A-to-Z Index

Thomas C. DeVore, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Education, Honors, Awards

  • R.T. Pflaum Award from AXE  (2004-2006)
  • JMU Service Award  (2005)
  • Madison Scholar  (1997)
  • LaRose Fellowship in Physics (1990)
  • Professor of Chemistry, James Madison University, 1990- present
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry, James Madison University, 1983 - 1990
  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry, James Madison University, 1977-1983
  • Ph.D.  Physical Chemistry, Iowa State University, 1975
  • B.S.  Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences, The University of Iowa, 1969
  • A.A. Liberal Arts, Muscatine Community College, 1967

Research Interests

  • Thermal Decomposition Kinetics.
  • CVD/ ALD Deposition Processes
  • Metal Oxide and Metal sulfide Catalysts
  • Catalytic Hydrogen Production
  • Effect of Hydrogen Bonding on the NMR Spectrum
  • Using Quantum Calculations to Predict chemical Shifts

Research Description

Many industrial processes use catalysts that contain metal oxides either as the catalyst or as the support for expensive metal catalysts such as platinum or palladium.  Since a large surface area normally means better catalytic efficiency, thermal decomposition of a precursor solid is often used to prepare high surface area metal oxides for the manufacture of these catalysts.  We use thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and Evolved Gas Analysis- Fourier Analysis Infrared Spectroscopy (EGA-FTIR) to investigate the thermal decomposition pathways of possible precursors for generating metal oxide catalysts. The goals of this project are to establish the decomposition pathways and Arrhenius parameters for the decomposition process so that the conditions needed to form the catalyst can be established.  Once the metal oxide is formed, it is characterized using ATR-FTIR, x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and BET surface area measurements.   Pyridine adsorption and dehydration/ dehydrogenation for the thermal decomposition of 2-propanol is used to establish the acid – base and redox properties of the catalyst.    

The chemical shift of the OH proton is highly dependent on the solution environment.  We are investigating the chemical shift of small alcohol molecules in the vapor phase and in very dilute solutions in an attempt to learn about the hydrogen bonding in these systems.  Variable temperature NMR is the instrument of choice.  High level DFT calculations (DFT-6-311++G (3df,3pd) calculations on the alcohol cluster species are also done to provide additional information about these systems.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Ross, M.W.; DeVore, T.C.; “Desorption of Nitric Acid From Boehmite and Gibbsite,” J Phys. Chem, B 112(29), 2008, 6609-6620
  • Carly Drahus,  Thomas N. Gallaher, T.C. DeVore; “Gas Phase 1H NMR,”  ACS Symposium Series 969: Modern NMR Spectroscopy in Education,  D. Rovnyak and R. Stockland, Jr. Eds,  143 (2007)
  • Corsepius, N.C.; DeVore, T.C.; Reisner, B.A.; Warnaar, D.L; “Using Variable Temperature Powder X-Ray Diffraction to Determine the Thermal Expansion coefficient of Solid MgO,”  J. Chem Ed. 2007, 84, 818-821
  • Lawrence, D.J., Coffman, G.L., DeVore, T.C., Olin, P.T., Tucker, W.G. “Thermopile Sensors for the Detection of Airborne Pollutants,”   Proceedings of IEEE Sensors2007, 1237-1240
  • Peretich, M.L.; DeVore, T.C.; “THE OXIDATION OF 1-PROPANOL BY CuO,” ECS Transactions - Cancun" Volume 3, "High Temperature Corrosion and Materials Chemistry 6" E. Opilia, J. Fergus, A. Martínez Villafañe, D. Shifler, E. Wuchina eds, 171-177, (2007)
  • Penee A. Clayborne; T.C. Nelson; T.C. DeVore; "Temperature Programmed Desorption of Primary Alcohols from Poorly Crystalline Alumina," Appl. Catal. A: General 257, 2004, 225-233
  • C.R. Vestal; T.C. DeVore;  "Mechanism for the Formation of Copper From the Reaction Between bis-(2,4-Pentanedionato) Copper and Water Vapor in CVD Processes." Proceedings of the Conference on High Temperature Corrosion and Materials Chemistry, E.J. Opila, M.J. McNallan, D.A. Shores, D.A. Shifler, eds.  Electrochemical Society, PV 2001-12, Washington DC, 2001.  PP 285-295
  • J. Sumner, T. DeVore; "The Reaction Between 1,2 Dichloroethane and Vanadium (III, IV, V) Oxides," Proceedings of the Conference on High Temperature Corrosion and Materials Chemistry, E.J. Opila, M.J. McNallan, D.A. Shores, D.A. Shifler, eds.  Electrochemical Society, PV 2001-12, Washington DC, 2001.  PP 296-30