The Saykally Group

Experimental and Theoretical Physical Chemistry


We Are On The Cover of JPCA!

May 27, 2021
The high temperatures of primordial gas clouds could not support the formation of the first stars. For these Population III stars to condense from the hot gas to fusion densities, an efficient cooling mechanism was required. On the basis of prior experiments wherein the mid-IR lasing action from electronically excited H3 Rydberg molecules was discovered and related calculations, we propose the Rydberg molecules H3 and HeH as potentially significant coolants in this star-forming process.Continue Reading

The 2019 Claude and Janice Trottier Lectures in Chemistry

October 15, 2019

KAUST BESE Distinguished Lecture Series

November 19, 2018

E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy: Richard J. Saykally

January 8, 2018
For the development of powerful new laser spectroscopy technology and its application for pioneering studies of molecular ions, water, and aqueous solutions and their surfaces. Continue Reading

Unravelling the Mysteries of Carbonic Acid

Lynn Yaris
June 16, 2015
Blink your eyes and it’s long gone. Carbonic acid exists for only a tiny fraction of a second when carbon dioxide gas dissolves in water before changing into a mix of protons and bicarbonate anions. Despite its short life, however, carbonic acid imparts a lasting impact on Earth’s atmosphere and geology, as well as on the human body... Continue Reading

Five Things We Still Don't Know About Water

Richard J. Saykally
June 11, 2015
What could we not know about water? It’s wet! It’s clear. It comes from rain. It boils. It makes snow and it makes ice! Does our government actually spend taxpayer money for you to study water?”... Continue Reading

New insights on carbonic acid in water

Lynn Yarris
October 22, 2014
Though it garners few public headlines, carbonic acid, the hydrated form of carbon dioxide, is critical to both the health of the atmosphere and the human body. However, because it exists for only a fraction of a second before changing into a mix of hydrogen and bicarbonate ions, carbonic acid has remained an enigma. A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers has yielded valuable new information about carbonic acid with important implications for both geological and biological concerns... Continue Reading (1)(2)

Royce Lam Wins Student Poster Competition at 2013 ALS User Meeting

October 8, 2013


The Subtle, but Significant, Role of Surfaces in Ion Stickiness

February 5, 2019
Direct interactions dominate ion adsorption to aqueous graphene, a process central to vital processes in energy technology. Continue Reading

APXPS Finds Carbonate Reversal at Liquid Interfaces

May 30, 2017
Dissolving carbon dioxide (CO2) in water produces carbonate systems that are key to many processes essential to life, from the buffer system that regulates pH levels in blood, to the carbon cycle that governs CO2 uptake by Earth’s oceans. A detailed understanding of such systems is complicated by the presence of an interface—a cell membrane or the ocean surface, for example—that the CO2 must cross and that could affect the behavior of the various carbonate species (molecules containing the carbonate ion, CO32–). At the ALS, researchers have used ambient-pressure x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (APXPS) to probe the relative concentrations of carbonates near an interface, finding a surprising reversal in the expected abundances of carbonate (CO32–) and bicarbonate (HCO3) as a function of depth. The results raise important questions about what is really happening at interfacial regions, with relevance to topics ranging from carbon sequestration to biomedical research. Continue Reading

Synchrotron Sheds (X-ray) Light on Carbon Chemistry at Ocean Surfaces

AIP News Staff
March 7, 2017

A team of researchers from University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made breakthrough discoveries on the Earth’s carbonate system with far ranging applications, including carbon sequestration and biology... Continue Reading...

Ingenious: Richard Saykally

Brian Gallagher
June 11, 2015

Donning his regular work attire—jeans and a Hawaiian shirt—Richard Saykally tells me in four words the answer to a question I had often pondered in the shower: Why is water wet?... Continue Reading

Making a Good Thing Better: Berkeley Lab Researchers Open a Possible Avenue to Better Electrolyte for Lithium Ion Batteries

Lynn Yarris
December 19, 2014
The lithium-ion batteries that mobilize our electronic devices need to be improved if they are to power electric vehicles or store electrical energy for the grid. Berkeley Lab researchers looking for a better understanding of liquid electrolyte may have found a pathway forward. A team led by Richard Saykally, a chemist with Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division, David Prendergast, a theorist with Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, and Steven Harris, a chemist with the Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, found surprising results in the first X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of a model lithium electrolyte... Continue Reading

ALS Capabilities Reveal How Like Can Attract Like

March 26, 2014

A Berkeley Lab research team working at the ALS has observed an unusual pairing that seems to go against a universal scientific truth—that opposite charges attract and like charges repel. Led by Berkeley Lab chemist Richard Saykally and theorist David Prendergast, researchers demonstrated that, when hydrated in water, positively charged ions (cations) can actually pair up with one another... Continue Reading

More Articles

In Water as In Love, Likes Can Attract
Elusive water dimer detected at last
Viewpoint: Simplest Water Cluster Leaves Behind its Spectral Fingerprint
Two sides of the acid-base story
Terahertz Pioneer - Richard J. Saykally
Pinning Down the Water Hexamer
Rich Saykally Receives Bose Medal From India
New method for Hydrogen Gas Generation Discovered in Saykally Group