"How do you turn sunlight into electricity? My research program focuses on photovoltaic materials, which are at the heart of solar energy technology. I am especially interested in the nanoscale structure of these materials, which determines their properties in photovoltaic applications.
"My students and I are investigating ways to improve a material's structure by controlling the shape of its crystals. Using chemistry, we can grow, shape and assemble inorganic crystals into nanoscale structures such as semiconducting nanorod arrays. Our research methods include pH-controlled crystallization, sol-gel film deposition, silicon micromachining, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy.
"I bring a materials-science perspective into my courses, emphasizing the way that a compound's properties affect its function in modern technologies. In the nanoscience lab for example, students use functional materials to construct working solar cells and are ultimately challenged to improve these devices using their knowledge of chemistry and materials."
2004 — Doctor of Philosophy from Cornell University
1999 — Bachelor of Science from Univ of California, San Diego
Courses Recently Taught
This course covers a full year of chemistry in one semester and is designed for students with previous study of chemistry. We will explore and review key principles and methods from both CHEM 121 and 124. Prerequisite: AP score of 4 or 5 or placement exam. Corequisite: CHEM 123. Offered every fall semester.
This laboratory course accompanies CHEM 121 and 122 with an introduction to modern experimental chemistry. Laboratory experiments explore inorganic synthesis, molecular structure and properties, and spectroscopy, with an emphasis on laboratory safety, computerized data acquisition and analysis, and the theory of analytical instrumentation. The laboratory work is organized around individual and team projects. Communication skills are developed through proper use of a laboratory notebook. One three-hour laboratory is held per week. Corequisite: CHEM 121 or 122. Offered every fall semester.
We create scientific knowledge through observation, mental models, and careful design of experimental procedures. We invite you to explore and understand this process, through a combination of practical experience and critical analysis. CHEM 123 and 126 are your introduction to modern experimental chemistry and are foundational to all upper-level chemistry laboratory courses. Course activities: analyze and design laboratory procedures, practice operation of laboratory equipment, assess and validate techniques, construct knowledge through discussion. Format: one three-hour laboratory session per week. Topics typically include: gravimetric and volumetric techniques, standardization, titration, spectrophotometry, infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular modeling, separations, chromatography, thermal analysis, kinetics, programming, data acquisition and data analysis. Prerequisite: CHEM 123. Offered every spring semester.
Is your water safe? How do you know what compounds are in your water, food, body and local environment? How do you measure and quantify these compounds? How do you convince yourself that your measurements are valid or invalid? CHEM 341 explores the theory and practice of quantitative chemical analysis. Students will apply principles of measurement, instrument design, and data analysis to instrumental methods. Topics include statistics of measurement error and uncertainty, calibration, spectrochemical methods, electrochemical analysis, and analytical separations including chromatography, spectroscopic, electrochemical and chromatographic methods. According to student interest, additional topics may include environmental analysis, biochemical assays, food quality and consumer safety. Students will develop scientific communication skills through writing and oral presentations. Required for the major. Prerequisite: CHEM 233 or permission of instructor. Offered every spring semester.
This advanced laboratory course focuses on using computational methods to understand chemistry and biochemistry. Part of the course will concentrate on using these methods to understand and visualize molecular structure, and part of the course will concentrate on using numerical methods to understand the kinetics and mechanisms associated with reaction systems. Computational work will involve both short experiments done individually and a larger research project that will be conducted in conjunction with classmates. This course meets for one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 335 or permission of instructor. Offered every three years.
In this course, students will gain experience analyzing, interpreting, and critiquing quantitative claims and communicating results and conclusions using graphical representations of data. Examples will be drawn from across the natural and social sciences, with context provided for each data set, so that students from any disciplinary background can participate in and benefit from this course. This course has no pre-requisites. It will be taught at a level accessible to all Kenyon students. Excellent preparation for further work on quantitative topics, this course will hone students' ability to apply mathematical techniques including graphing, statistics, linear and non-linear regression, and modeling the graphical behavior of mathematical functions to understanding and interpreting data. Students will practice these skills by engaging in critical reading of primary sources, oral presentation of quantitative data, and expression of analytic ideas in writing. Assessment will be based on in-class assignments, monthly quizzes, and oral reports on data-driven projects selected in consultation with the instructor.
This capstone course is intended to provide an in-depth experience in computational approaches to an individual topic of choice. Students will also be exposed to a broad range of computational application through presentations and discussion. Each student will give several presentation to the class throughout the semester. Permission of the instructor and program director required. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: SCMP 118 or PHYS 270, senior standing, completion of at least 0.5 units of an intermediate course and at least 0.5 units of a contributory course.