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Welcome to the laboratory of nanoclusters and multiply charged anions

Chemistry is the science of matter and its transformation.  In our laboratory, we create new forms of matter, called nanoclusters, and study their structures and properties one atom at a time.  Clusters are aggregates of atoms that can be formed from any metal or nonmetal elements in either pure or mixed forms.  We produce clusters of varying size and composition and study their size-dependent properties using anion photoelectron spectroscopy.  Properties of clusters depend on their size and shape, forming the foundation of nanoscience.  Nanoclusters can be used as well-defined molecular models to answer mechanistic questions in catalysis.  Highly stable clusters, such as the fullerenes (carbon clusters), can form building blocks for cluster-assembled nanomaterials.  Clusters also provide a new medium to discover novel molecules with interesting structures and uncommon chemical bonding.

Another major research interest in our laboratory concerns probing solution chemistry in the gas phase.  Anions from solutions are transported into a high vacuum environment using a technique called electrospray ionization, and their intrinsic electronic structures are investigated using photoelectron spectroscopy and imaging.  We are especially interested in multiply charged anions, which are delicate and exotic molecular species in the gas phase and exhibit unusual properties due to the strong intramolecular Coulomb repulsion.  We are also interested in inorganic metal complexes, redox species, biologically relevant molecules, and the solvation and solvent stabilization of complex anions.

We are a dynamic physical chemistry group consisting of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists, and undergraduate students.  Group members work collaboratively to solve cutting edge scientific and technical problems.  Students will gain skills of problem-solving, instrument design, and computational methods, as well as gaining experiences in a number of modern experimental techniques, such as molecular beams, electrospray ionization, mass spectrometry, lasers, and photoelectron spectroscopy and imaging.