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Vasily Goncharov

Vasily Goncharov

Goldhaber Fellow

Chemistry Division
Building 555
Brookhaven National Laboratory
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

Phone: (631) 344-4375
FAX:    (631) 344-5815

Research Interests

Femtosecond Laser Enhanced FTIR Spectroscopy

We have recently developed an environmentally stabilized cost-effective near IR femtosecond laser light source, as well as dedicated real-time laser noise and baseline drift cancellation methods, which can be implemented on many modern commercial FTIR machines. When this ultrafast laser light source is coupled with an FT spectrometer (Fig. 1), over one order of magnitude improvement in sensitivity is obtained (Fig.2), compared to the conventional setup with the incandescent near IR light source. On top of that, an additional boost of roughly two orders of magnitude in sensitivity becomes readily accessible for our well collimated laser light source by implementing multipass configurations using commercially available multipass cells. We expect that similar enhanced performance can now be achieved for many modern FTIR machines in any region from 1100-1700 nm, when a stabilized fs-laser is employed to generate supercontinua and our baseline noise and spectral evolution reduction algorithms are applied. Detailed explanation of this technique will soon be published.

Fig. 1. Schematic of the femtosecond laser-enhanced FTIR spectrometer

Fig. 2. Top graph: The baseline test (in the units of absorbance) for the conventional near IR light source (red trace) and the fiber frequency comb source (blue trace). Middle graph: FTIR spectra of the rotationally resolved second vibrational overtone of CO recorded with the conventional near IR light source (red trace). Bottom graph: FTIR spectra of the rotationally resolved second vibrational overtone of CO recorded with the fiber frequency comb source (blue trace). All spectra were acquired under similar experimental conditions (single scan, 0.2 cm-1 resolution, 160 Torr of CO, 95 mm gas cell, 40 kHz mirror speed referenced to the HeNe laser).

Future projects

Probing interfacial kinetics of water-splitting reactions with fs-laser enhanced multi-pass ATR FT near-IR technique.
Collaboration with Prof. Michael White, Brookhaven National Lab.

Efforts are underway to develop a near-IR evanescent wave probe based on the above-mentioned approach and a dedicated monolithic multipass ATR prism. We expect to achieve up to three orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity for this novel approach compared to conventional single pass ATR FT spectrometers. We are going to employ the resulting fs-laser enhanced multipass ATR FT near-IR technique for probing hydroperoxide intermediates participating in water-splitting reactions on liquid/solid interfaces.

High-resolution gas-phase FTIR spectroscopy using stabilized supercontinuum light sources.
Collaboration with Prof. Peter F. Bernath, Old Dominion University.

We are planning to couple our multi-passed stabilized supercontinuum light source with the high-resolution IFS 125 Bruker FTIR spectrometer to gain access to any region in the 1100-1700 nm spectral range and to achieve up to six orders of magnitude reduction in the data acquisition times.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Emory University, Chemistry Division, Atlanta, GA, 2002-2006, GPA - 4.0
  • M.S. Degree, Higher Chemical College of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, 1997-2002.
  • Visiting scientist: National Institute of Science and Technology, Boulder, Colorado. Spring 2010. Host: Ian Coddington.
  • Visiting researcher: ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. Winter 2004. Host: Frederic Merkt.
  • Visiting scholar: Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Summer 2000, 2001-2002. Host: Michael Heaven.
  • Research assistant: Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Moscow, Russia, 1997-2001.

Professional Employment

  • Goldhaber Fellow, Chemistry Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2010 - current.
  • Research Associate, Chemistry Division, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 2006-2009.

Honors and Awards

  • Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowship, Brookhaven National Lab, 2010-current.
  • The BNL instrument development start-up grant.
  • Invited Speaker at the Gordon Research Conference (Photoions, Photoionization and Photodetachment, 2006), �Hot Topic� talk: Probing Actinide Bonding Character with PFI-ZEKE Spectroscopy.
  • Osborne R. Quayle Fellowship for excellence in graduate studies, Chemistry Division, Emory University, 2005.
  • Graduated with Honors from the Higher Chemical College of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2002.
  • Moscow Government stipend for outstanding achievements in studying, 1998-2000.
  • International Soros Science Education Program, Undergraduate Scholar, 1997-1998.
  • Third degree diploma in the All-Russia Chemistry Olympiad among high school students, 1997.

Summary of Past and Current Research

  • My PhD research efforts were aimed at probing the nature of actinide bonding. I�ve built a mass-spectrometer, tailored to the specific needs of the gas-phase actinide spectrometry and employed the following spectroscopic tools to study the electronic structure of 5f elements: Resonantly Enhanced Multi-Photon Ionization (REMPI), Mass-Analyzed Threshold Ionization (MATI), Fluorescence, and Pulsed Field Ionization-Zero Kinetic Energy (PFI-ZEKE) techniques.
  • During my postdoctoral work, I led two separate research initiatives. The first project focused on the development of the tandem mass spectrometer, based on an innovative idea of the coupled electrostatic ion trap technology, for studies of non-ergodic dissociation mechanisms in proteins. Additional research efforts were centered on studying chemical reaction dynamics with quantum-state resolved velocity-map ion-imaging techniques. The main focus here was probing new reaction mechanisms outside of the scope of the conventional transition state theory, such as roaming dynamics in formaldehyde and acetone molecules.
  • I currently hold a Goldhaber Fellow position at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where I conduct independent research with emphasis on the development of innovative spectroscopic tools that utilize fiber frequency comb technology for interdisciplinary applications pertinent to the DOE mission.


  • Instructor, "CHM 5550: Physical Chemistry Laboratory," Winter 2009. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.


  • Born December 1979 in Russia.Citizenship: Russia.
  • Status in the US: Permanent resident / Green card holder.


  1. Goncharov, V.; Hall, G., Femtosecond laser enhanced FT-NIR spectroscopy, manuscript in preparation.
  2. Goncharov, V.; Lahankar, S.A.; Farnum, J.D.; Bowman, J.M.; Suits, A.G. Roaming dynamics in formaldehyde-d2 dissociation, Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2009), 113(52), 15315-15319.
  3. Goncharov, Vasiliy; Herath, Nuradhika; Arregui, Andres; Banares, Luis; Suits, Arthur G. Masked velocity map imaging: A one-laser-beam doppler-free spectroscopic technique, Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2009), 113(16), 3840-3843.
  4. Lahankar, S.A.; Goncharov, V.; Suits, F.; Farnum, J.D.; Bowman, J.M.; Suits, A.G. Further aspects of the roaming mechanism in formaldehyde dissociation, Chemical Physics (2008), 347, 288-299.
  5. Goncharov, V.; Herath, N.; Suits, A.G. Roaming dynamics in acetone dissociation, Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2008), 112(39), 9423-9428.
  6. Tongmei Ma, Timothy C. Steimle, Colan Linton, Vasiliy Goncharov and Michael C. Heaven; The permanent electric dipole moments and magnetic g factors of uranium monoxide, Journal of Chemical Physics (2006), 125(20), 204314/1-204314/11.
  7. Vasiliy Goncharov and Michael C. Heaven; Probing the electronic structure of UO+ with high-resolution photoelectron spectroscopy, Journal of Chemical Physics (2006), 125(13), 133202/1-133202/8.
  8. Vasiliy Goncharov and Michael C. Heaven; Spectroscopy of the ground and low-lying excited states of ThO+, Journal of Chemical Physics (2006), 124(6), 064312/1-064312/7.
  9. Vasiliy Goncharov, Jiande Han, Leonid A. Kaledin, and Michael C. Heaven; Ionization Energy Measurements and Electronic Spectra for ThO, Journal of Chemical Physics (2005), 122(20), 204311/1-204311/6.
  10. Han, Jiande; Goncharov, Vasiliy; Kaledin, Leonid A.; Komissarov, Anatoly V.; Heaven, Michael C. Electronic spectroscopy and ionization potential of UO2 in the gas phase. Journal of Chemical Physics (2004), 120(11), 5155-5163.
  11. Han, Jiande; Kaledin, Leonid A.; Goncharov, Vasiliy; Komissarov, Anatoly V.; Heaven, Michael C. Accurate Ionization Potentials for UO and UO2: A Rigorous Test of Relativistic Quantum Chemistry Calculations. Journal of the American Chemical Society (2003), 125(24), 7176-7177.
  12. Heaven, Michael C.; Komissarov, Anatoly V.; Goncharov, Vasily. Mechanism and kinetics of iodine dissociation in COIL. Proceedings of SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering (2002), 4631(Gas and Chemical Lasers and Intense Beam Applications III), 13-22.
  13. Goncharov, V. V.; Kotov, V. Yu.; Fedotov, Yu. A.; Yaroslavtsev, A. B. Cation diffusion through ion-exchange membranes. Zhurnal Neorganicheskoi Khimii (2002), 47(3), 365-369.
  14. Komissarov, Anatoly V.; Goncharov, Vasily; Heaven, Michael C. Chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) kinetics and mechanisms. Proceedings of SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering (2001), 4184(XIII International Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference, 2000), 7-12.
  15. Goncharov, V. V.; Kotov, V. Yu.; Yaroslavtsev, A. B. A study of the proton-sodium and proton-lithium ion exchange in niobium oxophosphate trihydrate. Zhurnal Neorganicheskoi Khimii (1999), 44(12), 1978-1983.