The objective is to elucidate the photophysics of polyaromatic molecules in the gaseous and liquid phase.
A laser multiphoton ionization spectrometer instrument has been contructed to analyse atmospheric pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Analysis of benzene by this technique has shown the influence of the environment (presence of oxygen) on the spectra obtained.
The project investigates the role of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and natural hydrocarbons in the photophysics of the atmosphere and especially in the formation of acids in aqueous clouds droplets.
Under well defined laboratory conditions, studies will be conducted on:
photoionization and photofragmentation of polycyclic aromatic molecules of environmental importance in polar and nonpolar liquids;
excitation spectra of such molecules in liquid and high density media as a function of the temperature and pressure;
and photochemical reactions between solvent and solutes.
These studies will be performed by means of laser multiphoton ionization conductivity principle and using a high resolution fluorescence apparatus suitable for liquid phase and high pressure experiments, as a function of the laser excitation photon energy.