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About Shoshanna R. Coon

My research centers on the chemistry that occurs on surfaces. Any heterogeneous chemical reaction actually takes place at the interface between two phases. Therefore, an understanding of the mechanisms of these reactions requires knowledge of the surface characteristics and the interactions of the surface with the other phase.

Surface chemistry is important in many fields of technological importance, including corrosion prevention, heterogeneous catalysis, thin films and coatings, friction and wear, and semiconductor device manufacture.

I am specifically interested in the surface chemistry of solids, especially oxides.  An ongoing research area is the reversible metachromasy of dyes on oxide powders.  Metachromasy is the change in the color of a dye (a change in the shape of its absorption spectrum) with concentration due to the aggregation of dye molecules.  It’s a well-known phenomenon in solution and in applications such as the staining of biological tissue samples.  The unique aspect of reversible metachromasy is that it occurs in a “dry” film and the metachromasy can be reversed on a short time scale by exposure to water vapor or some organic vapors. 


Present Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Northern Iowa Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Research Interests

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Contact Information

University of Northern Iowa
McCollum Science Hall 243
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423
(319) 273-2059

Office: MSH 243
Phone: (319) 273-2059