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Sharon Hammes-Schiffer


  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy




Theoretical chemist Sharon Hammes-Schiffer seeks to elucidate the fundamental physical principles that underlie energy conversion processes.

Her research centres on the investigation of electron, proton and proton-coupled electron transfer reactions – particularly the roles of dynamical and quantum mechanical effects in chemical and biological systems. The bio-inspired part of her group aims to transfer structural and functional concepts from biological systems to molecular catalysts activated electrochemically or via photoexcitation. The insights provided by her work are guiding the design of more effective catalysts for the development of renewable, sustainable energy sources.


  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Member, International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society
  • Fellow, Biophysical Society

Relevant Publications

  • Goyal, P., and S. Hammes-Schiffer. “Tuning the ultrafast dynamics of photoinduced proton-coupled electron transfer in energy conversion processes.” ACS Energy Lett. 2, no. 2 (2017): 512–19.
  • Goyal, P., and S. Hammes-Schiffer. “Role of active site conformational changes in photocycle activation of the AppA BLUF photoreceptor.” PNAS 114, no. 7 (February 2017): 1480–1485.
  • Hammes-Schiffer, S. “Proton-coupled electron transfer: Moving together and charging forward.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137 (2015): 8860–8871.
  • Hammes, G.G., and S. Hammes-Schiffer. Physical Chemistry for the Biological Sciences. 2nd ed. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.
  • Huynh, M.T. et al. “Protonation of nickel-iron hydrogenase models proceeds after isomerization at nickel.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136 (2014): 12385–12395.

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