This paper describes the beginning and evolution of microwave rotational spectroscopic research starting in 1954 at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) located at that time in Washington DC. David Lide was hired in 1954 to start this research originally employing Stark modulated waveguide septum cells. When Donald R. Johnson joined the lab in 1968, he developed parallel plate cells coupled with rf and DC discharge methods to study free radicals and transient species. In the mid 1980s Lovas and Suenram constructed a pulsed molecular beam Fourier Transform microwave (FTMW) spectrometer to study hydrogen bonded and van der Waals dimers and trimers. This article describes the types of molecules studied and the type molecular properties derived from these measurements as well as some of the instruments developed for these studies. The two major areas of application described are atmospheric chemistry and molecular radio astronomy.
Citation: Journal of Research (NIST JRES) - 117.016Report Number:
NIST Pub Series: Journal of Research (NIST JRES)
Pub Type: NIST Pubs
atmospheric chemistry, dimmers, hydrogen bonding, internal rotation, microwave spectroscopy, radio astronomy, rotational spectrum, tunneling motions