Jason K. Cooper

Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis,

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,

1 Cyclotron Rd., Berkeley, CA 94720, USA


Jason Cooper is a research scientist at LBNL and a key member of JCAP research team. Jason’s primary focus is on understanding the electronic structure of new materials using spectroscopic and computational methods to better understand carrier physics with the goal to improve processes such as carrier recombination, transport, and energetics favorable for solar water splitting and CO2 reduction to liquid fuels.

Technical Skills

  • Safety lead, supervision, training, and maintenance of: XPS, UPS, XRD, UV-Vis, ellipsometer, ALD, ultrafast and CW lasers, sputtering tools, and e-beam.  Collaborated with EH&S to develop safety protocols.
  • Thin film materials development including: semiconductors, protection layers, and catalysts as components and multilayer devices for applications in solar energy harvesting and conversion to produce liquid fuels from the sunlight, water, and CO2.
  • Synthesis and processing techniques: colloidal synthesis, Schlenk line, air-free, nanoparticle and thin film synthesis, spin coating, e-beam evaporation, controlled atmosphere annealing, electrode preparation and integration, cleanroom, sputtering, atomic layer deposition, reactive ion etching
  • Managed multidisciplinary collaborations with theorists, engineers, chemists, and physicists.
  • Designed and built custom spectroscopy tools to identify defects, measure bandgaps, and carrier trapping responsible for performance losses including: TCSPC, steady state photoluminescence, photothermal deflection, Raman, UV-Vis, and electrical measurements. Integrated temperature control from 10K – 500K with L-He cryostat.
  • Technical Expertise: Time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC), transient absorption (TA), XPS, UPS, ISS, AFM, HR-TEM, SEM, STEM, EELS, EDX, XAS, XES, RIXS, EXAFS, XRD, ellipsometry, UV-Vis, fluorescence, FT-IR, Raman, NMR, ESR, HPLC-DAD, GC-MS, ICP-MS, DFT, electrochemistry, cryogen, method development, laboratory safety

Selected Publications

  1. Physical Origins of the Transient Absorption Spectra and Dynamics in Thin-Film Semiconductors: The Case of BiVO4
  2. Fermi Level Engineering of Passivation and Electron Transport Materials for p‐Type CuBi2O4 Employing a High‐Throughput Methodology
  3. Beneficial CuO Phase Segregation in the Ternary p‐Type Oxide Photocathode CuBi2O4
  4. Electronic Structure and Performance Bottlenecks of CuFeO2 Photocathodes
  5. Tunable Photoluminescent Core/Shell Cu+-Doped ZnSe/ZnS Quantum Dots Codoped with Al3+, Ga3+, or In3+
  6. Electronic Structure of Monoclinic BiVO4
  7. Indirect Bandgap and Optical Properties of Monoclinic Bismuth Vanadate

Professional Experiences

Career Research Scientist – Chemical Science Division – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(2015 – Present)
Research Program: Synthesis, characterization, testing, and integration of emerging metal oxide and nitride semiconductors, passivation / protection / carrier selective coatings, and catalysts for solar energy harvesting and conversion for artificial photosynthesis applications. Detailed investigations of energy transformation processes initiated by light. Ultrafast kinetics of photoinitiated carrier dynamics. Orbital composition and band energetics of photoelectrodes. Optical properties and modeling of photoelectrode components. Organizer of cross-cutting meetings to highlight and define new research frontiers. Team lead and supervisor of scientific engineering associate, post-docs, students, and visiting scholars.

Post-Doctoral Fellow – Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(2013 – 2015)
Project: Spectroscopic investigations of bismuth vanadate photoanode materials by optical and x-ray methods were combined with density function theory modeling to establish a detailed understanding of the underlying electronic structure of the material. These models were used to understand how H2 annealing passivates defects while also doping the material. I oversaw and employed ultrafast laser-based spectroscopy to examine the photoexcited carrier lifetimes in materials as charge transfer dynamics across complex interfaces.

Graduate Student – Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry – University of California, Santa Cruz
(2009 – 2013)
Project: Synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of undoped, doped, and co-doped II-VI quantum dots. Time-resolved characterization of photoexcited state lifetimes in quantum dot and thin-film II-VI materials. Explosives sensing using optical detection by quantum dots.

Analytical Chemist – United States Geological Survey – Sacramento, CA
(2009 – 2013)
Project: Field sample collection, chemical separations, and analytical chemistry method development for quantification of pesticide contamination in water, soil, and tissue samples from tributaries and estuary systems within California.


University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
PhD Chemistry – 2013
Thesis title: “Synthesis, characterization, and exciton dynamics of II-VI semiconducting nanomaterials and ab-initio studies for applications in explosives sensing.”
Advisor: Prof. Jin Z. Zhang

California State University, Sacramento, CA
BS Chemistry – 2009
Deans award, cum laude
Advisor: Prof. Cynthia Kellen-Yuen

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