Our group works in the area of cluster science whose broad aim is to understand how the properties of individual molecules evolve into those of macroscopic samples. We perform high resolution spectroscopic studies of small molecular clusters, from which we elicit extraordinary detail about molecular and electronic structure. The work is fundamental physical chemistry but by appropriate choice of prototype systems, we intersect with atmospheric science.
Upper Left Box: The potential energy curve for the wagging of the OH group in triflic acid from one side of the molecule to the other. This gives rise to a pair of tunneling states which manifest in the spectrum shown and allow us to measure the tunneling frequency. Lower left Box: The structure of the pivalic anhydride – water complex. Note that the anhydride will react with water in bulk solution and in this sense, the structure shown is a pre-reactive complex. It shows the optimum direction of approach of a single water in a gas phase complex. Right: Our high resolution microwave spectrometer which allows us to interrogate jet cooled molecules by both cavity and chirped-pulse spectroscopy. See the Instrumentation tab for details.