Cold Molecule - Ion Chemistry

Interest in the low temperature reactions of simple ions with small molecules is driven by the central importance of these reactions in astrochemical environments from interstellar clouds to cometary comae to planetary atmospheres, including that of Earth. The chemical evolution of interstellar molecular clouds ultimately yields the seedbed from which new stars and new solar systems are born, and the raw materials from which life may have developed. Currently, there is a paucity of data on these important systems as the techniques to study them are not as developed as those for all neutral chemistry.

In this project, in collaboration with Prof. Wes Campbell, we are combining techniques developed in our respective laboratories to build a general platform to study the chemistry of atomic ions and neutral molecules, and improve our understanding of the interstellar medium.