Dr. ERICKA C. BARNES - General Chemistry/PHYsical Chemistry/computational chemistry



Ericka BarnesI am an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at Southern Connecticut State University. My teaching responsibilities include General Chemistry Lecture and Laboratory, as well as Physical Chemistry at the undergraduate and graduate levels. My research interest is in Computational Quantum Chemistry.




contact me

Office: Jennings Hall 318
Phone: (203) 392-6267
Fax: (203) 392-6396


Ph.D., Wesleyan University
B.S., Ateneo de Manila University 


Post-doctoral Research Scientist, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 2010-2011

Professional Interests

My pedagogical focus is on introducing the chemistry student to computational quantum chemistry, not only as part of the second-semester physical chemistry course, but also in the context of undergraduate and graduate research. Computational chemistry has found its way into almost every facet of chemical research, and it is to the students' benefit that they have access to hands-on computational chemistry exercises and projects at this stage in their careers.

My research interests involve the development of computational methods, in particular, the construction of consistent basis sets for extrapolation to the complete basis set limit. Reliable benchmarks for the development of wavefunction methods are lacking, owing to the prohibitively expensive computational resources required for such high-level theories. As such, extrapolations using a consistently constructed family of basis sets can be utilized to obtain these benchmarks in a more cost-effective manner.

As computational chemistry is inherently multidisciplinary, there are plenty of opportunities for utilizing calculations in the elucidation of molecular structures, stabilities, and mechanisms. An example of a project in this direction would be the use of DFT (density functional theory) techniques to investigate organic light emitting diode (OLED) type complexes, and how varying the functional groups on the ligands affect properties such as fluorescence, structure or reactivity. A typical undergraduate project could also involve providing computational support to ongoing experimental research in the department.


CHE 121 General Chemistry II
CHE 370 Physical Chemistry I Lecture
CHE 371 Physical Chemistry II Lecture
CHE 372 Physical Chemistry I Laboratory
CHE 373 Physical Chemistry II Laboratory
CHE 496 Chemistry Seminar
CHE 520 Advanced Physical Chemistry
CHE 528 Special Topics in Physical Chemistry