The research activities of the Okumura group are in the areas of laser spectroscopy, kinetics, and reaction dynamics, applied to problems in atmospheric chemistry. We study atmospheric free radicals and transient intermediates in order to understand the reactions and photochemistry that are most important in the troposphere and stratosphere. Our goal is both to determine parameters of key reactions and species in the atmosphere, and to understand the chemical physics of these processes at the most fundamental level. Image courtesy of Brian Bean.

Mitchio Okumura Faculty Webpage

Group members in August 2011


Group News:
Okumura group hosts 130 Pasadena Unified School District students On March 26 and 27, 2014, local elemetary school students from PUSD visited Caltech to learn about science from the Okumura group. A record number of 130 students in 4th and 5th grade saw chemistry demos and participated in exciting hands-on activities. The Okumura group hosts these outreach activities every year! See the Activities page for photos!

Okumura group moves to Linde + Robinson Laboratory Two of the Okumura group projects have moved to the Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science to join scientists from a variety of disciplines who will collaborate toward a better understanding of our global environment.

Recent Publications:
Mollner et al, "Rate of Gas Phase Association of the Hydroxyl Radical and Nitrogen Dioxide", Science 29 October 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6004 pp. 646-649. Okumura Group research in collaboration with Dr. Stanley Sander (JPL) and Professors Anne McCoy (OSU), Harley (UC Berkeley), and William Carter (UCR) on the reaction between NO2 and OH was recently featured in Science. Here are links to the Abstract, Reprint, and Full Text.
This article was recently detailed in Nature Chemistry, News and Views by Neil Donahue: "Atmospheric chemistry: The reaction that wouldn't quit," N.M. Donahue, Nature Chemistry 3 (2011)9899. doi:10.1038/nchem.941

Yeung et al, "O(3P) + CO2 collisions at hyperthermal energies: Dynamics of nonreactive scattering, oxygen isotope exchange, and oxygen-atom abstraction", J. Phys. Chem A, 116 (2012): 6484. Here are links to the Abstract, Reprint, and Full Text.

Sprague et al., "Kinetics of n-Butoxy and 2-Pentoxy Isomerization and Detection of Primary Products by Infrared Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy", J. Phys. Chem. A, 116 (2012): 63276340. Here is a link to the Full Text.

Takematsu et al., "Spectroscopic studies of the Jahn-Teller effect in the Ã2E" state of the nitrate radical NO3", Chem. Phys. Lett., 55 (2013): 57-63. Here is a link to the Full Text.