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BenU faculty since 2003
Ph.D. Northwestern University (2001)
M.S. Northwestern University (1997)
B.S. Benedictine University (1996)
Classical Thermodynamics, Quantum and Statistical Mechanics, Molecular Dynamics and Kinetics, Physical Chemistry Laboratory, General Chemistry, General Chemistry Laboratory, Computational Modeling of Physical and Chemical Principles
Awards and Recognition:
radiation chemistry, spectroscopy, photophysics, electron-transfer processes, chemical and physical properties of water
Current Research Projects:
Project 1: Due to their uniquely beneficial properties as combinatorially flexible solvents, hydrophobic room-temperature ionic liquids are presently being considered as replacements for molecular diluents in "wet" processing of nuclear waste for advanced fuel cycles. To realize this great promise, these diluents need to be made resistant to ionizing radiation generated by decaying radionuclides. This requires suppression of bond fragmentation that occurs in electronically excited ions. We are examining the radiation chemistry of ionic liquids using flash photolysis and pulse radiolysis techniques at Argonne National Laboratory.
Project 2: Above the critical point, water is thought to exist as a dynamic system consisting of single water molecules and nanoclusters of dimers, trimers, etc., and the electronic states of these various species are highly energetically sensitive to the local hydrogen bonding structure. We are studying the vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy of the lowest-lying electronic state of sub- and supercritical water to glean information on changes to the hydrogen bonding environment as a function of temperature and density. We have designed a unique high-sensitivity vacuum ultraviolet absorption experiment at the Synchrotron Radiation Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, to probe these changes directly, and are doing so from room temperature up to supercritical conditions, and then as a function of density for supercritical water.
Current Research Collaborators:
Research Grants and Funding:
Current and Former Research Students: