Chemistry and Biochemistry

Jussi Eloranta

Photo of Dr. Jussi Eloranta
Associate Professor
(818) 677-2677
Office location:
Eucalyptus Hall 2025A



M.S. (Computer Science), University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 1993
M.S. (Physical Chemistry), University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 1993
M.S. (Mathemtaics), University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 1994
Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry), University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 1997


University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 1997-2000
University of California, Irvine, 2000-2002


Chemistry 102, General Chemistry II
Chemistry 351, Physical chemistry I (thermodynamics)
Chemistry 351L, Physical chemistry I laboratory
Chemistry 352, Physical chemistry II (quantum mechanics)
Chemistry 352L, Physical chemistry II laboratory
Chemistry 451, Modern Physical Chemistry


Physical Chemistry
Superfluid 4He provides a unique medium for carrying out chemistry at very low temperatures (T < 2.1 K). It has unusual properties (liquid down to 0 K, vanishing viscosity, and super-thermal conductivity), which make it an ideal medium for: carrying out high-resolution molecular spectroscopy, studying coupled chromophore – bath dynamics, synthesis of unusual chemical species, and studying intercalation properties and dynamics of nanomaterials. Results from Dr Eloranta's research can be used, for example, in synthesizing highly energetic nitrogen compounds (up to 10 kJ/g) or in devloping new nanomaterials. Overall, this research consists primarily of basic research with possible applications toward development of new high-energy fuels and nanomaterial research.

Another project in the Eloranta lab investigates redox reactions of quinone compounds, which have found application in many areas of chemistry and biology, such as photosynthesis, anthracycline cytostatic drugs, and wood and paper chemistry. In this research electron spin resonance (ESR; EPR) and electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopic methods are used to determine magnetic parameters for quinone radicals in the liquid phase. For example, the isotropic hyperfine coupling constants can act as sensitive probes in the determination of molecular geometries, dynamics, and radical - solvent interactions. When experiments are combined with modern spectral analysis tools and high-level ab initio calculations, it is possible to characterize the radicals in great detail.

Dr. Eloranta's studies of the decomposition reactions of peroxides concentrates on metal ion catalyzed decomposition reactions of various peroxides and testing of stabilizing agents. Mainly optical (UV/VIS absorption, IR and Raman) and EPR methods are used to identify reaction intermediates and products, and to study their kinetics. These systems often exhibit oscillatory kinetics as well as autocatalysis and hence they provide imporant model systems for chemical kinetics. Furthermore, the results obtained from this research have typically direct industrial applications.

In matrix isolation technique reactive atoms or molecules are trapped in chemically inert low temperature solid (T ~ 10 – 25 K) and studied by spectroscopic methods. This method can be used, for example, to study reaction intermediates or to probe for chromophore - matrix dynamics. In the former case our current interests are mainly in understanding various surface catalytic reactions. An example of such reaction is reduction of NOx by hydrocarbons and Ag/alumina catalyst. Rigorous description of molecule - matrix dynamics poses a serious theoretical challenge since the quantum mechanical system typically consists of thousands of degrees of freedom. The main areas of interest are in applying diatomics-in-molecules (DIM) and semi-classical surface hopping methods to study charge separation and charge mobility in solid Kr and Xe.


  1. “Interaction of helium Rydberg state atoms with superfluid helium,” Fiedler, S.L.; Eloranta, J. Journal of Low Temperature Physics (2014) 174, 269. 
  2. “Dynamics of vortex assisted metal condensation in superfluid helium,” Popov, E.; Mammetkuliyev, M.; Eloranta, J. Journal of Chemical Physics (2013) 138, 204307. 
  3. “Excited atoms in cavities of liquid He I: Long-range inter-atomic repulsion and broadening of atomic lines,” Atrazhev, V.M.; Eloranta, J.; Bonifaci, N.; van Nguhen, N.; Aitken, F.; van Haeften, K.; Vermeulen, G. European Physical Journal - Applied Physics (2013) 61, 24302. 
  4. “Theoretical modeling of ion mobility in superfluid 4He,” Fiedler, S.L.; Mateo, D.; Aleksanyan, T.; Eloranta, J. Physical Review B (2012) 86, 144522. 
  5. “Experimental and theoretical characterization of the long-range interaction between He+(3s) and He(1s),” Bonifaci, N.; Aitken, F.; Atrazhev, V.M.; Fiedler, S.L.; Eloranta, J. Physical Review A (2012) 85, 042706. 
  6. “Injection of atoms and molecules in a superfluid helium fountain: Cu and Cu2Hen (n = 1...infinity),” Vehmanen, E.; Ghazarian, V.; Sams, C.; Khatchatryan, I.; Eloranta, E.; Apkarian, V.A. Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2011) 115, 7077. 
  7. “Theoretical study of quantum gel formation in superfluid 4He,” Eloranta, J. Journal of Low Temperature Physics (2011) 162, 718. 
  8. “Solvation of atomic fluorine in bulk superfluid 4He,” Eloranta, J. Low Temperature Physics (2011) 37, 384.