Carlos E. Crespo-Hernández

Associate Professor and Co-director of the Center for Chemical Dynamics


Analytical Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Energy, Photochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Chemical Dynamics and Kinetics, Computational Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Time-Resolved Spectroscopy


  • BS, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan Campus, 1995
  • PhD, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan Campus, 2002
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, The Ohio State University (2002-05)
  • Research Associate of Chemistry, The Ohio State University (2005-06)
  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University (2007-present)
  • Co-director of the Center for Chemical Dynamics, Case Western Reserve University (2008-present)
  • Editorial Member of the journal ISRN Spectroscopy (2012-present)
  • Committee Member of Grants and Awards for the American Society for Photobiology (2011-present)


Crespo Research Group Site »



Research Statement

The Crespo research group focuses on probing and understanding light-induced phenomena in molecules and polymers in solution. There are four major areas of ongoing research: (1) biological and (2) environmental photochemistry; (3) design and study of modified biopolymers for photodynamic and photonic applications; and (4) investigation of charge- and energy-transport in custom-made biopolymers for light-harvesting and energy conversion applications. Our group use analytical instrumentation and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques to produce specific knowledge of the factors controlling these photo-processes. Students involved in these scientific activities acquire expertise in a wide variety of analytical techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry (and their hybrids), circular dichroism, infra-red and ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometric techniques, and time-resolved instrumentation on time scales ranging from femtoseconds to microseconds. The experimental work is complemented with ground- and excited-state computational methods.

Selected Publications

  • C. Reichardt; C. Guo; C. E. Crespo-Hernández. “Excited-State Dynamics in 6-Thioguanosine from the Femtosecond to Microsecond Time Scale”, J. Phys. Chem. B2011, 115, 3263-3270.
  • L. G. Dodson; R. A. Vogt; J. Marks; C. Reichardt; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; “Photophysical and Photochemical Properties of the Pharmaceutical Compound Salbutamol in Aqueous Solutions”, Chemosphere2011, 83, 1513-1523.
  • J. Santos-Pérez; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; C. Reichardt; C. R. Cabrera; I. Feliciano-Ramos; L. Arroyo-Ramírez; M. A. Meador; “Synthesis, Optical Characterization, and Electrochemical Properties of Isomeric Tetraphenylbenzodifurans Containing Electron Acceptor Groups”, J. Phys. Chem. A2011, 115, 4157-4168.
  • C. Reichardt; C. E. Crespo-Hernández. “Ultrafast Spin Crossover in 4-Thiothymidine in an Ionic Liquid”, Chem. Comm. 2010, 46, 5963-5965.
  • C. Reichardt; C. E. Crespo-Hernández. “Room-Temperature Phosphorescence of the DNA Monomer Analogue 4-Thiothymidine in Aqueous Solutions after UVA Excitation”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2010, 1, 2239-2243.
  • R. A. Vogt; M. A. Peay; T. G. Gray; C. E. Crespo-Hernández. “Excited-State Dynamics of (Organophosphine)Gold(I) Pyrenyl Isomers”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2010, 1, 1205-1211.
  • C. Reichardt; R. A. Vogt; C. E. Crespo-Hernández. “On the Origin of Ultrafast Nonradiative Transitions in Nitro-PAHs: Excited-State Dynamics in 1-Nitronaphthalene”, J. Chem. Phys. 2009, 131, 224518.
  • K. de La Harpe; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Kohler. “Deuterium Isotope Effect on Excited-State Dynamics in an Alternating GC Oligonucleotide”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 17557-17559.
  • C. T. Middleton; K. de La Harpe; C. Su; Y. K. Law; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Kohler. “DNA Excited-State Dynamics: From Single Bases to the Double Helix”, Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 2009, 60, 217-239.
  • C. E. Crespo-Hernández; K. de La Harpe; B. Kohler. “Ground-State Recovery Following UV Excitation is Much Slower in G•C-DNA Duplexes and Hairpins Than in Mononucleotides”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 10844-10845.
  • T. Takaya; C. Su; K. de La Harpe; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Kohler. “UV Excitation of DNA and RNA Strands Produces High yields of exciplex states between two stacked bases”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2008, 105, 10285-10290.
  • W. J. Schreier; T. E. Schrader; F. O. Koller; P. Gilch; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; V. N. Swaminathan; T. Carell; W. Zinth; B. Kohler. “Thymine Dimerization in DNA is an Ultrafast Photoreaction”. Science2007, 315: 625-629.
  • P. M. Hare; C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Kohler. “Internal Conversion to the Electronic Ground State Occurs via Two Distinct Pathways for Pyrimidine Bases in Aqueous Solution”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA2007, 104: 435-440.
  • C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Cohen; B. Kohler. “Molecular spectroscopy: Complexity of Excited-State Dynamics in DNA (Replay)”.Nature (Brief Communications Arising)2006, 441: E7-E8.
  • C. E. Crespo-Hernández; B. Cohen; B. Kohler. “Base Stacking Controls Excited-State Dynamics in A·T-containing DNA”. Nature2005, 436: 1141-1144.

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