Jay Amicangelo, Ph.D.

Jay Amicangelo, Ph.D.
Professor, Chemistry
Office Phone
Office Location
30 Hammermill
ERIE PA 16563


  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, 1999-2002
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Graduate Research Assistant, 1991-1998
    University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, 1991-1998
    University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Teaching Specialties

  • Physical Chemistry
  • General Chemistry


Research Interests

My research project involves the spectroscopic and theoretical investigation of transient intermediates and weak molecular complexes. The identities and geometric structures of these transient intermediates are elucidated primarily by performing matrix isolation infrared spectroscopy experiments. Matrix isolation is a technique by which normally unstable species (often radicals) are trapped in a frozen matrix of inert gas (generally argon) near 10 degrees Kelvin. The extremely low temperature reduces the possibility of unimolecular decomposition of the trapped species and the matrix of inert gas prevents bimolecular or aggregation reactions between trapped species. Once trapped in the low temperature, noble gas matrix, the infrared spectra of the trapped species can be examined.

Funded Projects and Grants

  • Fullbright Research Grant (Taiwan), Amicangelo, J.C. U.S. Department of State and the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan). $6200. January - June 2010.
  • Characterization of Silicon Nitride Transient Species Using Matrix Isolation Infrared Spectroscopy. Fulbright Scholar Program, Council for International Exchange of Scholars. $6,000. Spring 2010.
  • Investigation of Species Related to Silicon Nitride Chemical Vapor Deposition Processes Using Matrix Isolation Infrared Spectroscopy. American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Type G Grant. $35,000. September 2005-August 2007.
  • Investigations of Intermediates Related to Silicon Nitride Chemical Vapor Deposition Processes Using Matrix-Isolation Infrared Spectroscopy. Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award. $39,018. July 2003 to June 2005.
  • Characterization of Reactive Intermediates Related to Chemical Vapor Deposition Processes Using Matrix-Isolation Spectroscopy. Penn State Behrend Research Incentive Grant Program for Early Career Faculty. $2,500. 2004-2005.
Research Interests

My main research area is concerned with the characterization of transient species and weak intermolecular complexes using an experimental technique known as matrix isolation infrared spectroscopy and with theoretical quantum chemical calculations. The transient species that I am currently investigating are systems related to silicon and germanium hydrides and nitrides. In terms of characterizing intermolecular complexes, the systems that I am currently examining are complexes between small lone pair molecules with aromatic ring compounds. The goals of these projects are to obtain spectroscopic and structural information regarding these transient species and complexes.


Structural variability of pendant groups within the interlayer region of zirconium arene-phosph(on)ates: chemical and structural characterization of oxy- and methyl-linked 2-naphthyl phosphonates, and mixed oxy-linked derivatives, Dalton Transactions - December 3, 2019
Collaborator: Willem Leenstra

Infrared Spectra of the 1,1-Dimethylallyl and 1,2-Dimethylallyl Radicals Isolated in Solid Para-Hydrogen, Journal of Chemical Physics - November, 2018
Collaborator: Yuan-Pern Lee, Co-Author

Infrared Spectra of the 1-Chloromethyl-1-methylallyl and 1-Chloromethyl-2-methylallyl Radicals Isolated in Solid Para-Hydrogen, Journal of Physical Chemistry A - November, 2017
Collaborator: Yuan-Pern Lee, Co-Author

Experimental and Theoretical Characterization of a Lone Pair–π Complex: Water-Hexafluorobenzene, Journal of Physical Chemistry A - 2013
Collaborators: Daniel Irwin; Cynthia Lee; Natalie Romano; Nancy Saxton

Infrared Spectrum of the 2-Chloroethyl Radical in Solid Para-Hydrogen, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics - 2012
Collaborators: Barbara Golec; Mohammed Bahou; Yuan-Pern Lee

Relative and Absolute Bond Dissociation Energies of Sodium Cation-alcohol Complexes Determined Using Competitive Collision-induced Dissociation Experiments, International Journal of Mass Spectrometry - 2011
Collaborator: P. Armentout, Co-Author

Site-selective Reaction of Cl + Propene in Solid para-Hydrogen: Formation of 2-Chloropropyl Radicals, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters - 2010
Collaborator: Y Lee, Co-Author

Ab initio Study of Substituent Effects in the Interactions of Dimers of Dimethyl Ether With Aromatic Rings, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics - 2008
Collaborators: B Gung; D Irwin; N Romano

Matrix Isolation Infraed Observation of HxSi(N2)y (x = 0,1,2 and y = 1, 2) Transient Species Using a 121 nm Vacuum-Ultraviolet Photolysis Source, Journal of Physical Chemistry A - 2008
Collaborators: C Dine; D Irwin; C Lee; N Romano; N Saxton

Quantitative Study of Interactions Between Oxygen Lone Pair and Aromatic Rings: Substituent Effect and the Importance of Closeness of Contact, Journal of Organic Chemistry - 2008
Collaborators: B Gung; Y Zhou; D Irwin; S Ma; H Zhou

Matrix Isolation Infrared Observation of N3 Using a Nitrogen Microwave Discharge Plasma Source. , Molecular Physics - 2007
Collaborators: J Collier; C Dine; N Saxton; R Schleicher

Theoretical Characterization of a Tridentate Photochromic Pt(II) Complex Using Density Functional Theory Methods, Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation - 2007

Substituent Effects in C6F6-C6H5X Stacking Interactions, Journal of Organic Chemistry - 2006
Collaborator: B Gung

Theoretical Study of the Benzene Excimer Using Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory, The Journal of Physical Chemistry A - 2005

Zirconium Arene-Phosphonates: Chemical and Structural Characterization of 2-Naphthyl and 2-Anthracenylphosphonate Systems, Inorganic Chemistry - 2005
Collaborator: W Leenstra

Ligand Exchange Reactions of Sodium Cation Complexes Examined Using Guided Ion Beam Mass Spectrometry: Relative and Absolute Dissociation Free Energies and Entropies, Journal of Physical Chemistry A - 2004
Collaborator: P Armentrout

Excimer Formation in the Interlayer Region of Arene-Derivatized Zirconium Phosphonates, Journal of the American Chemical Society - 2003
Collaborator: W Leenstra

Molecular Modeling of Interlayer Catalytic Sites for Aniline Polymerization in a Zirconium Phosphonate Phosphate, Chemistry of Materials - 2003
Collaborators: G Rosenthal; W Leenstra

Relative and Absolute Bond Dissociation Energies of Sodium Cation Complexes Determined Using Competitive Collision-Induced Dissociation Experiments, International Journal of Mass Spectrometry - 2001
Collaborator: P Armentrout

Absolute Binding Energies of Alkali Metal Cation Complexes with Benzene Determined by Collision-Induced Dissociation Experiments and Ab Initio Theory, Journal of Physical Chemistry A - 2000
Collaborator: P Armentrout

A Novel Staged Form of Layered Zirconium Phosphonates with Methyl and p-Aminobenzyl Pendent Groups, Journal of the American Chemical Society - 1998
Collaborator: W Leenstra

Synthesis, Characterization and Interlayer Distance Study of Zirconium Phosphonates with Stoichiometric Variation of Methyl and p-Aminobenzyl Pendant Groups, Inorganic Chemistry - 1998
Collaborator: W Leenstra


Ph D, Physical Chemistry, University of Vermont

BS, Chemistry, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth