Events in physical chemistry.

Elucidating simple chemistries and complex environments

In this talk, I will discuss some of our recent efforts to understand how simple reactions that rearrange charge are altered when embedded in complex, fluctuating environments. In the first part, I show how liquid-vapor interfaces can modulate aqueous chemistry. Specifically, I will discuss how the facile charge separation of N2O5 occurring via interfacial hydrolysis leads to efficient gaseous uptake into aqueous atmospheric aerosols, offering an irreversible sink of NOx compounds in the nighttime air.

Investigating New Reactivities Enabled by Polariton Chemistry

The quantum light-matter interactions between the molecule and the quantized radiation mode inside an optical cavity create a set of hybridized electronic-photonic states, so-called polaritons, opening up new possibilities to control chemical reactions by exploiting intrinsic quantum behaviors of light-matter interactions.

In this talk, I'll present our recent investigations on new chemical reactivities enabled by cavity quantum electrodynamics and demonstrate detailed mechanisms of how quantized light-matter interactions can change the outcomes of chemical reactions. 

Protein Electronics

Abstract:  Proteins are remarkably good electronic conductors, if contacted by chemical bonds to electrodes that allow for injection of electrons or holes into their hydrophobic interior. They outperform the best of synthetic "molecular wires" by a large margin. In contrast, hydrated peptides are better insulators than alkane chains.

Linking Comprehensive VOC Measurements, Secondary Pollutant Formation, and Highly Parameterized Air Quality Models

Abstract: Tropospheric chemistry and air quality are strongly influenced by source emissions. In the western US, much attention has been focused on the air quality impacts of wildland fires; and recently, changes in air quality associated with COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions. Fires emit high levels of trace gases, including semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds (S/VOCs); and primary (directly emitted) particulate matter (PM). During plume evolution, S/VOCs react to form ozone (O3) and secondary PM, thereby degrading air quality downwind.

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