R. Graham Cooks
R. Graham Cooks, Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, research focuses on the fundamental phenomena, instrumentation and analytical applications of mass spectrometry. His research group has developed new methods of molecular surface analysis, reactive scattering, and soft-landing of ions at surfaces. They are currently employing ion/molecule reactions to recognize functional groups in polyfunctional compounds. Their interests also include ion mobilities and other physical properties of biological molecules, trace environmental analysis and atmospherically relevant ion/molecule reactions. Several new types of mass spectrometers have been constructed in Prof. Cooks' laboratory, including hybrid sector/quadrupole instruments, advanced ion trap instruments, desorption ionization and tandem mass spectrometry.
An REU student working with the Cooks group would use this MS based method to synthesize a set of substituted compounds (heteroaromatics which are drug candidates are of special interest). (S)he would follow the kinetics of these reactions as a function of charge, droplet size, pH, and including surface activity. Modeling of the reactivity using parameters that are intermediate between bulk solution-phase and pure ion-molecule kinetics will also be undertaken. The anticipated REU mentor is 4th year chemistry Ph. D. student Ryan Bain whose thesis concerns chemical reactivity in charged microdroplets.