Dayoung Park

Photofragment translational spectroscopy of the 1-propyl radical at 248nm

Degradation reactions of alkyl radicals are of interest in combustion chemistry, planetary atmospheres, and the interstellar medium. However, the nature of their reaction pathways is not easily understood as the intermediates are highly reactive. My project will investigate the dissociation dynamics of a simple primary alkyl radical, 1-propyl, upon excitation at 248 nm using a detection scheme known as photofragment translational spectroscopy. Four distinctive product channels are assessed at this wavelength. A preliminary experimental work seems to indicate that the C-C bond cleavage is energetically the most favorable product channel. This observation motivates my research to determine whether the methyl loss channel is the sole and dominant dissociation pathway, and what reaction mechanisms are involved molecularly and electronically.

Message to Sponsor

Participating in research has been a valuable complement to the academic learning at UC Berkeley. Rather than following a list of printed instructions, expecting the same results and simply accepting what was observed, I produce and explain my own results. During the school year, my capacity to carry out my own project was limited as my experiments were interrupted by other commitments. This summer, I am particularly excited to study the 1-propyl radical, as it has not been studied extensively before. I am thankful for SURF and the support of my mentors for this chance to learn the behind the publication process and increase in expertise in this field, which will appropriately prepare me for graduate studies.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Mentor: Daniel Neumark, Chemistry