Washington Signature
[ Search and Navigation ]   [ View Full Site ]


Aaron Amick

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

My love for teaching began while I was an undergraduate at Juniata College, a school quite similar to Washington College. As a graduate student at Boston College I volunteered to be a teaching assistant whenever I had the opportunity. My first real teaching position came during my postdoctoral work when I was offered a position as an adjunct faculty member at a Cypress College, and I had a blast. At the same time I was offered and accepted a position here at Washington College starting the summer of 2009, and here I am.

The courses I will be teaching are Organic Chemistry (CHE 201 & 202), Advanced Organic Chemistry (CHE 403), and The Chemistry of Biological Molecules (CHE 303). In the future I would like to teach Organometallics and possibly a “History of Science” class.

Education & Professional Experience

  • Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, 2003
    Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA
  • Doctorate of Philosophy, Chemistry, 2008
    Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009
    University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA
  • Adjunct Faculty in Chemistry, 2009
    Science, Engineering, and Math Division, Cypress College, Cypress, CA

Research Interest

  • Synthesis of Geodesic Polyarenes (Bowl-Shaped Molecules)
  • Organic Reaction Development using Transition Metals (Cobalt and Palladium)

The focus of my research program will be to develop new organic reactions for the synthesis of bioactive natural and unnatural products.

1. Cobalt Catalyzed Reactions

In the last 25 years organic methodology has been dominated by catalytic transition metal mediated reactions that have yielded a plethora of new transformations. Late transition metals such as nickel, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, and copper have been shown to facilitate a great number of organic reactions. Certain metals such as cobalt have been underdeveloped as reagents and catalyst, despite their relative abundance. For example, rhodium is 726 times more expensive than cobalt yet both share similar reactivity. With this in mind, my lab is working to develop numerous cobalt-catalyzed organic reactions.

2. A New Method to Create Curved Molecules

With the growing interest in using carbon nanotubes in materials science, polymer chemistry, and renewable energy research, synthetic chemists must keep pace in developing new organic reactions to aid in the synthesis of uniform samples of carbon nanotubes. My lab is working on a new palladium-catalyzed method to induce curvature into flat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that will reduce the steps necessary to synthesize bowl-shaped PAHs, which could be used to generate carbon nanotubes.

3. Synthesis of C72: a missing member of the fullerene family

Fullerenes have become an important component in modern organic electronic devices. Specifically they have greatly increased the efficiency of organic photovoltaic cells, and larger fullerenes have been shown to absorb different wavelengths of visible light than C60. This difference in properties makes the study of all stable fullerenes extremely important, but under current manufacturing methods only certain fullerenes are available for study. Applying methods developed in our lab we will attempt to synthesize a “missing” fullerene, C72.


1. Amick, A. W.; Wakamiya, A.; Scott, L. T. J. Org. Chem. 2008, 73, 5119-5122.

2. Amick, A. W.; Scott, L. T. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 3412-3418.

3. Ma, Z.; Halling, M. D.; Solum, M. S.; Harper, J. K.; Orendt, A. M.; Facelli, J. C.; Pugmire, R. J.; Grant, D. M.; Amick, A. W.; Scott, L. T. J. Phys. Chem. 2007, 111, 2020-2027.

4. Amick, A. W.; Griswold, K. S.; Scott, L. T. Can. J. Chem. 2006, 84, 1268-72.


1. Amick, A. W. ; Scott, L. T. Presented at the 234th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Boston, MA, August 2007; Paper ORGN 995.

2. Amick, A. W. ; Scott, L. T. Abstracts of Papers, 234th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Boston, MA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2007; ORGN 767.

3. Amick, A. W. Scott, L. T. Invited Lecturer at Juniata College, Huntington, PA, June 2006.

4. Pugmire, R. J.; Grant, D. M.; Ma, Z.; Sojum, M. S.; Orendt, A. M.; Facelli, J.; Amick, A. W. ; Scott, L. T. Abstract of Papers, International Symposium on Novel Aromatic Compounds, August 2005.

5. Ma, Z.; Halling, M. D.; Orendt, A. M.; Solum, M. S.; Scott, L. T.; Amick, A. W. ; Pugmire, R. J.; Grant, D. M. (presented by Zhiru Ma). Abstract of Papers, 15th Meeting of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, October 2004.

6. Amick, A. W. ; Scott, L. T.; Invited Lecturer at Juniata College, Huntington, PA, April 2004.

7. Amick, A; Reingold, I. D. Abstracts of Papers, 225th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Orleans, LA; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, March 2003; Paper CHED 510.