Science and Engineering

University of California, Irvine

John C. Hemminger
Irvine, CA
$1,000,000
December 2013

It can be argued that liquids are among the most ubiquitous and important phase of matter.  This is particularly true of aqueous solutions, which are of paramount importance to fields as diverse as atmospheric/environmental chemistry, synthetic chemistry, and biological chemistry.  In many areas of application, it is beginning to be recognized that interfaces are “where the action is”.  Yet, a fundamental understanding of the detailed composition and reaction chemistry of the liquid/vapor and liquid/solid interfaces remains entirely inadequate.  Over the last ten years this team has pioneered the development of experimental methods for the quantitative determination of the composition of liquid interfaces.  They have developed x-ray/liquid-jet spectroscopy experiments that have utilized major x-ray synchrotron user facilities (the Advanced Light Source in the U.S., and the BESSY II facility in Berlin, Germany).  Coupling recent experimental developments with improvements in electron energy analyzers and detectors now allows the team to move these experiments into a conventional chemistry laboratory environment.  They propose to develop and employ a conventional, lab-based liquid-jet/x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy instrument for the general study of liquid interfaces.  Providing this unique capability to general laboratory environments will significantly advance the understanding of liquids.

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