The Environmental Chemical Sciences (ECS) program of the Division of Chemistry will support the research program of Prof. Heather Allen of Ohio State University. Prof. Allen and her students will develop and apply phase sensitive vibrational sum frequency generation (PS-VSFG) spectroscopy to investigate water organization and orientation as a function of vibrational frequency at air/aqueous salt interfaces. Research will encompass air-aqueous interfacial investigations of mono- and divalent ions which have not been investigated previously using PS-VSFG. These studies will elucidate how and to what extent these ions organize water at the air-aqueous interface.
The chemical systems to be studied have direct relevance to atmospheric aerosol chemistry of marine and continental regions. The study will increase our understanding of the aging processes of aerosols. Additionally, these same systems have direct correlation with understanding the surface of the ocean at a molecular level where the ions investigated are common constituents of the ocean surface waters. The study will provide an excellent educational opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to carry out a fundamental research project at the interface of chemistry and atmospheric sciences.