Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mica Smith obtained her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. She first began laboratory research as an undergraduate, studying the catalytic properties of transition metal phosphides for hydrodesulfurization of organosulfur compounds present in fuel. For her PhD she joined the physical chemistry division at the University of California, Berkeley, and the research group of Professor Kristie Boering. The focus of her work was using triple isotope measurements to characterize kinetic isotope effects in the recombination of O + O2 and quantifying isotopic fractionation associated with nitrous oxide formation in corona discharges. Her graduate studies involved significant collaboration with Professors Jim Lin and Yuan Tseh Lee of the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Science at Academia Sinica in Taiwan, where she used crossed molecular beams to measure angular and internal energy distributions in the reactive scattering from collisions of O + O2, O + CO and O + Xe. She also measured the UV absorption cross sections of Criegee intermediate radicals and studied their various reaction kinetics by transient absorption spectroscopy.
As a postdoc in the Green group, Mica is investigating temperature and pressure dependent kinetics of reactions relevant to the formation of aromatic rings in gas-phase combustion and pyrolysis using laser absorption/VUV photoionization mass spectrometry. Outside the lab she enjoys traveling, cooking and outdoor activities.