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Sandra J. Rosenthal

Jack and Pamela Egan Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Professor of Physics
Professor of Pharmacology


In the Rosenthal group we study semiconductor nanocrystals, a novel material whose optical properties and electronic structure can be precisely tuned by controlling the size or composition of the nanocrystal. We perform fundamental optical studies for example: femtosecond florescence upconversion spectroscopy and single nanocrystal spectroscopy.  We are exploiting the properties of nanocrystals for implementation as biological probes for membrane proteins involved in neuronal signaling. We also have a program to explore the possible use of nanocrystal white light emitters for implementation in energy efficient solid state lighting and novel technologies.


• Herty Medal of the American Chemical Society, Georgia Section, 2018
• VINSE Distinguished Service Award, 2016
• Distinguished Alumni Award, Valparaiso University Alumni Association, 2015
• SEC Faculty Achievement Award, 2014
• Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011
• Inaugural Jack & Pamela Egan Chair of Chemistry, 2011
• VINSE High Impact Paper Award, 2010, 2012, 2014
• Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2009
• Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award, 2006
• Distinguished Faculty Award, 2004
• Madison-Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2004
• NSF CAREER Award, 1999
• NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1993

Selected Publications:

Nanotechnology in Neuroscience Reveals Membrane Mobility Matters. Rosenthal, SJ, ACS CHEMICAL NEUROSCIENCE, 10, 30-32 , (2019) View Abstract

Role of Surface Morphology on Exciton Recombination in Single Quantum Dot-in-Rods Revealed by Optical and Atomic Structure Correlation. Reid, KR; McBride, JR; La Croix, AD; Freymeyer, NJ; Click, SM; Macdonald, JE; Rosenthal, SJ, ACS NANO, 12, 11434-11445 , (2018) View Abstract

Single Quantum Dot Tracking Reveals Serotonin Transporter Diffusion Dynamics are Correlated with Cholesterol-Sensitive Threonine 276 Phosphorylation Status in Primary Midbrain Neurons. Bailey, DM; Catron, MA; Kovtun, O; Macdonald, RL; Zhang, Q; Rosenthal, SJ, ACS CHEMICAL NEUROSCIENCE, 9, 2534-2541 , (2018) View Abstract

Biocompatible Quantum Dots for Biological Applications. Rosenthal, SJ; Chang, JC; Kovtun, O; McBride, JR; Tomlinson, ID, CHEMISTRY & BIOLOGY, 18, 10-24 , (2011) View Abstract

White-light emission from magic-sized cadmium selenide nanocrystals. Bowers, MJ; McBride, JR; Rosenthal, SJ, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 127, 15378-15379 , (2005)