Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Cold, Gas-Phase Molecular Ions

This research project uses electronic and vibrational spectroscopy (and combinations thereof) to probe the structure and dynamics of cold, gas-phase molecular ions. We use electrrospray ionization to bring the ions into the gas phase directly from solution, mass select them, and then cool them to ~6 K in a linear 22-pole ion trap. We then irradiate the cold ions with IR and UV laser pulses and measure their spectra by detecting fragments that are produced after photon absorption.  We apply these techniques to both biological and non-biological ions ranging in size from protonated amino acids to small proteins.

Cryogenic mass spectrometry and spectroscopy of biological molecules

The main focus of this research is in development of the new experimental approaches and applications that will bring our original method of photofragmentation UV spectroscopy- highly resolution mass spectroscopy of cryogenically cooled ions to the needs of life science.

Chemical Dynamics at the Gas-Surface Interface

In this project we study the effect of the vibrational motion of gas phase molecules on their reactivity with a solid surface. The goal of our experiments is to determine quantitatively to what extend the different vibrational modes (eigenstates) of a gas phase molecule are efficient for promoting gas-surface chemical reactions such as dissociative chemisorption.