Associate Professor of Chemistry & Department Chair, Department of Chemistry
B.S., 1983, Bradley University, Peoria, IL
Ph.D., 1991, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Postdoctoral Fellow, 1990-93, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Physical and Surface Chemistry. The Utz group
studies how molecules react on surfaces. Reactions at the gas-surface interface
are highly dynamical events. Large-scale atomic and vibrational motions
transform reactants into products on sub-ps and Å scales. The experiments
probe ultrafast nuclear motion and energy flow dynamics that underlie
heterogeneous catalysis and chemical vapor deposition. The goal is to to better
model existing processes and direct the rational design of new catalytic
materials and deposition techniques. The experiments use vibrational- and
rotational-state selective laser excitation of molecules in a supersonic
molecular beam to provide precise control over the energetics and orientation of
the gas-phase reagent as it approaches the surface. Reaction probability
and product identity is then quantified as a function of the reagent’s energetic
configuration. These experiments have shown that the vibrational state of the
incident molecule can have a profound effect on reaction probability, and
suggest that energy redisribution within the reaction complex is not complete
prior to reaction and that the competing kinetics of energy redistribution and
reaction might be manipulated to control the outcome of a reaction. This has
been subsequently confirmed by exerting bond-elective control over a
heterogeneously catalyzed reaction.
Selected Recent Publications
"Precursor-mediated reactivity of vibrationally hot molecules: Methane activation on Ir(1 1 1)",
E. Dombrowski, E. Peterson, D. Del Sesto and A. L. Utz, Catalysis Today, 2015, 244, 10-18.
"State-Resolved Reactivity of Methane (v2+v4) on Ni(111)", N. Chen, Y. Huang and A. L. Utz, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2013, 117, 6250-6255.
"Surface Temperature Dependence of Methane Activation on
Ni(111), D. R. Killelea, V. L. Campbell, N. S. Shuman, R. R. Smith and A. L. Utz, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2009, 113, 20618-20622.
"Mode Selective Chemistry at Surfaces", A. L. Utz, Curr. Opin. Solid State
Mater. Sci., 2009, 13, 4-12.
"State-Resolved Probes of Methane Dissociation Dynamics", L. B. F. Juurlink, D.
R. Killelea, and A. L. Utz, Prog. Surf. Sci., 2009, 84, 69-134.
"Isotope Selective Chemical Vapor Deposition via Vibrational Activation", D. R.
Killelea, V. L. Campbell, N. S. Shuman, and A. L. Utz, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2008, 112, 9822-9827.
"Bond Selective Control of a Heterogeneously Catalyzed Reaction", D. R. Killelea,
V. L. Campbell, N. S. Shuman, and A. L. Utz, Science, 2008, 319,
"Comparative Study of C-H Stretch and Bend Vibrations in Methane Activation on
Ni(100) and Ni(111)", L. B. F. Juurlink, R. R. Smith, D. R. Killelea, and A. L.
Utz, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2005, 94, 208303/1-4.
"Preference for Vibrational over Translational Energy in a Gas-Surface Reaction", R. R. Smith, D. R. Killelea, D. F. DelSesto, and A. L. Utz, Science, 2004, 304, 992-995, doi:10.1126/science.1096309.
Additional publications can be found HERE.