About Sara Ray

Dr. Sara Ray – graduated June 2010

Sara Ray

Bio: I grew up in Springfield, IL. As a true Illinois girl I am a Cubs, Bears, and Fighting Illini fan (although I cheer for the Buckeyes when they are not playing U of I.) =) I went to college at Millikin University, in Decatur IL, where I did research on copper leaching from brass samples into water using cyclic voltammetry with Clarence Josefson. Outside of school and watching my sports teams, I enjoy knitting, theater, running (did my first half-marathon in April 08), going to concerts and watching movies.

Research: I just finished working on helium di-halogen complexes along with experimental collaborators at Washington University in St. Louis. We have two papers in the Journal of Chemical Physics (JCP). One on the He-Br2 system [Boucher et al. JCP 123, 104312 (2005)] and another focusing on the He-I2 system and comparing it to the He-Br2 system [Ray et al. JCP 125, 164314 (2006)]. In short, we are analyzing the spectra that result from transitions from the X-(ground electronic) state to the B-(second excited electronic) state. We use these spectra to obtain information about the different conformers of the system, assigning the lower-energy feature to the t-shaped conformer and the higher-energy feature to the linear conformer. In order to calculate these spectra, we use potential energy surfaces and discrete variable representation (DVR) calculations to obtain the energies and wave functions for each state. We plan to extend this work and analyze H2-I2 as well as D2-I2.

Recently, I have been studying the F + HCl reaction. We are looking to see if vibrationally exciting the HCl molecule will initiate the H-transfer reaction. We also are interested in what role the potential energy surfaces for this reaction [Deskevich et al. JCP 124, 224303 (2006)] plays in the reaction dynamics.

Other Activities:

  1. 2007 COMET Graduate Symposium Co-chair
  2. Secretary of the OSU Council of Graduate Students (2007-2008)
  3. Delegate to the OSU Council of Graduate Students (2006-2007)
  4. 2006 NSF Fellowship to attend the annual meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany
  5. G.E.E.K.S. Social Committee – Treasurer (2006-2008) – Secretary/Treasurer (2005-2006)
  6. Co-administrator on the McCoy/Bursten Beowulf Cluster with Mike Mrozik
  7. Chemistry Softball
  8. 2004 Department Picnic Co-Chair