Conn Center Staff

Jinjun Liu, PhD
Theme Leader
Ultrafast Spectroscopy
Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research
Associate Professor

Jinjun Liu, PhD is the Ultrafast Spectroscopy Theme Leader at the Conn Center, where he contributes to the advancement of renewable energy science and technology through basic spectroscopic studies conducted in the center's Ultrafast Transient Absorption Spectroscopy facility. 

He received his B.S. in optoelectronics at East China Normal University in 1999 and worked for two years in the State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy in Shanghai. For his Ph.D., he studied Chemical Physics at the Ohio State University in Dr. Terry A. Miller's research group. At both laboratories, he examined transient molecular species or "free radicals" using various high-resolution spectroscopic techniques. Jinjun received his PhD in 2007 and served as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Frederic Merkt at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. Among other scientific achievements at ETH, he determined the ionization and dissociation energies of the hydrogen molecule with unprecedented precision, which remains as the gold standard for quantum electrodynamics (QED) calculations of these quantities. Jinjun joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of Louisville in 2012 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017.


Research in the Liu Group consists of spectroscopic studies on gas-phase molecules and condensed-phase materials in both frequency domain (using high-resolution laser systems) and time domain (using ultrafast laser systems). The high-resolution studies in the Liu Group center on the spectroscopic detection and characterization of reactive chemical intermediates and molecules in excited electronic states. These studies lead to a detailed understanding of molecular structures and dynamics and the nature of chemical bonding. Unambiguous identification and analysis of the experimentally obtained spectra is a prerequisite to subsequent work omn the chemical reactions that involve these intermediates. Quantum chemistry calculations are used to help understand these molecules. 


The goal of the ultrafast spectroscopy study in the Liu Group is to contribute to the advancement of renewable energy science and technology through basic spectroscopic studies. Currently, this group is focused on characterizing solar cell materials of interest to understand their fundamental dynamic processes and interfaces for the Conn Center. This information is essential to developing their functions and applications toward renewable energy applications. 


Dr. Liu is a recipient of the 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the 2017 Flygare Award of the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy.  

Find out more on Dr. Liu's research group at and

Chemistry Bldg 144
502-852-8149 fax
Email Dr. Liu