Spiridoula Matsika


Spiridoula Matsika


B.S. ('94), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Ph.D. (2000) Ohio State University
Postdoctoral Fellow ('00-03) Johns Hopkins University


Beury Hall 242


Department of Chemistry
Beury Hall 130
1901 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


office: 215-204-7703
fax: 215-204-0478
lab: 215-204-2102



RESEARCH GROUP http://astro.temple.edu/~smatsika/


Computational / Photonics / Physical

Research Interests


Most chemical processes follow the Born-Oppenheimer (adiabatic) approximation, in which the nuclei move on a single electronic potential energy surface (PES). However there are important processes where this approximation breaks down. These nonadiabatic events play an important role in essential processes in nature such as photosynthesis, vision, charge transfer and photochemistry. Nonadiabatic processes are facilitated by the close proximity of two PESs and the efficiency increases in the extreme case when two PESs become degenerate forming conical intersections. Theoretical developments have enabled the efficient study of conical intersections in small systems. The focus of our group is to extend these studies to more complicated systems, particularly of biological interest, in an effort to understand the underlying mechanisms of photoinitiated nonadiabatic processes and their potential implications. 

Nonadiabatic processes are closely related to the processes involved in  laser control of chemical reactions. In collaboration with experimentalists we aim at understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in laser control of basic chemical reactions, such as fragmentation and isomerization.  Theory is used to interpret and guide the control.

Projects that we are working on involve:

  • Photophysics and photochemistry of biologically relevant systems, such as DNA/RNA bases
  • Theoretical description of conical intersections and three-state conical intersections
  • QM/MM methods for excited states
  • Electronic structure methods for excited states
  • Understanding laser control of molecular dynamics


Selected Publications

Mariana Assmann, Horst K oppel and Spiridoula Matsika "Photoelectron spectrum and dynamics of the uracil cation", J. Phys. Chem. A, 119, 866-875, (2015).


Modied Nucleobases', S. Matsika, "Topics in Current Chemistry - Photoinduced Phenomena in Nucleic Acids", 355, 209-243, (2015).


Matsika, Spiridoula; Feng, Xintian; Luzanov, Anatoly; Krylov, Anna, "What We Can Learn from the Norms of One-particle Density Matrices, and What We Can't", J. Phys. Chem. A 118, 11943-11955, (2014).


Timothy Bohinski; Katharine Moore Tibbetts; Maryam Tarazkar; Dmitri Romanov; Spiridoula Matsika; Robert Levis,"Strong Field Adiabatic Ionization Prepares a Launch State for Coherent Control", J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 5, 4305-4309, (2014).


Vincent Spata, Spiridoula Matsika, "Role of Excitonic Coupling and Charge-Transfer States in the Absorption and CD Spectra of Adenine-Based Oligonucleotides Investigated through QM/MM Simulations", J. Phys. Chem. A, 118, 12021-12030, (2014).


Stephen Meloni and Spiridoula Matsika, "Theoretical Studies of the Excited States of p-Cyanophenylalanine and Comparisons with the Natural Amino Acids Phenylalanine and Tyrosine", Theoretical Chemistry Accounts, 133, 1497, (2014).


Timothy Bohinski; Katharine Moore Tibbetts; Kristin Munkerup; Maryam Tarazkar; Dmitri Romanov; Spiridoula Matsika; Robert Levis, "Radical Cation Spectroscopy of Substituted Alkyl Phenyl Ketones via Tunnel Ionization", Chemical Physics, 442, 81-85, (2014).


Zhang, Yuyuan; Dood, Jordan; Beckstead, Ashley; Chen, Jinquan; Li, Xibo; Burrows, Cynthia; Lu, Zhen; Matsika, Spiridoula; Kohler, Bern, "Ultrafast Excited-State Dynamics and Vibrational Cooling of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2-deoxyguanosine in D2O", J. Phys. Chem. A, 117, 12851-12857, (2013).


S. Matiska, M. Spanner, "Ultrafast Relaxation Dynamics of Uracil Probed via Strong Field Dissociative Ionization." Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 117(48), 12796-12801, (2013).


Y, Zhang, j. Dood, A. Beckstead, S. Matiska, "Ultrafast Excited-State Dynamics and Vibrational Cooling of 8-Oxo-7, 8-dihydro-2' -deoxyguanosine in D2O." Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 117(48), 12851-12857, (2013).


T. Bohinski, KT. Moore, M. Tarazkar, S. Matsika, "Measurement of Ionic Resonance in Alkyl Phenyl Ketone Cations via Infrared Strong Field Mass Spectrometry." Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 117(47), 12374-12381, (2013).


CG. Triandafillou, S. Matsika, "Excited-State Tautomerization of Gas-Phase Cytosine." Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 117(46), 12165-12174, (2013).


VA. Spata, S. Matsika, "Bonded excimer formation in pi-stacked 9-methyladenine dimers." The Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 117(36), 8718-28, (2013).


Z. Lu, S. Matsika, "High- Multiplicity Natural Orbitals in Multireference Configuration Interaction for Excited State Potential Energy Surfaces." Journal of Physical Chemsitry A. 117(32), 7421-7430, (2013).