Our experiments provide simultaneous measurement of normal (or shear) forces and distances between surfaces down to angstrom level. Typical forces of interaction include hydrophobicity, electrostatics, van der Waals, hydration, and hydration. We are also applying computational tools to understand the molecular basis of these forces.
We are investigating proton transfer reactions (e.g. catalysis, polymerization, and acid-base neutralization) and specific ion effects at the air-water interface—an archetypical interface between water and hydrophobic media. Resulting insights will enhance our understanding of chemistries in clouds and at the interface of oceans and the atmosphere. in lms of water are also implicated in contact electrication at solid interfaces, e.g. PTFE and aluminum.