Educational & Professional Experience
- B.A. Whitman College, 1997.
- Ph.D. University of Oregon, 2003.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles, 2003 - 2006.
Research in my group focuses on investigating molecules at interfaces, in particular, interfaces of atmospheric or environmental importance. We are currently exploring the series of nitrogen oxides (NOx compounds, a primary component of photochemical smog) at the vapor/water interface. Aerosol particles in the troposphere have a significant number of their molecules at the particle surface, where they not only participate in chemical reactions but also play a role in the growth and adsorption properties of the aerosols.
To investigate molecular concentrations, orientations, and inter-molecular interactions at a vapor/water interface, my research group uses surface tension measurements in conjunction with the highly surface selective technique, second harmonic generation (SHG). Using a tunable, pulsed laser system, we are able to obtain SHG spectra (somewhat analogous to a UV-Vis spectrum) of only those molecules within the interfacial region, typically the top few molecular layers. By comparing the surface properties to UV-Vis spectra of bulk solutions, we are able to explore the differences between the bulk and surface environments, thereby gaining insight into the chemistry of aerosol particles in the troposphere.