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Molecular Structure and Interaction at Aqueous, Non-Aqueous Liquid Interfaces and Catalytic Solid Surfaces

EMSL Project ID


With the development of surface nonlinear spectroscopy in the last two decades, it is now possible to interrogate the molecular details of the structure and interactions at molecular interfaces. This project will employ the unique surface nonlinear spectroscopy and dynamics capabilities together with the quantitative methodology in nonlinear spectroscopy and dynamics to investigate important interfacial problems in the energy, environmental, and biological heterogeneous and homogeneous chemical processes. We will investigate aqueous interfaces in order to understand salt and electrolyte effects on the air/water, membrane/water, as well as water/supercritical CO2/mineral interfaces; and electronic structure and charge transport processes of molecules at the air/water, mineral/water interfaces, and in water films. In situ characterization methodology for heterogeneous and homogenous catalysis processes are to be developed and these techniques are to be used to investigate the structure and interactions at the oxide and nanoparticle catalyst surfaces. The following EMSL capabilities are to be employed to condusct this research: Surface nonlinear spectroscopy & dynamics capability (SFG-VS and SHG spectrometers), in addition to other surface & spectroscopic characterization capabilities, such as UV-Vis spectroscopy, AFM, etc.

Project Details

Start Date
End Date


Principal Investigator

Hongfei Wang
Fudan University

Team Members

Abdelaziz Boulesbaa
Temple University

Amanda Mifflin
University of Puget Sound

Related Publications

Velarde Ruiz Esparza LA, X Zhang, Z Lu, AG Joly, Z Wang, and H Wang. 2011. "Communication: Spectroscopic phase and lineshapes in high-resolution broadband sum frequency vibrational spectroscopy: Resolving interfacial inhomogeneities of "identical" molecular groups." Journal of Chemical Physics 135(24):Article No. 241102. doi:10.1063/1.3675629
Zhang Z, Y Guo, Z Lu, LA Velarde Ruiz Esparza, and H Wang. 2012. "Resolving Two Closely Overlapping -CN Vibrations and Structure in the Langmuir Monolayer of the Long-Chain Nonadecanenitrile by Polarization Sum Frequency Generation Vibrational Spectroscopy." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 116(4):2976-2987. doi:10.1021/jp210138s