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H. Floyd Davis


Olin Chemistry Research Wing, Room 260B

Educational Background

PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1992
BSc, University of Waterloo, Canada, 1986



The Davis group uses laser and molecular beam methods to study the dynamics of elementary bimolecular and photochemical reactions.   Reactions of interest involve organic and atmospheric free radicals, as well as transition metal atoms and simple transition metal complexes.

Research Focus

We experimentally study the dynamics of chemical reactions relevant to catalysis, combustion, and atmospheric chemistry. Our research employs photolytic and pyrolytic techniques to generate molecular beams containing neutral transition metal atoms, complexes, free radicals, and aerosol particles. Reactions are initiated by crossing such beams with a second molecular beam under single collision conditions. The angular and velocity distributions of the reaction products from single bimolecular collisions are measured to learn about: 1) the branching ratios for competing reactions; 2) the reaction mechanism(s); and 3) the disposal of excess energy into the products' degrees of freedom.


Experimental studies of bimolecular chemical reaction dynamics, catalysis, combustion and atmospheric chemistry


  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology


Collision Complex Lifetimes in the Reaction C6H5 + O2 → C6H5O + O, Daniel R. Albert and H. Floyd Davis; J. Phys.  Chem. Lett., 1, 1107 (2010) DOI: 10.1021/jz100199z  Abstract, PDF*

Improved piezoelectric actuators for use in high-speed  pulsed valves, D.L. Proctor, D.R. Albert and H. Floyd Davis, Rev. Sci.Instrum. 81, 023106 (2010). AbstractPDF*

Vibrational vs. Translational Energy in Promoting a Prototype Metal-Hydrocarbon Insertion Reaction , D. L. Proctorand H. F. Davis, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. Am. 105, 12673 (2008).    Abstract  PDF* Poster (pdf)  Poster (ppt)

C-C vs. C-H Bond Activation of Alkynes by Early Second-Row Transition Metal Atoms, R.Z. Hinrichs, J. J. Schroden, and H.F. Davis,  J. Phys. Chem. A. 112, 3010 (2008).  PDF*