Monty L. Fetterolf, PhD
Introductory Chemistry, General Chemistry I and II, Physical Chemistry I and II
BS Chemistry, Wichita State University (1981)
PhD University of California at Santa Barbara, 1987
Post-Doc/ProfessionalExperience: Post-Doctoral Research at the University of Southern California (1987-1989); Teaching at Cal State Long Beach, Pierce College, and Cal Poly Pomona (1988-1989)
Raman Spectroscopy of Mixed Solvent Systems, Solvatochromism of Dyes Using Electronic Absorption Spectroscopy, Chemical Education
Dr. Fetterolf’s research involves the broad topic of solute/solvent interactions. These interactions are investigated using probe solute molecules that respond spectroscopically to the solvent environments. A better understanding of solute/solvent interactions may lead to spectroscopic solute indicators of solvent properties that can be used during a chemical process when monitoring the solvent is important.
One group of research students worked with methylene violet and its analogs which display solvatochromism—the change in solution color as the solvent is changed. In these cases, the solvent can respond in a nonspecific manner to solvent change, seen as a correlation with solvent dielectric constant, or in a specific manner, seen as a correlation with the solvent’s Acceptor Number—a measure of lone electron pair sharing ability. The maximum in absorption measured with the Perkin Elmer Lambda-35 UV-Visible Absorption Spectrometer is used to monitor the color changes during solvatochromism. Students obtain wavelength maxima in different solvents and also investigate the temperature dependence of this phenomena. A collaboration with Dr. Rowe allows students to explore the use of computation as a tool in understanding solute/solvent interaction geometries.
A second group uses Raman vibrational spectroscopy to measure the specific interactions that the molecule ethyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoate (EDAB) and its analogs have with solvent. Several Raman spectroscopic peaks shift to different energies as a result of strong specific interactions of the ester functionality of EDAB with the various solvents. Presently, we are exploring structural analogs of EDAB to see what physical characteristics of the probe molecule lead to the greatest peak shifts in various solvents. Once the best probes have been selected, we plan to explore mixed solvent systems looking at how peaks respond to changes in solvent mole fraction.