American Chemical Society
Central Ohio Valley Section

January Meeting


Tuesday, January 27
6:30 pm
Room 473 Science Building
Marshall University
Huntington, WV


Dr. Heather C. Allen
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
“Organization of Ions and Lipids at the Air-Water Interface”





The air-water interface has been the focus of research in the Allen Lab at Ohio State for more than a decade. We utilize nonlinear and linear optical spectroscopic methods to understand the local intermolecular interactions and organization of water itself with various solutes and monolayers. Motivated by atmospheric aerosol chemistry of marine and urban regions, and biophysical applications related to lung lining and biomembranes, monovalent and divalent cations and anions continue to be investigated by our group using conventional and heterodyne-detection vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG) spectroscopy. Interest is in the surface propensity and availability for reaction at water surfaces. Ion valency, polarizability, size, shape, and identity of the counterion are critical factors in considering ion organization and subsequent changes in interfacial electric field at the air water interface.  The hydrating water molecules play a key role in the interfacial organization of other species in the solution, and is studied directly as it reveals the details of ion interfacial distributions. Phospholipids and fatty acids are also investigated using both VSFG and Brewster angle microscopy (BAM). Head group differences, especially with regard to hydrogen bonding capability and extent, are discerning factors for surface organization and shape distinction at the water surface.

Speaker bio

Professor Allen received her B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1993 and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1997 at the University of California Irvine. Her advisors as an undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate were Nobel Laureate F. S. Rowland, D. Blake, J. C. Hemminger, B. J. Finlayson-Pitts, and G. L. Richmond respectively. As a student and postdoctoral researcher she was awarded several fellowships including Fannie and John Hertz, EPA, an NSF Traineeship, and a NOAA Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Climate and Global Change. At Ohio State she has been recognized for her research accomplishments with a Research Innovation Award from Research Corp. in 2001, an NSF CAREER Award in 2002, a Beckman Young Investigator Award in 2003, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow Award in 2005, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 2006, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012. Dr. Allen has also been recognized for several mentoring awards over the years including the most recent in 2013, the American Chemical Society National Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. She is a Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and in the Department of Pathology, and her research specialization is in molecular organization at interfaces.




Update on Bylaws Amendment

            Bylaws amendments were approved by the Constitution & Bylaws Committee and the new bylaws went into effect November 14, 2014.





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Change in the way meeting notices will be sent out.

The Section spends a substantial amount of money each year for postage on meeting notices.  At the November 4 meeting we discussed the option of switching to emailed notices.  Those present at the meeting were strongly in favor of making the switch.  This notice will be sent out by both US Mail and email.  We will use both methods for this meeting and the one after this.  After that, we will only send US Mail notices to those members for whom we do not have an email address and for those who specifically request that they be sent a hardcopy notice.  Requests to opt in to the hard copy notices should be sent to Dr. Gary D. Anderson, Department of Chemistry, Marshall University, Huntington,  WV   25755 or by email to  If you did not receive an email version of this notice please check with to make sure that we have the correct email address for you.