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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
California State University, Northridge
Northridge, California, 91330-8262
telephone: (818) 677-3366
fax: (818) 677-4068
Office: Magnolia Hall 4300
Dr. Garrett’s research interests are in surface chemistry and materials analysis.
Several projects are underway at CSUN. The first involves studying the adsorption and chemistry of small molecules on and in thin films of solid water (ice). The ice films serve as models for ice found in various terrestrial and non-terrestrial environments. In particular, we are interested in the formation of larger molecules from the action of UV light and electrons on smaller molecules. Such reactions are believed to act in and on comets, the icy bodies that orbit our solar system, and may be one mechanism by which the precursors of life were brought to the early Earth. Similar reactions may occur on the surfaces of Mars and some of the moons of Jupiter. Currently, the molecules of interest to us include those found in comets such as formaldehye and hydrogen cyanide.
A second area of research involves the characterization of the surfaces of metallic glasses and their joining by electrical resistance welding. Metallic glasses are non-crystalline metal alloys with some unique properties. For example, they are stronger, stiffer and tougher than many metallic materials in use. They have important potential applications in aerospace and medical fields. We are studying their oxidation and, by the application of electrical current, their joining, examining whether the non-crystalline properties can be preserved through the welding process.
A third area of research is in nanomaterials. In particular, Dr. Garrett is interested in generating a route to oxide nanoparticles supported on solid surfaces. Metal oxides display a wide range of physical and chemical properties including catalytic, photocatalytic, electronic and magnetic properties. All of these properties are expected to show dependence on the size of the metal oxide particle when particle diameters become less than about 100 nm. Demonstration and understanding of this effect is one of the goals sought. Application of these particles to ‘nanomagnets’ or ‘nanocatalysts’ will be explored.