Asher Research Group

Department of Chemistry University of Pittsburgh


Welcome to the Asher Group Homepage!


The Asher Research Group takes an interdisciplinary approach to research. We draw from the disciplines of Biophysics, Spectroscopy, and Materials Science to learn about the chemistry of our own bodies as well as the chemistry of the world around us. UV Resonance Raman Spectroscopy and Crystalline Colloidal Arrays are the two main areas of our research.


UV Resonance Raman Spectroscopy involves examining how UV light interacts with the electrons of samples and provides information about their molecular structure and dynamics. We develop instrumentation so that samples as varied as biomolecules and meteorite particles can be easily examined . Motivated by questions posed by the medical community, many of the group members concentrate their studies in the area of proteins with the goal of contributing information about peptide excited states and conformations as well as protein folding.


Crystalline Colloidal Arrays, (CCA), are composed of uniformly charged particles which self-assemble into crystalline structures. The structural arrangements of these colloids enable them to Bragg diffract visible light, giving them unique optical properties. Research is being conducted to find ways of using CCAs to make chemical sensors, light filters, optical switches, and chemical separations media.