Sarah Masters

ProfessorSarah Masters

Julius von Haast 633

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

My research is geared towards providing structural information about transient, short-lived, species. Research areas include the structure determination of transient species and stable radicals.

Transient species are generated using flash vacuum pyrolysis (FVP) techniques and analysed using gas electron diffraction (GED). The methodologies of FVP and GED have been combined in a new inlet system, and the species for investigation are passed into the diffraction chamber where structural data is collected. Very-high temperatures are required for this work, as the transient species are usually generated at temperatures between 500 and 900 K.

Generating stable radicals from sterically loaded systems is in the early stages of experimental investigation. The systems Z2R4 / ZR2 [Z = P or As, R = CH(SiMe3)2] provided the first known examples of molecules with relatively normal strong Z-Z bonds, which required no additional energy to break. The driving force for dissociation is the conformational change, which allows relaxation of the steric strain upon dissociation. This led to the term 'jack-in-the-box' molecules being applied to these systems. Other systems have been predicted to behave in this manner, although no experimental work has been carried out on them. Work is currently underway to examine the process of dissociation in other symmetric and also asymmetric systems using experimental and theoretical methods.

Recent Publications

  • Poudel P. and Masters SL. (2023) Structural, thermochemical and kinetic insights on the pyrolysis of diketene to produce ketene. Journal of Molecular Modeling 29(5)
  • Poudel P., Ja'o AM. and Masters SL. (2022) Should pyrolysis of diazotetranoic acid produce methylene ketene? A theoretical structural, thermochemical and kinetic study. Chemical Physics Letters 802
  • Huang Y., Masters S., Krumdieck S. and Bishop C. (2021) Phase Field Model of Faceted Anatase TiO2 Dendrites in Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition. Applied Physics Letters : 6.
  • Huang Y., Masters SL., Krumdieck SP. and Bishop CM. (2021) Phase field model of faceted anatase TiO2dendrites in low pressure chemical vapor deposition. Applied Physics Letters 119(22)
  • Ja’o AM., Wann DA., Rankine CD., Nunes JPF., Guillemin JC. and Masters SL. (2021) Structural and thermochemical studies of pyrrolidine borane and piperidine borane by gas electron diffraction and quantum chemical calculations. Structural Chemistry 32(1): 205-213.