Date of Graduation

Winter 12-14-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Giovanni Meloni, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Janet Yang, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

William Melaugh, Ph.D.


This thesis investigates the combustion potential of 2-phenylethanol and the superalkali properties of small lithium substituted silicon compounds. All combustion experiments were performed at the Advanced Light Source of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the Chemical Dynamics Beamline 9.0.2. The chlorine initiated oxidation of 2PE was investigated at 298 and 550 K using a multiplex photoionization mass spectrometer, coupled with the tunable vacuum ultraviolet radiation. Reaction products were identified using kinetic time traces and photoionization spectra.

Additionally, the stability of small superalkali silicon-lithium compounds has also been investigated. All structures and energetics were calculated using the CBS-QB3 composite method.

The first chapter of this thesis discusses atmospheric pollution, engine technology, biofuels and other alternative energy sources. The ALS, the experimental apparatus and their components are explained throughout Chapter 2. Chapter 3 explains the theory behind the computational methodology, as well as how to analyze the results obtained from the experimental apparatus. Chapter 4 evaluates the chlorine initiated oxidation of 2-phenylethanol. Chapter 5 investigates the superalkali properties of small silicon-lithium compounds.