Photochemistry and chemical dynamics
Time-resolved spectroscopic techniques are used to tease apart chemical reaction pathways. Work in the group focuses upon exploring the state-specific photodissociation dynamics of polyatomic organic molecules, with particular emphasis on the dynamical effects of non-adiabatic passage through exit channel conical intersections and the role of non-traditional photochemical mechanism that bypass conventional transition states.
We also concentrate on the detection and study of highly reactive intermediates (such as radicals, carbenes, and nitrenes) that are found in many chemical and some biochemical reactions. The synthesis of molecules possessing unusual physical and chemical properties by virtue of their unusual three-dimensional architectures is also an important area of investigation.
New D&S lecturer and Royal Society University Research Fellow Dr Craig Murray has won his first EPSRC grant while at Glasgow University in 2012. The £113k grant entitled "Roaming dynamics in photochemistry" will be used to study a novel type of photoinduced chemical reaction. The project will extend recent fundamental photodissociation dynamics research by seeking evidence of roaming dynamics in the photochemistry of small organic molecules. State-of-the-art velocity-map imaging methods, exploiting both state-selective and universal ionisation techniques will measure the correlated partitioning of the excess energy among the photoproducts, identifying and characterising the branching into roaming pathways. The existence of the roaming mechanism has profound implications for chemical reaction theory and the use of transition-state theory to calculate reaction rates. A deeper understanding of this mechanism, and crucially its generality, will impact upon modelling of photochemistry in planetary atmospheres, in combustion diagnostics and industrial applications.