M Lizabeth Alexander, Ph.D.Senior Research Scientist, WR Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Mass Spectroscopy
http://emslbios.pnl.gov/id/alexander_mlizabeth Updated: November 25, 1997
Current Activities and Projects
Most recently, Dr. Alexander has been involved with instrument development and deployment in the atmospheric science and related fields. Specifically, she is using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) to obtain direct measurements of volatile organic compounds in air to study air pollution and aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) to measure the size and composition of ambient atmospheric particulates. Dr. Alexander led a team to successfully interface the PTR-MS drift tube with an ion-trap mass spectrometer, providing an instrument with a higher duty cycle to achieve faster acquisitions. Dr. Alexander also recently served as part of air quality campaigns in Mexico City and Houston where PTR-MS and AMS were deployed at multiple ground sites and aboard the DOE G1 aircraft. She has collaborated to evaluate applications of PTR-MS and AMS such as characterization of car exhaust and understanding how catalysts work, in particular diesel engines. She also recently collaborated with Boeing to determine how jet engine oil is broken down at high temperatures.
- Atmospheric chemistry
- Fabrication and characterization of novel membrane materials
- Chemical ionization and mass spectrometry
- Laser ablation
Dr. Alexander's research has encompassed fundamental processes involved in laser ablation of samples for chemical analysis. Knowledge gained from these basic studies was and continues to be applied to the development and deployment of new instrumentation, including a laser ablation system for elemental analysis with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry installed in a Hanford hot cell. Dr. Alexander was responsible for the successful implementation of laser desorption in an ion trap mass spectrometer, LD-ITMS system as part of the EMSL user facility and has developed ion trap-based methods for real-time monitoring of trace species in the atmosphere for nuclear non-proliferation programs.
PhD, Chemical Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1987
BS, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 1979
Awards, Honors, & Appointments
DOE Mentor of the Year Award, 2002
Fitzner-Eberhardt Award nominee, 2002
PTR-MS Collaborator, University of Innsbruck, Austria