Inorganic Chemistry at Otterbein University

cluster

As an inorganic chemist, my interests lie in exploring and understanding the diverse chemistry of the elements within the periodic table. Along this line, my primary teaching is in General Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry. I also teach courses within the Integrative Studies program at Otterbein. My research interests focus on the areas of synthetic inorganic chemistry and bioinorganic chemistry. In recent years my students and I have focused on understanding the photochemistry of metal halide clusters similar to the structure shown in the figure on the right. I also enjoy using computers and have developed several instructional web sites including an extensive web site for teaching concepts of point-group symmetry.

Structural Chemistry Initiative

nickel complex

A recent grant from the National Science Foundation is helping our department incorporate experimental structure determination into a range of courses, including General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Biochemistry. Through these hands-on laboratory exercises we hope students will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the power (and limitations) of the X-ray diffraction technique. More information about our Bruker SMART X2S system and how we are using it in our courses is coming soon.

Symmetry @ Otterbein

222-bicyclooctane

Another NSF-supported project has been the development of web materials for teaching molecular symmetry. In 2010, the site received an average of almost 200 visitors a day from all over the world. It was my own frustration with trying to illustrate symmetry planes and axes using diagrams and models that inspired the original web site. The site continues to grow and will soon include additional materials related to crystallographic symmetry. For more information visit the Symmetry @ Otterbein web site including the Symmetry Gallery and the Symmetry Challenge.