Chemistry and Biochemistry

Steven R. Goates

Steven Goates

Office: C311 BNSN
Office Phone: 801-422-2227
Lab Room: C394 BNSN
Lab Phone: 801-422-5378
Office Hours


BS, Brigham Young University (1976)

MS, The University of Michigan (1977)

Ph.D., The University of Michigan (1981)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University (1981-82)

Visiting Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1989)

Visiting Academic, Oxford University, England (1997)

Curriculum Vitae


My studies involve the application of spectroscopy and lasers to both analytical and physical chemistry problems. My students and I have focused on problems ranging from the detailed analysis of complex substances to studies of the behavior of supercritical fluids to molecular structures at surfaces and interfaces. Much of our work involves collaboration with other research groups, thereby bringing greater expertise and unusual perspectives to bear on chemical problems.

Analysis of complex, high-molecular-weight samples has been an area of long time effort. Such samples range from fossil fuels to biological materials. Supersonic jet spectroscopy (SJS) especially when coupled with supercritical fluids (SF) allows for selective detection of the components of samples. This selectivity is because the supersonic jet process produces spectra with much greater detail and information content than does conventional spectroscopy. Compare, for example, the conventional excitation spectrum of perylene in toluene shown in the upper figure with the SJS spectrum in the lower figure. We have extended the technique to nonvolatile, thermally unstable compounds by employing supercritical fluids, rather than gases, as the carrier fluids. And we have shown how SJS can be coupled to capillary supercritical fluid chromatography to obtain particularly high analytical resolving power. We are currently pursuing studies in natural product and medical analysis.

Another area of interest has been investigation of phenomena important to chromatography. These include experiments employing non-linear surface spectroscopy to probe the chemical structure of stationary phases under varying circumstances in order to get a better understanding of the interactions involved in chemical separations. As an example of probing surface structures by non-linear spectroscopy, Figure 2 shows sum frequency spectra of phospholipid on a cross-linked octadecyl layer.

Students receive broad training in spectroscopy, optics, lasers, computers, and vacuum techniques. An eagerness to learn, self-motivation, and a readiness to tackle unfamiliar problems are the primary qualifications.

Additional research areas: Physical Chemistry, Applied Spectroscopy and Surfaces


Arthur D. Quast, Alexander D. Curtis, Brent A. Horn, Steven R. Goates, and James E. Patterson, “Role of Nonresonant Sum-Frequency Generation in the Investigation of Model Liquid Chromatography Systems”,  Anal. Chem., 84, 1862–1870 (2012).

L. Robert Baker, Andrew W. Orton, Steven R. Goates, and Brent A. Horn, "Characterization of Carbon Dioxide Mobile Phase Density Profiles in Packed Capillary Columns by Raman Microscopy", Appl. Spec. 63, 108111 (2009).

L. Robert Baker, Marisa A. Stark, Andrew W. Orton, Brent A. Horn, and Steven R. Goates, "Density Gradients in Packed Columns Part I:  Effects of Density Gradients on Analyte Retention and Separation Speed", J. Chromatogr. A 1216, 55885593 (2009).

L. Robert Baker, Andrew W. Orton, Marisa A. Stark, and Steven R. Goates, "Density Gradients in Packed Columns Part II:  Effects of Density Gradients on Separation Efficiency", J.Chromatogr. A 1216, 55945599 (2009).

S.R. Goates, D.A. Schofield and C.D. Bain, "A Study of Non-Ionic Surfactants at the Air/Water Interface by Sum-Frequency Spectroscopy and Ellipsometry," Langmuir 15, 1400 (1999).

Q. Ji, E.M. Eyring, R. van Eldik, K.B. Reddy, S.R. Goates and M.L. Lee, "New Optical Cell Design for Laser Flash Photolysis Studies in Supercritical Fluids," Rev. Sci. Instrum. 66, 222 (1995).

S.H. Page, H. Yun, M.L. Lee, and S.R. Goates, "Rapid Method for the Determination of Phase Behavior of Fluid Mixtures Employed in Supercritical Fluid Experiments," Anal. Chem., 65, 1493-1495 (1993).

C.H. Sin, M.R. Linford, and S.R. Goates, "Supercritical Fluid/Supersonic Jet Spectroscopy with a Sheath-Flow Nozzle," Anal. Chem., 64, 233-238 (1992).

S.M. Silence, S.R. Goates, and K.A. Nelson, "Impulsive Stimulated Scattering Study of Normal and Supercooled Liquid Triphenyl Phosphite," Chem. Phys., 149, 233-259 (1990).

S.R. Goates, C.H. Sin, J.K. Simons, K.E. Markides, and M.L. Lee, "Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Supersonic Jet Spectroscopy: II. Capillary Column SFC with a Sheath-Flow Nozzle," J. Microcol., Sep. 1, 207 (1989).

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