Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates are actively engaged in chemical research. Basic research is done in all the general areas of chemistry: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. The research activity is supported by the major instrument centers in the department: Magnetic Resonance Center, Mass Spectrometry Center, Center for Laser Spectroscopy, and the X-ray Crystallography Center. You can read about the faculty research areas by following the links below. In addition, synopses of selected graduate and undergraduate research projects are highlighted.
Investigation of Synthesis Inefficiency and Handling Problems in Chlorophosphazene Chemistry
PhD Research Project of Zin-Min Tun
Mentor: Dr. Claire Tessier
Phosphazene polymers are classically synthesized by the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of [PCl2N]3, followed by the functionalization of [PCl2N]n with desired side groups. Despite their versatile properties, phosphazene polymers are not widely used because of the inefficiency in the synthesis through the ROP process and difficulties in handling the [PCl2N]n. The overall goal of this research is to study the acid-base chemistry of [PCl2N]3 with the end result of finding cheaper and more efficient synthetic routes to chlorophosphazenes.
Dynamics Simulations of Acetylene (C2H2)
Undergraduate research project of Jonathan Martens
Mentor: Dr. David Perry
Based on the acetylene Hamiltonian, which is well defined and understood up to 13,000 cm-1, time-dependent dynamics can be calculated based on a postulated initial excitation (bright state). The spectroscopic Hamiltonian includes four types of off-diagonal interactions: vibrational l-resonances, rotational l-resonances, anharmonic coupling, and Coriolis coupling. At high energies, the bright state couples to a large number of bath states. These dynamics help reveal significant issues that must be considered when comparing time-resolved and frequency-resolved spectra. They also show how as the rotational quantum number, J, is increased, the bright state couples more rapidly to more bath states. When energy is increased, we see that the dynamics of similar bright states look the same, but more bath states are coupled. Different kinds of bright state vibrations show different kinds of qualitative behavior. read more