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Chemistry Department

Analytical Chemistry Research

Faculty Research Interests Organic Icon

Faculty members at USNA are not only engaged in the traditional teaching/learning processes typically associated with undergraduate institutions, but they are also a world-class faculty in terms of involvement in research. Midshipmen have many opportunities to participate in research or capstone project courses, especially during the 1st class year. Below are brief summaries of the research interests of the current Analytical Chemistry faculty at USNA. More detailed summaries for the faculty are found at each faculty member's website (see links below): 

  • CAPT Rob Calhoun, USN

    Research Interests
    Research focuses on physical and analytical electrochemistry. The project with major funding from the Navy is use of a new Scanning Electrochemical Microscope (SECM) to study novel anti-corrosion coatings. I am also beginning work to study the photochemistry of SPEEK polymer films and their potential use as a smart material.

  • Prof. Graham T. Cheek

    Research Interests
    Research interests mostly involve the electrochemistry of organic compounds, including mechanistic studies and preparative aspects. Many studies are carried out using molten salts (or ionic liquids) systems as solvents. Room-temperature chloroaluminate molten salts are useful systems for these investigations because the Lewis acidity can be varied extensively simply by changing the melt composition. Such molten salt systems are very attractive for use in "green chemistry" (environmentally friendly) applications because they also have very low vapor pressures.

  • Prof. Christine L. Copper

    Research Interests
    Development of separation and detection methods for environmentally important molecules. Specifically, capillary electrophoretic and microchip separation methods are being developed to study environmental pollutants, explosives, and chemical warfare agent simulants. These projects are performed in conjunction with researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.

  • Prof. Dianne J. Luning Prak

    Research Interests
    Research focuses on measuring the: 1) decline in nitroarene solubility due to the presence of salts (salting-out); 2) photolysis of nitroarenes in seawater; 3) enhancement in solubility of nitroarenes in surfactant solutions (micellar solubilization); and 4) physical properties of alternative fuels (biodiesel and Fischer Tropsch Fuels) such as density, surface tension, and interfacial tension with pure water and seawater systems.

  • Prof. Daniel W. O'Sullivan

    Research Interests
    Development of novel analytical methods and design of innovative sampling systems for the analysis of compounds in marine and atmospheric systems at ambient levels. Utilize the analytical techniques to evaluate the impact that chemical speciation, photochemistry, and redox reactions have on the transport, distribution, and biogeochemistry of different chemical compounds in the environment.

  • Prof. Maria J. Schroeder

    Research Interests
    Characterization and application of elastomers, networks, coatings, and specialized polymeric systems. In collaboration with the Naval Research Laboratory and US Army, my work involves military applications of polymers as well as fundamental studies of polymer dynamics. Current projects include designing new polycarbonates for transparent armor applications, testing polymer coatings for blast protection on Humvees, enhancing elastomer performance using bimodal networks, and utilizing polymers to reduce drag on small Navy vessels. I am also interested in chemical education and laboratory development with a number of research students contributing to this work.

  • Assoc. Prof. Ronald L. Siefert

    Research Interests
    Dr. Siefert's research interests include atmospheric and aquatic chemistry. Dr. Siefert is interested in the chemical processing of atmospheric aerosols and their role as a source of chemical species (e.g., nutrients) to remote and coastal surface waters. Understanding these atmospheric sources is important since they can control ecological processes.

  • CDR Julie A. Spencer, USN

    Research Interests
    Research interests will be added in the near future

  • Prof. Paul C. Trulove

    Research Interests
    Development of nanoscale composites of polymers and bio-polymers with layered silicates and/or carbon nanotubes. Characterization of the physical, chemical, optical and electronic properties of these novel materials for potential applications in areas such as ballistic protection and low-observables (stealth). Work performed in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Development of new ionic liquids for applications in high-energy density batteries. Characterization of the physical, electrochemical, and thermal properties of the ionic liquids. Work performed in collaboration with the Naval Research Laboratory.
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