Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry

First Advisor

Veronica Vaida

Second Advisor

W. Carl Lineberger

Third Advisor

Veronica Bierbaum


Acetic acid is one of the most abundant organic acids in the atmosphere and it affects aerosol formation and composition. The purpose of this work was to develop spectroscopic methods to probe the anharmonic part of the potential energy spectrum and follow the chemistry of this molecule. Fundamental knowledge of acetic acid is required in order to fully comprehend its role in aerosols and radiative forcing. Cavity ring-down spectroscopy was used to observe vibrational overtones. In this experiment, the pressure of acetic was varied to prob for the effect concentration on the spectra, however, no effects were seen. In addition to studying dimer effects, this experiment provided the first extinction coefficient of acetic acid vapor.