Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
Arts and Sciences Today

Arts and Sciences Today
Institutional Header

Michael Shaw

Professor, Inorganic Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
College of Arts and Sciences
SLW 3195 (Office)
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1652.
Tel: (618) 650-3579 (Office) 
Fax: (618) 650-3556

Personal Page


  • Ph.D., University of British Columbia, Chemistry, 1993.

  • B.Sc., Mount Allison University, Chemistry, 1988.

Research Interest:

In our research, we have been examining the electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical properties of metal-alkyne complexes. We have recently become interested in the redox properties of ruthenium nitrosyl porphyrin complexes as part of an ongoing collaboration with Dr. George Richter- Addo at the University of Oklahoma.

The point of the fiber-optic spectroelectrochemical experiment is to look at electrode products while they are still in the diffusion layer close to the electrode surface. A fiber optic cable brings the light beam close to the electrode. The beam passes through the solution, bounces off the reflective electrode surface, and is transmitted through another set of fiber-optics to a liquid-nitrogen cooled detector. We use a regular disk electrode suitable for cyclic voltammetry experiments coupled to an mid-IR, near IR, or visible detection system. Students in my group receive hands-on training with various spectroelectrochemical techniques one usually finds only at Ph.D. institutions.

We have recently published details of a system where absorptivities vs wavelength data for short-lived electrode products and intermediates are available from in-situ measurements.

A considerable number of Labview resources generated by my group for electrochemistry (as well as blog posts on common electrochemistry questions) are available at

Teaching Interest:

My core area of teaching is inorganic chemistry. This core translates into responsibility for the following classes:

  • Graduate Inorganic Chemistry (Chem 511)

  • Graduate Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry (Bioinorganic, Chem 519)

  • Senior Inorganic Class and Lab (Chem 411/415)

  • Freshman Chemistry for Engineers Class and Lab (Chem 131/135)

In the past I have also taught related classes:

  • Freshman Chemistry I Class and Lab (Chem 121a/125a)

  • Freshman Chemistry II Class and Lab (Chem 121b/125b)

  • Chemistry and Art (HONS 320)

The Engineering Chemistry class is one that I am particularly proud of. Until 2004, the engineers took Chem 121a, and therefore missed out on topics of importance (e.g. corrosion) which not presented the first semester of freshman chemistry. I undertook the task of creating and implementing the class in 2002-2003 so it could be taught in 2004. Since that time, Eric Voss and I have used the Chem 135 lab as a testing ground for new NSF-funded teaching initiatives such as laboratories which focus on nanoscale content, and the use of advanced equipment such as Powder X-Ray diffraction. Such integration with research is typical of my approach to classes.

The senior inorganic class has also benefited from my grant activity. For example, the EPR instrument was resurrected through a $174K MRI grant from NSF (the first ever received at SIUE) and used successfully by students in Fall 2010 without an expert present, an important milestone towards our goal of preparing students to be independent self-confident chemists.

More information can be found on my Community of Science page at

SIUE Web Search
facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff socialoff