Kent M. Ervin

Clemons-Magee Professor of Chemistry
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Contact Information


  • 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)

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.Ervin figure


  • Ervin, K.M.  Capture collisions of polyynide anions with hydrogen atoms:  Effect of the ion dipole, quadrupole, and anisotropic polarizability.  Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 2015, 378, 48-53. 
  • Nickel, A.A.; Lanorio, J.G.; Ervin, K.M.  Energy-resolved collision-induced dissociation of peroxyformate anion:  Enthalpies of formation of peroxyformic acid and peroxyformyl radical.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2013, 117, 1021-1029.
  • Dangi, B.B.; Ervin, K.M.  Optimization of a quadrupole ion storage trap as a source for time-of-flight mass spectrometry.  J. Mass Spectrom. 2012, 47, 41-48.
  • Dangi, B.B.; Sassin, N.A.; Ervin, K.M.  Pulsed ion extraction diagnostics in a quadrupole ion trap linear time-of-flight mass spectrometer.  Rev. Sci. Instrum. 2010, 81, 063302.
  • Sassin, N.A.; Everhart, S.C.; Dangi, B.; Ervin, K.M.; Cline, J.I.  Fluorescence and photodissociation of rhodamine 575 cations in a quadrupole ion trap.  J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2009, 104, 96-104.
  • Sassin, N.A.; Everhart, S.C.; Cline, J.I.; Ervin, K.M.  Photodissociation and collisional cooling of rhodamine 575 cations in a quadrupole ion trap.  J. Chem. Phys. 2008, 128, 234305.
  • Armentrout, P.B.; Ervin, K.M.; Rodgers, M.T.  Statistical rate theory and kinetic energy-resolved ion chemistry:  Theory and applications.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2008, 112, 10071-10085.
  • Shi, Y.; Ervin, K.M.  Hydrogen atom transfer reactions of C2-, C4-, and C6-.  Bond dissociation energies of H-C2n- and H-C2n (n = 1,2,3).  J. Phys. Chem. A 2008, 112, 1261-1267.
  • Jia, B.; Ervin, K.M.  Threshold collision-induced dissociation of hydrogen-bonded dimers of carboxylic acids.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2008, 112, 1773-1782.
  • Angel, L.A.; Ervin, K.M.  Gas-phase acidities and O-H bond dissociation enthalpies of phenol, 3-methylphenol, 2,4,6-trimethylphenol, and ethanoic acid.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2006, 110, 10392-10403.
  • Akin, F.A.; Ervin, K.M.  Collision-induced dissociation of HS-(HCN):  Unsymmetrical hydrogen bonding in a proton-bound dimer anion.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2006, 110, 1342-1349.
  • Akin, F.A.; Ree, J.; Ervin, K.M.; Shin, H.K.  Threshold collision-induced dissociation of diatomic molecules:  A case study of the energetics and dynamics of O2- collisions with Ar and Xe.  J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123, 064308.
  • Ervin, K.M.; Armentrout, P.B.  Systematic and random errors in ion affinities and activation entropies from the extended kinetic method.  J. Mass Spectrom. 2004, 39, 1004-1015.
  • Angel, L.A.; Ervin, K.M.  Competitive threshold collision-induced dissociation:  Gas-phase acidity and O-H bond dissociation enthalpy of phenol.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2004, 108, 8346-8352.
  • Angel, L.A.; Ervin, K.M.  Gas-phase reactions of the iodide ion with chloromethane and bromomethane:  Competition between nucleophilic displacement and halogen abstraction.  J. Phys. Chem. A 2004, 108, 9827-9833.