College of Arts and Sciences

The Discovery of New Molecules at Plasma Temperatures

First Mondays Series

Steven Stevenson, assistant professor of chemistry

Steven Stevenson, ChemistryDecember 5, 2011

A passion of Steve Stevenson’s research group is the discovery of new molecules. But, how does one create new molecules? Why haven’t these compounds been discovered before? New chemistry and our electric-arc reactor, which generates plasma temperatures in the thousands of degrees, provide the answers. The insanely hot temperatures within allow for the creation of new molecules, and research into new separation science enables their purification. Stevenson, assistant professor of chemistry, discussed this journey from inception, to creation, and to isolation.