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Dr. Zhuangjie Li

Associate Professor Analytical & Physical Chemistry
Graduate Program Advisor

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Characterization of atmospheric transient radical species. Kinetic and dynamic study of atmospheric chemistry of organics, halogen- and sulphur- containing compounds, and aerosols using fast flow, mass spectrometry, resonance fluorescence, FTIR spectroscopy and ab initio molecular orbital theory.

Office: DBH-179A
Phone: (657) 278-3585
Lab: DBH-184
Phone: (657) 278-2449
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 120B General Chemistry
  • CHEM 315 Theory of Quantitative Chemistry
  • CHEM 316 Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHEM 355 Physical Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHEM 371B Physical Chemistry
  • CHEM 411G Mass Spectrometry
  • CHEM 552 Kinetics and Spectroscopy


Postdoctoral Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech Pasadena, CA
Ph.D. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 
M.A. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
B.S. South China Institute of Technology

Research Interests

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a group of air pollutants that significantly contribute to photochemical smog and secondary organic aerosols.  Understanding the removal of air pollutants from the atmosphere requires kinetics information for the reactions of VOCs with atmospheric oxidants such as OH, Cl, O3,and NO3. It is important to accurately model the atmospheric composition and forecast the air quality of the polluted area. Using the relative rate combined with discharge flow and mass spectrometry (RR/DF/MS) technique our laboratory carries out experimental measurements to acquire such kinetics information.

Inorganic air pollutants such as NO2, SO2, and CO2 are produced in the combustion of fossil fuels, and they are responsible for global changes, including global warming and production of smog particulates that adversely affect the environment and human health. Our laboratory conducts experiments exploring ways for removal of these inorganic air pollutants, with focus on the investigation of reaction mechanisms and kinetics of the chemical processes involving these pollutants using FTIR and mass spectrometry techniques.

Our laboratory is also developing an analytical tool, namely the FTIR-ATR technique, for detection and quantification of VOCs in water, which is important for monitoring water quality and studying the removal of the VOCs contaminants from water.  We hope that this technique can be used to identify and quantify many VOCs contaminants, including industrial solvents, fuel additives, herbicides, and pesticides etc., in water analysis.

Selected Publications

Lin, W., Z. Li, “Detection and quantification of trace organic contaminants in water using the FTIR-ATR technique”, Anal. Chem., 85, 505-515 (2010).

Deepali Mehta, Andrew Nguyen, Anthony Montenegro, and Z. Li: "A Kinetic Study of the Reaction of OH with Xylenes using the Relative Rate/Discharge Flow/Mass Spectrometry Technique", J. Phys. Chem. A, 113, 12942-12951 (2009).

Li, Z., Sumitpal Singh: “FTIR and Ab Initio Investigations of MTBE-water complex”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 112, 8593–8599(2008).
Sumitpal Singh, Z. Li: “Kinetics Investigation of OH Reaction with Isoprene at 240-340K and 1-3 Torr using the Relative Rate/Discharge Flow/Mass Spectrometry Technique”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 111, 11843-11851(2007).

Li, Z., Sumitpal Singh, William Woodward, Lan Dang: “Kinetics Study of OH Radical Reactions with n-Octane, n-Nonane, and n-Decane at 240-340 K Using the Relative Rate/Discharge Flow/Mass Spectrometry Technique”, J. Phys. Chem. A,110, 12150-12157(2006).
Li, Y., J. Sun, J., Han, K., He, G., Li, Z.: “The dynamics of NO radical formation in the UV 266 nm photodissociation”, Chem. Phys. Letts., 421, 232–236(2006).

Li, Z., Pirasteh, A.: “Kinetic Study of the Reactions of Atomic Chlorine with Several Volatile Organic Compounds at 240 – 340 K”, Int. J. Chem. Kinetics, 38, 386–398(2006).

Li, Z., Nguyen, P. de Leon, M.F., Wang, J.H., Han, K.L., He, G.Z.: “Experimental and theoretical study of reaction of OH with 1,3-butadiene”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 110, 2698–2708(2006).

Sun, H, Li, Z.: “Rate constant measurement for the OH + OH → H2O + O reaction at 220-350 K using discharge flow/mass spectrometer/resonance fluorescence technique”, Chem. Phys. Lett, 399, 33-38(2004).

Crawford, M.A., Li, Z., Heuerman, H.A., Kinscherff, D.: “A Kinetic and Product Study of Reaction of Chlorine Atom with CH3CH2OD”, Int. J. Chem. Kinet., 36, 584-590(2004).