SURIC Mentor in Chemistry
B.S., Univ. of North Carolina; Ph.D., M.I.T.
Research Topic(s) Summary:
Mechanisms of electrode reactions, electrodeposition studies, theory and methodology of electroanalytical techniques; theory and applications of Surface Enhanced Raman spectroscopy at electrodes; electronic structure and vibrational spectral calculations of molecules on metal clusters and at the active sites of enzymes; redox chemistry of vitamin B12 and porphyrin compounds and cobalamin and heme dependent enzymes.
Description of Research:
Our research activities involve the investigation of electrochemical systems of interest in biochemical redox processes , in energy conversion such as solar to electrical energy ( electrochemical solar cells ) , chemical to electrical energy ( fuel cells), and electrical to chemical energy ( electrosynthesis), and in molecular electronics such as molecules bound to Ag or Au metal clusters. Electrochemical electron transfer reactions are unique ways to make novel chemical species and to modify metal surfaces with adsorbed layers with unusual properties, e.g., layers of conducting polymers . We investigate the structure and dynamics of adsorbed molecules on metal surfaces using the insitu technique of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). To further this end, we have developed unique single scan and pump-probe time-resolved SERS (TRSERS) methods to investigate transient structural changes for adsorbed molecules undergoing molecular change in the nanosecond, microsecond, and millisecond time domain after an electrode potential pulse or a laser light pulse. Our studies have shown that it is possible to obtain detailed mechanistic information about the structure and dynamics of reacting molecules on metal surfaces. We are also using ab initio molecular orbital calculations to study the properties of individual molecules and of metal cluster/molecule systems.