Xinchuan Huang

Xinchuan Huang
PI3 - Research Scientist/ PI III
Ph.D. in Physical/Theoretical Chemistry, Emory University (2004)
Computational Spectroscopy and Dynamics for Small/Middle-size Molecules in Space, Atmosphere and our Environment

Professional Experience

  06/2009 – Present  SETI Institute, Research Scientist
  06/2006 – 05/2009  NASA PostDoc, NASA Ames (Advisor: Dr. Timothy J. Lee)
  09/2004 – 12/2005  PostDoc, Emory University (Advisor: Professor Joel M. Bowman)
  08/1999 – 08/2004  Ph.D. in Chemistry (Physical/Theoretical), Emory University
  09/1992 – 07/1997  B.S. in Applied Chemistry (II), Fudan University, Shanghai, China

-- Member of ACS, AGU, AAS, and AAAS;
-- Published 74 peer-reviewed Articles/Letters/Reviews (29 1st-author)
-- 3048 citations from >1500 articles, H-index = 35 (Web of Science, 04/2018)
-- Referee for JCP, ApJ, MNRAS, JPC, MolPhys, JQSRT, PCCP., Adv. Space Res., etc.

Recent Projects (2009 – 2018)

-- Highly accurate IR line lists for HCN / HNC in studies of (exo-)planetary atmospheres, NASA Grant 16-PDART_2-0080, P.I.
            for SO2 Isotopologues, NASA Grant 12-APRA12-0107, Co-I
            for Methane and Isotopologues, NASA Grant 13-PATM13-0012, Co-I
            for 13 CO2 Isotopologues up to 18,000 cm-1 and 1500K.  Venus Express SIP, Co-I
            for 14NH3, 15NH3, and H3O+    NASA Grant 10-APRA10-0096, Co-I.
            for 32S16O2 at 296K, up to 6000 cm-1, NASA Grant 08-APRA08-0050, Co-I
 -- Accurate rovibrational spectroscopic constants and high quality ab initio quartic force field for NH2-, CCH-, C3H3+, C3H+, C3H-, N2OH+, C2H2N+, N2H+, NO2+, HOCO/HOCO+, HC2N, HOCS/HSCO, HOCS+/HSCO+, C4, C2H3+, etc., (2009-)
 -- Anharmonic IR analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and derivatives, collaboration with Dutch Astrochemistry Network.(2015-)
 -- SOFIA/EXES and IRTF/TEXES Line Survey of the Orion IRc2,  SOF 03-0126, 05-0043, 06-0061, IRTF/TEXES 2018A068,  Co-I. (2015-)
 -- JWST DD-ERS Team "
Radiative Feedback from Massive Stars as Traced by Multiband Imaging and Spectroscopic Mosaics ", Collaborator. (2018-)

Recent Invited Talks

    254thACS National Meeting, Molecules in Space: Linking the Interstellar Medium to (Exo)-Planets D.C., USA (08/2017)
    Workshop on Astrophysical Opacities, Kalamazoo, MI, USA (08/2017)
    Stars and Planets Seminar Series, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Boston, MA, USA (03/2017)
    Workshop on Mass-Independent Fractionation of Sulfur Isotopes: Possible Molecular Origins, Telluride, CO, USA (2016)


My research provides highly accurate Infrared Line Lists and spectroscopic constants for interesting molecules in outer space. These lists and constants can help astronomers and spectroscopists analyze the spectra they acquired in both astronomical observations and laboratory studies, because spectra  of many molecules (such as NH3, SO2,etc.) are very complicate and difficult to fully analyze while their spectra can serve as critical tools in the characterizaion of environment on celestial objects.

Combining high quality ab initio potential energy surfaces (PES) and dipole moment surfaces (DMS) with reliable accurate experimental data, we are able to compute complete, reliable IR line lists.  These line lists not only reproduce existing experimental data, but more importantly, they provide the most reliable predictions for the spectra region where no experimental data are available.  Moreoever, complete and reliable IR line lists can be generated for various minor isotopologues with similar accuracy.  Our predictions have been confirmed many times by independent experimental studies. 
One example is the CO2 IR spectra at 1.1 um:
CO2 IR at 1.1 um 
Second example is 32S16O2 high-resolution spectra, Ames-296 Predictions vs. Recent Experiments
For larger molecules, we carry out Vibrational 2nd-order Perturbation Theory (VPT2) analysis on highly accurate Quartic Force Fields (QFF) to get reliable spectroscopic constants.  A recent example is on cyclic C3H3+, where an IR simulation based on our predicted spectroscopic constants easily match up with observed spectra.
Check for published IR lists and spectroscopic constants. (Currently CO2, NH3, and SO2 data are available)


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