Paul  Duchesne

PhD Candidate



Why Dal?

Excellence in academic research, field-leading professors and a very welcoming student community.

What inspires me

My research focuses on the study of platinum-based bimetallic nanomaterials using specialized X-ray spectroscopic techniques. The goal of these experiments is to synthesize more efficient platinum nanomaterial catalysts and to obtain a better understanding of how their structure affects their performance. With this knowledge we'll be able to develop materials that can be used in a variety of chemical applications, including the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Teaching, labs, research groups

  • First-year chemistry laboratory (Senior TA, 2010-2012)
  • Chemistry Graduate Student Society (CGSS) Outreach Committee member (2010-2012)
  • Ph.D. candidate under supervision of Dr. Peng Zhang (2010-2012)


  • “Local Structure of Fluorescent Platinum Nanoclusters.” PN Duchesne and P Zhang. Nanoscale, 2012, 4(14):4199-4205.
  • “Gold Nanoparticles on Titanium and Interaction with Prototype Protein.” JD Padmos, PN Duchesne, M Dunbar, and P Zhang. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A, 2010, 95A(1):146-155.
  • “X-ray Spectroscopic Studies on the Surface Structural Characteristics and Electronic Properties of Platinum Nanoparticles.” Z Bayindir, PN Duchesne, SC Cook, MA MacDonald, and P Zhang. Journal of Chemical Physics, 2009, 131(24):244716.

Awards, honours, conferences

  • NSERC PGS D (2012-2013)
  • President’s Award (2012)
  • Killam Predoctoral Scholarship, M (2011-2012)
  • NSERC CGS M (2010-2011)
  • Faculty of Science Undergraduate Research Prize (2010)