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Physical Chemistry

Research in the Physical Chemistry division is very wide-ranging and includes both experiment and theory.  Sophisticated techniques such as high-resolution spectroscopy and mass spectrometry are used to probe the molecular structure of metal ions, clusters and large biomolecules, as well as the reactions of interstellar clouds and those involved with atmospheric pollution.  Computational chemistry interfaces closely with experiment allowing structures and energetics of molecules to be predicted.  Computational tools are used to study systems which are otherwise difficult to examine, including soot formation in combustion and DNA nucleotides and base pairs in the gas phase.


The Douberly research group has made significant contributions to the development of spectroscopic techniques designed for the helium nanodroplet isolation method.  They have employed this methodology to address a diverse set of fundamental problems in chemical physics.  The low temperature (0.4 K) and rapid cooling associated with helium…

Our research program uses lasers, electrical discharges and pulsed supersonic molecular beams to produce a variety of unusual molecules, ions, metal complexes and atomic or molecular clusters.  The extreme conditions of the "synthesis" processes employed make it possible to produce strange molecular aggregates including metal atom nanoclusters…

New laser spectroscopic techniques enable the study of dynamic and kinetic processes relevant to combustion and atmospheric chemistry in unprecedented detail. The high output power combined with the spectral brightness of pulsed lasers allows resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) processes to be used for the sensitive detection of a…

The advent of ultra high field magnets for NMR spectroscopy has opened important new avenues for understanding structure-function relationships in biological systems. Historically NMR has offered several advantages over other structural methods; it can be applied in a variety of environments, including aqueous solution and membrane phases; it…

          The Reber lab uses fiber-laser frequency combs to do ultrafast chemistry. Ultrafast spectroscopy is used for real-time tracking of dynamics in quantum mechanical systems on the femtosecond (10-15s) timescale. We employ a newly-developed technique called Cavity-Enhanced Transient Absorption Spectroscopy to increase the sensitivity of…

The Rotavera group focuses on the discovery of reaction mechanisms of advanced biofuels. One of the goals of our research program is to uncover the links between the molecular structure motifs of biofuels to reaction mechanisms that are relevant to combustion and atmospheric chemistry; namely, chain-reactions involved in ignition and reaction…

The Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia seeks to develop theoretical and computational methods through mathematical models for describing and understanding the movement and function of electrons in molecules and to apply the theoretical methods to significant problems of broad chemical interest.


The Smith group studies the chemistry and optical properties of aerosol particles that are important in the atmosphere.  In particular, we develop instrumentation to measure how they scatter and absorb UV-visible sunlight.

We develop and use a variety of tools such as:

* photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) to measure absorption by…

Related Articles

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 6:14pm

Dr. Brandon Rotavera, an assistant professor with appointments in the College of Engineering and the Department of Chemistry, is the recipient of the 2021 Fred C.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 3:50pm

Dr. Melanie Reber, assistant professor in the UGA Department of Chemistry, has been named one of two Innovation Fellows for Spring 2021.

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Assistant to the Department Head: Donna Spotts, 706-542-1919 

Main office phone: 706-542-1919 

Fax: 706-542-9454

Head of the Department: Prof. Gary Douberly