Major in Chemistry

Bachelor of Science Degree • School of Arts and Sciences

Chemistry Major


With four faculty members trained in biochemistry, inorganic/analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical/polymer chemistry, the UC chemistry faculty offers its students diverse areas of expertise.

Alyssa C. Thomas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Alyssa Thomas, Ph.D.
Phone: (315) 223-2596
Office: 268 Gordon Science Center


Growing up in southern Ohio, I cannot remember a period in my life in which I was not fascinated by science. I received a B.S. in chemistry and biology from Heidelberg College (now Heidelberg University) in Tiffin, Ohio and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Under the direction of Dr. Hugh H. Richardson, I studied the adsorption of water on aluminum oxide using infrared spectroscopy and measured the heat generated from metal nanoparticles embedded in ice. In the fall of 2009, I joined the faculty at Utica College. My teaching responsibilities at UC mainly include general chemistry lecture and laboratory as well as the physical chemistry lectures and laboratory. Chemistry is my passion and I’m driven by the following mantra my former biology professor was fond of saying, “As a scientist, we can never lose our inner four year old because we should never stop asking why.”
Outside the lab, I enjoy making homemade cards, knitting, devouring all kinds of literature, the card game Euchre, and my adorable lab/hound dog Duke. I also recently began practicing vinyasa yoga regularly.
Research Interests
Growth of Thin Film Water
          Using simple preparations to model desired surface chemistries and morphologies, I plan to use APR FTIR spectroscopy to investigate the growth of thin film water on modified metal oxide surfaces and other insulator surfaces. My goals are to provide information on the mechanisms of initial water molecule absorption, subsequent growth of thin film water and how the molecular properties of the film affect the surface chemistry of these materials.
Biomimetic Nanoparticle Functionalization and
          Novel and innovative nanomaterials such as bimetallic complexes and biologically functionalized metal NPs for specific protein or antibody targets are of national widespread interest. I plan to explore a variety of bimetallic and biologically functionalized metal NPs for biomedical applications. My goals are to synthesize, functionalize and characterize these complexes using different spectroscopic techniques such as UV-Vis and Raman spectroscopy.
Selected Publications
·         Thomas, A. C.; Richardson, H. H. Growth of Thin Film Water α-Al2O3 (0001): An FTIR Study. J. Phys. Chem. C. 2008, 112, 20033-20037
·         Richardson, H. H.; Thomas, A. C.; Carlson, M. T.; Kordesch, M. E.; Govorov, A. O. Thermo-Optical Responses of Nanoparticles: Melting of Ice and Nanocalorimetry Approach. J. Elec. Mater. 2007, 36, 1587-1593
·         Richardson, H. H.; Hickman, Z. N.; Thomas A. C.; Dendramis K. A.;  Thayer G. E.; Ewing, G. E. Ice Nucleation on a-Al2O3 surfaces; In Physics and Chemistry of Ice; Kuhs, Werner, Ed.; Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Ice; Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing: Cambridge, England, 2007; p 513-520.
·         Richardson, H. H.; Hickman, Z. N.; Govorov, A. O.; Thomas, A. C.; Zhang, W.; Kordesch, M. E. Thermooptical Properties of Gold Nanoparticles Embedded in Ice: Characterization of Heat Generation and Melting. Nano Lett. 2006, 4, 783-788
·         Thomas, A. C.; Richardson, H. H. 2D-IR Correlation Analysis of Thin Film Water Adsorbed on α-Al2O3 (0001). J. Mole. Struc. 2006, 799, 158-162


Curtis R. Pulliam, Ph.D.
Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry
270 Gordon Science Center

(315) 792-3140
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(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502