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Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Anne Myers Kelley

Professor Kelley's research focuses on using the laser light scattering techniques of resonance Raman and hyper-Raman spectroscopy to study the atomic-level details of how materials interact with light.  These studies reveal the detailed mechanisms of fast photochemical reactions such as those involved in human vision, photography, xerography, and solar energy conversion. Her group carries out experiments and also develops theoretical and computational tools for analyzing the data.

She also has an interest in materials with strong nonlinear optical responses, which can be used to convert electrical signals to optical signals in fiber-optic communications and in advanced optical microscopy methods.  Her group uses Raman and other spectroscopic methods to understand and predict the nonlinear optical properties of molecules and the manner in which those properties are modified by the intermolecular interactions present in useful materials.

Professor Kelley's group is also working to better understand and exploit the enhancement of scattering intensities observed for molecules adsorbed to the surfaces of metal nanoparticles (surface enhanced Raman and hyper-Raman scattering).  These techniques provide amplification of the normally weak signals needed for sensitive analytical and bioanalytical applications.
(209) 228-4345
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David F. Kelley

Professor Kelley's research group uses ultrafast optical spectroscopy to examine the optical and electronic properties of semiconductor nanoparticles. He focuses on layered semiconductors - specifically gallium selenide and indium selenide - which have layered crystal structures and form two-dimensional, disk-like nanoparticles. The optical properties of indium selenide are very well suited for the absorption of sunlight; therefore, its nanoparticles hold considerable promise as the active media in photovoltaics.

Professor Kelley's group synthesizes nanoparticles that have diameters from 2 nm to tens of nanometers -  all of which are four atoms thick -  as the properties of such nanoparticles are strongly size dependent, due to quantum size effects. He is primarily interested controlling  and optimizing the properties of the nanoparticles for solar energy conversion.
(209) 228-4354
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Matthew Meyer
Associate Professor

Professor Meyer's research is directed toward developing techniques to aid in drug discovery. Students in his lab have the opportunity to become proficient in:

  • Organic synthesis
  • Protein expression and purification
  • Modern NMR techniques
  • Computational chemistry

Drugs are often small molecules that inhibit enzymes or receptors in the body. The inhibitors that are important for use as therapeutic agents are usually molecules that preferentially compete for the binding site(s) on an enzyme or receptor.

Currently, Professor Meyer is working on developing a technique that quantitatively probes the binding interactions of lipoxygenases with their natural substrates along the reaction pathway from reactants to products. Human lipoxygenases are important because they have been implicated in asthma, heart disease, various cancers, and a host of other diseases. Developing techniques to measure how strongly these enzymes interact with their substrates along the reaction pathway may lead to information that is crucial to designing drugs to treat these diseases -  specifically those that utilize many of the structural features of the natural substrate. This is important because it could allow for the efficient design of therapeutic lead structures that would not be as likely to produce unforeseen side effects.  A development of this nature could significantly reduce the costs associated with drug development in the pharmaceutical industry.
(209) 228-2982
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Tao Ye
Associate Professor

Professor Ye's research is focused on developing the nanoscale surface chemistry needed to manipulate and measure biomolecules and analogous systems. The nanoscale arrangements of biomolecules, such as proteins and DNA, underlie a wide spectrum of biological functions. Yet our ability to measure and control biomolecules at the nanoscale and single molecule level remains very limited. His group is using and developing sophisticated nanoscience tools to position and measure single molecules with nanometer resolution, dynamically activate the functions of individual biomolecules on surfaces, and develop artificial analogs of biological motors. The greatly improved understanding and control of biomolecules at the nanoscale have implications in unraveling key biological functions, creating artificial functional bimolecular structures, and developing ultra-sensitive biosensors.
(209) 228-4094
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Christine Isborn
Assistant Professor

Developing and applying electronic structure theory, molecular dynamics and QM/MM methods to the modeling of:

  • electronic excited states,
  • photochemistry,
  • energy and electron transfer and
  • solvation
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Liang Shi
Assistant Professor

Developing and applying multi-scale modeling methods to understand the structure, dynamics and spectroscopy of complex condensed-phase molecular systems, such as

- novel optoelectronic materials (e.g., organic semiconductors and quantum dots)

- supercritical aqueous solutions
(209) 201-2409
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