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Michael Fayer

Professor of Chemistry
Michael Fayer

The Fayer Group is interested in the problem of how to experimentally examine fast molecular processes that are occurring under thermal equilibrium conditions. A vast amount of chemistry occurs at or near room temperature in the ground electronic state of molecules. From synthetic organic chemistry to biological chemistry, chemical processes occur on fast time scales. Although the rate of an overall process may be slow, key events on the molecular level are fast. For example, in a second order reaction, the rate of the reaction can be controlled by the diffusion of the species into contact, but the actual reactive event occurs on a very fast time scale. The binding of a substrate to an enzyme can be very slow, but the structural changes of the enzyme or the reaction of the substrate once the substrate finds its way into the binding site can be very fast. We are developing and applying new experimental and theoretical approaches to the study of important chemical processes.

Research Areas:
Dynamics and intermolecular interactions of molecules in liquids, liquids in nanoscopic environments, room temperature ionic organic liquids, supercooled liquids, and liquid crystals.

Department(s): Chemistry
Location:  Keck Building, Room 113
Mail Code:  5080
Phone:  650 723-4446
Fax:  650 723-4817