Thomas M. Ticich

Velma Davis Grayson Chair of Chemistry
and Chair of the Department

B.S., Cook College, Rutgers University, 1982
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1988

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My research interests span several areas in laser spectroscopy and materials science. I have used lasers to study high energy vibrational states of dioxetanes and to monitor the presence of the nanoparticles that comprise soot by heating them with a laser to incandescence. I have also explored the techniques of cavity ring-down spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to monitor various species in trace amounts. Another interest is synthesizing carbon nanotubes in flames and other environments. These structures, which have diameters of a few to tens of nanometers, have a number of unique properties (high current carrying capacity and tensile strength) that make them desirable for many applications in nanotechnology. I have also used a technique called electrospinning to create nanofibers of polymers or metal oxides suitable for sensor technology. I am currently working on a major revision of the general chemistry curriculum supported by a grant from the Board of Regents. My goals are to develop a new laboratory program that emphasizes current applications of chemistry and to refocus the course around structure and reactivity with the aid of molecular modeling software.

In addition to my teaching and research pursuits, I serve as advisor to the Chemistry Club.

My passion outside of science is music. I am a classical accordionist and enjoy preparing and performing pieces from its literature and those adapted from other instruments. I also sing in the contemporary liturgical ensemble at my church. I live with a feisty cat named Tammy given to me by a former student.