Research

Our research is focused on applying state-of-the-art techniques in microwave spectroscopy to solve problems in astrochemistry and in analytical chemistry. Our research group at UC Davis applies microwave spectroscopy to study kinetics of chemical reactions that occur in space, and explores new uses of microwave spectroscopy for automated chemical analysis.  The Crabtree lab uses a technique called chirped-pulse Fourier Transform Microwave (CP-FTMW) spectroscopy together with supersonic molecular beam methods to study the rates of chemical reactions under space-like conditions. Using the rate data obtained from these experiments, computer modeling can be used to interpret telescope observations. Through this combination of laboratory experiments, computer techniques, and collaborations with astronomers, the Crabtree group aims to improve our understanding of the origin of life on Earth and to assess the prospects for the development of life elsewhere in the universe.