The Nonlinear Reaction Dynamics Research Group
Jichang Wang Associate Professor Physical Chemistry
Research assistantships (RAs) are available for Ph.D students!
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Last updated: 26-December-06
Our research explores nonlinear phenomena in homogeneous chemical systems, reaction-diffusion media, and electrochemical reactions. Our interests in homogeneous (i.e. stirred) chemical systems focus on designing novel photochemical oscillators. In comparison to existing photosensitive chemical oscillators, there are two unique criteria in the proposed new oscillators: (1) the system does not react at all in the absence of light; and (2) its reactivity responses differently to light of different wavelengths. One of the focal points in biochemical systems is gaining insights into interactions of enzymes in biochemical reactions. This is pursued via using cation beads loaded with metal catalysts to mimic enzymes.
Our research in reaction-diffusion systems focuses on (1) new types of chemical patterns in a medium exhibiting complex reaction dynamics, and (2) interactions of chemical waves with various external forcing. This research is built on our success in studies of nonlinear instabilities in homogeneous systems, especially the establishment of novel photochemical oscillators. The influence of external forcing on pattern formation is focused on the situation in which, depending on the wavelength of the applied light, illumination has both inhibitory and constructive effects, i.e., inhibiting existing waves and initiating new patterns.
Research projects in electrochemical reactions include (1) nonlinear instabilities in the photo-electrochemical oxidation of hydroquinones, and (2) development of modified electrodes and related chemical oscillations.
Students are encouraged to perform both experimental and computational studies of reaction dynamics. Depending on the individual's interests, students may be assigned to spend significant amount of time working with various analytical instruments.