Ian Rosenstein, Chair
(315) 859-4730

Chemistry Department
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Karen Brewer, Inorganic Chemistry

Professor and Acting Chair (Fall 2014)

Office: Science Center 1060
Phone: 315-859-4726
Email: kbrewer@hamilton.edu

At Hamilton since 1989

EDUCATION

B.S. Ohio Northern University
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Professor of Chemistry (July 2005 to present)
Associate Professor of Chemistry (July 1995 to July 2005)
Assistant Professor of Chemistry (July 1989 to July 1995)
Hamilton College, Clinton, NY 13323
Responsible for undergraduate courses in Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 423, Inorganic and Materials Chemistry 265, and Principles of Chemistry 120; Research Methods 371; laboratories in Principles of Chemistry 120/125 and Inorganic and Materials Chemistry 265; direction of Summer Research and Senior Projects 551-552.

Research Leave from Hamilton College (August 1992 to May 1993)
State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214
Laboratories of O.T. Beachley, Jr.
Project: Synthesis and Investigation of Low Valent Indium Compounds as Precursors to Indium Phosphide
Salary support provided by the Hughes Foundation Grant at Hamilton College. 


RESEARCH INTERESTS

Professor Brewer’s collaborative and interdisciplinary research focuses on the synthesis and luminescence properties of rare earth (lanthanide) sol-gel derived materials. Along with her collaborators, Profs. Ann Silversmith (Physics, Hamilton College), Daniel Boye (Physics, Davidson College) and Ken Krebs (Physics, Franklin & Marshall College), she and her students synthesize materials including silica-based glasses and gels containing rare earth ions and chelated complexes with the aim of enhancing the materials’ fluorescence properties as studied by fluorescence and laser spectroscopy. Current research directions include: enhancement of rare earth upconversion in sol-gel binary glasses based on silica (e.g. silica-titania and silica-zirconia), energy transfer from co-doped rare earth ions in silica glasses, enhancement of fluorescence through the incorporation of rare earth chelated complexes into xerogels, and incorporation of rare earth-containing nanoparticles into silica glass.

 

Rare earth doped glasses produced by sol-gel synthesis. Rare earth doping from left to right: Pr3+, Nd3+, Er3+, Eu3+.
Rare earth doped glasses produced by sol-gel synthesis. Rare earth doping from left to right: Pr3+, Nd3+, Er3+, Eu3+.
Dried gels of 2,6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid-chelated Eu3+ and Tb3+ processed to 90 °C illuminated under short-wave UV light.
Dried gels of 2,6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid-chelated Eu3+ and Tb3+ processed to 90 °C illuminated under short-wave UV light.
Monoliths produced by the sol-gel method of silica-zirconia binary glasses (7.5–20% Zr) annealed to 1000 °C.
Monoliths produced by the sol-gel method of silica-zirconia binary glasses (7.5–20% Zr) annealed to 1000 °C.

RESEARCH & INSTRUMENTATION GRANTS

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Special Grant in the Chemical Sciences,  "Materials Chemistry Project Laboratories for Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry" $36,500, 6/1/05–6/1/08

Petroleum Research Fund/American Chemical Society, “Rare Earth Calixarene Complexes in a Sol-Gel Matrix: Synthesis and Luminescence” $50,000, 6/1/05–8/31/08

Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award, Grant #CC5165 , "Synthesis and Characterization of rare earth-doped sol-gel glasses", $19,000 with matching funds from Hamilton College, 7/1/00 to 7/1/01

Petroleum Research Fund/American Chemical Society, Grant # 24262-GB3, "Synthesis of Monomeric Gallium-Phosphorus Compounds" $18,000, 9/1/91 to 8/31/94


RECENT PUBLICATIONS

* (indicates Hamilton College undergraduate co-authors)

“Transient and Persistent Spectral Hole Burning in Eu3+ Doped Sol-Gel Produced SiO2 Glass” Boye, D. M.; Valdes, T.S.; Nolen, J.H.; Silversmith, A. J.; Brewer, K. S.; Anderman, R. E.*; Meltzer, R.S. Journal of Luminescence 2004, 108, 43–47.

“Fluorescence Enhancement by Chelation of Eu3+ and Tb3+ Ions in Sol Gels”
Silversmith, A. J.; Magyar, A.P.*; Brewer, K. S.; Boye, D. M. Journal of Luminescence 2004, .108, 49–53.

“Low Temperature Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition Growth of InP Using the New Precursors Pentamethylcyclopentadienylindium(I) and White Phosphorus”
Haugan, H.J.; Yu, W.; Lee, S. T.; Petrou, A.; McComb, B. D.; Brewer, K. S.; Lees J. F.; Beachley, O. T. Journal of Crystal Growth, 2002, 144, 157–167.

“Fluorescence Line-Narrowing and Decay Dynamics in Sol-Gel Glasses Containing Eu3+” Silversmith, A. J.; Boye, D. M.; Anderman, R. E.*; Brewer, K. S. Journal of Luminescence, 2001, 94-95, 275-278.

“Red-to-Green Upconversion in Er-doped SiO2 and SiO2/TiO2 Sol-Gel Silicate Glasses”
Boye, D. M.; Silversmith, A. J.; Nolen, J.; Rumney, L. D.*; Shaye, D. A.*; Smith, B. C.*; Brewer, K. S. Journal of Luminescence, 2001, 94-95, 279-282.

“Red to Blue Upconversion in Tm-doped Sol-Gel Silicate Glasses”
Otto, A. P.*; Brewer, K.S.; Silversmith, A.J. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 2000, 265, 176-180.

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

“Fluorescence of Rare Earth Ions in Binary Zirconia-Silica Sol-Gel Glasses”
Callahan, J.R.*; Brewer, K.S.; Silversmith, A.J., Abstracts of Papers 227th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, CA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC 2004; INOR 323.

“Energy Transfer from Chelated Ligands to Rare Earth Cations in a Sol-Gel Matrix”
Brewer, K.S.; Magyar, A.P.*; Silversmith, A.J.; Boye, D.M., Abstracts of Papers 227th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, CA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC 2004; INOR 305.

“Rare Earth-Doped Sol-Gel Glasses: Synthesis, Processing, and Spectroscopy”
Invited Chemistry Symposium Speaker at Southern Methodist University (November 11, 2002) and Texas Christian University (November 12, 2002).

“Preparation of Titania-Silica Glasses Containing Rare Earth Ions”
Brewer, K.S.; Silversmith, A.J.; Garte, J.A.* Abstracts of Papers 220th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, CA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC 2000; INOR 105.

“Uniformity in Rare Earth-Doped Silica Glass Monoliths”
Brewer, K.S.; Silversmith, A.J.; Gletow, A.* Abstracts of Papers 220th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, CA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC 2000; INOR 270.

“Fluorescence Decay Analysis of Europium Doped Sol-Gel Glasses”
Silversmith, A.J.; Lancor, B.L.*; Boye. D.M.; Brewer,  K.S. Abstracts of Papers 220th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, CA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC 2000; INOR 100.

“Fluorescence and Upconversion in Rare Earth-Doped Sol-Gel Glases”
Invited seminar for the Chemistry Department at Syracuse University, April 6, 1999.

“Fluorescence and Upconversion in Rare Earth-Doped Sol-Gel Glases”
Brewer, K.S.; Silversmith, A.J.; Hornbach, M.J.*; Otto, A.P.*; Garte, J.A.*; Matthews, J.A.*; Hajduk, M.J.* Abstracts of Papers 218h National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, CA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC 1999; INOR 506.

RECENT SENIOR THESES

Kate Schirmer ‘05, “Functionalization of Calix[4]arene to Facilitate Rare Earth Chelation and Enhance       
    Fluorescence in a Sol Gel Matrix”

Beth Benton ‘05, “Synthesis and Sol-Gel Encapsulation of Rare Earth Ion Doped Nanoparticles”

Emin Hodzic ‘04, “Energy Transfer Between Lanthanides in Sol-Gel Glasses

Jessica Callahan ‘04, “Fluorescence Enhancement in Rare Earth-Doped Silica Sol-Gels by Chelation”

Daniel Leonard ‘04, “Synthesis of Sol-Gel GeO2 Glass Doped with Eu3+”

Alicia Fucile ‘03, “Preparation of Glasses Containing Rare-Earth Cations: Sonication to Reduce Water Content”

Shammi Dowla ‘01, “Preparation of Titania-Silica Glasses Doped with the Rare Ions”

Alexis Gletow ‘00, “Uniformity in Rare Earth-Doped Sol-Gel Silica Glass Monoliths"

Jeffrey A. Garte ‘00, "Preparation of Titania-Silica Glasses Containing Rare Earth Ions”

Timothy J. Reid ‘00, “Characterization of Rare Earth and Hydroxyl Concentrations in Sol-Gel -Derived Silica Glass
Monoliths”