Dr. Christopher Bennett received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2009. He spent three years as a postdoctoral associate at the NASA Astrobiology Institute (Institute for Astronomy, Hawai’i) from 2009-2012 and two years as a postdoctoral associate at Georgia Tech from 2012 – 2014 in the department of Chemistry. He then joined GeorgiaTech as a research scientist for two years from 2014-2016 before joining UCF in 2016, where he has been an Assistant Professor since 2016.


  • Affiliate of Georgia Tech and the Florida Space Institute (since 2016)
  • Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Meteoritic Society, & the Planetary Society
  • Written and Work(ed/s) on several multi-million dollar winning proposals/institutes including W.M. Keck Institute (2009-2012), the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI; 2009-2012, Institute for Astronomy, HI ), Center for Chemical Evolution (2014-2016; GeorgiaTech, GA), as well as two Solar System Exploration Virtual Institutes (SSERVI) including the Center for Lunar and Asteroids Surface Science (CLASS; 2016-) and the Radiation Effects on Volatiles and Exploration of Asteroids and Lunar Surfaces (REVEALS; submitting late 2016)
  • NASA Review Panelist (2012-2016)
  • Instrument Proposer for Europa Lander (2020s launch?)
  • Co-I on Mission Study for Uranus Orbiter (@JPL 2010)
  • Gordon Research Conference Travel Award (2010)

Research Areas


Development of novel ultra-high vacuum techniques and instrumentation · surface science · thin film preparation and characterization · ionization techniques; resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) and synchrotron radiation · kinetics · molecular beam generation · polymer chemistry · computational chemistry for the predication of molecular properties · interaction of charged particles and photons with matter · non-equilibrium chemistry · radical & excited state chemistry.


FTIR spectroscopy · time-of-flight and quadrupole mass spectrometry · synchrotron photoionization · electron-, ion-, and photon-stimulated desorption · Raman spectroscopy · developing new Raman spectroscopy techniques, with biomedical applications · temperature programmed desorption · ToF-SIMS.


Participation in mission and instrument development (particularly Raman and time-of-flight mass spectrometers) · interaction of radiation with surfaces · space weathering of airless bodies · Kuiper belt objects · comets · icy satellites · Mercury · the Moon · chemistry in the interstellar medium · origin of amino acids, peptides, and sugars on the early Earth · origin of life.

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