Scott L. Anderson
Office: 1224 Henry Eyring Building (HEB) North wing
Department of Chemistry, University of Utah,
315 S. 1400 E. RM Dock, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0850       How to Find the Henry Eyring Building
Phone : (801) 585 - 7289 FAX: (801)581-8433 Group: (801) 581-6644
E-Mail :
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B. A. Rice University, 1977  (P. R. Brooks)

Ph. D. University of California at Berkeley, 1981 (Y. T. Lee)

Postdoctoral, Stanford University, 1981-83 (R. N. Zare)         

Distinguished Professor, U of Utah, 2011

Fellow, American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science, 2011

U of Utah Distinguished and Creative Research Award, 2007

Fellow, American Physical Society, 2005

NSF Creativity Award, 2004-2006

Invitation Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2002

Professeur Invité, Université Paris-Sud, 1990, 1991

Visiting Scientist, Fakultät für Physik der Universität Freiburg, 1990

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar, 1989-1994

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Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow,1988-1990


Research Interests – Physical and Analytical Chemistry
Anderson group research is generally focused on understanding the factors that control chemical reactions, with systems ranging from small molecules in the gas phase to nanoparticles on well-characterized surfaces, to catalyst and fuel nanoparticles suspended in liquid fuels. The buttons/links below connect to brief descriptions of each research project. Information about earlier projects in fullerene chemistry, gas-phase metal cluster chemistry, and soft x-ray photochemistry can be found in the publication list linked to below.  There are also links to several software and hardware projects that may be of interest.
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Size-Selected Model Supported Catalysts:
The goal of these experiments is to probe the correlations between supported cluster size, morphology, electronic structure, adsorbate binding sites, support properties, and catalytic activity, and thereby, to learn about catalyst active sites, mechanisms, and approaches to improving activity/selectivity.  We use size- and energy-selected metal cluster ion deposition on well-characterized oxide surfaces to prepare model catalysts, which are then studied using a variety of in situ techniques.  The electronic structure of the samples is probed by a combination of XPS, UPS, and INS.  Low energy ion scattering is used to probe the cluster morphology, and how it is modified by reactant adsorption, heating, etc.  Chemical properties are probed by a variety of mass spectrometric methods.  We are in the process of adding facilities for in situ electrochemical measurements as well.  The goals are to understand the relationships between cluster size, support
interactions, electronic properties, and catalytic activity.


Optical and surface chemical properties of single trapped nanoparticles

There are many problems in nanoscience where measures average over a distribution of particle s izes or composition.  Single particle measurement can be used sort out the effects of this inhomogeneity, but in condensed phase measurements there is still unavoidable inhomogeneity resulting from the different (and time dependent) local environments around the particles. We have developed a method to probe single nanoparticles trapped in controlled atmospheres in a 3-d quadrupole trap.  Particles of interest include semiconductor quantum dots, metal nanoparticles, and viruses.  The method allows us to determine the particle mass to precision approaching 1 ppm, which is sufficient to detect changes in the surface layer composition corresponding to ~1% of a monolayer, thus allowing surface reaction kinetics to be measured.  In addition, for fluorescent particles, such as quantum dots, the method provides a unique probe of the optical properties of quantum dots isolated in the gas phases.  Particles can be heated, to temperatures approaching Tsublimation, if desired, and exposed to both inert and reactive gases, while continuously monitoring both optical and surface chemical behavior.


Combustion chemistry:

For a number of advanced propulsion systems, it is critical to achieve rapid and efficient combustion of high energy density liquid fuels.  We are interested in liquid hydrocarbons for jet propulsion and have several research projects in this general area:

1.      We are interested in fundamentals of catalysis under propulsion conditions, and potential catalytic schemes to enhance ignition and combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, using nanoparticulate catalysts that are soluble/suspendible in the liquid fuels.

2.      Combustion kinetics of complex hydrocarbons are generally not very well understood, and we are studying the initial steps in the pyrolysis and oxidation mechanisms of a synthetic jet fuel, JP-10, using a combination of flow tube/photoionization mass spectrometry, and ab initio molecular dynamics. 


Nanoparticle fuel additives:  
We are exploring methods to produce high energy density nanoparticles with controlled surface chemistry, for use as additives to fuels ranging from hydrocarbon jet fuels to rocket propellants.  The goals are to enhance combustion rates (catalytic surface modifications) and to add energy density (boron or aluminum cores) while maintaining high solubility in the fuel, and passivating the particles against premature air-oxidation during storage and handling.  Particles are generated by high energy milling, and characterized by a combination of XPS, SEM, STEM, EDX, EELS, DLS, and combustion studies.  The methods may also be relevant to preparation of bio-compatible boron nanoparticles for use in boron neutral capture therapy. 

Links to (other) Useful Stuff

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