University of Vermont

2011-12 Online Catalogue

Chemistry (Doctor of Philosophy)


Current research in organic chemistry includes design and synthesis of peptide mimics, applications of molecular diversity to catalyst design, syntheses of medicinally valuable natural products, biomimetic syntheses, preparation of benzomorphans and their analogues which have chemotherapeutic potential, synthesis and reactions of hybrid organic-inorganic polymers, synthesis and properties of carbon-rich organic materials, mechanistic studies of organic chemical reactions, and development of novel synthetic methodologies.

Physical chemistry research projects include hydrogen absorption by metals, alloys, and intermetallic compounds with a view toward storage of hydrogen as a fuel, and the use of various types of molecular spectroscopy, such as fluorescence, magnetic resonance, and IR/Raman, to address questions of structure, bonding, and dynamics in chemical and biophysical systems.

Research in inorganic chemistry includes investigations of the syntheses, structure, and spectroscopic properties of main-group ring systems and polymers with an emphasis on phosphazenes and borazines, electrochemical control of the structure and reactivity of transition metal complexes, solid state structure by x-ray diffraction, complexes of polydentate ligands, physical inorganic and organotransition metal chemistry. Additional research areas include materials chemistry, solid state chemistry, mesoporous materials, biomineralization, and chemical vapor deposition.

Research in analytical chemistry includes electrochemical studies of transition metal complexes and organometallic complexes, electron spin resonance studies of materials in unusual oxidation states, novel reaction of reactive compounds generated electrochemically under high vacuum, studies of factors influencing heterogeneous electron transfer process in nonaqueous media, studies of transient, imploding plasmas as solid sample atomizers for atomic spectroscopy, the development of instrumentation and techniques suitable for elemental analysis of nonconducting solid samples via atomic spectrometry, the development and use of analytical methods using stable isotopically labeled tracers and kinetic models to answer questions of human physiology and biochemistry, and the simultaneous physical and chemical analysis of individual aerosol particles, leading to the rapid, on-line and in situ determination of the physico-chemical makeup of the aerosol.

General Requirements

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

An undergraduate major in an appropriate field. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination general (aptitude) section for those requesting financial assistance.

Requirement for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

It is expected that a student will ordinarily complete the following requirements for admission to candidacy by the end of the second year of residence: (1) at least fifteen credits of research (CHEM 491); (2) satisfactory performance in the cumulative examinations in the specialty field; (3) demonstration of basic competence in four fields of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical) through the biannual qualifying examinations or completion of prescribed courses at the University of Vermont; (4) three credits of teaching; (5) one year of residence; (6) the following courses are required: CHEM 381 (two credits), three semester hours of credit of advanced level work in three of the following five areas: analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and related science. The remainder of each student’s program will be determined by a departmental studies committee on the basis of qualifying examination performance, background, and research interests. In the normal course of events a student should expect to devote much of the first year to formal course work; (7) maintenance of an overall point-hour ratio of 3.25.

Minimum Degree Requirements

In addition to the above requirements a student must: (1) complete a doctoral research project, write an acceptable dissertation, and defend it; (2) present a total of 75 hours of credit in course work and dissertation research, and (3) make an oral and written presentation of an original research proposal, CHEM 388 (at least six months prior to the submission of the dissertation).



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