Group meeting photo September 14 2020

Research Focus

In the de Vries group, we use state-of-the-art spectroscopy to explore the excited state dynamics of compounds in the gas phase. By coupling Resonant Enhanced Multi Photon Ionization (REMPI) with TOF-mass spectrometry, we are able to wavelength and mass select to distinguish isomers in the instrument. Through this technique and the benefits of cold gas phase spectroscopy, the individual vibronic bands and lifetimes of a specific tautomer can be determined. Our research focuses on two main areas: origin of life and art/archaeology. Concerning the origin of life, we have developed a model which states that the photostability of the nucleobases was one of the key selection processes. By comparing the excited state lifetimes of canonical and alternative nucleobases, we've determine that canonical nucleobases always relax faster at the lowest possible ionization energy than the alternative forms. For molecules of interest to art and archaeology, we have developed the technique of Tip Enhanced Laser Desorption to try to chemical identify the layers present in a cross section of painting. In addition, we partner with multiple archaeologist to preform Organic Residue Analysis for cacao in Mayan pottery and wine in Nubian pottery. 

De Vries Group Research

de Vries Research Group: Shedding Light on our Origins

If you are intersted in joining or learning more about the de Vries Group, we have weekly group meetings that anyone is welcome to join. Please contact Mattanjah de Vries at


Our graduate student Ana Delia Parejo Vidal presented our work "Excited State double proton or...

Our grad student Ana Delia Parejo Vidal presented our work "Tip Enhanced Laser Desorption" in...

Our group also participated in the JSU-UCSB Mentor program welcoming the Masters student...

Elise Liu joined our lab this through the summer program RMP at UCSB! Elise worked under Ana's...

Sam Boldissar | Department of Chemistry - UC Santa BarbaraWe mourn the loss of Sam Boldissar (1992-2017) who passed away in a rock climbing accident in March 2017 at Joshua Tree National Park. Sam was first and foremost our friend who had a brilliant mind and passion for science, the California outdoors, and his family and friends. Sam was ever humble and his enjoyment of life was infectious. We are better for knowing him and absolutely devastated he is no longer here.

    Can't stop the spirits when they need you

    This life is more than just a read through

                                                 -Red Hot Chili Peppers