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Our research targets two classes of emerging,  solution processed photovoltaic materials: organic photovoltaics based on conjugated polymers and inorganic photovoltaics based on colloidal quantum dots and hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites. We use ultrafast electronic and vibrational spectroscopy to excite the optical bandgaps of the materials and then use vibrational modes of the materials to probe the subsequent evolution of excited states and charge carriers. This approach uniquely positions us to examine the photophysical and photochemical processes that determine the performance and efficiency of the materials while simultaneously revealing the influence that the molecular structure and nanoscale morphology have on the processes. We seek to use insights gained from these studies to understand the fundamental charge generation and transport processes in the materials and, in collaboration with engineers, identify pathways to develop more efficient photovoltaic materials.