Formal headshot of Kent Ervin

Kent M. Ervin

Clemons-Magee Professor of Chemistry


Research Interests

Tandem mass spectrometry techniques are used to study chemical systems relevant to combustion kinetics, astrophysical and atmospheric chemistry, and the dissociation dynamics of molecular ions. Two custom-built tandem mass spectrometers have been developed for these studies: a guided ion beam tandem mass spectrometer with a magnetic sector initial mass spectrometer and a linear quadrupole final mass spectrometer, and an apparatus with a 3D quadrupole ion trap with a time-of-flight mass spectrometer for detection. Gas-phase ion-molecule reactions are investigated as a function of collision energy. Proton transfer and hydrogen atom transfer reactions of organic molecules are used to investigate thermochemical properties of hydrocarbon radicals important in combustion kinetics and environmental chemistry. Reaction threshold energies measured with the guided ion beam mass spectrometer can be related to the R-H bond dissociation energies. Competitive threshold collision-induced dissociation of proton-bound complex ions is used to measure relative gas-phase acidities and proton affinities.


  • Postdoctoral (1986-1990), JILA, University of Colorado (W. C. Lineberger)
  • Ph.D. (1986), University of California, Berkeley (P. B. Armentrout)
  • B.S., B.A. (1981), University of Kansas; Ph.D. (1986)