Patrick H. Vaccaro

“You make a living from what you get, you make a life from what you give.”
       –Winston Churchill

  Sterling Chemistry Laboratory 240
  Sterling Chemistry Laboratory 20
  B.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1980
  Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986
  Postdoctoral Associate, Stanford University, 1986-90
  IBM Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, 1988-89


Our research explores the provenance of molecular behavior, with special emphasis placed on the unique features that give rise to physical properties and chemical propensities. Ongoing experiments exploit diverse forms of optical spectroscopy to interrogate the ground-/excited-state potential energy surfaces of tractable species, thereby elucidating the coupling among electronic and nuclear degrees of freedom that mediates their structure and dynamics. When combined with detailed computational and theoretical analyses, such measurements afford a trenchant glimpse of phenomena that permeate the entire fabric of chemistry and impact upon related disciplines, including proton transfer, hydrogen bonding, non-adiabatic interactions, reaction dynamics, and chirality. Successful execution of these studies necessitates both technical innovations and conceptual advancements, with many of the linear/nonlinear spectroscopic methods used in our work (e.g., polarization-resolved resonant four-wave mixing and cavity ring-down polarimetry) first developed and implemented in our laboratories.
Additional Information