Ron Estler

Department of Chemistry

Fort Lewis College

1000 Rim Drive

Durango, CO 81301


Office: (970) 247-7238

FAX: (970) 247-7567


B.A., 1972, Drew University, New Jersey
Ph.D. (Chemical Physics), 1976, Johns Hopkins University
Postdoctoral Fellow, 1976-1978, Columbia and Stanford University

Faculty, 1978-1982, University of Southern California
Faculty, 1982-present, Fort Lewis College

Professional/Research Interests: Physical Chemistry, kinetics, reaction dynamics, and laser photochemistry, with interest in the use of lasers in Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) (mechanisms), and the application of computational and statistical techniques to a variety of chemical questions.

Background Information:

Research Interests:

Matrix-less MALDI using Porous Silicon (PS)
We are currently exploring chemically modified DC etched Porous Silicon (PS) as a matrix-less surface for MADLI time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Specifically, we are interested in the mechanism in which energy is transferred to an analyte from the PS surface through the chemical modification - i.e., through a molecular specie bonded to the silicon surface. The photos show a 1cm x 1cm silicon wafer that has been electrochemically etched to produce PS (fluorescing under UV radiation) along with a 10micron x 10micron AFM image of such an etched surface.
RIMS detection of Metals For a number of years the group has studied Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) as a ultra-sensitive analysis technique for metals of biological and/or environmental interest. Students have constructed a linear time-of-flight mass spectrometer for these studies and, in addition to publishing this work, they have made poster and oral presentations of their work at a variety of conferences. In most cases the metal is driven to ionization via a multiphoton transition via a dye laser. Occasionally the spectroscopy facilitates the determination of such things as internal (electronic) temperatures for those species desorbed from surfaces by an initial laser pulse prior to detection.
Rugate filter chemical sensors in Porous Silicon (PS)

Eletrochemically (AC) etching doped silicon under computer control can produce Rugate filters of Porous Silicon (PS). The peak reflectance wavelength can be tuned throughout the visible and near IR. The area etched is typically 50% porous and adsorption of species within the pores will change the reflectance due to changes in the index of refraction. Chemical modication of the PS can result in specific chemical detection. The angle dependence of the reflectance in these filters is demonstrated in the following movie clip:

Angle (MOV) or Angle (AVI)

Wavelet Analysis of Transient Periodic Behavior I am also interested in using wavelet analysis to discover trends in large data sets that are otherwise elusive. The image on the right is a wavelet analysis (intensity-color) of inter-heartbeat times, i.e., the time elapsed between heartbeats as a function of scale of the wavelet (# of heartbeats - y axis) and heartbeat # (x -axis). This is my heart data. Using such plots, certain heart ailments can be detected due to the absence of arches in the scale region of about 10-30 (an anticorrelation of interbeat time duration). Wavelet analysis has many interesting applications - for example, it has also been used to study the periodicity of the water temperature variations associated with El Niño in the Pacific.



Last Modified 8/29/12