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Dr. Matthew King, Ph.D.

Matt King

Assistant Professor
Materials & Physical Chemistry
Office: SCNC 323
Phone: 208-426-1019
Research Group Web Page


Research focus: Ultrafast Spectroscopy; Materials Chemistry; Solid-State Molecular Modeling; Molecular Dynamics; Crystal Structure Prediction and Material Design

Educational Background

2012: Syracuse University, Ph.D.
2008: University of Maine, M.S.
2006: University of Alaska Anchorage, B.S.


Research in the King Group utilizes ultrafast spectroscopy and computational modeling to study structure, properties, and dynamics of materials. Our lab is equipped with two femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser systems, regenerative amplifiers, and optical parametric amplifiers, giving us the capability of producing high-energy pulses tunable over a broad spectral bandwidth, from the UV to mid-IR. The available instruments allow us to perform spectroscopic measurements using a variety of powerful optical techniques. Primary areas of current research involve time-domain terahertz spectroscopy, vibrational sum frequency generation, and time-resolved multidimensional pump-probe techniques.

Our group employs computational methods to aid in the understanding of the underlying physical phenomena uncovered by experimental observations, as well as for the design and prediction of material structure and properties. Solid-state density functional theory is used for calculation of electronic structures, low-frequency vibrational spectra, and dielectric properties of crystalline systems. Molecular dynamics simulations are also used to investigate long-timescale processes and thermodynamics involving crystal phase transitions, solvation, and molecular mobility and activity at phase interfaces.

Students researching in our laboratory have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art instrumentation and nonlinear optical spectroscopic techniques to explore material properties. A diversity of projects are available for students interested in experimental and/or computational research.

Current Areas of Research:

  • Phase transitions, changes in structure and properties of molecular crystals due to applied external stimuli, i.e. hydrostatic pressure, mechanical stresses, electric fields
  • Water surface interactions, infiltration, and hydration/dehydration processes of materials
  • Crystal structure prediction and design of materials with tailored structure and properties
  • Coupling of optical and acoustic phonon modes in organic ferroelectric materials