The Garrett Research Group in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California State University, Northridge is interested in surface and interfacial chemistry. Our group uses a range of specialized analytical spectroscopic and microscopic tools to study surface reactions in detail.
A particular area of interest for us is in the corrosion of metals and metal alloys, a phenomenon that results in a deterioration of material properties upon exposure to specific chemical environments. Metals we are studying include promising technological materials called metallic glasses/amorphous metals and those important to cultural heritage, such as silver and bronze. A second area of interest is the catalytic and photocatalytic properties of metal/metal oxide nanoparticles, solids with sizes in the 1-100 nm range. These possess unique properties dependent on both their chemical composition and physical size. A third area under study is that of the adsorption and chemistry of small molecules of importance to astrochemistry, in particular sulfur-containing molecules like hydrogen sulfide. We use energetic particles (photons, electrons) to induce chemistry in thick layers containing mixtures of molecules known to be present in interstellar space and/or astronomical bodies.
Graduate and undergraduate students in the Garrett Research Group learn a wide range of skills, ranging from literature searching to inorganic synthesis. They gain hands-on experience using a variety of analytical techniques including electrochemistry, microscopy and electron spectroscopy.