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Distinguished Professor, Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry; Adjunct Faculty, Department of Bioengineering
The Harris research group is developing optical spectroscopy techniques to investigate liquid/solid interfaces and including dispersions of small particles in liquids. The group is developing spectroscopic methods for exploring molecular structure and dynamics at interfaces between dielectric solids and liquids. These new tools lead to understanding the interfacial chemistry that impacts analytical chemistry methods including chromatography, solid-phase extraction, metal-ion complexation, and optical sensors, which rely on control of chemical structure of nanoscale materials. The Harris team employs in situ vibrational (infrared and Raman) spectroscopy to probe the chemical structure of adsorbed and bound species at solid/liquid interfaces. A related program addresses the measurement challenges and new opportunities for chemical analysis based on colloidal materials. Time-resolved fluorescence microscopy is used to probe molecular transport and surface reactions of colloids at the single-molecule level. Raman microscopy is being adapted to observe interfacial reactions in colloidal dispersions and in porous solids at the single-particle level. Optical-trapping provides long residence times to observe Raman scattering from individual colloidal particles to monitor chemistry in these nanoscale structures.