Skip to main content

Tom Stephenson

James Hammons Professor

Physical Chemistry


  2. Phone: (610) 328-8561
  3. Science Center 186
Thomas Stephenson, James H. Hammons Professor


B.S., Chemistry, Furman University
Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University


My teaching is focused on courses in General Chemistry (10 and 10 HN) and Physical Chemistry (44 and 55), along with a senior-level seminar in Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy (105). In addition, I regularly supervise student research in my laboratory (94, 96, or 180).


The research in my laboratory is focused on the photochemical and photophysical processes that are important in the atmosphere. We are particularly interested in the behavior of highly excited molecules such as NO, OH, and SO2 , and utilize techniques such as ultraviolet laser photolysis, laser-induced fluorescence, and high-resolution spectroscopy to generate and probe the behavior of such molecules. Our goal is to understand the energy transfer processes that accompany collisions of highly excited molecules, and that have importance in modulating reactivity (or other dynamics) in the atmosphere.

Recent Publications

J.M. Beames, B.A. O'Donnell, M. Ting, M.I. Lester and T.A. Stephenson, "Experimental Characterization of the Weakly Anisotropic CN X2Σ+ + Ne Potential from IR-UV Double Resonance Studies of the CN-Ne Complex," J. Chem. Phys., 134, 184308 (2011).

J.H. Lehman, J.L. Bertrand*, T.A. Stephenson and M.I. Lester, "Reactive Quenching of OD2Σ+ + by H2: Translational Energy Distributions from Abstraction and Insertion Channels," J. Chem. Phys., 135, 144303 (2011).

J. M. Hutchison, R.R. O'Hern*, T. A. Stephenson, Y. V. Suleimanov and A.A. Buchachenko, "Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Collision-Induced Electronic Energy Transfer from v = 0-3 of the E(0g+) Ion-Pair State of Br2: Collisions with He and Ar", J. Chem. Phys., 128, 184311 (2008).

J.M. Hutchison, B.R. Carlisle* and T.A. Stephenson, "Ro-vibrational Resonance Effects in Collision-Induced Electronic Energy Transfer: I2(E, v = 0-2) + CF4". J. Chem. Phys., 125, 194313 (2006).

I.B. Pollack, Y. Lei, T.A. Stephenson and M.I. Lester, "Electronic Quenching of OH A 2S+ Radicals in Collisions with Molecular Hydrogen". Chem. Phys. Lett., 421, 324 (2006).

I.M. Konen, E.X.J. Li, T.A. Stephenson and M.I. Lester, "Second OH Overtone Excitation and Statistical Dissociation Dynamics of Peroxynitrous Acid". J. Chem. Phys., 123, 204318 (2005).

P.P. Chandra* and T.A. Stephenson, "Franck-Condon Effects in Collision-Induced Electronic Energy Transfer: I2(E; v = 1, 2) + He, Ar". J. Chem. Phys., 121, 2985 (2004).

T.V. Tscherbul, A.A. Buchachenko, M.E. Akopyan, S.A. Poretsky, A.M.Pravilov and T.A. Stephenson, "Collision-Induced Non-Adiabatic Transitions between the Ion-Pair States of Molecular Iodine: A Challenge for Experiment and Theory". Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 6, 3201 (2004).