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Department of Chemistry
Silicon is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, second only to oxygen. As a result, the field of silicon chemistry rivals that of organic chemistry in its complexity and breadth. Of particular interest to our group is the interface of silicon chemistry and biological chemistry. We are exploring the use of enzymes as a green method for synthesizing polymeric silicon species; linear polymers, elastomers, and silica. Associated with these particular efforts are our interests in developing novel silicon-based delivery systems for both the topical and oral delivery of biologically active agents and silicon-based coatings for various surfaces.
We are also combining our expertise in silicon chemistry with experts in the catalysis of organic reactions to develop novel catalytic systems for a variety of reactions such as enantioselective aldol reactions, hydrosilylations, Diels-Alder reactions, and Mannich reactions to name but a few.
In addition to our interests in silicon chemistry, we are also interested in chemical education. Specifically, we are examining the use of electronic media as a means of determining how well students are able to learn lecture material, and how these electronic resources aid the students in planning their study time.