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Dearden Lab

The Dearden Group's research centers on the development and use of state-of-the-art, extremely sensitive chemical analysis tools.

Dearden Group

The Group primarily works with a Fourier transform mass spectrometer (FTMS), which weighs molecules with accuracies of about one part per million and can distinguish between molecules with similar weights better than any other available technique. With the FTMS's kind of accuracy, merely weighing a molecule is usually enough to unambiguously identify it, and this can be done with samples whose total mass is less than one billionth of a gram. Further, because the instrument “levitates” and traps molecules in a strong magnetic field, it serves as a sophisticated “test tube” in which we can carry out and study complex reactions with these tiny quantities of material.