Dana D. Dlott

 Dana Dlott

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
A208 CLSL, Box 1-6
600 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
William H. and Janet G. Lycan Research Professor of Chemistry
View CV - Visit Website


Professor Dana D. Dlott received his undergraduate degree from Columbia in 1974 and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1979. He joined the faculty at Illinois in 1979. Professor Dlott's research interests are in chemical physics, and physical and materials chemistry. His research is focused on understanding the dynamical behavior of molecules in condensed matter, including crystalline solids, glasses, polymers, biopolymers, surfaces and liquids.

Research Interests

  • femtosecond laser spectroscopy; energy transfer in molecular systems; high performance nanotechnology propellants; time-resolved spectroscopy of molecular surfaces and interfaces; laser interactions with biological molecules; ultrafast infrared spectroscopy, protein dynamics; laser shock waves and laser ablation in biology

Research Description

We study fast processes in molecules, materials, surfaces and interfaces with a focus on energy transfer and chemical energy generation and storage, using femtosecond (10-15 s) spectroscopic techniques that incorporate the latest developments in ultrafast infrared generation and coherent and nonlinear optics.

Chemical energy generation and storage. In these projects we create and study materials that can store and release large amounts of energy using ultrafast spectroscopy. The focus is on understanding the molecular level processes that underly the dynamics of energetic materials that can be used as propellants and explosives, nanotechnology materials that exhibit multifunctionality, for instance the ability to act as both structural and energy storage components, fuel cells and batteries. 

Shock compression science. We developed methods for using intense laser pulses to drive shock waves into materials in order to understand the behavior of materials and liquids under extreme conditions of high pressure, high temperature and high dynamic strain.  We developed state-of-the-art methods to probe the behavior of shocked materials with high time and space resolution.  The ability to produce and probe materials and liquids under extreme conditions with unprecedented depth has applications in defense, energy, manufacturing and chemical reaction dynamics.


  • A. B. Columbia University 1974
  • Ph.D. Stanford University 1979

Distinctions / Awards

  • ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry, 2013
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2005
  • 2001 Charles E. Ives Award from the Society for Imaging Science and Technology
  • Associate, Center for Advanced Study, 1999
  • 1993 Journal Award (Science) from the Society for Imaging Science and Technology
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America
  • Fellow American Physical Society
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship
  • Beckman Research Award
  • Ellis R. Lippincott Award in Vibrational Spectroscopy
  • William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor of Chemistry