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Professor, Head of Dept.
F.W. Olin Physical Sciences, 102
Research & Project InterestsOur interests are divided into three areas, reactions of transition metal compounds in the solid phase, theory of solid-state reaction kinetics and thermal analysis. Students in our group follow interests in the complete range from theoretical studies to applied research.
Excitement in solid-state chemistry and materials is at an all-time high and mechanistic curiosity has increased because of enormous growth in the interest in materials, solid-state devices, corrosion, catalysis and energy research.
We use thermal methods, including thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry, to elucidate reaction pathways in solids. One current system of interest is the series of compounds [Co(NH3)4(H2O)SO4]X, which exhibits several unique features. When X is a small anion such as C1- or Br-, the standard deaquation-anation reaction occurs in the solid phase via the scheme in equation one. If it is a larger, poor-coordinating anion, such as BF4- or C104-, then the path in equation two is followed.
(2) [Co(NH3)4(H2O)SO4] XÂ’[Co(NH3)4SO4]X+ H2O
In the second path, the bidentate sulfato moiety is formed. Both groups of compounds are unique in that several members of each are isostructural. This is the only system we know of in which this is true and in which the impact of lattice effects may therefore be eliminated.
Studies on this and similar systems are currently underway.
Theory for solid-state reaction kinetics is still being refined and we concurrently pursue investigations in this area with many of our projects.
Recently, we have completed studies of materials used for moisture absorption/desorption applications. These materials are of great interest for passive and off-load cooling purposes. These studies lend themselves nicely to thermal analysis and were conducted jointly with the Florida Solar Energy Center on such materials as dessicants, gypsum, fatty acids and polymers. New materials for energy storage applications have been discovered and are currently under investigation.
Characterization of polymeric materials and investigations of polymer properties are ongoing services provided by our group, via high resolution thermogravimetric analysis and modulated differential scanning calorimetry.
Dr. Babich is also very interested in national policy with respect to chemistry society and graduate education.
KeywordsSolid-state Reaction Chemistry
Professor, Head of Dept.
Educational BackgroundB.S. University of Wisconsin
Ph.D. University of Nevada
Professional ExperiencePostdoctoral fellow, Ames Laboratory, USDOE, and Iowa State University in X-ray and Neutron Diffraction
Assistant Professor, Ohio Wesleyan University 1976-1977
Physical Inorganic Chemistry Assistant Professor, University of Delaware, 1977-1978
Dr. Babich sits on the Inorganica Chimica Acta refereeing panel, the Council for Chemical Research, where he is chair of the science education committee; the advisory committee for the BCC chemical instrumentation program; Southeastern Regional Chemistry Department chairs; board of directors of the Center for Advanced Therapeutics and Research; and is co-chair of the Florida Tech biochemistry program.
Selected PublicationsBabich, M. W. Graduate Education in Chemistry and the Graduate Student Pipeline Managing the Modern Laboratory 2001, 5(4):63.
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