Dr. Michael S. Elioff

Physical Chemistry, Associate Professor

Dr. Michael S. Elioff

Contact Information


Office: Caputo 320
Phone: (717) 871-7417

Office Hours

T: 12:30 - 2:30 pm
W: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
R: 12:30 - 2:30 pm
Comments: Spring 2024


  • B.S. Mathematics – University of Texas, 1991
  • M.S. Chemistry – University of Texas, 1995
  • Ph.D. Chemistry – Boston University, 2001
  • Postdoctoral Fellow – Sandia National Labs (Livermore CA), 2001 – 2004

Courses Taught

  • Introductory Chemistry I and II (Chem 111 and 112)
  • Freshman Seminar (Chem 188)
  • Physical Chemistry I and II (Chem 341 and 342)
  • Senior Chemistry Seminar (Chem 487 and 488)
  • Molecular Spectroscopy (Chem 486)
  • First Year Inquiry (Univ 103)

Course Materials

Research Interests

Dr. Elioff's research interests are in the areas of atmospheric photophysics, cold molecule formation, fluorescence, propellants, and combustion. He is currently interested the problems associated with calculating solid-phase heats of formation for various propellants and explosives, as well as in studying the dynamics and kinetics of fluorescence and fluorescence quenching of biologically important fluorophores. He is also interested in exploring solid state theory by synthesizing and characterizing thin layer semiconductors using group III-V elements.

About Dr. Michael S. Elioff

Dr. Elioff joined the department in August 2012. He received his BS (1991) in mathematics and his MS (1995) in chemistry from the University of Texas. After teaching high school chemistry and calculus, he entered the PhD program at Boston University to work with Amy Mullin on quantum state-resolved energy transfer mechanisms in vibrationally excited molecules. He received his PhD (2001) in chemistry from BU and went on to do a post-doctoral fellowship (2001-2004) at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA, during which time he did a visiting fellowship at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (Fall 2003) with Steven Stolte. He has held two tenure-track assistant professorships prior to arriving at Millersville.


  1. “State-Resolved Studies of Collisional Quenching of Highly Vibrationally Excited Pyrazine by Water: The Case of the Missing Supercollision Channel” M. R. Fraelich, M. S. Elioff, A. S. Mullin, J. Phys. Chem. A, 1998, 102, 9761-9771.
  2. “State-Resolved Collisional Quenching of Highly Vibrationally Excited Pyridine by Water: The Role of Strong Electrostatic Attraction in V-->RT Energy Transfer”  M. S. Elioff, M. R. Fraelich, R. L. Sansom, A. S. Mullin, J. Chem. Phys., 1999, 111, 3517-3525.
  3. “Observation of an energy threshold for large ΔE collisional relaxation of highly vibrationally excited pyrazine (Evib=31 000–41 000 cm−1) by CO2 M. S. Elioff, M. C. Wall, A. S. Lemoff, A. S. Mullin, J. Chem. Phys., 1999, 110, 5578-5588.
  4. “Vibrational Energy Gain in the ν2 Bending Mode of Water via Collisions with Hot Pyrazine (Evib = 37900 cm-1):  Insights into the Dynamics of Energy Flow”  M. S. Elioff, R. L. Sansom, A. S. Mullin, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2000, 104, 10304-10311.
  5. “Methylation effects in state resolved quenching of highly vibrationally excited azabenzenes (Evib ~ 38500 cm-1).  I. Collisions with water” M. S. Elioff, M. Fang , A. S. Mullin, J. Chem. Phys., 2001, 115, 6990-7001.
  6. “Collisional Dynamics of Vibrationally Hot Molecules” Boston University Publishing, Boston, MA 2001.
  7. “Energy-Dependent Quantum State-Resolved Relaxation of Highly Vibrationally Excited Pyridine to CO2”  J. H. Park, Z. Li, A. S. Lemoff, C. Rossi, M. S. Elioff, A. S. Mullin, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2002, 106, 3642-3650.
  8. “State-to-state differential cross sections for spin multiplet-changing collisions of NO(X 2Π1/2) with argon”  M. S. Elioff, D. W. Chandler, J. Chem. Phys., 2002, 117, 6455.
  9. “Optical Trapping of Collisionally cold Molecules” D. W. Chandler, L. A. Rahn, M. S. Elioff, Sandia Laboratories Unlimited Release Report, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, 2003.
  10. “Molecular Billiards:  Subkelvin cooling of NO molecules via collisions with argon” M. S. Elioff, J. J. Valentini, D. W. Chandler, Science, 2003, 302, 1940-1943.
  11. “Formation of NO(j'=7.5) molecules with sub-kelvin translational energy via molecular beam collisions with argon using the technique of molecular cooling by inelastic collisional energy-transfer”  M. S. Elioff, J. J. Valentini, D. W. Chandler, Eur. Phys. J., 2004, 31, 385-393.
  12. “Collisions of Highly Vibrationally Excited Pyrazine (Evib= 37900 cm-1) with HOD: State-Resolved Probing of Strong and Weak Collisions” D. K. Havey, Q. Liu, Z. Li, M. S. Elioff, A. S. Mullin, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2007, 111, 13321–13329.
  13. “Direct Determination of Collision Rates Beyond the Lennard-Jones Model through State-Resolved Measurements of Strong and Weak Collisions”  D. K. Havey, Q. Liu, Z. Li, M. S. Elioff, M. Fang, J. Neudel, A. S. Mullin, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2009, 113, 2458-2460.
  14. “Nitrolignin: A safer combustible” J. M. Wurtzel, M. S. Elioff, proceedings, 241st ACS National Meeting, 2011.
  15. “A new terthiophene derivative as a fluorescent sensor for protein detection” J. Hu, B. Liu, M. S. Elioff, J. Luminescence, 2015, 173, 57-65.
  16. “Calculating Heat of Formation Values of Energetic Compounds: A Comparative Study”  M. S. Elioff, J. F. Hoy, J. A. Bumpus, Advances in Physical Chemistry, 2016, 2016, 1-11, Article ID 5082084.
  17. “Acridinium-anilide-thiophene triad as a new fluorescent probe for conformational change of Poly(L-glutamic acid)” J. Hu, M. Joshi, M. S. Elioff, J. Photochem. and Photobiol. A:  Chemistry, 2017, 355, 59-69.
  18. "Detection of Zn2+, Cd2+, Hg2+, and Pb2+ ions through label-free poly-Lglutamic acid" J. Hu, M. S. Elioff, Talanta, 2018, 188, 552-561.