Adam Sturlaugson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Chemistry

Adam Sturlaugson received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University in the spring of 2013. His graduate research focused on using pulsed lasers to measure the chemical physics of ionic liquids. During his time in graduate school, he served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate chemistry courses, maintained the chemistry department’s research spectroscopy lab and served as a research mentor.

In the fall of 2013, Dr. Sturlaugson joined the faculty at USF as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. His primary research interests include the physical chemistry of ionic liquids and their applications to batteries, solar cells and fuel cells.

In addition to his passion for education, he enjoys reading, playing the guitar, and spending time with his family and his church. He is married and has five children.

Education

  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Stanford University, 2013
  • B.S., Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science minor, University of Sioux Falls, 2007

Courses Taught

  • CHE121 - Introduction to Chemistry
  • CHE122 - Intro to Organic & Biochemistry
  • CHE211 - Organic Chemistry I
  • CHE212 - Organic Chemistry II
  • CHE305 - Biochemistry
  • CHE311 - Physical Chemistry
  • CHE406 - Bonding and Structure**Designated Honors Course**
  • CHE491 - Research in Chemistry
  • NSC250 - Laboratory Electronics
  • NSC300 - Science Colloquium
  • SDV100 - The USF Experience

Professional Memberships

American Chemical Society
South Dakota Academy of Science

Expertise

  • Ionic Liquids
  • Spectroscopy

Research

Dr. Sturlaugson's research interests focus on understanding how the structure of an ionic liquid (IL) determine the liquid's macroscopic properties such as melting point and viscosity.  ILs are defined as salts with a melting temperature below 100°C, and, due to their large structural variability, it is estimated that there are over a trillion ILs possible.  Research in ILs has shown tremendous growth in the past decade, largely due to their enormous variability and the intersection of several desirable traits such as tunable solubility, negligible volatility, good thermal and electrochemical stability, and reasonable conductivity.  Current biomedical applications include antimicrobial agents, solvents for biocatalysis, drug delivery systems, and medicinal analytics [J. Mol. Liq. 272 (2018) 271-300].  However, it is not well understood how the chemical structure of an IL determines the bulk properties of the liquid.  The specific focus of Dr. Sturlaugson's research is to investigate how the structure of an IL influences the hydrogen bonding and entropy of the liquid, and how those parameters effect the liquid's viscosity and melting point.  A better understanding of these structure-property relationships in ionic liquids will aid rationale IL design for and application to biomedical problems.

Dr. Sturlaugson has mentored 7 undergraduate students in research and is currently a participant in the SD Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (https://brin.usd.edu/web/brin-v2/sturlaugson-adam).

Scholarships and Creative Work

Presentations
  • “The Influence of Water on the Structure and Dynamics of Ionic Liquids.” Stanford Chemistry Student Summer Seminar Series. Oral Presentation at Stanford, Calif. on August 4, 2011.
  • “Orientational and Translational Dynamics of Polyether/Water Solutions.” 57th Annual Western Spectroscopy Association Conference. Poster presentation at Pacific Grove, Calif. on February 3-5, 2010.
  • “Orientational Dynamics in Ionic Liquids.” 56th Annual Western Spectroscopy Association Conference. Poster presentation at Pacific Grove, Calif. on January 28-30, 2009.
Publications
  • Orientational Dynamics in a Lyotropic Room Temperature Ionic Liquid. Adam L. Sturlaugson, Aaron Y. Arima, Heather E. Bailey, and Michael D. Fayer. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2013, 117 (47), 14775–14784. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp407325b)
  • Water Dynamics in Water/DMSO Binary Mixtures. Daryl B. Wong, Kathleen P. Sokolowsky, Musa I. El-Barghouthi, Emily E. Fenn, Chiara H. Giammanco, Adam L. Sturlaugson, and Michael D. Fayer. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2012, 116 (18), 5479–5490. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp301967e)
  • Orientational Dynamics of Room Temperature Ionic Liquid/Water Mixtures: Water-Induced Structure. Adam L. Sturlaugson, Kendall S. Fruchey, and Michael D. Fayer. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2012, 116 (6), 1777–1787. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp209942r)
  • Temperature and Hydration-Dependent Rotational and Translational Dynamics of a Polyether Oligomer. Adam L. Sturlaugson and Michael D. Fayer. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2011, 115 (5), 945-950. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp110487j)
  • Room Temperature Ionic Liquid-Lithium Salt Mixtures: Optical Kerr Effect Dynamical Measurements. Bruno G. Nicolau, Adam L. Sturlaugson, Kendall S. Fruchey, Mauro C. C. Ribeiro, and Michael D. Fayer. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2010, 114 (25), 8350-8356. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp103810r)
  • Orientational and Translational Dynamics of Polyether/Water Solutions. Adam L. Sturlaugson, Kendall S. Fruchey, Stephen R. Lynch, Sergio R. Arago´n, and Michael D. Fayer. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2010, 114 (16), 5350-5358. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp101369e)

Service/Volunteer Work

Associate Member on the Committee for Nomenclature, Terminology, and Symbols of the American Chemical Society

January 2020 - December 2021

 

Member on the Committee for Nomenclature, Terminology, and Symbols of the American Chemical Society

January 2022 - present