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Tara Kahan

Tara Kahan

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

2-052 Center for Science and Technology

Research Interests

Environmental and atmospheric chemistry; physical chemistry; spectroscopy; kinetics


  • B.Sc., 2005, University of Regina
  • Ph.D., 2010, University of Toronto
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, 2010-2011, University of California Irvine
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, 2011-2012, University of Colorado Boulder


  • CHE 116: General Chemistry II Lecture
  • CHE 347: Physical Chemistry I Lab
  • CHE 436/636: Advanced Physical Chemistry
  • CHE 600: Atmospheric Aerosol Chemistry
  • CHE 600: Chemistry Colloquium
  • EAR 612: Water-energy seminar

Research Focus

Cities are hotbeds of chemical activity. Reactions involving emissions from vehicles, industry, and even plants can affect air quality and human health. Reactions can occur in the air, but can also occur in water and other condensed phases; examples include lakes, snow, and particulate matter. Important chemistry can even occur on the surfaces of roads and buildings. And while most studies focus on the outdoor environment, reactions that occur indoors can have large effects on indoor air quality.

Research in the Kahan group has four primary thrusts: (1) Chemistry in snow and ice; (2) reactions in water and particulate matter; (3) reactions at urban surfaces; and (4) indoor chemistry. Research in the group combines laboratory and field studies. Experimental techniques include optical spectroscopy, chromatography, microscopy, and kinetics analysis.

Selected Publications

  • Kowal, S. F.; Allen, S. R.; Kahan, T. F.* (in press) Wavelength-resolved photon fluxes of indoor light sources: Implications for HOx production. Environmental Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02015
  • Grossman, J. N.; Kahan, T. F.* (2016) Hydroxyl radical production from bacteria-assisted Fenton chemistry at neutral pH under environmentally relevant conditions. Environmental Chemistry 13: 757 – 766. DOI: 10.1071/EN15256
  • Grossman, J. N.; Stern, A. P.; Kirich, M. L.; Kahan, T. F.* (2016) Anthracene and pyrene photolysis kinetics in aqueous, organic, and mixed aqueous-organic phases. Atmospheric Environment 128: 158 – 164. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.12.049 
  • Stathis, A. A.; Hendrickson-Stives, A. K.; Kahan, T. F.* (2016) Photolysis      kinetics of toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes at ice surfaces. Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 120:      6693 – 6697. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.6b05595
  • Kahan, T. F.; Wren, S. N.; Donaldson, D. J. (2014) A      pinch of salt is all it takes - Chemistry at the frozen water surface.      Accounts of Chemical Research 47: 1587. DOI: 10.1021/ar5000715
  • Malley, P. P. A.; Kahan, T. F.* (2014) Non-chromophoric      organic matter suppresses polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon photolysis in      ice and at ice surfaces. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 118: 1638. DOI:      10.1021/jp500263h