance the performance of our artificial catalytic systems. An improved fundamental understanding of these systems will have important applications in chemical synthesis, liquid fuels production, and energy storage.

Emily Y. Tsui

Emily was born in Maryland and received her B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008. She received her PhD in 2014 from the California Institute of Technology, where she worked in the labs of Prof. Theodor Agapie studying the synthesis of multimetallic complexes as models of biological active sites. From 2014-2017, Emily was a NIH postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Daniel R. Gamelin at the University of Washington studying surface redox reactivity of semiconductor nanocrystals. She will join the University of Notre Dame Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry in the summer of 2017.


19)Gerard M. Carroll, Emily Y. Tsui, Carl K. Brozek, and Daniel R. Gamelin "Spectroelectrochemical Measurement of Surface Electrostatic Contributions to Colloidal CdSe Nanocrystal Redox Potentials" Chem. Mater., 2016, 28, 7912-7918. link
18)Emily Y. Tsui, Kimberly H. Hartstein, and Daniel R. Gamelin "Selenium Redox Reactivity on Colloidal CdSe Quantum Dot Surfaces" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138, 11105-11108. link
17)Gerard M. Carroll, Carl K. Brozek, Kimberly H. Hartstein, Emily Y. Tsui, and Daniel R. Gamelin "Potentiometric Measurements of Semiconductor Nanocrystal Redox Potentials" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138, 4310-4313. link
16)Po-Heng Lin, Emily Y. Tsui, Fatemah Habib, Muralee Murugesu, and Theodor Agapie "Effect of the Mn Oxidation State on Single-Molecule-Magnet Properties: MnIII vs MnIV in Biologically Inspired DyMn3O4 Cubanes" Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 6095-6099. link
15)Gerard M. Carroll, Alina M. Schimpf, Emily Y. Tsui, Daniel R. Gamelin "Redox Properties of Colloidal n-Type ZnO Nanocrystals: Effects of Confinement, Electron Density, and Fermi-Level Pinning By Aldehyde Hydrogenation." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 11163-11169. link
14)Vlad Martin-Diaconescu, Marcello Gennari, Bertrand Gerey, Emily Tsui, Jacob Kanady, Rosalie Tran, Jacques Pécaut, Dimitrios Maganas, Vera Krewald, Eric Gouré, Carole Duboc, Junko Yano, Theodor Agapie, Marie-Noelle Collomb, and Serena DeBeer “Ca K-Edge XAS as a Probe of Calcium Centers in Complex Systems” Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 1283-1292. link
13)Emily Y. Tsui and Theodor Agapie “Carbon Dioxide Cleavage by a Ni2 Complex Supported by a Binucleating Bis(N-Heterocyclic Carbene) Framework” Polyhedron 2014, 8, 103-110. link (Special issue celebrating John Bercaw's 70th birthday)
12)Emily Y. Tsui, Jacob S. Kanady, and Theodor Agapie “Synthetic Cluster Models of Biological and Heterogeneous Manganese Catalysts for O2 Evolution” Inorg. Chem. 2013, 52, 13833-13848. link (Award Paper also featured on the cover)
11)Emily Y. Tsui and Theodor Agapie “Reduction Potentials of Heterometallic Manganese-Oxido Cubane Complexes Modulated by Redox-Inactive Metals” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013, 110, 10084-10088. link
10)Emily Y. Tsui, Rosalie Tran, Junko Yano, and Theodor Agapie “Redox-inactive metals modulate the reduction potential in heterometallic manganese—oxido clusters” Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 293-299. link (commentaries in Nature Chemistry and Caltech News)
9)Jacob S. Kanady, Jose L. Mendoza-Cortes, Emily Y. Tsui, Robert J. Nielsen, William A. Goddard, III, and Theodor Agapie “Oxygen Atom Transfer and Oxidative Water Incorporation in Cuboidal Mn3MOn Complexes Based on Synthetic, Isotopic Labeling, and Computational Studies” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 1073-1082. link
8)Jacob S. Kanady, Emily Y. Tsui, Michael W. Day, and Theodor Agapie “A Synthetic Model of the Mn3Ca Subsite of the Oxygen-Evolving Complex in Photosystem II” Science 2011, 333, 733-736. link (commentaries in Chemical & Engineering News, Chemistry World, and Education in Chemistry)
7)Emily Y. Tsui, Jacob S. Kanady, Michael W. Day, and Theodor Agapie “Trinuclear First Row Transition Metal Complexes of a Hexapyridyl, Trialkoxy 1,3,5-Triarylbenzene Ligand” Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 4189-4191 link
6)Emily Y. Tsui, Michael W. Day, and Theodor Agapie “Trinucleating Copper: Synthesis and Magnetostructural Characterization of Complexes Supported by a Hexapyridyl 1,3,5-Triarylbenzene Ligand” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 1668-1672 link
5)Wei Zhang, Ali U. Shaikh, Emily Y. Tsui, and Timothy M. Swager "Cobalt Porphyrin Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Oxygen Reduction." Chem. Mater., 2009, 21, 3234-3241. link
4)Wei Zhang, Johannes K. Sprafke, Minglin Ma, Emily Y. Tsui, Stefanie A. Sydlik, Gregory C. Rutledge, and Timothy M. Swager "Modular Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes and Fullerenes." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 8446-8454. link
3)Emily Y. Tsui, Peter Müller, and Joseph P. Sadighi "Reactions of a Stable Monomeric Gold(I) Hydride Complex." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2008, 47, 8937-8940. link
2)David S. Laitar, Emily Y. Tsui, and Joseph P. Sadighi "Copper(I) β-Boroalkyls from Alkene Insertion: Isolation and Rearrangement." Organometallics, 2006, 25, 2405-2408. link
1)David S. Laitar, Emily Y. Tsui, and Joseph P. Sadighi "Catalytic Diboration of Aldehydes vis Insertion into the Copper-Boron Bond." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 11036-11037. link