Steve Miller   | Research Interests
 
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Research Interests

My research interests are directed towards understanding the structure and bonding of single molecules containing transition metal atoms using both spectroscopic and computational methods. The types of experiments in which I am interested include:

1) spectroscopic studies of traditional metal-ligand complexes in condensed phases using standard techniques (e.g. UV-Vis and infrared) and resonance Raman. A recent example of this type of study is the UV-vis and resonance Raman characterization of the blue-colored aqueous complex formed by Cu2+ and pyrazole (C3N2H4).

2) spectroscopic studies of exotic transition metal species, either in the gas phase or trapped in rare gas cryomatrices. I plan to construct a cryomatrix isolation/resonance Raman system to conduct rare gas matrix experiments, and to continue collaboration with Doreen Leopold at the University of Minnesota to study gas phase systems via anion photoelectron spectroscopy. Systems studied by these methods are generally bare metal clusters (e.g. Al3), metal atoms/clusters which do not have a full ligand sphere (e.g. products of the reaction between gas phase metal atoms and ethylene), and/or open-shell metal systems.

3) computational characterization of systems observed experimentally. For example, computational results suggest that the Cu-pyrazole system mentioned above has the copper ion in a nearly square planar ligand environment (see below). Other ongoing computational projects include identification of YCmHn- reaction products formed by reacting ethylene and Y, and collaborative work with the Leopold group on the structure of Cr3- and Cr3.

Electron density difference for photoelectron detachment from Al3- Nb-benzene anion produced from the gas phase reaction of niobium and ethylene (click and hold to rotate) Calculated structure of the aqueous Cu2+-pyrazole complex (click and hold to rotate)