The Sonntag Lab | Albright College

The Sonntag Lab

Welcome to the Sonntag Lab:
Using Raman spectroscopy to characterize materials


Matthew D. Sonntag
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
email: msonntag@albright.edu

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Albright College
P.O. Box 15234 (US Mail)
13th and Bern Streets (UPS)
Reading, PA 19612-5234

  • May 2018: Matt wins The Class of ’49 Annadora Vesper Shirk Award for Faculty Scholarship
  • April 2018: Wil, Mia and Ashley present their work at the Lehigh Valley ACS meeting in Bethlehem.

  • February 2018: Wil and Matt’s paper was accepted in the Journal of Chemical Education!

  • January 2018: A paper with former student Caroline Endy and former Albright professor Christopher Graves is accepted in Inorganic Chemistry!
  • August 2017: Matt hosts a session on Engaging Undergraduates with Raman Spectroscopy at the national ACS meeting in Washington DC.
  • June 2017: Matt presents some of Wil’s work at the Middle Atlantic ACS meeting.
  • March 2017: Wil Adams receives a summer ACRE award and will work on developing some new physical chemistry laboratory exercies. Congrats Wil!
  • August 2016: Tyler, Ashley and Sierra all present at the ACS meeting in Philadelphia. Nice work!
  • March 2016: Tyler Moseley receives a summer ACRE award and will join Ashley and Sierra working this summer. Congrats Tyler!
  • March 2016: Sierra and Ashley present a poster at the Lehigh Valley ACS meeting and give talks at the Intercollegiate Student Chemists’ Convention. It has been a busy month!
  • March 2016: Sierra and Matt travel to Harrisburg so present a poster for Undergraduate Research at the Capital
  • March 2016: Sierra, Ashley and Matt travel to San Diego to present a poster at the ACS national meeting.
  • July 2015: Matt Sonntag was awarded a Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions to bring Robert Bergman, professor of chemistry from UC Berkeley to campus and support our research next summer.
  • July 2015: Sierra and Ashley present a poster at the Disappearing Boundaries Conference at Lebanon Valley College.
  • June 2015: Sierra and Ashley start working for their summer ACRE projects!
  • February 2015: Our Raman spectrometer arrives!

Work in the Sonntag lab is comprised of two research thrusts at the interface of chemistry, physics and material science. Our research focuses on using Raman spectroscopy as an analytical tool to characterize both materials and physical processes. Students working in the Sonntag group will acquire a wide variety of skills including spectroscopic characterization of materials, electron microscopy and scanning probe microscopies as well as mathematical tools to analyze our data.

Current projects focus on the probing the influence of composition on the structure of glassy materials while the other involves probing the dynamics of individual molecules using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).

Funding Sources

Albright College logofoundation logo

Matt Sonntag photoMatthew D. Sonntag, Ph.D.

Office: Science Hall 341
Email: msonntag@albright.edu
Phone: 610-921-7745
Sonntag_CV

Education:

B.A., Coe College (2008)
Ph.D., Northwestern University (2013)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University (2013-2014)

Awards:

The Class of ’49 Annadora Vesper Shirk Award for Faculty Scholarship

L. Carroll King Award for Excellence in 100-Level Teaching, Northwestern University
Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Kappa Phi
Kesler Senior Chemistry Award

Matt hails from the Midwest, growing up in Janesville Wisconsin. He is a big sports fan, supporting the Green Bay Packers (he owns one share of the team) and Wisconsin Badgers. He played soccer growing up and continued playing through his undergraduate years at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

While at Coe, he performed research with Professors Steven Singleton and Mario Affatigato on the gas phase kinetics of ozone degradation and physical characterization of silicate glasses. After obtaining his degree from Coe, Matt went on to pursue his interests in physical chemistry at Northwestern University where he worked in the laboratories of Profs. Richard Van Duyne and Tamar Seideman. While at Northwestern he developed experimental and computational tools to study single molecules using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS). After graduation, Matt stayed with Prof. Van Duyne for a one year postdoctoral position developing new TERS instrumentation before accepting a position as an assistant professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Albright College. Outside of work Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, reading, playing sports, traveling and brewing beer.

Current Students

Mia Felix
Class of 2019

Wil Adams
Class of 2019

 

Past Students

Tyler Moseley
Class of 2019

Ashley Lipshaw
Class of 2018
Hometown: Lavelle, PA

Sierra Lambeth
Class of 2018
Currently a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania

Evan Cuff
Class of 2018
Currently an ER Technician

Vincent Torres
Class of 2017
Currently a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at The Penn State University

Shannon Miller
Class of 2017
Currently

From Independent Career:

16. Jardine, K.; Hill, K.; Jones, E.; Elia, R.; Gibbs, G.; Sonntag, M.; Tribe, L. Synthesis and characterization of acetaminophen: An experimental and theoretical laboratory for the undergraduate curriculum.” J. Chem. Ed. submitted.

15. Hamann, C. and Sonntag, M. Introduction to Raman Spectroscopy in the Undergraduate Curriculum,” Engaging Undergraduates with Raman Spectroscopy, ACS Symposium Series, accepted.

14. Hantz, E., Sonntag, M, Hamann, C. Connecting Organic and Physical Chemistry Students with Raman Spectroscopy,” Engaging Undergraduates with Raman Spectroscopy, ACS Symposium Series, accepted.

13. Adams, W. and Sonntag, M. Development of a Physical Chemistry Laboratory to Explore Vibrational Spectroscopy Selection Rules,” Engaging Undergraduates with Raman Spectroscopy, ACS Symposium Series, accepted.

12. Adams, W. and Sonntag, M. Vibrational Spectroscopy of Hexynes: A Combined Experimental and Computational Laboratory Experiment,” J. Chem. Ed., 2018, 95, 1205-1210.

11. Wilson, H.; Koellner, C.; Hannan, Z.; Endy, C.; Bezpalko, M.; Piro, N ; Kassel, W.; Sonntag, M; Graves, C. Synthesis and Characterization of Neutral ligand -Diimine Complexes of Aluminum with Tunable Redox Energetics,” Inorg. Chem. in press.

From Prior Work:

10. Pal, P. P.; Jiang, N.; Sonntag, M. D.; Chiang, N.; Foley, E.; Hersam, M.; Van Duyne, R. P.; and Seideman, T. “Plasmon Mediated Electron Transport in Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopic Junctions,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2015, 6, 4210-4218

9. Sonntag, M. D.; Pozzi, E. A.; Jiang, N.; Hersam, M.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Recent Advances in Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2014, 5, 3125-3130. Invited Review

8. Pozzi, E. A.; Sonntag, M. D.; Jiang, N.; Chiang, N.; Seideman, T.; Hersam, M.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Ultrahigh Vacuum Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with Picosecond Excitation,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2014, 5, 2657-2661.

7. Klingsporn, J. M.;* Jiang, N.;* Pozzi, E. A.; Sonntag, M. D.; Chulhai, D.; Seideman, T.; Jensen, L.; Hersam, M.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Surface Interactions Elucidated with Low Temperature Ultrahigh Vacuum Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 3881-3887.

6. Klingsporn,J. M.;* Sonntag, M. D.;* Seideman, T.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Picosecond Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2014, 5, 106-110.

5. Sonntag, M. D.; Chulhai, D.; Seideman, T.; Jensen, L.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “The Origin of Rela- tive Intensity Fluctuations in Single-Molecule Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 17187-17192.

4. Sonntag, M. D.; Klingsporn, J. M.; Zrimsek, A. B.; Sharma, B.; Ruvuna, L. K.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Molecular Plasmonics for Nanoscale Spectroscopy,” Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014, 43, 1230-1247. Invited Review.

3. Pozzi, E. A.; Sonntag, M. D.; Jiang, N.; Klingsporn, J. M.; Hersam, M. C.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Tip-Enhanced Raman Imaging: An Emergent Tool for Probing Biology at the Nanoscale,” ACS Nano. 2013, 7, 885-888.

2. Jiang, N.; Foley, E. T.; Klingsporn, J. M.; Sonntag, M. D.; Valley, N. A.; Dieringer, J. A.; Seideman, T.; Schatz, G. C.; Hersam, M. C.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Observation of Multiple Vibrational Modes in Ultra-High Vacuum Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Combined with Molecular-Resolution Scanning Tunneling Microscopy,” Nano Lett. 2012, 12, 5061-5067. [cover].

1. Sonntag, M. D.; Klingsporn, J. M.; Garibay, L. K.; Roberts, J. M.; Dieringer, J. A.; Seideman, T.; Scheidt, K. A.; Jensen, L.; Schatz, G. C.; and Van Duyne, R. P. “Single-Molecule Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy,” J. Phys. Chem. C. 2012, 116, 478-483.

Ashley and Tyler by their poster at the 2016 ACS Meeting in Philadelphia.

Sierra by her poster at the 2016 ACS Meeting in Philadelphia.

The group at the ACS meeting in Philadelphia.

Group Summer 2016: (Sierra Lambeth, Tyler Moseley, Matt, Ashley Lipshaw)

Matt and Sierra in Harrisburg for Undergraduate Research at the Capital Spring 2016.

Ashley and Sierra at the 2016 Spring ACS meeting in San Diego.

Group Summer 2015: (Sierra Lambeth, Matt, Ashley Lipshaw)