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Dr. Adam M. Daly

Assistant Professor of Practice

Degrees and Appointments

  • B.S. in Chemistry and Physics from Humboldt State University
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Universidad de Valladolid
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: California Institute of Technology

Awards and Honors

  • SAACS Outstanding Teaching Assistant 2006

My research involves the connection of molecular structure and dymanics to the observed microwave spectrum of molecules in the gas phase.  Currently I am working with  the Kukolich group at the University of Arizona and Grupo Espectrocopia Molecular in Valladolid, Spain. 

Why gas phase?

The gas phase offers a powerful, isolated view of the molecular system  to study  structure and dynamics.  In the case of molecules in the interstellar medium, these conditions ideally replicate the native environments and we can record frequencies in the laborartories that astronomers can detect.

Why microwaves?

Microwave spectroscopy offers one of the highest resolutions possible in gas phase spectroscopy.  The technique is ideally suited for the detection and analysis of isotopic substitution, excited vibrational states, nuclear spin-electron distribution interactions and dipole moment determination.  Each microwave spectrum acts like a molecular fingerprint and can uniquely identify molecules in rather cluttered spectral environments due to the high resolution and specific relationships to the structure of the molecule.

Time domain signal (pink) and Frequency domain signal (blue) give accurate data to construct the gas phase structure and electronic environment.  This spectrum is the gas phase dimer of Formic Acid - Formamide.


How do we do it?

Microwave spectroscopy can be run in two modes: emission or absorption.  Each type of experiment has specialized equipment that relates a detected frequency with an energy level of the molecule. 

Figures:  (Left)  Direct absorption rotational spectroscopy and (Right) Pulsed Beam Microwave Fourier Transform Spectroscopy


Currently, interesting molecular stuctures of B-N complexes and organometallic dimers are being investigated that probe our ability to accurately characterize the gas phase structures such as





Our group is actively recruting interested undergraduates/graduates to engage in research in the areas of Molecular Structure, Instrument Development, Inorganic Synethesis.  Please contact me at adaly@email.arizona.edu for more details.




"Synthesis, microwave spectra, x-ray structure, and high-level theoretical calculations for formamidinium formate."

Zhou, Zunwu, R. Alan Aitken, Charlotte Cardinaud, Alexandra MZ Slawin, Honghao Wang, Adam M. Daly, Michael H. Palmer, and Stephen G. Kukolich.

The Journal of chemical physics 150(9)  094305  (2019)


Microwave spectra, molecular structure, and aromatic character of 4a, 8a-azaboranaphthalene

AM Pejlovas, AM Daly, AJ Ashe III, SG Kukolich

The Journal of chemical physics 144 (11), 114303  (2016)


VizieR Online Data Catalog: CH3CH2SH detection in Orion KL (Kole

L Kolesnikova, B Tercero, J Cernicharo, JL Alonso, AM Daly, BP Gordon, ...

VizieR Online Data Catalog 178  (2016)


Rotational spectra and nitrogen nuclear quadrupole coupling for the cyanoacetylene dimer: HCCCN⋯ HCCCN

L Kang, P Davis, I Dorell, K Li, A Daly, SE Novick, SG Kukolich

Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 321, 5-12  (2016)


Analysis of n17 monodeuterated ethane, CH3CH2D from 770 cm-1 to 880 cm-1

AM Daly, BJ Drouin, JC Pearson, K Sung, LR Brown, MAH Smith, Arlan Matz

Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 316, 1-10


Unraveling torsional bath interactions with the CO stretching state in methanol

JC Pearson, AM Daly, RM Lees


Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 318, 70-77  2016


Comprehensive Analysis of Prebiotic  Propenal up to 660 GHz

AM Daly, C Bermúdez, L Kolesniková, JL Alonso   The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 218 (2), 30   2015


Rotational spectroscopy of vibrationally excited N 2 H+ and N 2 D+ up to 2.7 THz

S Yu, JC Pearson, BJ Drouin, T Crawford, AM Daly, B Elliott, T Amano Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy  (accepted)


Gas phase measurements of mono-fluoro-benzoic acids and the dimer of 3-fluoro-benzoic acid

AM Daly, SJ Carey, AM Pejlovas, K Li, L Kang, SG Kukolich Journal of chemical physics 142 (14), 144303   2015


Analysis of the rotational spectrum of the ground and first torsional excited states of monodeuterated ethane, CH 3CH2D

AM Daly, BJ Drouin, P Groner, S Yu, JC Pearson

Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 307, 27-32  2015


The millimeter and submillimeter wave spectrum of cis-methyl vinyl ether

AM Daly, L Kolesniková, S Mata, JL Alonso Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 306, 11-18  2014


Precision frequency measurement of N 2 O transitions near 4.5 μm and above 150 μm

WJ Ting, CH Chang, SE Chen, HC Chen, JT Shy, BJ Drouin, AM Daly     Journal of the Optical Society of America B 31 (8), 1954-1963  2014


Laboratory characterization and astrophysical detection of vibrationally excited states of vinyl cyanide in Orion-KL

A López, B Tercero, Z Kisiel, AM Daly, C Bermúdez, H Calcutt, N Marcelino, S Viti, BJ Drouin, IR Medvedev, CF Neese, L Pszczółkowski, JL Alonso, J Cernicharo    Astronomy & Astrophysics  572, A44   2014


Submillimeter measurements of the Criegee intermediate CH2 OO, in the gas phase
AM Daly, BJ Drouin, S Yu Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 297, 16-20 2014

Molecular StructureInstrument construction