Michael Ruggiero: Terahertz Spectroscopy: A Powerful New Tool for the Environmental Sciences
The motions of atoms and molecules are responsible for many phenomena that we encounter on a day-to-day basis, ranging from dictating pharmaceutical shelf life to the expansion of water upon freezing. Over the last several years, atomic motions that occur at terahertz frequencies have been identified to be particular influential for many critical processes, including those with environmental significance. For example, terahertz dynamics are intimately linked to carbon sequestration by porous solids, the degradation of micro-plastic pollutants, and the hydration/dehydration of soil minerals, amongst many others. As a relatively nascent research area, the potential opportunities for application of terahertz spectroscopy are virtually endless, only being limited by imagination and the availability of interested collaborators. In this talk, the technique will be introduced and recent environmental applications highlighted, in order to provoke new avenues for research in the environmental and sustainable sciences.
Michael Ruggiero is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at UVM. He received his B.S. in chemistry from SUNY Geneseo, PhD in physical chemistry from Syracuse University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. His research is highly interdisciplinary, involving the application of experimental terahertz spectroscopy and theoretical quantum mechanical simulations to diverse fields including the pharmaceutical, environmental, and materials sciences. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the NSF CAREER award, the International Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves (IRMMW) Young Scientist Award, and was named a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2019.
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