Marion R. Martin Faculty and Staff Chemistry Furman University

Dr. Marion Martin, a physical chemist, joined the Furman faculty in 2010. Dr. Martin teaches a general chemistry course in kinetics and thermodynamics, an advanced physical chemistry course that investigates the fundamental science behind sustainable energy technologies (solar power, fuel cells, batteries), and an introductory chemistry course designed for non-science majors that explores how human activity impacts the environment.

Dr. Martin received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2007 and was awarded the Annual Reviews Prize in Physical Chemistry. Most recently, Dr. Martin worked for two years investigating solid oxide fuel cells as a Postdoctoral Scholar in Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

Name Title Description


Seminar in Chemistry

Seminars presented based on current literature. Presentations include articles detailing the application of chemical principles and techniques to the natural environment. Surveys of assigned journals are presented individually; more detailed presentations are made by small groups working as teams. Topics include: coverage of recent important developments, global awareness of the application of chemistry to the natural world, experience in making scientific presentations, and encouragement of good literature reading habits.


Chemistry & Global Awareness

Introduction to the scientific method, how chemists approach the study of nature, interrelationships between theory and experiment, and the nature of scientific information. These concepts are discussed in the context of modern environmental concerns such as energy utilization, global warming, and water/air pollution. Designed specifically for non-science majors. Credit for CHM-101 cannot be granted after completion of any course in the chemistry major sequence.


Kntcs, Thrmodynmcs, & Environ

Kinetic and thermodynamic principles of chemical reactions including the laws of thermodynamicss, acid-base chemistry, solubility, electrochemistry and colligative properties applied in an environmental context. Nuclear chemistry including radioactive decay, nuclear power, and the energetics of nuclear reactions.


Analytical Chemistry

Advanced analytical measurements, data analysis and instrumental methods including titrimetry, atomic and molecular spectroscopy and electro-chemistry. Advanced chemical separations including extraction, gas and liquid chromatography and electrophoresis. Laboratory emphasizes intensive hands-on experience with state of the art equipment including voltammographs, ICP, capillary GC-MS, HPLC, HPCE, UV/Vis and emission spectroscopy.


Physical Chemistry II

The thermodynamics and statistical mechanical aspects of physical chemistry. Laboratory connsists of physical measurements and spectroscopic characterization of matter. Working with lasers, computer interfaced instrumentation, high vacuum apparatus and other sophisticated laboratory equipment.


Advncd Tpcs in Physical Chem

Topics in physical chemistry including lasers and their applications, nanoscience, and optical spectroscopy. Topics will be connected with applications in analytical chemistry and biochemistry.


Topics in Chemistry

Topics important in various fields of modern chemistry designed as a tutorial to meet the special needs of individual students.


Graduate Seminar in Chemistry

Students present seminars based on current literature. Surveys of assigned journals are presented individually; more detailed presentations are made by small groups.



Original laboratory research



Master's thesis

Infrared spectroscopic studies of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold: structural characterization and water adsorption measurements

Research in the Martin laboratory focuses on taking vibrational spectroscopy measurements at solid-solid and gas-solid interfaces. These measurements are made through via a polarization modulation infrared reflection-absorption spectrometer (PM-IRRAS), a modified Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometer that has sufficient sensitivity to measure films of thicknesses less than 200 nm.1, 2 In addition to this sensitivity, advantages of this technique include non-destructive interrogation of the sample by the IR probe, high spectral resolution of the FT-IR spectrometer, and a range of possible temperature and pressure conditions during experiments allowing for in situ measurements.3 Polymer thin-films adsorbed on metal surfaces can be grown via self assembly, where molecules organize themselves into crystal-like structures called self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). The characterization of these SAMs is difficult due to the small amount of material present and the presence of the metal substrate. The PM-IRRAS measurements provide a direct probe of the composition, conformation, and orientation of the polymer thin films. The system is shown in Figure 1 below.

Martin research, figure 1
Figure 1. Agilent Cary 680 FTIR with PM-IRRAS accessory; overhead view of optical layout.

The PM-IRRAS external setup was then modified to accommodate gas adsorption studies on SAMs by installing into the infrared beam path a sample reactor that gives precise control of the sample temperature and pressure.4 SAMs of octadecanethiol (ODT) and 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (MHA) were formed on gold. In the presence of humidified nitrogen, an adsorbed hydration layer was observed on the carboxyl-terminated MHA SAMs, shown in Figure 2, but not on the methyl-terminated ODT. We continue to explore the relationship between the wettability of the film and the growth of hydration layers.

Martin research, figure 2
Figure 2. MHA SAM with and without hydration layer, centered at 3450 cm-1.

1 Polarization-modulation approaches to reflection-absorption spectroscopy, Frey, B.; Corn, R.; Weibel, S., in: J. Chalmers and P. R. Griffiths, (Eds.), Handbook of Vibrational Spectroscopy, John Wiley & Sons, Vol. 2, (2001) pp. 1042-1056.

2 Polarization modulation Fourier transform infrared reflectance measurements of thin films and monolayers at metal surfaces utilizing real-time sampling electronics, Barner, B.; M. Green, M.; E. Saez, E.; Corn, R. Analyt. Chem. 1991, 63, 55.

3 PM-IRRAS spectroscopy for the characterization of polymer nanofilms: chains conformation, anisotropy and crystallinity, Elzein, T.; Bistac, S.; Brogly, M.; Schultz, J. Macromolecular Symposia 2004, 205, 181.

4 Water adsorption isotherms on CH3-, OH-, and COOH-terminated organic surfaces at ambient conditions measured with PM-RAIRS, Tu, A.; Kwag, H.; Barnette, A.; Kim, S. Langmuir, 2012, 28, 15263.


Ph.D., Stanford University
M.S., Furman University
B.S., Furman University

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