Paul L. Houston
Professor and Dean, College of Sciences
Office: Administration Bldg.
B.S., Yale University, 1969; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technnology, 1973
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 1979-1981; Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1980; J. Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 1986-1987; Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, 1989; Herbert P. Broida Prize of the American Physical Society, 2001; Elected Fellow of the AAAS, 2002; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected 2003.
The availability of tunable lasers that can excite molecules from or to selected electronic, vibrational, and rotational levels has added a new dimension to the field of physical chemistry. Our research investigates how photodissociation reactions and bimolecular reactions depend on and produce particular molecular degrees of freedom. We are also using laser tools to investigate the electronic and optical properties of molecular materials and the structures and chemical properties of biofilms.
Photodissociation Dynamics: Photodissociation dynamics play an important role in atmospheric chemistry, and they also lead to new understanding of heats of formation and dissociation energies important in combustion reactions. Our group investigates photodissociation of molecules and radicals by exciting them with a pulsed laser and using product imaging techniques to measure the speed and angular distribution of a state-selected product molecule or atom. By conservation of energy and momentum, this measurement also provides information about the undetected dissociation fragment.
Bimolecular Collisions: Energy transfer and reactive collisions are also important in a variety of fields, including combustion, laser operation, and photonics. We explore this area in crossed beams using product imaging to detect state-selected products.
Development of Product Imaging: A key experimental technique that enables studies of photodissociaiton dynamics and bimolecular collisions is product imaging. Since its inception in 1987, our group has actively pursued the development of this technique.
Z. Hu, J. Jin, H. D.Abruna, P. L. Houston, A. G. Hay, W. C. Ghiorse, M. L. Shuler, G. Hidalgo, and L. W. Lion, "Spatial Distributions of Copper in Microbial Biofilms by Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy," Applied and Environmental Microbiology, accepted.
P. O'Keeffe, D. Stranges, and P. L. Houston, "Neutral photodissociation of super-excited states of molecular iodine," submitted.
Hahkjoon Kim, Kristin S. Dooley, Simon W. North, G. E. Hall, and P. L. Houston, "Anisotropy of photofragment recoil as a function of dissociation lifetime, excitation frequency, rotational level and rotational constant," J. Chem. Phys. 125, 133316-26 (2006).
P. L. Houston and S. H. Kable, "Photodissociation of acetaldehyde as a second example of the roaming mechanism" Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 103, 16079-16082 (2006).
Z. Hu, P. L. Houston, A. G. Hay, M. L. Shuler, H. D. Abruña, W. C. Ghiorse, R. Richardson, and L. W. Lion, "Spatial distributions of metals and active biomass fractions in microbial biofilms obtained by two-photon laser scanning microscopy," Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71, 4014-4020 (2005).
H. M. Lambert, E. W. Davis, O. Tokel, A. A. Dixit, and P. L. Houston, "Photodissociation Channels for N2O near 130 nm Studied by Product Imaging," J. Chem. Phys. 122, 174304-7 (2005).
P. L. Houston, "Product angular and alignment distributions in photodissociation from Rydberg states: NO, O2, and N2O," in Vector Correlation and Alignment in Chemistry, G. G. Balint-Kurti and M. P. de Miranda (eds.) (Collaborative Computational Project on Molecular Quantum Dynamics (CCP6), 2005, Daresbury Laboratory, UK).
A. A. Dixit, Y. Lei, K. W. Lee, E. Quinones, and P. L. Houston, "Dissociation of sulphur dioxide by ultraviolet multiphoton absorption between 224 and 232 nm," J. Phys. Chem. A 109, 1770-1775 (2005).
H. M. Lambert, A. A. Dixit, E. W. Davis and P. L. Houston, "Quantum Yields for Product Formation in the 120-130 nm Photodissociation of O2," J. Chem. Phys. 121, 10437-10446 (2004).
P. L. Houston, "Photodissociation Dynamics of Ozone in the Hartley Band," in "Advanced Series in Physical Chemistry", "Modern Trends in Chemical Reaction Dynamics," in "Modern Trends in Chemical Reaction Dynamics," X. Yang and K. Liu, editors, Volume 14, Part II (World Scientific Co., Singapore, 2004) .P. L. Houston, "Charged Particle Imaging in Chemical Dynamics: An Historical Perspective," in Imaging in Molecular Dynamics: Technology and Applications, B. Whitaker, ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Jason A. Barron, Stefan Bernhard, Paul L. Houston, Héctor D. Abruña, Electroluminescence in Ruthenium(II) Dendrimers, J. Phys. Chem. A 107, 8130-8133 (2003).
Jason A. Barron, Samantha Glazier, Stefan Bernhard, Kazutake Takada, Paul L. Houston and Héctor D. Abruña, "Photophysics and Redox Behavior of Chiral Transition Metal Polymers," Inorganic Chemistry 42, 1448-1455 (2003).
K. W. Lee, J. D. Slinker, A. A. Gorodetsky, H. D. Abruña, P. L. Houston, and G. G. Malliaras, "Photophysical Properties of Tris(bipyridyl)ruthenium(II) Thin Films and Devices," Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 5, 2706 - 2709 (2003).
J. Slinker, D. Bernards, P. L. Houston, H. D. Abruña, S. Bernhard, and G. G. Malliaras, "Electroluminescence in Transition Metal Complexes," Chemical Communications 2003, 2392-2399.
Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics, P. L. Houston, (WCB/McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001). This book has now been reprinted by Dover, November 1, 2006, ISBN: 0486453340.
Problems and Solutions to Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics, P. L. Houston (WCB/McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001)