Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Nathan Kidwell

Committee Members

Kristin Wustholz

Tyler Meldrum

Paul Davies


Nitrogen-heterocyclic chromophores such as 2-phenylpyrrole (2PhPy) are prototypical, molecular chromophores found in brown carbon (BrC) aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere. BrC aerosols are increasingly recognized as important contributors to radiative forcing in the atmosphere due to their optical absorption properties in the UV and visible wavelength ranges. In this study, the photophysical and structural changes of 2PhPy from sequential addition of water solvent molecules were investigated. In doing so, we aim to reveal the solvent-mediated photophysical outcomes and develop a molecular-level understanding of the local-solvation interactions at the BrC aerosol interface. Single-conformation spectroscopy methods were carried out to reveal the extended hydrogen-bonding topology of the mass-selected clusters with isomer selectivity. Our results are compared with several theoretical methods for detailed analysis of the photophysical outcomes at the aerosol interface.

Available for download on Friday, April 25, 2025

On-Campus Access Only