Dr. Joseph Keene

Associate Professor of Chemistry

headshot of joseph keeneEducation

  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
  • B.S., Wake Forest University


Physical chemistry, nanomaterials, semiconductor nanocrystals/quantum dots, surface chemistry, corrosion chemistry, spectroscopy

Professional Interests

Quantum Dots (QDs): Synthesis, Spectroscopy, Composition, and Surface Chemistry

Dr. Keene’s current research projects focus on the thermodynamics of surface modifications on semiconductor nanocrystals. In particular, his team is using calorimetry to investigate ligand exchange reactions on colloidal quantum dots to gain fundamental understanding of these reactions. His lab is also working to adapt existing, alternative techniques to determine chemical composition of nanomaterials. In particular, portable spectroscopic techniques are being explored as mobile, benchtop-configurable and low-cost solutions to determine the composition of quantum dots.

Mercer Engineering Research Center/Department of Defense/U.S. Air Force

Dr. Keene has several projects on chemical- and surface-related challenges for the U.S. Air Force. These projects include: corrosion prevention and control; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear warfare agents; and composite repairs and bonding on multiple aircraft and service equipment and vehicles.

Recent Publications

  • Keene, J.D., Freymeyer, N.J., McBride, J.R., Rosenthal, S.J. Ultrafast Spectroscopy Studies of Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductor Nanocrystals. iScience (2022), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.103831.
  • Hughes, S.M; Hendricks, M.P.; Mullaugh, K.M.; Anderson, M.E.; Bentley, A.K.; Clar, J.G.; Daly, C.A.; Ellison, M.D.; Feng, Z.V.; Gonzalez-Pech, N.I.; Hamachi, L.S.; Heinecke, C.L.; Keene, J.D.; Maley, A.M.; Munro, A.M.; Njoki, P.N.; Olshansky, J.H.; Plass, K.E.; Riley, K.R.; Sonntag, M.D.; St. Angelo, S.K.; Thompson, L.B.; Tollefson, E.J.; Toote, L.E.; Wheeler K.E. The Primarily Undergraduate Nanomaterials Cooperative: A New Model for Supporting Collaborative Research at Small Institutions on a National Scale. ACS Nanoscience Au 2021, 1 (1), 6-14.
  • Keene, J.D.; Kiefer, A.M. Simulating Instrument Design in an Upper Level Instrumental Analysis Course: Bringing the Laboratory into the Lecture Hall. J. Chem. Educ. 2021, 98, 12, 3935–3939. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00190
  • Orfield, N. J.; McBride, J. R.; Wang, F.; Buck, M. R.; Keene, J. D.; Reid, K. R.; Htoon, H.; Hollingsworth, J. A.; Rosenthal, S. J. Quantum Yield Heterogeneity among Single Nonblinking Quantum Dots Revealed by Atomic Structure-Quantum Optics Correlation. ACS Nano 2016, 10 (2), 1960-1968. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.5b05876
  • Orfield, N. J.; McBride, J. R.; Keene, J. D.; Rosenthal, S. J. Correlation of Atomic Structure and Photoluminescence of the Same Quantum Dot: Pinpointing Surface and Internal Defects that Inhibit Photoluminescence. ACS Nano 2015, 9 (1), 831-839. https://doi.org/10.1021/nn506420w
  • Keene, J. D.; McBride, J. R.; Orfield, N. J.; Rosenthal, S. J. Elimination of Hole-Surface Overlap in Graded CdSxSe1-x Nanocrystals Revealed By Ultrafast Fluorescence Upconversion Spectroscopy. ACS Nano 2014, 8 (10), 10665-10673.
  • Niezgoda, J. S.; Yap, E.; Keene, J. D.; McBride, J. R.; Rosenthal, S. J. Plasmonic CuxInyS2 Quantum Dots Make Better Photovoltaics Than Their non-Plasmonic Counterparts. Nano Letters 2014, 14 (6), 3262-3269.
  • Kochemba, W. M.; Pickel, D. L.; Keene, J. D., Rosenthal, S. J.; Sumpter, B. G.; Chen, J.; Kilbey, S. M., II, In Situ Formation of Pyridyl-Functionalized Poly(3-hexylthiophene)s via Quenching of the Grignard Metathesis Polymerization: Toward Ligands for Semiconductor Quantum Dots. Chemistry of Materials 2012, 24 (22), 4459-4467.
  • Dukes, A. D., III; Samson, P. C.; Keene, J. D.; Davis, L. M.; Wikswo, J. P.; Rosenthal, S. J., Single-Nanocrystal Spectroscopy of White-Light-Emitting CdSe Nanocrystals. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2011, 115(16), 4076-4081.
  • Hanna, S. N.; Keene, J.; Calloway, C. P., Jr.; Jones, B. T., Design of a Portable Electrothermal Vaporization Flame Atomic Emission Spectrometry Device for Field Analysis. Instrumentation Science & Technology 2011, 39 (4), 345-356.

Contact Dr. Joseph Keene

(478) 301-2341
Office: Godsey Science Center, Room 426