• Dr. Wilson Gichuhi

    WilsonAssociate Professor

    Department of Chemistry

    TN Tech University

    Campus Box 5055

    803 Stadium Dr.

    Lab Science Commons, Rm 2317

    Cookeville, TN 38505-0001

    P:  (931) 372-3499


    • University of Nairobi, Kenya, Chemistry, B.S. 2001
    • University of Nairobi, Kenya, MS in Environmental Chemistry, 2002-2005
    • Wayne State University, Detroit, Physical Chemistry, Ph.D. 2011
    • JILA and University of Colorado, Boulder, Post-doc 2011-2015
  • Current Research
    Atmospheric Chemistry

    Atmospheric spectroscopy of reactive and non-reactive trace gases in the atmosphere using infrared and Cavity Enhanced Spectroscopic Techniques.


    Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Anions

    Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectroscopy of aromatic radical anions that are of interest to Astrochemistry, Environmental, and Biological systems. These studies have utilized high-level quantum chemical methods and Franck-Condon computations to obtain the vibrational spectra of neutral, medium-sized, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon radicals. New directions in this project involve the use of electroanalytical experimental methods to understand radical anions in the solution phase as well as the development of Velocity Map Ion Imaging technique.

  • Publications


    1. Workman, K. T.;  Usher, A. J.;  Henson, D. W.;  White, N. J.; Gichuhi, W. K., "Predicted Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectra of 1-, 2-, and 9-Cyanoanthracene Radical Anions and Computed Thermochemical Values of the Three Cyanoanthracene Isomers." J. Phys. Chem. 2023.Publication Date: April 28, 2023,
    2. Workman Kie, T.; Firth, Rebecca. A.; and Gichuhi W.K. “From Benzonitrile to Dicyanobenzenes: The Effect of an Additional CN Group on the Thermochemistry and Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectra of Dicyanobenzene Radical Anions’’ J. Phys. Chem. A 2023, 127, 1, 181–194.
    3. Gichuhi Wilson K, and Gamage Lahiru, P.; "Efficacy of the CO Tracer Technique in Partitioning Biogenic and Anthropogenic Atmospheric CO2 Signals in the Humid Subtropical Eastern Highland Rim City of Cookeville, Tennessee." Atmosphere 2023, 14(2), 208.
    4. Firth, Rebecca. A.; Dimino, T. L.; Gichuhi, W. K., "Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectra of Deprotonated Benzonitrile Isomers via Computation of Franck–Condon Factors." J. Phys. Chem. A. 2022, 126, (29), 4781-4790.
    5. Gamage, Lahiru, P.; Hix, Elijah G.;and Gichuhi W.K. “Ground-Based Atmospheric Measurements of CO:CO2 Ratios in Eastern Highland Rim Using a CO Tracer Technique,” ACS Earth Space Chem. 2020, 4(4), 558–571.
    6. Gichuhi W.K. “Astrochemistry as a Gateway to Teaching and Learning Threshold Concepts in Physical Chemistry,” World Journal of Chemical Education. 2019, 7(3), 209–215. DOI: 10.12691/wjce-7-3-4
    7. Gamage Lahiru P.; and Gichuhi W.K. “Efficacy of a Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopic Technique in Estimating Enteric Methane Emissions in Ruminants,” ACS Earth Space Chem., 2018, 2(7), pp 673–68.
    8. Nelson, D.J, Gichuhi, W.K., Nichols, C.M., Bierbaum, V.M, Lineberger, W.C, and Lehman J.H. “Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Thermochemistry of o-, m-, and p-Methylenephenoxide Anions,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 20(39), 25203-25216, 2018. DOI: DOI: 10.1039/c8cp05403g
    9. Nelson, D.J., Gichuhi, W.K., Miller, E., and Lineberger, W.C. “Anion Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Deprotonated ortho-, meta-, and para-Methylphenol,” Journal of Chemical Physics, 146(6), 074302, 2017. DOI:
    10. Gichuhi, W.K., and Suits, A.G. “Low-Temperature Branching Ratio for the Reaction of State-Prepared N2+ with Acetonitrile,” J. Phys. Chem A, 116(3), 938, 2012.
    11. Gichuhi, W.K., and Suits, A.G. “Primary Branching Ratios for the Low Temperature Reaction of State-Prepared N2+ with CH4, C2H2 and C2H4,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 115(25), 7105, 2011.
    12. Gichuhi, W.K., Mebel, A.M., and Suits, A.G. “UV Photodissociation of Ethylamine Cation: A Combined Experimental and Theoretical Investigation,” J. Phys. Chem. A 114, 51, 13296: cover for the December 30, 2010, 114,51 issue.
    13. Suits, A.G., Gichuhi, W.K., and Mebel, A.M. General Discussion; Faraday Discuss. 146.
    14. Suits, A.G., Gichuhi, W.K., Silva, R., Doyle, M.B., Mebel, A.M., and Kaiser, R.I. “Laboratory Studies of Primary Photochemistry Relevant to Titan’s Atmosphere,” LPI Contribution No. 1538, 5283.
    15. Huang, C., Zhang, F., Kaiser, R.I., Kislov, V.V., Mebel, A.M., Silva, R., Gichuhi, W.K., and Suits, A.G. “Photodissociation of the Diacetylene Dimer and Implications for Hydrocarbon Growth in Titan’s Atmosphere,’’ Astrophysical Journal, 714, 1249, 2010.
    16. Silva, R., Gichuhi, W.K., Kislov, V.V., Mebel, A.M., and Suits, A.G., “UV “Photodissociation of Cyanoacetylene: A Combined Ion Imaging and Theoretical Investigation,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 113(42), 11182–11186, 2009.
    17. Silva, R., Gichuhi, W.K., Doyle, M.B., Winney, A.H., and Suits, A.G. “Photodissociation of Heptane Isomers and Relative Ionization Efficiencies of Butyl and Propyl Radicals at 157 nm,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 11, 4777-4781, 2009.
    18. Silva, R., Gichuhi, W.K., Huang, C., Doyle, M.B., Kislov, V.V., and Mebel, A.M., and Suits, A.G. “H-elimination and Metastable Lifetimes in the UV Photoexcitation of Diacetylene,”Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci, 105, 12713-12718, 2008.
  • Group Members

    NolanNolan White- B.S. in Chemical Engineering, 2023; Incoming masters student-Electroanalytical and Negative Ion spectroscopy of Quinone Radical Anions


    AidanAidan Usher - B.S. in Chemical Engineering, 2023; Negative Ion Spectroscopic Studies of Cyanoanthracene Radical Anion



    NamalDushmantha N. Koku Hannadige Abeysooriya, Ph.D. EVS (Chemistry Concentration), Erasmus Mundus Scholar Alumni; Fundamental Infrared and Photoelectron Spectroscopic Studies of Isoprene and Other Volatile Organic Non-Methane Hydocarbons


    RebeccaRebecca Firth - B.S. Chemistry, 2023; Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Deprotonated Mono and DicyanoBenzens



    JonathanJonathan Dupuy - B.S. Chemistry; Infrared and Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectroscopic Studies of Isoprene Oxiadation Reactions


    KieKie Workman - B.S. Chemical Engineering, 2023; Electroanalytical and Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectroscopic of Organic Mixed Valence States in Dinitrobenzene Radical Anions


    Garrett IshamGarrett Isham - B.S. Secondary Education;  Main Focus is Chemical Education Research



  • Teaching
    • CHEM 3510 – Physical Chemistry I (Quantum Chemistry, Spectroscopy, and Intro. to Statistical Mechanics)
    • CHEM 3520 – Physical Chemistry II (Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics, Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics)
    • CHEM 3520 and CHEM 3520 P-Chem Labs Instructor and Coordinator
    • CHEM 6320 – Advanced Physical Chemistry (Advanced Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics, Statistical Mechanics, and Modern Experimental Techniques in Physical Chemistry)
    • CHEM 5970- Special Topics in Quantum Chemistry
    • CHEM 4970 – Special Topics: Introduction to Astrochemistry
    • CHEM 3500- Elements of Physical Chemistry (A One Semester Overview of Physical Chemistry)
    • CHEM 6970 – Advanced Special Topics (Astrochemistry)
    • EVSC 7990 – Advanced Special Topics in Atmospheric Chemistry and Astrochemistry
    • CHEM 1120- General Chemistry II

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Gichuhi Group News:

May 2023

  • Dr. Gichuhi receives TTU Faculty Research Grant (FRG). The $19,511 FRG will support the project “Joint Experimental and Quantum Chemical Investigation of Mixed Organic Valence States in Dinitrobenzene Radical Anions”
  • Nolan White to start a M.S in chemistry program after finishing his B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Nolan will continue doing research on the spectroscopy of quinones.

April 2023

  • Kie Workman wins the 2023 Excellence in Creative Inquiry Award for his 2022 summer project on Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Nitrobenzene and Dinitrobenzene Radical anions
  • Cyanoanthracene isomer anions paper is published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry special issue “Early-Career and Emerging Researchers in Physical Chemistry, Volume 2” ACS Publication
  • Jonathan Dupuy receives a Creative Inquiry Summer Experience (CISE) grant to carry out research on isoprene oxidation reactions in the Summer of 2023. Congratulations to Jonathan!
  • Kie Workman wins the 2023 ACS Physical Chemistry Undergraduate Award. Congratulations to Kie!

March 2023

  • Dr. Gichuhi to give an oral talk on “Beyond Mass Spectrometry: Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectra of 1-, 2-, and 3-Cyanoanthracene Radical Anions and the Thermochemistry of Cyanoanthracene Isomers“ at the 71st ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics to be held on June 4-8 in Houston, TX, USA 
  • Namal to present a poster on  “Site-Specific Gas-Phase Acidities of Isoprene and the Negative Ion Photoelectron Spectra of C5H7 Radical Anions Resulting from Isoprene Oxidation“ at the 71st ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics to be held on June 4-8 in Houston, TX, USA