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

  • Madelyn Loftus and Matt get a summer ACRE to work on synthesizing nanoparticles for single molecule SERS. Welcome Maddie!
  • Mia presents another poster at the ACS meeting in Orlando and Matt shared a poster with Dr. Hamann and 3 of his students about incorporating Raman into the organic curriculum
  • April 2019: Matt hosts a session on Engaging Undergraduates with Raman Spectroscopy at the national ACS meeting in Orlando Fl.
  • October 2018, Mia presents a poster of her work at the Women in Physical Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Great job Mia!
  • 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 exercises. Congrats Wil!

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
Phi Beta Kappa

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

Madelyn Loftus
Class of 2020

Past Students

Mia Felix
Class of 2019
Currently applying to veterinarian programs

Wil Adams
Class of 2019
Currently a graduate student in the chemistry department at McMaster University

Tyler Moseley
Class of 2019

Ashley Lipshaw
Class of 2018

Sierra Lambeth
Class of 2018
Currently a graduate student in education at Villanova University

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

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.

Mia and Matt by their poster for 2019 ACS Meeting in Orlando.

Chris Hamann and Matt by their poster (student Eric Hantz, not shown) at the 2017 ACS Meeting in Washington DC.

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)

Sierra and Matt 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)