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Michael Ruggiero    

Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont

In everything around us, even things as solid as a rock, atoms and molecules are constantly moving. Michael Ruggiero's research is geared towards understanding these movements, which have an impact on the properties of materials. That research has potential applications in pharmaceuticals and other areas. The core of his research is related to the structure-dynamics relationship of molecular solids, i.e. how molecules are arranged and the nature of the molecular motions present. Specifically, we use low-frequency vibrational spectroscopy, which is an extension of infrared vibrational spectroscopy to lower-energies that falls within the terahertz frequency window (0.3-30 THz, 10-1000 cm-1). The technique is similar in concept to FTIR, however unlike FTIR (which probes motions on individual bonds) the lower frequencies can excite large-amplitude intermolecular motions of entire molecules.

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