Gordon G. Brown, Ph.D.
Title: Associate Professor of Chemistry; Coordinator of the Chemistry Major; Coker faculty member since 2007.
Education: B.S., College of William and Mary, 1993;
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2007
Department: Chemistry
Office: Science Building - Room 203
Office Hours: By Appointment
Phone: (843) 383-8089
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Research Interests:

My research background is in microwave (MW) spectroscopy.  In this research, it is possible to learn amazing amounts of information about molecules by how they interact with microwave radiation.  We cannot see the molecules, but we can find out accurate and precise information regarding their shape, including bond lengths and bond angles.

Coker College students have built a one-of-a-kind Fourier transform microwave spectrometer. This spectrometer uses modern, high-tech equipment to generate broadband microwave pulses and detectors.  No one sells MW spectrometers; we have built our own.

Once built, the microwave spectrometer will be applied to the structures of biologically and environmentally important molecular systems.

  • We will study the precise structures of the “keys” (substrates) and “locks” (active sites) of biology.  By studying the precise structures of biological keys, such as neurotransmitters, drugs, and peptides, we can learn information about the shape of the biological “locks”, such as active protein sites and biological receptors.

  • We will study the attractive interactions of carbon dioxide and a several organic molecules.  This will lend insight into the intermolecular forces between the CO2 and the binding molecule.  This insight will be valuable for designing effective materials for carbon trapping, which is the process of storing carbon dioxide so that it is not released as a greenhouse gas.

In related research, I have used funding from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) student-faculty research program to purchase a quad-core processor and sophisticated software to perform quantum chemical calculations. These calculations are used to predict, interpret, and analyze the experimental data we measure with our microwave spectrometer.

Teaching Interests:

My teaching interests include physical chemistry, general chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physics.  I love giving students problems that make them think in new ways.  I especially enjoy laboratory classes where students get to become scientists as they discover the physical world around them.  And they get to "play" with cool (science) toys.

Recent Grant Funding:

National Science Foundation – Chemical Measurement and Imaging – Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI). “Low Frequency Microwave Spectroscopy of van der Waals Complexes,” $144,213.

EPCSoR GEAR Research Experiences Program, January, 2013. ”Chirped-Pulse Microwave Spectroscopy of Halogen-Bonded Complexes,” $22,000.

2011-2013 American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF), "Rotational Spectroscopy Investigation of Interactions between Carbon Dioxide and N-containing Cyclic Compounds", $50,000

2014 South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) Student/Faculty Research Program, $3,600

Recent Presentations:

Sean T. Arnold, J. Chase Chewning, and Gordon Brown, “Chirped-Pulse Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy of 2-chloro-3-fluoropyridine and 2-chloro-6-fluoropyridine,” oral presentation at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, June 2014, Champaign, IL.

Jessica Garrett, Sean Arnold, and Gordon Brown, “Microwave Spectrum and Ab Initio Calculations of Meta-chlorobenzaldehyde,” poster presentation at the Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, October, 2013, Raleigh, NC.

Miranda Smith and Gordon Brown, “Microwave Spectrum and Ab Initio Calculations of 3-vinylbenzaldehyde,” oral presentation at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, June 2013, Columbus, OH.

Recent Publications:

Miranda Smith*, Brandon D. Short*, April M. Ruthven*, K. Michelle Thomas*, Michael J. Hang, Gordon G. Brown, “Chirped-pulse microwave spectrum and ab initio calculations of four distinct conformers of 3-vinylbenzaldehyde,” J. Mol. Spectr., 307, (2015) 49-53.

Caroline C. Womack, Marie-Aline Martin-Drumel, Gordon G. Brown, Robert W. Field, Michael C McCarthy, “Observation of the simplest Criegee intermediate CH2OO in the gas-phase ozonolysis of ethylene,” Science Advances, accepted for publication.

Dan Dong* and Gordon Brown, “Measuring Ibuprofen Quantities in Expired Over-the-Counter Tablets using HPLC,” The Chem. Educ., 19, (2014) 351-353.

McJunkins, Austin and Brown, Gordon G., “An inexpensive Room-Temperature Chirped-Pulse Fourier Transform Microwave (RT-CP-FTMW) Spectrometer,” J. Undergrad. Chem. Res. 10, (2011) 166-169.

Gordon G. Brown, Brian C. Dian, Kevin O. Douglass, Scott M. Geyer, Steven T. Shipman, and Brooks H. Pate, “A Broadband Fourier Transform Microwave Spectrometer Based on Chirped-Pulse Excitation,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 79, 053103 (2008).

Brian C. Dian, Gordon G. Brown, Kevin O. Douglass, and Brooks H. Pate, “Measuring Picosecond Isomerization Kinetics Using Broadband Microwave Spectroscopy,” Science320, 924-928  (2008).