In this Faculty Early Career Development Program funded by the Experimental Physical Chemistry Program in the Chemistry Division, Mullin will use transient infrared absorption spectroscopy to examine dynamical processes of highly vibrationally excited molecules. Interconnected processes such as unimolecular decomposition, collisional energy transfer, and bimolecular reactions which accompany the relaxation of the high energy species will be investigated. The excited molecules will be prepared in highly excited vibrational states by ultraviolet laser excitation, and the final quantum state distributions of the products will be determined using high-resolution infrared lasers with fast optical detection. Among the molecular systems to be studied are s-tetrazine, benzene, and azulene. In her efforts to increase the extent to which young women engage in scientific study, Mullin will initiate a series of community outreach programs designed to inform and better prepare junior and senior high school girls for college science classes and future careers in science. At the university level, a program of classroom, research, and extracurricular activities will be designed to improve the academic environment for women undergraduate and graduate science students, and to provide increased access to senior women mentors. Our understanding of the chemistry and physics of numerous high-energy environments will be enhanced from the results of Dr. Mullin's research program. These studies will follow the different possible paths that energy takes as it leaves a molecule which has been highly excited internally. The results will lead to a deeper knowledge of the chemistry of energetic environments in various high-energy systems, such as plasmas, explosions, flames, combustion, and materials processing. Dr. Mullin's educational program is designed to provide outreach and mentoring activities which will increase the participation of women in scientific careers.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Francis J. Wodarczyk
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Boston University
United States
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