In this experimental physical chemistry laboratory, we are attracted to problems in complex systems. We conceive of new instrumentation concepts and implement them, come up with original experiments and, when needed, develop practical theoretical and computational tools to interpret the new results. These advances allow us to explore new ways of thinking about molecular and chemical dynamics.

Driving the research: An interesting challenge in experimental physical chemistry is how to interrogate chemical dynamics in complex environments. Here, a complex environment could be the solid-liquid interface of a functioning fuel cell, the interior of a living mammalian cell, the juncture between an invading viral particle and a cell membrane, or a single functioning enzyme and biological complex, for example. These environments share the same characteristics: They are anisotropic and highly heterogeneous both in space and in time, in which the dynamics span several orders of spatiotemporal scales. Therefore, if quantitative experimental studies could be carried out in them, it would be possible to start addressing the fundamental question that drives our research: To what extent are the chemical dynamics concepts as we understand them applicable in these environments? After all, the current chemical physics paradigm has been established under idealized conditions: isotropic, homogeneous, and primarily resting on a two-body interaction framework—a condition that rarely exists in real life.

Recruiting: Individuals who have a strong background in experimental physical chemistry or chemical physics.

real-time 3d single-particle tracking · single-particle dynamic light scattering · 3d multi-resolution imaging · photon nudging artificial swimmer control · dna-barcode valency sorting · change point · maximum information