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Chemistry Faculty Research Areas


Atmospheric Chemistry

Peter DeCarlo, PhD (joint appointment with Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering)

Studies the chemical composition of aerosol particles in the atmosphere using advanced instrumentation including aerosol mass spectrometers. By characterizing the size, and chemical composition of particulates online and in real time, we can better understand how the particulates affect climate, air quality, and atmospheric visibility.


Analytical Chemistry

Joe Foley, PhD

Separation science, especially the fundamentals and biomedical/pharmaceutical applications of the following voltage- or pressure-driven separation techniques: capillary electrophoresis, electrokinetic chromatography, capillary electrochromatography, and micellar liquid chromatography. Within these techniques, we explore novel separation modes and surfactant aggregate pseudophases (micelles, vesicles, microemulsions); chiral separations; and physicochemical measurements.

Frank Ji, PhD

Micromechancial sensors for biological and environmental applications; Nanomechanical drug screening technology.

Kevin Owens, PhD

Mass spectrometry research, including the development of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) techniques for use with biological and synthetic polymer systems, and the development of chemometric techniques for improved data analysis.


BioInorganic Chemistry

Anthony Addison, PhD

Design and synthesis of novel biomimetic and oligonuclear chelates of copper, nickel, iron and vanadium. Their interpretation by magnetochemical, electrochemical and spectroscopic methods, including electron spin resonance. CD and ESR spectroscopy and kinetics for elucidation of molecular architecture of derivatives (including NO) of oxygen-binding and electron-transfer heme- and non-heme iron metalloproteins of vertebrate and invertebrate origins.


Chemical Education

Daniel King, PhD

Development of inquiry-based labs for general and physical chemistry and incorporation of environmental data into lecture modules for general, physical and environmental chemistry.


Materials Chemistry

Aaron T. Fafarman, PhD (courtesy appointment from Chemical and Biological Engineering)

Nanocrystal synthesis and surface chemistry. Self- and directed-assembly of nanocrystal solids for use as energy conversion materials.

Frank Ji, PhD

Organic nanomaterials for solar cell and battery; Nanoelectronic and optoelectronic materials; Highly conductive polymers.

Lynn S. Penn, PhD

Construction of complex and controlled polymer brushes for functional surfaces; experimental study of diffusion into polymer brushes and comparison with theoretical predictions; surface and interface chemistry, including wetting and adhesion; real-time monitoring and quantitative analysis of chemical reactions and adsorption on surfaces.

Karl Sohlberg, PhD


Organic Chemistry

Fraser Fleming, PhD

Research is focused on stereoselective reactions of nitriles and isonitriles with an emphasis on organometallic reagents on stereochemistry. Ultimately, these new reactions are relevant to the synthesis of biologically active lead compounds for the treatment of diseases.

Frank Ji, PhD

Organic and organometallic photochemistry; electron and energy transfer processes; fluorescent sensors; Combinatory chemistry; host-guest interaction; molecular recognition.

Peter Wade, PhD

Our work focuses on three main areas: 1) exploration of a newly discovered [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement in which O-allyl nitronic esters are thermally converted to g,d-unsaturated nitro compounds; 2) development and exploitation of a carbon-based hemiacetal mimic; and 3) exploration of cycloaddition reactions involving nitroethylene derivatives and novel nitrile oxides.


Physical Chemistry

Aaron T. Fafarman, PhD (courtesy appointment from Chemical and Biological Engineering)

Ultra-fast and steady state spectroscopy to study the behavior of electrons in semiconductor nanocrystals.

Reinhard Schweitzer-Stenner, PhD

Vibrational Spectroscopy, with an emphasis on Raman and resonance Raman spectroscopy; structure analysis of peptides in solution; understanding the coil state of peptides and proteins; protein folding of Heme proteins (cytochrome c, myoglobin, horseradish peroxidase), particularly the relationship between heme-protein interactions and function; theoretical modeling of ligand-receptor interactions and transmembrane signaling in mast cells.


Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Karl Sohlberg, PhD

Theoretical and Computational Physical and Materials Chemistry, including first principles studies of: catalytic materials, kinetics and thermodynamics of hydrogen in catalytic materials, and surfaces of heterogeneous catalysts. Development of theoretical models for both electrical and mechanical molecular devices.

Computational and theoretical materials-related chemistry, focused primarily on complex catalytic materials and mechanical and electrical molecular devices.