Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Rinehart Group studies materials at the interface of quantum and classical scales with interesting magnetic dynamics. Their work emphasizes the development of intuitive models for bottom-up control of magnetic properties design and new methods for large-scale quantitative data verification, parameterization, and organization. Current materials science projects involve the development of new software (Python-based) to address needs in data processing and alignment with FAIR data principles, facilitate analyses of large, modular datasets, and provide a realistic entry point for machine learning models in magnetic materials research involving large and multicomponent inputs including those of synthetic, structural, and physical origin.
Jeff grew up in Oconomowoc, WI, and, deciding it wasn't nearly cold and snowy enough, moved to Ithaca, NY to get his B.A. in Chemistry. While at Cornell, he worked in the lab of Prof. Stephen Lee on characterizing the elusive structures of a series of metal cyanide polymer catalysts using powder x-ray diffraction and density functional theory.
After graduating in 2005, he moved to sunny California to work under Prof. Jeffrey Long at the University of California, Berkeley. There, he became fascinated with the electronic structure of the f-elements (lanthanides & actinides) and how this electronic structure could be studied and modified through synthetic molecular chemistry. Of particular interest was how the electronic structure dictated magnetic properties and this became not only the focus of his dissertation work but also the seed of broader questions of how to use molecular magnetism to better understand extended solids and multi-scale interactions.
To learn more about the physics and chemistry beyond the scope of the molecular, Jeff sought out an expert in nanoscale materials. Securing a postdoctoral position in the lab of Prof. Daniel Gamelin at the University of Washington, Jeff moved up the (deceptively long) coast from NorCal to Seattle, where the fantastic science and people quickly outweighed the rainy and overcast climate. During his time there Jeff worked on a broad range of electronically and magnetically doped colloidal nanocrystalline semiconductors.
In a gambit to avoid “weather" entirely, in 2014 Jeff accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at at UC San Diego. He is a member of the Materials Science and Engineering Program as well.