About Samantha Horvath

Samantha Horvath – Post-doctoral Fellow

Samantha Horvath

Personal Information: Even though I hail from the Midwest, I lived in Baltimore for eight years before heading off to college at the University of Tampa in sunny Florida. While Florida may seem like a strange place to study chemistry, I was once a marine biology major before changing my mind sophomore year of undergrad. While at UT I did some undergraduate research with Dr. John Struss regarding chiral catalysis of bleach oxidation.

With a little bit of organic synthesis under my belt, I felt that physical organic chemistry was for me, and I came here with the intention of working with Dr. Chris Hadad. However, during my first quarter at OSU, I decided to stick with physical chemistry only, and I found my niche with Anne and her group. In between graduate school and my undergraduate work, I had a REU fellowship at the University of Virginia where I worked under Ian Harrison doing surface chemistry of CH4– adsorption on Cs-doped platinum surfaces.

Having successfully defended my dissertation on "Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Weakly-bound Anions Using Full- and Reduced-dimensional Theoretical Models" in May 2010 and graduating in June 2010, I’m on my way out. Soon I will be joining Sharon Hammes-Schiffer’s group at Penn St. as a Post-doctoral Fellow where I will be investigating proton coupled electron transfer in conjunction with the EFRC on Molecular Electrocatalysis.

Research Interests: My work focuses on modeling vibrational spectroscopy and dynamics of small anionic clusters. I’ve recently finished up the bulk of my work on halide-water systems, which was my initial project when I first joined the group. In the halide-water study, we focus on one-dimensional calculations of the in-plane and out-of-plane bending modes of these molecules using a basis of sine and cosine functions as well as on two-dimensional calculations in a discrete variable representation (DVR), mainly regarding the ionic hydrogen-bond stretch in F(H2O) and F(D2O) (published in JPCA). This work is in collaboration with Joseph R. Roscioli and Mark A. Johnson, Yale University.

In addition, I have also studied a larger system, Cu-CD3OD to understand the nature of the time dynamics observed by Jack Barbera and W. Carl Lineberger, Univ. of Colorado, JILA (published JCP). My final project is also in the time domain, looking at the photodissociation dynamics of IBr and IBr(CO2). In the experiment for either species, the molecule is prepared in its ground electronic state upon it is photoexcited the A’ excited electronic state of the anion, then after some time delay, an electron is photodetached. We are modeling the dissociation dynamics of IBr as well as performing high-level ab initio calculations on IBr(CO2).

1. Joseph R. Roscioli, Eric G. Diken, Mark A. Johnson, Samantha Horvath and Anne B. McCoy, "Prying apart a water molecule with anionic H-bonding: A comparative spectroscopic study of the XH2O (X=OH, O, F, Cl and Br) binary complexes in the 600 – 3800 cm-1 region," J. Phys. Chem. A, 110, 4943-52 (2006). [Feature Article]
2. Jack Barbara, Samantha Horvath, Vladimir Dribinski, Anne B. McCoy and W. Carl Lineberger, “Femtosecond dynamics of Cu(CD3OD),” J. Chem. Phys., 126, 084307 (2007).
3. Samantha Horvath, Anne B. McCoy, Joseph R. Roscioli and Mark A. Johnson, “Vibrationally induced proton transfer in F(H2O) and F(D2O),” J. Phys. Chem. A, 112, 12337-44 (2008).
4. Samantha Horvath, Anne B. McCoy, Ben M. Eliot, Gary H. Weddle, Joseph R. Roscioli and Mark A. Johnson, “Anharmonicities and isotopic effects in the vibrational spectra of X·H2O , ·HDO, and ·D2O [X = Cl, Br, and I] binary complexes,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 114, 1556–1568 (2010). [W. C. Lineberger Festschrift]
5. Leonid Sheps, Elisa M. Miller, Samantha Horvath, Matthew A. Thompson, Robert Parson, Anne B. McCoy, W. Carl Lineberger, “Solvent-Mediated Electron Hopping Long-Range Charge Transfer in IBr(CO2) Photodissociation,” Science, 328, 220-224 (2010).
6. Samantha Horvath, Russell M. Pitzer, Anne B. McCoy, “Theoretical Investigations of the Time-Resolved Photodissociation Dynamics of IBr,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 114, 11337–11346 (2010). [K. Müller-Dethlefs Festschrift]


  1. Finalist in 2009 Henne Graduate Research Competition
  2. The Ohio State University Presidential fellow (Wi09 – Au09)
  3. Attendee of the 57th Meeting of the Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany
  4. Defense of doctoral thesis (May 2010)

Past Extra-curricular Activities:

  1. 2005 Picnic Committee Chair
  2. Coordinator for Women in Science Luncheon Series
  3. Member of Graduate Student Advisory Council (G-SAC)
  4. Co-coordinator of Physical Chemistry Student Lecture Series (PCSLS)
  5. Chair of the 2008 & 2009 Mack Award
  6. President of GEEKS (Graduate Events Encouraging Khemists to Socialize)


Teaching Experience:

  1. Chem 101 for Dr. King (Au04)
  2. Chem 541 for Dr. Friedman (Wi05)
  3. Chem 123 for Dr. Loza (Spr05)
  4. Chem 861 for Dr. McCoy (Au05)
  5. Chem 530 for Dr. Coe (Au06)
  6. Chem 775 for Dr. Pitzer (Au07)