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Karen Brewer


Karen Brewer
Karen Brewer

Silas D. Childs Professor of Chemistry

Taylor Science Center 1060
315-859-4726

Karen Brewer's main research project has been in collaboration with Hamilton Physics Professor Ann Silversmith and Professor Dan Boye of Davidson College. In Brewer's chemistry lab, students create glass that contains rare earth ions that have interesting spectroscopic properties. The glass is then probed in the laser spectroscopy labs in physics. Her research has been funded by the Research Corporation and the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. She came to Hamilton College in 1989 and teaches undergraduate courses in advanced and intermediate inorganic chemistry and general chemistry. Brewer earned a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Recent Courses Taught

Advanced and Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Introductory Chemistry
Research Methods
Inorganic Chemistry

Research Interests

Sol-gel routes to rare earth-containing silica-based gels and glasses
Fluorescence spectroscopy of rare earth-doped sol-gel glasses
Luminescence of rare earth chelates in silica-based sol-gels
Incorporation of rare earth-doped nanoparticles into sol-gel glasses

Selected Publications

  • Instructor and Student Solutions Manual for Chemistry: An Atoms-Focused Approach, Third Edition, Gilbert, Kirss, Foster, Davies, WW Norton, 2014. (In press).
  • “A Departmental Focus on High Impact Undergraduate Research Experiences” Kinnel, R.B.; Van Wynsberghe, A.W.; Rosenstein, I.J.; Brewer, K.S.; Cotton, M.; Shields, G.C.; Borton, C.J.; Senior, S.Z.; Rahn, G.S.; Elgren, T.E. In Developing and Maintaining a Successful Undergraduate Research Program; Chapp, T.W., Benvenuto, M.A., Eds. ACS Symposium Series Volume 1156; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2013; pp. 5–22.
  • “Instructor and Student Solutions Manual for Chemistry: The Science in Context” Third Edition, Gilbert, Kirss, Foster, Davies, WW Norton, 2011.
  • “5D3→7FJ Emission in Terbium-Doped Sol-Gel Glasses”Silversmith, A.J.; Boye, D.M.; Brewer, K.S.; Gillespie, C.E.; Lu, Y.; Campbell, D.L. Journal of Luminescence, 2006, 121, 14-20.
  • Transient and Persistent Spectral Hole Burning in Eu3+ Doped Sol-Gel Produced SiO2 Glass” Boye, D.M.; Valdes, T.S.; Nolen, J.H.; Silversmith, A.J.; Brewer, K.S.; Anderman, R.E.; Meltzer, R.S. Journal of Luminescence, 2004, 108, 43–47.
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  • Transient and Persistent Spectral Hole Burning in Eu3+ Doped Sol-Gel Produced SiO2 Glass” Boye, D.M.; Valdes, T.S.; Nolen, J.H.; Silversmith, A.J.; Brewer, K.S.; Anderman, R.E.; Meltzer, R.S. Journal of Luminescence, 2004, 108, 43–47.
  • “Fluorescence Enhancement by Chelation of Eu3+ and Tb3+ Ions in Sol Gels” Silversmith, A.J.; Magyar, A.P.; Brewer, K.S.; Boye, D.M. Journal of Luminescence, 2004, 108, 49–53.
  • “Low Temperature Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition Growth of InP Using the New Precursors Pentamethylcyclopentadienylindium(I) and White Phosphorus” Haugan, H.J.; Yu, W.; Lee, S.T.; Petrou, A.; McComb, B.D.; Brewer, K.S.; Lees, J.F.; Beachley, O.T. Journal of Crystal Growth, 2002, 144, 157–167.
  • “Fluorescence Line-Narrowing and Decay Dynamics in Sol-Gel Glasses Containing Eu3+” Silversmith, A.J.; Boye, D.M.; Anderman, R.E.; Brewer, K.S. Journal of Luminescence, 2001, 94-95, 275-278.
  • “Red-to-Green Upconversion in Er-doped SiO2 and SiO2/TiO2 Sol-Gel Silicate Glasses” Boye, D.M.; Silversmith, A.J.; Nolen, J.; Rumney, L.D.; Shaye, D.A.; Smith, B.C.; Brewer, K.S. Journal of Luminescence, 2001, 94-95, 279-282.
  • “Red to Blue Upconversion in Tm-doped Sol-Gel Silicate Glasses Otto, A.P.*; Brewer, K.S.; Silversmith, A.J. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 2000, 265, 176-180.
  • “Mixed (µ-Alkane- and Arenethiolato)(µ-Phosphido)hexacarbonyldiiron Complexes. Synthesis and P–Cl Reactivity” Seyferth, D.; Brewer, K.S.; Womack, G.B.; Archer, C.M. J. Organomet. Chem. 1993, 446, 167-175.
  • “Synthesis and Reactions of the [(µ-Ph2P)Fe2(CO)6] – Anion” Seyferth, D.; Brewer, K.S.; Wood, T.G.; Cowie, M.; Hilts, R.W. Organometallics 1992, 11, 2570-2579.

College Service

  • Higher Education Opportunity Program chemistry professor, member of the advisory committee
  • Associate dean of students for academics
  • Chemistry Department chair

Professional Affiliations

American Chemical Society, Divisions of Inorganic Chemistry and Chemical Education
Materials Research Society
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society

Appointed to the Faculty: 1989

Educational Background

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S., Ohio Northern University

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