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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Research

Professor - Inorganic Chemistry
Areas of Interest: Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry

Dr. Martin Chin is interested in the synthesis of organometallic complexes for the activation and functionalization of small molecules. The area of research involves synthesizing and testing new binuclear catalysts for the activation and functionalization of small molecules.  Professor Chin's research involves using a doubly linked dicyclopentadiene ligand with robust carbon linkers to hold the two metal centers next to each other....

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Associate Professor - Physical Chemistry
Areas of Interest: Surface Chemistry

My research focuses on reversible metachromasy of dyes on oxide powders.  Reversible metachromasy is a phenomenon I discovered (Langmuir 16 (2000) 9690) in which a dyed powder changes color reversibly due to exposure to water vapor or other vapors.  This has potential for application as a chemical sensor or a really cool paint.  This summer, students will be exploring the effects of vapors other than water on a variety of dye/oxide systems.  Students who have completed general...

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Associate Professor - Organic Chemistry
Areas of Interest: Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Physical Organic Photochemistry.

Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Compound Characterization.  Synthesis of novel targets for localized drug delivery.

Professor - Organic Chemistry
Areas of Interest: Identifying biologically active natural products from prairie plants and cultered fungi; developing techniques to determine the absolute stereochemistry and regiochemsitry of complex carbohydrates.


A.)  Identifying biologically active natural products from prairie plants and cultured fungi.

This work involves doing bioassays on prairie plant and fungal extracts to identify compounds that have potent activity against bacterial and/or fungi.  The research also involves running bioassays for compounds that may be used in natural food preservatives. 
Required skills are knowledge of organic and analytical chemistry, experience with techniques in...

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Assistant Professor - Astrochemistry, Astrobiology
Areas of Interest: I am interested in the organic processes taking place in the atmosphere of Titan, Pluto and the early Earth. Of particular interest is the conditions that will lead to the formation of biological molecules from prebiotic hazes.


My research program will aim to explore new aspects of prebiotic aerosols and their importance both in interpreting data from missions, such as Cassini-Huygens and New Horizons, and in understanding how biological molecules may form in abiotic environments. This will be accomplished through several research topics: 

Titan aerosol formation as sink for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes:

A joint study with NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center looking at...

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Department Head and Professor - Inorganic Chemistry
Areas of Interest: Inorganic Chemistry, Solid-State Chemistry, Magnetic Materials
Overall Nature and Background of the Project

The desire to reduce the use of traditional fossil fuels has sparked great initiatives into alternative ways to produce, store and utilize energy that are more environmentally. While looking into all three aspects of alternative energy is important, new ways to store energy is vital. If we cannot store the energy produced by sources such as wind, solar, biomass etc., we waste the full potential from the production of cleaner sources of energy....

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Associate Professor - Inorganic Materials
Areas of Interest: Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Chemistry

Dr. Weeks is interested in inorganic chemistry and in materials chemistry. His current research focuses on synthesizing and investigating the properties of metal-organic framework materials.

Weeks Research

 A 1D chain metal-organic polymer that forms crystals with 4 Å pores.

Metal-organic framework materials are made by using organic...

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