Analytical Chemistry

The Analytical Chemistry Program at Ohio State is focused on the fundamentals of analysis and measurement. Our faculty engage in research that creates new types of measurements, and hence new capabilities for analyses. These efforts are driven by emerging research areas, including structural biology, energy and catalysis, analytical separations and diagnostics. Our Ph.D. program is strongly augmented by the vast instrumentation and cutting-edge facilities, including the CCIC Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility which is managed by Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor Vicki Wysocki, providing state-of-the-art instrumentation and personnel expertise for a wide variety of research projects. Our students graduate with a strong sense of confidence in analytical method development, instrumentation and molecular characterization.

The complexity of contemporary research requires interdisciplinary efforts, and chemical instrumentation and new analytical method development are poised to play important roles. In this instrument from the Baker lab, femtosecond soft x-ray reflection-absorption spectroscopy is performed on a table-top, home-build instrument to enable the studies of interfacial charge transfer reactions, which are important in controlling the selectivity and efficiency of catalytic energy conversion processes.

Imaging mass spectrometry can reveal drug distribution. In research performed by the Hummon lab, the penetration and metabolism of the chemotherapeutic irinotecan was imaged in colon cancer three-dimensional cell cultures by MALDI mass spectrometry. The distribution of three metabolites (c, d, e) are compared against the prodrug (f) to determine their locations within the tumor spheroid. 

In the Schultz lab, surface enhanced Raman detection has been incorporated into an online flow detector compatible with liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis separations.  As molecules pass from a separation capillary, sheath-flow confines them near a SERS substrate enabling chemical specific and quantitative detection, such as for the cocaine metabolite, benzoylecgonine, shown. 

Research Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Diagnostics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Laser spectroscopy
  • Mass spectrometry and proteomics
  • Materials
  • Metabolomics
  • Molecular biophysics
  • Separations


Abraham Badu-Tawiah
Challenges in chemical detection; new mass spectrometry methods; diagnosis of disease, detection of illicit drugs, and discovery of biomarkers. Novel analytical platforms that enable the use of charged micro-droplets as reaction vessels. Top-down proteomics.
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Catalysis

Robert Baker
Ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy, Catalysis for energy conversion and storage, CO2 reduction, Water oxidation, Interfacial charge transfer, Nanoparticle catalysis
  • Experimental Physical Chemistry & Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Surfaces & Interfaces

Anne Co
Electrochemistry.  Electrocatalysis.  Materials for energy storage.  Kinetics and Mechanism.  Surface and interfaces.  In-situ methods for real-time measurements of electrochemical processes.
  • Electrochemistry
  • Batteries
  • Surfaces & Interfaces

Terry Gustafson
The primary focus of our research efforts is the elucidation of the structure and dynamics of photo-generated transient species.  We use a variety of time-resolved spectroscopies to probe energy and electron transfer in chemical and biological systems.
  • Analytical Spectroscopy
  • Photochemistry

Amanda Hummon
Mass spectrometry and proteomics.
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Proteomics



Susan Olesik
Our research involves new materials to enhance analytical separation science.   Recent areas of research include studies of biologically relevant compounds and improvements in chromatographic efficiency and ionization efficiency in surface assisted laser desorption ionization (SALDI) using nanoparticle and nanofiber arrays and devices.
  • Separations
  • Mass Spectrometry

Zach Schultz
Research in the Schultz Lab, focuses on developing chemical measurement tools relevant to biomedical diagnostics and materials characterization.  We are investigating questions in metabolomics, protein receptor signaling, and active plasmonics.
  • Analytical Spectroscopy
  • Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
  • Molecular Basis of Disease

Vicki Wysocki
We develop surface-induced dissociation ion mobility/high resolution MS for large non-covalent protein and nucleoprotein complexes, define peptide fragment structures with IR action spectroscopy, and perform metabolomics and proteomics research.
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Biophysics & Structural Biology