Monthly Archives: September 2018

Nick Mortimer

Nick is a long-time research guru and veteran of our lab.  He is young, but he is as seasoned and experienced as researchers get here at MSUBI.  Nick is a graduate of GVSU and has been a researcher here for four years.  During that time, he has contributed in countless ways to the progress of the research and the good vibes at our lab.  He has been a mentor to many, many undergraduate researchers and graduate students.  He has presented many posters and has his name on a rechargeable lithium ion cell patent application.  He has been such an integral part of the OESL for so long, we may forget how to operate without him.

Nick is getting married to the lovely Leah Campau and we wish them all the best for their future.  After the marriage they are going on an epic honeymoon in the far east and then settling in Colorado to plan their future together.  Colorado is lucky to get Nick.  Whatever he decides for his future, whether it be further employment in the Chemistry field, or expanding his already successful sunglasses/watch business, he will be assured to have a great future.

Thanks for the years of service Nick, and enjoy your promising future!

Andrew Rajewski joins OESL

We have been and will be going through many personnel changes in the near past and the near future.  Andy Rajewski is the second Alma College Chemistry graduate to join the group recently.  We are happy to have you Andy, and we welcome you to OESL and MSU!

Nora Shaheen

Nora is a graduate of (the) Ohio State University.  Yes, I know, but we still let her in the building.  She is our third female Chemical Engineer intern this summer!

Characterization and degradation studies of redox-active organic heterocycles

Nora Shaheen, Nick Mortimer, Shane Mann, and Dr. Thomas Guarr

Protecting batteries from overcharging is critical to prolonging the battery lifetime and preventing dangerous thermal runaway events. Redox shuttles are electrolyte additives that reduce the risk of such events, and therefore help make batteries safer for use. While a myriad of redox shuttles exist, this study focuses predominantly on 9-methyl-3,6-di(t-butyl)carbazole, and 10-methyl-3,7-di(t-butyl)phenothiazine-5,5-dioxide. These heterocycles have shown to be efficient redox shuttles, but further studies into 1) solubility in the desired electrolyte, 2) mass transfer characteristics and limitations, and 3) stability under normal use conditions are necessary. Rotating Disk Electrode (RDE) was used to study the diffusion coefficients of phenothiazine-5,5-dioxides with various N-substituents. Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry (MS) was used to study the gas-phase fragmentation patterns of deuterium-labeled derivatives of these compounds. Lastly, the chemical stability of oxidized 10-methyl-3,7-di(t-butyl)phenothiazine-5,5-dioxide was examined using UV-Vis. The compound was oxidized using bulk electrolysis and through chemical oxidation; preliminary data indicates there are minimal changes in the optical spectrum over time. Further studies are necessary to determine the long-term stability of the oxidized material.

Nora is attending Chemical Engineering graduate school at Case Western Reserve University this fall.  We wish her the best and we know she will be amazing.

Research Position Available

A research position is available in the lab of Dr. Thomas Guarr at the Michigan State University Organic Energy Storage Laboratory in Holland, MI. An ideal candidate will have experience in the areas of organic synthesis, analytical chemistry, electrochemistry and device design. This position will also assist with the lab’s summer internship program, working with undergraduate interns and their research projects.

Researchers have opportunities to publish papers, give poster presentations and travel to symposia and conferences. Several have made important contributions to inventions and are listed as co-inventors on international patent applications. Many employees and interns have chosen to continue their research at graduate schools that include MSU, University of Michigan, UNC, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Purdue among others. Past employees and interns have gone on to be a Fulbright Scholar or work at National Labs like Argonne National Laboratory and technology companies such as Bend Research in Bend, OR.

Our researchers are usually interested in furthering their education but desire getting more extensive research and experience for a year or two before continuing onward.

All prospective candidates are encouraged to apply by emailing their CV and the contact information of references to Laura Ives at The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To learn more about the OESL group, please visit our website at