Professor, students and alumnus publish Chemistry research

Professor of Chemistry Dr. Michael F. Falcetta, along with Dalton Steiner ’19, Brittni Sutter ’21 and Josiah Gowen ’22 have been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Sutter of Grove City, Pa. and Gowen of Livermore, Calif., both physics majors, joined chemistry alumnus Steiner, and Falcetta used computational molecular modelling to predict a new mechanism for temporarily trapping an electron and suggested experiments that could confirm this prediction in the paper “Prediction of a Non-Valence Temporary Anion State of (NaCl)2.”

“Discovering new mechanisms for electron attachment is relevant to chemical processes in our upper atmosphere, designing new—and more environmentally friendly—gaseous insulators for high voltage applications and understanding the interaction of very low energy electrons with molecules, as occurs in interstellar space,” Falcetta said.

The work used computers constructed by computer engineering students and Dr. Mark Fair ’85, professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physics.

For Steiner, this was his third computational project with Falcetta. He began the project, but his graduation in May left it in the hands of Sutter and Gowen. “My favorite parts of the research were actually when problems arose. In the few months I've been out of school, I've already used those problem-solving skills at my job as an analytical chemist,” said Steiner, who now works at Hardy Technical Services in Painesville, Ohio.

“I'm so very grateful for my research opportunities, and I would highly recommend research projects to any students that are considering one. It was one of the highlights of my college career,” Steiner said.

Gowen and Sutter were supported for seven weeks this summer by Grove City College's Swezey Fund for Scientific Research and Instrumentation which generously supports students through the Student Opportunities for Accelerated Research (SOAR) program. SOAR funds students in the Hopeman School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Grove City College to participate in a short-term, focused research project.

For more about Chemistry at Grove City College, visit www.gcc.edu/chem.

Professor, students and alumnus publish Chemistry research

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