My research interests relate to how complicated molecular architectures form in nature. Examples include zeolites and other inorganic nanoporous materials, and biological nanopores such as ion channels. I am also intrigued by the dynamics of ionic and molecular transport through such nanoscopic environments -- how to understand and predict the selectivities and fluxes of such transport. In general, I develop and apply molecular modeling approaches to pursue these interests, using a wide array of techniques from electronic structure calculations and ab initio dynamics on one end, to classical molecular dynamics and coarse-grained Monte Carlo simulations on the other end. We call our group the "Crunch Lab" = Chemistry Research Using Nice Computer Hardware.
Current Research in the Crunch Lab presently lives at the fertile intersection of computational science, nanotechnology, and clean energy — three of the most interesting and important areas of current science and engineering. In particular, with NSF funding we model the formation of biofuels in nanoporous zeolite catalysts, and with DOE funding we simulate the self-assembly and crystallization of zeolite nanopores. We also study structures and dynamics of hydrogen-bonding networks of interest to next-generation fuel cells.
Learn more at http://samson.chem.umass.edu/home.html
BS Chemistry, Georgetown University
PhD Physical Chemistry, UC Berkeley
Postdoctoral Training: Chemistry and Materials, UC Santa Barbara