“We are pleased that researchers from four different technology directorates of Air Force Research Laboratory participated in this meeting, helping to build cross-disciplinary and cross-directorate ties,” Berman noted.
The Molecular Dynamics program has produced many important advances for the Air Force including the Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL), now the centerpiece of Airborne Laser system, novel propellants, and computer models that predict conditions and improve performance of vehicles in space.
The program has also supported the research of several Nobel Prize winning scientists.
The objectives of the molecular dynamics program are to understand, predict, and control the reactivity and flow of energy in molecules.
This knowledge will be used in atmospheric chemistry to improve detection and control of signatures; in high-energy-density matter research to develop new energetic materials for propellants and propulsion systems; in chemical laser research to develop new high-energy laser systems; and in many other chemical systems in which predictive capabilities and control of chemical reactivity and energy flow at a detailed molecular level will be of importance.
Areas of interest in atmospheric chemistry include the dynamics of ion-molecule reactions relevant to processes in weakly ionized plasmas, atmospheric heterogeneous chemistry in aircraft and rocket exhausts, gas-surface interactions in space, and reactive and energy transfer processes that produce and affect radiant emissions in the upper atmosphere.
Research on high energy density matter for propulsion applications investigates novel concepts for storing chemical energy in low-molecular-weight systems, and the stability and sensitivity of those energetic molecular systems.
The coupling of chemistry and fluid dynamics in high speed reactive flows is also of interest. Research in energy transfer and energy storage in metastable states of molecules supports our interest in new concepts for chemical lasers.
Materials-related research includes the study of the synthesis, structure, and properties of metal-containing molecular clusters and nanostructures.
Interest in nanostructures has particular emphasis on nanoscale systems in which the number of atoms or specific arrangement of atoms in a cluster has dramatic effects on its reactivity or properties.
Also of interest are sensitive new diagnostic methods for detecting individual molecules and probing nanostructures.
Fundamental studies aimed at developing basic understanding and predictive capabilities for chemical reactivity, bonding, and energy transfer processes are also encouraged.