Susan Olesik

Susan Olesik
Susan Olesik
Dow Professor
Divisional Affiliation: Analytical, Environmental
Office: 3033D McPherson Laboratory
Phone: 614-292-0733


Susan Olesik received her B.A. from DePauw University in 1977 and her Ph.D. in 1982 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working with James Taylor. She was also a postdoctoral fellow for Milos Novotny at Indiana University from 1982-1984 and for Tomas Baer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill from 1984-1986. She has been a faculty member at The Ohio State University since 1986, being promoted to Associate Professor in 1992 and Professor in 1997. In 1987, she received the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Research Award; in 1990 she received the Eli Lilly Research Award; in 1998 she received a Commendation from NASA for work on Cassini-Huygen's Probe; and in 2000 she received the AWISCO Woman in Science Award. 

Research Overview

Analytical, Separation Science, Mass Spectrometry

The central goal of my research program is to develop novel methods for the separation and analysis of complex mixtures of large molecules. Themolecular species of interest include highly complex mixtures of frequently polar, involatile polymeric species with a wide range of structures. For instance, although much effort has been taken to understand the organic components (humic and fulvic acids) of soil, little is actually known. Th eaverage molecular weight information on these species continues to be debatedand the chemical functionality distribution is also very ill defined. New methods are also needed to better determine complex glycoprotein andpolysaccharide molecular weight distributions and functionality distributions. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry is in great need ofseparation techniques that can distinguish compounds that have very similar structures.We have chosen to attach these issues by developing new microscale separations techniques that are capable of ultra high levels of selectivity. For example, Liquid Chromatography at the Critical Condition (LCCC) combined with microscale size exclusion are under study to determine for the first time the molecular weight distributions and functionality distributions of select humic acids. This work also involves use of high resolution mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, NMR and ESCA to characterize the chemical functionalities of the separated components.To attack the problem of needing to separate well very similar compounds we are developing new carbon-based materials. These materials typical are converted to a functionalized glassy carbon for separations applications. Recent studies on the mechanisms of retention on glassy carbon (GC) have shown that glassy carbon is capable of interacting strongly with both polarand nonpolar analytes through different retention mechanisms. Accordingly the chromatographic applications of glassy carbon have expanded substantially. Also, solid adsorbents are typically very good candidates for the separation of compounds that differ minimally in structure. Due to the polymer precursor and the method of production, there is presently only one commercially available glassy carbon material for the separation of compounds and it is limited to the configuration of porous particles. New precursor polymers, diacetylenic polymers, allow the production of glassy carbon at low temperatures with minimal weight loss. These precursor polymers are also readily soluble in organic solvents allowing the production of continuous low temperature glassy carbon films. In addition, the microcrystallite size and the extent of graphitization can be varied with film processing temperatures. Furthermore, low temperature glassy carbon (LTGC) surfaces canbe made that include noncarbon atoms covalently bound in its structure. Our work involves studying the surface chemistry of the low temperature glassy carbons produced using select diacetylenic polymers and will develop new selective chromatographic media based on the surface chemistry. LTGC sare expected to be distinctive and should provide unique chromatographic selectivity and extensive applications. Pure carbon LTGC, perfluorinated LTGC, and nitrogen-containing LTGC films will be characterized for use in liquid chromatography. New configurations of GC, specifically nonporous LTGC particles, will be compared to the thin film media. Recent exciting applications of our LTGC media, include the development of carbon solid phase macrofibers for the early detection of lung cancer. Also we are finding that microfibers of similar media are capable of trace level extraction of polar and nonpolar pollutants.



S. Phillips, S.V. Olesik, "Fundamental Studies of Liquid Chromatography at the Critical Condition Using Enhanced-Fluidity Liquids," Anal. Chem. 2002, 74, 799-808.

Y. Huang, S.R. Schricker, W. M. Culbertson, S. V. Olesik, "Synthesis of Poly(acrylic acid- coitaconic acid) in carbon dioxide-methanol mixtures," J.Macromolecular Sci.-Pure and Appl. Chem, 2002, A39, 27-38.

M. Giardina, S.V. Olesik, "Characterization of Low Temperature Glassy Carbon Films in Solid Phase Microextraction," Anal. Chem., 2001, 73, 5841-5851.

J. Zhao, S.V. Olesik, "Reversed-Phase Separation of Basic Tricyclic Antidepressants Using Buffered and Fluoroform Enhanced-Fluidity Liquid MobilePhases," J. Chromatogr. A, 2001, 923, 107-117.

Q. Sun, S.V. Olesik, "Chiral Separations Using Enhanced-Fluidity Liquid Mobile Phases and Macrocyclic Antibiotic Columns," J. Chromatogr. B, 2000, 745, 159-166.

M.E. Shows, S.V. Olesik, "Extraction of Atrazine and Its Metabolites Using Supercritical Fluids and Enhanced-Fluidity Liquids", J. Chromatogr. Sci.,2000, 38, 399-408.

L. Ding, S.V. Olesik, "Synthesis of Polymer Nanospheres and Carbon Nanospheres Using the Monomer 1,8-dihydroxy-methyl-1,3,5,7, octaterayne," Nano letters, 4 2271-2276 (2004).

M. Giardina, S. V. Olesik, "Development of Fluorinated Low Temperature Glassy Carbon Films for Solid Phase Microextraction," J. Chromatogr. A, 1060, 215-222 (2004) in special issue honoring Jack Kirkland.

S.V. Olesik, "Physicochemical Properties of Enhanced-Fluidity Liquid Solvents," J. Chromatogr. A, 1037, 405-410 (2004).

S.V. Olesik, "Liquid Chromatography at the Critical Condition," Invited Paper, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 378, 43-45 (2004) .

S. Phillips, S.V. Olesik, "Initial Characterization of Humic Acids Using Liquid Chromatography at the Critical Condition Followed by Size Exclusion Chromatography and Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry," Anal. Chem. 75, 5544 - 5553 (2003).

S. Phillips, S.V. Olesik, "Development of Water- Based Liquid Chromatography at the Critical Condition" Anal. Chem. 75, 1604 - 1614 (2003).