Dr. Jay C. Amicangelo

Associate Professor in Chemistry

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 1991
Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, University of Vermont, 1999
Post-Doctoral Research, University of Utah, 1999-2002

Assistant Professor, Penn State Erie, 2002-2008

Associate Professor, Penn State Erie, 2008-present

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
School of Science, H-30
Phone: (814) 898-6334
email: jca11@psu.edu


 Honors General Chemistry: CHEM 110H and 112H
 Physical Chemistry: CHEM 450, 452, and 457

Research Interests:

    My major research project involves the spectroscopic and theoretical investigation of transient intermediates and weak molecular complexes.  The identities and geometric structures of these transient intermediates are elucidated primarily by performing matrix-isolation infrared spectroscopy experiments.  Matrix-isolation is a technique by which normally unstable species (often radicals) are trapped in a frozen matrix of inert gas (generally argon) near 10 degrees Kelvin.  The extremely low temperature reduces the possibility of unimolecular decomposition of the trapped species and the matrix of inert gas prevents bimolecular or aggregation reactions between trapped species.  Once trapped in the low temperature, noble gas matrix, the infrared spectra of the trapped species can be examined.  In order to trap and study unstable molecules, they need to be generated in sufficient quantities in the gas phase first.  This is often accomplished by decomposing a stable molecule or molecules into the desired fragment species using some type of energy source, for example, light, heat, electrical energy, etc.  In my lab we will primarily use microwave discharge, pyrolysis, and photolysis as the sources to generate the desired intermediates.  Spectral assignments and geometric structure determinations of the trapped species will be established by performing experiments with isotopically substituted reagents, matrix annealing experiments (warming and re-freezing the matrix), matrix photolysis experiments, and by theoretical quantum mechanical calculations (ab initio and density functional theory) using the Gaussian suite of programs.  Two projects ongoing in my laboratory are concerned with the investigation of the nitrogen containing transient intermediates related to: (1) silicon nitride (Si3N4) chemical vapor deposition processes using silane (SiH4) and ammonia (NH3) or silane and nitrogen (N2) mixtures and (2) titanium nitride (TiN) chemical vapor deposition processes using titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) and NH3 or TiCl4 and N2 mixtures.  Another project we are working on is the characterization of weakly bound lone pair-pi complexes, such as H2O-C6F6.  A student who works with me on these projects will learn high vacuum techniques, gas handling techniques, Fourier- transform infrared spectroscopy and instrumentation, theoretical quantum mechanical calculations (Gaussian program), and the approach to good scientific inquiry.

  I also have two other minor research projects.  The first minor project is concerned with the excimer photophysics of poly-substituted aromatic hydrocarbons.  This project has three goals: (i) to investigate the effect of different substituents and substiuent positions on the amount of excimer emission, (ii) the temperature dependence of the excimer emission to determine the binding and activation energies of excimer formation, and (iii) theoretical characterization of the binding and activation energies of excimer formation using quantum mechanical methods.  The second minor project is concerned with the theoretical characterization of the solvolysis and photochromism of a series of platinum complexes.  The experimental work concerning these complexes has been performed by colleagues at Penn State Erie.  My contribution is to help understand the kinetics and energetics of the processes these systems undergo from a theoretical point of view using quantum mechanical methods.


Jay C. Amicangelo, Barbara Golec, Mohammed Bahou and Yuan-Pern Lee, "Infrared Spectrum of the 2-Chloroethyl Radical in Solid Para-Hydrogen", Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2012, 14, 1014-1029


Jay C. Amicangelo and P. B. Armentrout, "Relative and Absolute Bond Dissociation Energies of Sodium Cation-Alcohol Complexes Determined Using Competitive Collision-Induced Dissociation Experiments", International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 2011, 301, 45-54

Jay C. Amicangelo and Yuan-Pern Lee, "Site-Selective Reaction of Cl + Propene in Solid p-H2: Exclusive Formation of 2-Chloropropyl Radicals", Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2010, 1, 2956-2961

Jay C. Amicangelo, Benjamin W. Gung, Daniel G. Irwin, and Natalie C. Romano, "Ab Initio Study of Substituent Effects in the Interactions of Dimethyl Ether With Aromatic Rings", Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2008, 10, 2695-2705

Jay C. Amicangelo, Christopher T. Dine, Daniel G. Irwin, Cynthia J. Lee, Natalie C. Romano, and Nancy L. Saxton, "Matrix Isolation Infrared Observation of HxSi(N2)y (x = 0,1,2; y = 1,2) Transient Species Using a 121-nm Vacuum Ultraviolet Photolysis Source", Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2008, 112, 3020-3030

Benjamin W. Gung, Yan Zou, Zhigang Xu, Jay C. Amicangelo, Daniel G. Irwin, Shengqian Ma, and Hong-Cai Zhou "Quantitative Study of Interactions Between Oxygen Lone Pair and Aromatic Rings: Substituent Effect and Importance of Closeness of Contact", Journal of Organic Chemistry, 200873, 689-693

Jay C. Amicangelo, "Theoretical Characterization of a Tridentate Photochromic Pt(II) Complex Using Density Functional Theory Methods", Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 20073, 2198-2209

Jay C. Amicangelo, Jessica R. Collier, Christopher T. Dine, Nancy L. Saxton, and Roy M. Schleicher, "Matrix Isolation Infrared Observation of N3 Using a Nitrogen Microwave Discharge Plasma Source", Molecular Physics, 2007105, 989-1002

Benjamin W. Gung and Jay C. Amicangelo, "Substituent Effects in C6F6-C6H5X Stacking Interactions", Journal of Organic Chemistry, 200671, 9261-9270

Jay C. Amicangelo, "Theoretical Study of the Benzene Excimer Using Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory", Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2005109, 9174-9182

Jay C. Amicangelo and Willem R. Leenstra, "Zirconium Arene-Phosphonates: Chemical and Structural Characterization of 2-Naphthyl and 2-Anthracenylphosphonate Systems", Inorganic Chemistry, 2005,  44, 2067-2073

Jay C. Amicangelo and P. B. Armentrout, "Ligand Exchange Reactions of Sodium Cation Complexes Examined Using Guided Ion Beam Mass Spectrometry: Relative and Absolute Dissociation Free Energies and Entropies", Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2004, 108, 10698-10713

Jay C. Amicangelo and Willem R. Leenstra, "Excimer Formation in the Interlayer Region of Arene-Derivatized Zirconium Phosphonates", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2003, 125, 14698-14699

Jay C. Amicangelo, Guy L. Rosenthal, and Willem R. Leenstra, "Molecular Modeling of Interlayer Catalytic Sites for Aniline Polymerization in a Zirconium Phosphonate Phosphate", Chemistry of Materials, 2003, 15, 390

Jay C. Amicangelo and P. B. Armentrout, "Relative and Absolute Bond Dissociation Energies of Sodium Cation Complexes Determined Using Competitive Collision-Induced Dissociation Experiments", International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 2001, 212, 301

Jay C. Amicangelo and P. B. Armentrout, "Absolute Binding Energies of Alkali Metal Cation Complexes with Benzene Determined by Collision-Induced Dissociation Experiments and Ab Initio Theory", Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2000, 104, 11420

Jay C. Amicangelo and Willem R. Leenstra, "A Novel Staged Form of Layered Zirconium Phosphonates with Methyl and p-Aminobenzyl Pendent Groups", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1998, 120, 6181

Willem R. Leenstra and Jay C. Amicangelo, "Synthesis, Characterization and Interlayer Distance Study of Zirconium Phosphonates with Stoichiometric Variation of Methyl and p-Aminobenzyl Pendant Groups", Inorganic Chemistry, 1998, 37, 5317

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Last Modified: Ocotber 15, 2012