- BS Central College, IA, 1982
- PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison, Physical Chemistry, 1989
Thesis: Vibrational and Rotational Energy Transfer: Relaxation of HF and DF by He, H2, D2, HF, DF and N2
Advisor: Professor F. Fleming Crim
- Chair of the Department, Calvin College, 2012—2015
- Professor of Chemistry, Calvin College, 1997—present
- Visiting Scientist, University of California, Riverside, 2002—2003
- Visiting Scientist, Columbia University, 1995—1996
- Associate Professor of Chemistry, Calvin College, 1993—1997
- Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Calvin College, 1989—1993
Research and scholarship
- Photochemistry of fluorine containing molecules
- Fluorescence in natural products
We are using a laser-based photochemical technique to study the elimination of hydrogen fluoride (HF) from fluorine containing organic molecules in the gas phase. Our focus recently has been on two molecules, formyl fluoride and trifluoroacetylacetone, which give remarkably different results. The goal is to learn fundamental details about how ultraviolet laser-excited molecules fall apart. Our infrared laser probe technique gives us information about how much vibrational and rotational energy is released into the HF molecule produced in the reaction. Ultimately, our experimental data is used to test theoretical approaches to modeling these kinds of light-based reactions.
Our laser-based photochemical technique allows us to study the elimination of hydrogen fluoride (HF) from fluorine containing organic molecules in the gas phase. We will continue our investigation of two molecules, formyl fluoride and trifluoroacetylacetone, which give remarkably different results. This summer represents a unique opportunity to use a new, NSF-funded, tunable laser system, which greatly expands our ability to use ultraviolet laser pulses to initiate chemical reactions. The summer work continues our ongoing research program investigating photoelimination. Students working with us on the experiment will gain experience in gas synthesis and gas handling, several types of lasers, data acquisition, analysis and modeling. As part of the training the Calvin student(s), along with other students in our research consortium, will be trained in use of the new laser system by Purdue University laser specialist Hartmut Hedderich. The student(s) will also have an opportunity to meet with the other research groups in the consortium, possibly including a trip to Purdue University.
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