UofM’s Gopalakrishnan receives $363,782 DOE award for studying chemical recombination of gas-phase ions

Sept. 3, 2020 — Dr. Ranganathan Gopalakrishnan, University of Memphis assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has received a $363,782 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science for his research project, “Langevin Dynamics modeling of gas-phase ion-ion recombination.”

“In addition to supporting cutting edge theoretical research and promoting collaboration with leading experimenters in the field of physical chemistry, this project will also support one graduate student and one undergraduate student for the project period of three years,” said Gopalakrishnan.

The recombination of ions in the gas-phase plays an important role in the chemical composition, energy and charge balance of partially ionized gas environments such as flames, plasmas, inter-planetary gas clouds and ultra-cold (~few K) systems like cryogenics and quantum computers. Motivated by the lack of robust theoretical models of gas-phase ion-ion recombination, this computational research project will develop robust theoretical models of gas-phase ion-ion recombination that take into account the gas density (pressure and temperature), ion structure, ion-specific potential interactions and ion number concentration to describe the chemical physics of ion recombination. The developed models will be validated against published experimentally measured recombination rate constants.

“I am so pleased that Dr. Gopalakrishnan’s research was recognized by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science that acknowledges researchers who are committed to tackling the most difficult scientific problems of our time in energy, climate, quantum computing and a host of other fields,” said Dr. Rick Sweigard, dean of the Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis. 

To learn more about this research award, click here to read the project abstract.

About the Department of Energy Office of Science

The DOE Office of Science is the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, the steward of 10 of the nation’s national laboratories, and the lead federal agency supporting fundamental research for energy production and security. Research funding directly supports scientists, engineers and students at more than 300 leading academic institutions spanning all 50 States and the District of Columbia. To learn more about the Office of Science, visit https://www.energy.gov/science/office-science.