Joel M Harris portrait

Research Summary

There is a significant need to understand chemical structure and kinetics at interfaces between liquids and solids, and the Harris lab is addressing this challenge by developing new spectroscopic imaging methods to address this challenge. Confocal Raman microscopy is being applied to determining the chemical composiĀ­tion within individual porous particles. Single-molecule fluorescence imaging can report absolute molecular densities of both probe sites and bound analytes at biosensor surfaces.


  • Bachelor of Science, DUKE UNIVERSITY


Joel M. Harris is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Utah, where he also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Bioengineering.  Harris received a B.S. degree from Duke University and his Ph.D. from Purdue University.  He joined the faculty of the University of Utah in 1976.  Harris’s research has focused on analytical chemistry and spectro­scopic studies of low concentrations of molecules in liquids and at liquid/solid interfaces.  He and his students have advanced new concepts in photothermal spectroscopy, methods to analyze multi­dimensional spectroscopic data, Raman spectroscopy and microscopy techni­ques, and quantita­tive fluorescence detection at the single-molecule level.  They have applied these methods to investigate the kinetics and energetics of excited-state and reactive-intermediates, the chemistry of liquid/solid interfaces and dispersed particles, the kinetics of molecular transport, adsorption, and binding governing separations and analysis at interfaces.  

Harris is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also Fellow and Honorary Member of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.  For 12 years, Harris served as Editor-in-Chief of Applied Spectroscopy. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Coblentz Award in Molecular Spectro­scopy, the University of Utah Distinguished Research Award, the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Chemical Instrumentation, the SAS New York Section Gold Medal Award in Spectroscopy, the Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award, the University of Utah Robert W. Parry Teaching Award, the ACS Utah Award in Chemistry, the Distinguished Service Award of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, the Benedetti-Pichler Award in Micro­chemistry, the Bomem-Michelson Award of the Coblentz Society, and the ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry.