Our Research

When molecules interact noncovalently through hydrogen bonding or other electrostatic interactions, pi-pi interactions, or Van der Waals forces, their physical properties change. Although intermolecular interactions have received much attention recently at the ensemble level, the study of individual dimers, trimers and larger clusters (as well as binary and higher level interactions with other species) to reveal the intimate interactions leading to the bulk observables remains for the most part elusive. We study the physical properties of interacting molecules in environments ranging from the single molecule to the bulk. Various sized clusters of molecules displaying noncovalent interactions are being studied using different spectroscopic methods and computational modeling.  Our spectroscopic capabilities include high resolution Raman spectroscopy, the study of size-selected clusters in the gas phase, the use of single molecule techniques such as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and other laser-based spectroscopies to study interacting molecular architectures such as excited state lifetime and quantum yield determinations. Such studies help answer long-standing questions involving the effects of intermolecular interactions on biologically relevant systems and also in developing devices incorporating conjugated organic molecules. Both as team members and individually, we work to make new strides in the overall understanding of how molecules interact with each other and how their structure affects their resulting properties. The Hammer Research Group also works to develop new resources and programming for chemical education.


Funded Grants

“RII Track-2 FEC: Feeding and Powering the World - Capturing Sunlight to Split Water and Generate Fertilizer and Fuels” (PI)

    National Science Foundation EPSCoR (OIA-1539035), August 2015 - July 2019

“MRI: Acquisition of a Raman Spectrometer for Research and Training at the University of Mississippi” (PI)

    National Science Foundation (CHE-1532079), September 2015 - August 2018

“REU Site: Ole Miss Physical Chemistry Summer Research Program” (PI)

    National Science Foundation (CHE-1460568), September 2015 - August 2018

“Modeling and Simulation of Complex Systems” (Senior Personnel)

    National Science Foundation EPSCoR (EPS-0903787), September 2009 - August 2016

“CAREER: Spectroscopically Tracking the Evolution of Noncovalent Interactions from the Single Molecule Level to the Condensed Phases” (PI)

    National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program

    (CHE-0955550), March 2010 - February 2017

REU Site: Ole Miss Physical Chemistry Summer Research Program (PI)

    National Science Foundation (CHE-1156713), September 2012 - August 2016

“Dynamics of Strand-Crossover Formation in Cadherin” (Co-PI)

    National Science Foundation (MCB-0950494), July 2010 - June 2014