Richard Loomis, professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and collaborator Scott Reid, chair and professor of chemistry at Marquette University, received a three-year $700,000 collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation for their project titled “Probing Undiscovered Reaction Pathways in the Decomposition of Highly Energized Molecules: Isomerization, Roaming and Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer.”
The team will perform an array of laser spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and ion-product imaging to characterize the competing pathways sampled by highly energetic molecules. Loomis and Reid hypothesize that pathways that compete with direct bimolecular reactions are central to many fundamental processes, and they can effectively compete with expected reaction channels.
The researchers will focus on understanding the roles that long-range interactions and secondary roaming reactions play in bimolecular reactions. The team also will investigate what influences the local environment and reactants’ energies have on efficiencies of the different reaction pathways and products.
The grant also supports training of graduate students, especially outstanding students from diverse backgrounds at the onset of their graduate education.