The International Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Matrix Isolated Species started in 1973, and since then, has taken place every other year, alternating between Europe and the US. The 1983 US conference marked the first time that the meeting was organized under the auspices of the Gordon Research Foundation, making 2007 GRC the 12th in this series.
While spectroscopic investigations of molecules frozen in cryogenic solids can be traced back to the 1920s, the concept of using rare gas matrices to isolate and study unstable species was enunciated independently in 1954, by G.C. Pimentel1
and by G. Porter2
. The investigation of free radicals, reaction intermediates, trapped conformers, stable and unstable complexes, separated ions, by all possible spectroscopic means, was the mainstream along which the field flourished. These subjects continue near center stage of the the conferences. The field has significantly evolved since then, and the themes in the conferences reflect that. Matrix isolated chemistry and physics describes a significant body of the new focus. These works strive to isolate elementary steps in molecular dynamics, now taking advantage of the time-resolved spectroscopies: energy transfer, charge transfer, isomerization, bond formation and breaking, non-adiabatic processes, electron phonon coupling, tunneling, coherent processes and decoherence, and accompanying quantum effects and processes. In addition to the classical rare gas hosts, the quantum hosts of helium, hydrogen are now central for both traditional applications and for investigating quantum collective dynamics. Beyond the isolated species, systemic interest in the guest and host combination is a distinct new focus. Reactivity of the matrix and the novel class of rare gas molecules, is a dramatic example of this class. Studies of ices - pure and doped - represent another example, which historically has been motivated by interests in astrophysics and interstellar spectroscopy and chemistry. The closely related field of clathrates, and in particular clathrate hydrates, with potential global impacts on energy and the environment, is another that will be featured in the 2007 conference. Non-traditional matrices and novel applications is a tradition of the GRC on matrices.
1 E. Whittle, D. A. Dows, and G. C. Pimentel, J. Chem. Phys. 22, 1943 (1954).
2 I. Norman and G. Porter, Nature, Lond. 174, 508 (1954).
What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.