Terry McMahon's research program is directed toward the investigation of structure, energetic and reaction dynamics of gaseous ions. Most recently, the majority of his work has focussed on cluster ions. To carry out this research, he uses High Pressure Mass Spectrometry (HPMS) and Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FTICR) spectrometers.
He has been named University Professor and has received the F.P. Lossing and John C. Polanyi Awards in 2015.
- Gaseous ion energetics and structure
- Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance spectrometry
- High pressure mass spectrometry
- Infrared multiple photon dissociation
- Ion-molecule reaction dynamics
The McMahon group investigates structures, energetics and reaction dynamics of gaseous ions. The majority of their work uses high pressure mass spectrometry (HPMS) to explore cluster ions. HPMS is uniquely suited for determining the energetics of gaseous ion-molecule equilibria, particularly those associated with ion-molecule clustering and exchange reactions. Using this technique, they have amassed a considerable database for the energetics and kinetics of a wide variety of cluster species.
Over the past decade, they have also used the free electron laser at the Centre Laser Infrarouge d’Orsay (CLIO, Université Paris-Sud XI) to perform infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) spectroscopy experiments in the mid-infrared ‘fingerprint’ region. This is a form of consequence spectroscopy that allows detailed ion structures to be identified from characteristic absorption frequencies. These experiments are supported by high-performance quantum chemical calculations at Waterloo that help reveal the intrinsic properties of gas-phase ions.
Recent course offerings have included physical & chemical properties of matter and chemical reactions, equilibria & kinetics.
Recent publications include
- Featherstone, J., Chong, T., Martens, J. K., Oomens, J., & McMahon, T. B. (2018). Inverse Sandwich Cyclopentadienyl Complexes of Sodium in the Gas Phase. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 122(43), 8659-8664.
- Ieritano, C., Featherstone, J., Carr, P. J., Marta, R. A., Loire, E., McMahon, T. B., & Hopkins, W. S. (2018). The structures and properties of anionic tryptophan complexes. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 20(41), 26532-26541.
- Fu, W., Carr, P. J., Lecours, M. J., Burt, M., Marta, R. A., Steinmetz, V., ... & Hopkins, W. S. (2017). Intramolecular cation–π interactions in protonated phenylalanine derivatives. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 19(1), 729-734.
- Simidzija, P., Lecours, M. J., Marta, R. A., Steinmetz, V., McMahon, T. B., Fillion, E., & Hopkins, W. S. (2016). Changes in Tricarbastannatrane Transannular N–Sn Bonding upon Complexation Reveal Lewis Base Donicities. Inorganic chemistry, 55(19), 9579-9585.
- Ziegler, B. E., Lecours, M., Marta, R. A., Featherstone, J., Fillion, E., Hopkins, W. S., ... & McMahon, T. B. (2016). Janus face aspect of all-cis 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-hexafluorocyclohexane dictates remarkable anion and cation interactions in the gas phase. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138(24), 7460-7463.
- Ieritano, C., Carr, P. J., Hasan, M., Burt, M., Marta, R. A., Steinmetz, V., ... & Hopkins, W. S. (2016). The structures and properties of proton-and alkali-bound cysteine dimers. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 18(6), 4704-4710.
Awards and Distinctions
- University Professor, University of Waterloo, 2005-present
- F.P. Lossing Award of the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry, 2015
- John C. Polanyi Award – Canadian Society for Chemistry, 2015
- Barringer Award of the Spectroscopy Society of Canada, 1993
- E.W.R. Steacie Fellow, 1986-1988
Professional Associations and Service
Dean of Science, 2007-2015
Department of Chemistry Review (University of Western Ontario), 2009
The following news stories have featured Terry McMahon's research:
December 22, 2014: Dean Terry McMahon wins 2015 John C. Polanyi Award
1974 Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
1969 B.Sc., University of Alberta, AB