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Department of Chemistry

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Faculty - Dr. Mitchell Bruce

Mitchell Bruce
Associate Professor
B.S. Chemistry, Antioch College, 1979
Ph.D. Chemistry, Columbia University, 1985
277 Aubert Hall

Academic Bio : I attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio , where I had the opportunity to worked for six months at the Yale University Medical School doing protein sequencing. I also worked as an undergraduate for two and a half years at the Kettering Research Labs, where I investigated nitrogen fixation for generating fertilizers (US Patent 4,256,967). I earned my Ph.D. at Columbia University, were my thesis research was done with Professor David Tyler investigating the photochemistry of ligand-to-metal charge transfer states of high oxidation state organometallic complexes. I then did a post doc at the University of North Carolina, in the lab of Professor Thomas J. Meyer, working closely with B. Patrick Sullivan and Holden Thorp on electrochemical  catalysis. I came to the University of Maine in 1987. In 2014, I was named as an ACS Fellow.

Research Interests:

Metal-Sulfur Chemistry and Aurophilicity

Detection of Metals in the Environment

Energy Research

Chemical Education

Here is a  of our group, summer of 2014 (some missing students).

Here is a picture of our group, summer of 2009.


Selected Publications and Recent Presentations

Metal-Sulfur and Aurophilicity:

Bruce, A. E., Garusinghe, G., Aghamoosa, M., & Bruce, M. R. M. (2012). Formation of phosphine oxide during gold(I) mediated thiol-disulfide exchange reactions. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 243.

Dyadchenko, V. P.; Belov, N. M.; Lemenovskii, D. A.; Antipin, M. Yu.; K.A. Lyssenko, K. A.; Bruce, A. E.; Bruce, M. R. M. “Synthesis, crystal and molecular structure of gold(I) thiophenolate with 4’-ferrocenyl[1,1’]biphenylisocyanides.” J. Organomet. Chem., 2010695, 304-309.

Bessey, S.; Aghamoosa, M.; Garusinghe, G. S. P.; Chandrasoma, A.; Bruce, A. E. and Bruce, M. R. M. “The Synthesis of Triethylphosphine Gold(I) 4-Nitrobenzenethiolate and Solvent Dependent Visible Absorption Spectra of 4-Nitrobenzenethiolate.”Inorganica Chimica Acta2010, 363 (1).

Oussama, Elbjeirami; Alexander M. W. Gonser, Barbara N. Stewart, Alice E. Bruce, Mitchell R. M. Bruce, Thomas R. Cundari, Mohammad A. Omary, “Luminescence, structural, and bonding trends upon varying the halogen in isostructural aurophilic dimers.” Dalton Transactions, 2009, 9, 1522-1533.

Detection of Metals in the Environment:

C. M. Acharige, A. Al Abdel Hamid, A. E. Bruce, M. R. M. Bruce, and C. P. Tripp,  An Infrared Spectroscopic Based Method for Mercury(II) Detection in Aqueous Solutions  Analytica Chemica Acta 728, 57-63 (2012)

Al Abdel Hamid, C. P. Tripp, A. E. Bruce and M. R. M. Bruce- A Selective Optical Chemosensor for Iron(III) Ions in Aqueous Medium Based on [Bis(2,2`-bipyridine)-bis(2-carboxypyridine)]ruthenium(II) Complex  Jordon Journal of Chemistry, 6  393-401 (2011)

A. Hamid, C. P. Tripp, A. E. Bruce, M. R. M. Bruce, Application of structural analogs of dimercaptosuccinic acid-functionalized silica nanoparticles (DMSA-[silica]) to adsorption of mercury, cadmium, and lead,  Research on Chemical Intermediates 37, 791-810 (2011)

Hamid, A. A.; Tripp, C. T.; Bruce, A. E.; Bruce, M. R. M. “Mercury, Cadmium, and Lead Chelation to meso-2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic Acid Covalently Attached to Silica Gel via Amide Bond Linkages.” J. Coordination Chem., 63, 2010, 731-741.

Energy Research:

Chandrasoma, A., Grant, R., Bruce, A. E., Bruce, M. R. M. Electrochemical Polymerization of Aniline on Carbon-aluminum Electrodes for Energy Storage. Journal of Power Sources, 219(0), 2012,  285-291.

Grant, Robert W. Bruce, Mitchell R. M. “Method for Producing Nano Textured Electrode Based Energy Storage Device” US patent application serial number: 61/265,167 filed on November 30, 2009.

Chemical Education:

Mitchell Bruce, Shirly Avargil, Alice Bruce, Francois Amar “CORE learning cycle: Anchoring Analogical Reasoning to the Laboratory Experience.” , The 23rd Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Grand Valley State University, Annadale, MI 49401, August 3-8, 2014.

Mitchell Bruce, Shirly Avargil, Susan Klemmer “Graduate TA Professional Development Towards Reliable Assessment of Student Lab Reports,” The 23rd Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Grand Valley State University, Annadale, MI 49401, August 3-8, 2014.

A Framework for Anchoring Analogical Reasoning Activities to the Chemistry Laboratory Experience Mitchell Bruce, Shirly Avargil, Alice Bruce, François Amar National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Pittsburg, PA, March 31, 2014.

Amar, F.; Stewart, B. N.; Fortin, H.; Bruce, M.R.M. “Using the Workshop Model for Modular, Student-Centered Leader Training” Progressions: Peer-Led Team Learning Project Newsletter, V10, 3, Spring 2009, –

Stewart, B. N., Amar, F. G., Bruce, M. R.  Challenges and rewards of offering peer-led team learning (PLTL) in a large general chemistry course. Australian J. of Ed. in Chem., 2007, 67,  pp. 31 – 36.

Stewart, B. N., Kirk, R., Labrecque, D., Amar, F. G. and Bruce, M.R.M. “InterChemNet: An Integrated Instrumentation a Course Management System for the General Chemistry”, 2003J. Chem. Ed., 83 (3), 494.

Selected Professional Activities:

1990-present Councilor, Maine Section, American Chemical Society (ACS)
1998 – 2005 Member, ACS Project SEED Committee
2001-2003 Chair, Scholarship Subcommittee, ACS Project SEED
2004-2005 Chair, ACS Project SEED Committee
2006-present Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC), ACS Committee
2009-present Chair, TTO Subcommitte, LSAC, ACS Committee

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Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
156 Aubert Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207)-581-1169 | Fax: (207)-581-1191
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System