Professor Kandel received a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1993 from Yale University. He obtained a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Stanford University in 1999 for research on the gas-phase chemical reactions of chlorine with hydrogen and hydrocarbons. His postdoctoral work at Penn State University (1999-2001) focused on fundamental studies of surfaces and catalysis using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. He joined the faculty at Notre Dame in 2001.
Research in the Kandel group centers around Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM). STM allows for imaging with sub-Ångstrom resolution, resulting in direct measurements of the individual atoms and molecules that make up the surfaces of materials. We use molecular-resolution imaging to investigate three broad areas of research: Gas-surface interactions and chemical reactions We produce "movies" from timed sequences of STM images that show the molecular-scale changes that occur on surfaces as they are exposed to high-kinetic-energy neutral or free-radical gas atoms. Such reactions are particularly important for surfaces exposed to active environments, such as flames, plasmas, and the upper atmosphere. Formation and structure of molecularly heterogeneous surfaces Surfaces exposed to molecules in vapor or solution can exhibit both order and randomness on the micrometer and nanometer scales. By choosing appropriate systems, we can vary molecule-molecule and molecule-surface interactions and control molecular placement and ordering on the surface. Characterization of electronically active surface-bound molecules An STM tip and a conducting surface can be used as electrodes for probing the electronic properties of individual molecules. We work with organometallic molecules with multiple metal centers, and study how local environment affects intramolecular distribution of charge, with possible applications in memory and logic circuits. Images and additional information can be found in the Kandel Group Image Gallery