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Mass Spectrometry and Laser Spectroscopy

The Mass Spectrometry and Laser Spectroscopy group is a diverse team of experts in analytical chemistry with an extensive range of state-of-the-art and novel instrumentation used for fundamental and applied research based around mass spectrometry and laser spectroscopy.

Three current core research focus areas are:

  1. Multimodal imaging for chemical cartography of material interfaces
  2. Nonlinear laser spectroscopy and microscopy of electronic and molecular processes in complex materials
  3. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics focused on microbial and plant systems

Our research on multimodal imaging comprises development of new instrumentation concept and the fundamental study, evaluation and ultimately application of new high spatial resolution technologies, compromised of atomic force microscopy, optical microscopy and spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry components for physical and chemical characterization of material interfaces important within the DOE’s energy research portfolio (e.g. solar energy utilization, energy storage, catalysis, bioenergy, and chemical sensors), drug discovery, and other biomedical research.

Research on nonlinear laser spectroscopy and microscopy broadly aims to develop new approaches for the fundamental understanding of energy and charge flow in heterogeneous media that undergo novel chemical and electronic transformations on molecular time and length scales. Particular focus is given to the areas central to DOE’s mission, including applications to light harvesting materials, catalysis, self-assembly and organization, and energy storage.

Finally, out research on mass spectrometry-based proteomics involves development and deployment of high performance liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry capabilities for examining the molecular machinery of a variety of environmental host-microbe ecosystems, in an effort to provide integrated “omics” capabilities for systems biology research. Particular focus is given to bioenergy research, microbial-driven environmental carbon-nitrogen cycling in soil systems, and human microbiome investigations.