Dr. Sean A. Peebles

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Dr. Peebles did his undergraduate work at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, getting a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry in 1992. His Ph.D. (1995), also from Exeter, was carried out under the supervision of Prof. A.C. Legon (now at the University of Bristol) and Prof. P.W. Fowler (now at the University of Sheffield) and involved investigation of the structure and properties of weakly bound complexes by ab initio methods and microwave spectroscopy. Unfortunately, on July 31st 2005, the Department of Chemistry at the University of Exeter was closed (to save money).

In June of 1996, Dr. Peebles joined the research group of Prof. Robert L. Kuczkowski at the University of Michigan where he continued his study of weakly bound complexes using the technique of Fourier transform microwave (FTMW) spectroscopy, focussing mainly on the characterization of weakly bound trimeric systems such as CO2-CO2-OCS, OCS-OCS-CO2, CO2-CO2-N2O, HCCH-OCS-OCS and OCS-HCCH-HCCH. Studies of trimeric complexes such as these still make up a very small fraction of the work in the literature that deals with weakly bound complexes. After a year as an assistant visiting professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, Dr. Peebles joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Eastern Illinois University.

Current research interests involve the study (by experimental and theoretical techniques) of weakly bound clusters that contain molecules which have the potential to form weak C-H hydrogen bonds, as well as determination of molecular properties. For the experimental work, we have a FTMW spectrometer operating in the frequency range 5-18 GHz (the microwave region) which we can use to measure the rotational spectra and from that we can determine the structure of the molecular cluster. More details of the FTMW technique and its applications at EIU may be found here. For the theoretical work we have the ability to use semi-empirical models such as the ORIENT model of Anthony Stone or ab initio models using programs such as CADPAC, GAMESS or Gaussian. More details of the computational resources at EIU are here.

  • List of publications (html) - updated February 2016

  • Course Links

    Class information - information on all courses can be found on your class D2L page.

    Research Links

    • Details of microwave spectroscopy at E.I.U. - Description of the technique of Fourier-transform microwave (FTMW) spectroscopy and an explanation of the type of projects that this technique can be applied to. Includes pictures of the current experimental setup and various components of the spectrometer, as well as details of past and present research students.

    • Details of theoretical work - A description of the various computational techniques and resources available to us in the lab (and in the rest of the department).

    • Short introduction to what we do and the sort of contributions you could make in our research. If you're thinking you might be in interested in doing research then read this. It also attempts to dispel the myth that all Physical Chemists do the sort of Thermodynamics experiments that you see in CHM3915. Physical Chemistry is about a lot more than just Thermodynamics, Electrochemistry and Kinetics!

    Other useful (mainly spectroscopy related) links

    The 71st Meeting is planned for June 20th-24th 2016. Pictures from previous meetings can be found here, including the real incentive for attending this meeting, the plentiful supply of donuts! There's also a link to pictures from the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 meetings. Some pictures of the EIU representation at the 59th meeting are here. In 2014 (after 68 years of conferences), the meeting moved from the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, OH to the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

    Stewart Novick at Wesleyan keeps an up to date web page that lists the weakly bound complexes that have appeared in the literature - this is a valuable resource for microwave spectroscopists interested in van der Waals species.

    Wolfgang Jäger's pages at the University of Alberta - includes a link to a Flash movie showing the principles of rotational spectroscopy in an FTMW spectrometer.

    Zbigniew's collection of programs for numerous rotational spectroscopic applications - asymmetric rotor, symmetric or linear rotor, internal rotation, dipole moment, nuclear quadrupole coupling, structural fitting, vibrational calculations, molecular modeling as well as various viewing programs are all listed (with source code and documentation).

    A list of research groups throughout the world involved in some form of rotational spectroscopy (and closely related areas).

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