Members of the Gas Phase Molecular Dynamics (GPMD) group develop and apply high resolution spectroscopic and quantum theoretic tools to study the structure, dynamics and chemical reactivity of molecular species relevant to hydrocarbon combustion. Our overlapping interest and expertise in spectroscopy, dynamics, theory, and kinetics allow collaborative approaches to frontier topics in chemical physics. Current interests include studies of the collisional dynamics of CN radicals, understanding the relationship between collisional energy transfer processes and observed spectroscopic line shapes, and modeling of fast chemical reactions using ab initio potential energy surfaces computed on the fly.
High resolution spectroscopic measurements of sub-Doppler molecular spectra provide both insights into electronic wavefunctions through the hyperfine interaction, as well as precision frequencies for the analysis of complex, overlapping spectra. New work will include the development of efficient algorithms for full-dimensional calculations of anharmonic vibrational levels of polyatomic free radicals as a guide to new spectroscopic measurements, the development of very precise and accurate methods for line shape and position measurements and new optical double resonance methods for sub-Doppler collisional energy and momentum transfer measurements in free radicals. Other development work will continue on the application of optical and spectroscopic methods to problems in surface characterization by absorption techniques.