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Group Members

Morse Group Alumni

Present Members of the Morse Group:


Graduate Students:





Dakota Merriles – Dakota obtained his B.S. degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2017, and began his graduate studies at the University of Utah in August of that year.  He joined the Morse group in January, 2018 and has since successfully measured and published the bond dissociation energies for FeB, CoB, NiB, RuB, RhB, OsB, IrB, and PtB. His results on the bond dissociation energies of ScB, TiB, VB, YB, ZrB, NbB, LaB, HfB, TaB, and WB are currently being written up for publication. He has also worked on the first ever resonant three photon ionization spectroscopy experiment measuring the bond dissociation energy of VO. He is currently working on spectroscopic experiments on early transition metal and lanthanide diborides.  





Kimberly Tomchak - Kim obtained her B.S. degree from Saint Louis University in 2019 and began her graduate studies at the University of Utah the following August. She joined the Morse group in December 2019 and has since assisted in the measurement of the early transition metal diatomic sulfides including ScS, YS, TiS, ZrS, HfS, NbS, and TaS. She is currently assisting with the early transistion metal and lanthanide diboride experiments. Future work will include furthering resonant three photon ionization experiments and measuring the bond dissociation energies of transition metal halides.





Joshua Ewigleben Joshua obtained his B.S. degree from Indiana University Bloomington. He began his graduate career at University of Utah the summer of 2019.  Joshua joined the Morse Group in December 2019 and has been primarily working on the cryogenically-cooled ion photodissociation spectrometer. In addition, he has assisted in the measurements of bond dissociation energies for the transition metal oxides CrO and MoO. Future work will include measuring the bond dissociation energies of cationic transition metal containing species.


 Undergraduate Students:

Yexalen Barrera Casas

Yexalen Barrera Casas - undergraduate student, summer of 2022- present.  Yexalen has contributed significantly to the measurement of the bond dissociation energies and ionization energies of MoN, RuN, RhN, HfN, OsN, and IrN, and the ionization energies of RuC, RhC, OsC, IrC, and PtC.  She will use these data to write up her Honors thesis during the Fall semester, 2022.

Saoirs Kerr

Saoirse Kerr - undergraduate student, spring 2022-present.  Saoirse has contributed to the laboratory efforts to construct an ion photodissociation spectrometer by helping to build radio frequency power supplies for ion guides and traps in the new instrument and is writing code to enable a dye laser to be interfaced to the instrument.


Last Updated: 10/11/22