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M. Todd Coolbaugh, PhD

Assistant Professor, Organic Chemistry


office: 704-330-1429




Dr. Coolbaugh holds a PhD in chemistry from SUNY at Buffalo (1993).  Dr. Coolbaugh conducted research in laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometric studies of ion chemistry in van der Waals cluster ions.  Dr. Coolbaugh has held a number of academic, research and industrial positions, including a Henry & Camille Dreyfus Fellowship (a 50:50 teaching/research position) at Virginia Military Institute focused on the redox and coordination chemistry of transition metals in glasses. Dr. Coolbaugh has extensive experience in directing federal grants and contracts, directing over $800k of Small Business Innovation Research awards.  Dr. Coolbaugh’s research experiences were in the area of chemical surface modifications, particularly related to chemi/biosensor development and corrosion control.  Dr. Coolbaugh has served for the last six years as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black university which is transforming into Charlotte, NC’s premier independent urban university.  Dr. Coolbaugh is the Co-PI on a NSF HBCU-UP TIP grant that is developing a Shared Instrumentation Resource Laboratory, which he will coordinate. Dr. Coolbaugh will lead efforts to develop and incorporate renewable energy modules and experiences into the CRES and NSM curriculum.  Dr. Coolbaugh has attended workshops on Electochemical Measurements at Case Western University and Renewable Energy at Beloit College. 



Doctorate, Chemistry State University of New York at Buffalo

Thesis Research: Mass spectrometric investigations of ion-molecule reactions within van der Waals clusters


Additional Research: Spectroscopic studies of molecular species produced by laser generated plasmas


Bachelor, Chemistry Alfred Universiy

Advanced coursework in spectroscopy



Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2009 – Present Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Served as Chemistry Program Coordinator starting 2014

Served as instructor for General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis, Physical Chemistry and Science, Technology & Ethics

Took leading role in building Department/College infrastructure as PI or co-PI on nearly $400k in grants to establish a Shared Instrumentation Laboratory and Electrochemical Workstation

Chaired Faculty Sabbatical Leave and Library & Technology Committees and served on Faculty Elections, and Liberal Studies Committee as well as University Committee overseeing the campus eBooks and Tablet Initiative.


Electroplate-Rite Corporation, Dublin, Virginia, 2005 - 2009

Waste Water Operator

Sole responsibility for operation of 2nd or 3rd shift waste treatment system for metal plating and finishing plant.

Conducted on-site chemical analyses to ensure regulatory compliance.

Prepared and maintained production baths.Conducted chemical analyses for quality control.

Contributed significant improvements to treatment processes for specific waste streams and assisted in implementation of a salt-spray testing cabinet.



American Research Corporation of Virginia (ARCOVA), Radford, Virginia, 1997-2004

Research Scientist

Led and participated in projects with emphasis on chem/bio sensor development and corrosion prevention coatings for aluminum alloys.

Principal Investigator for over $800k in federally funded research programs.

Planned and executed experiments to demonstrate feasibility and optimize processes.

Modified and developed analytical chemical procedures on as-needed basis. Specialized in surface modifications and analyses.


Department of Chemistry and Physics, Radford University, Radford, Virginia, 1995-1997

Laboratory Co-ordinator                                               

Responsible for set-up and trouble shooting for general chemistry and analytical laboratories.

Managed student aides assigned to Department.

Served as instructor for General Chemistry and Spectroscopic Methods for Molecular Structure Determination (Vibrational, MS and NMR).

Responsible for upkeep of all instrumentation- used opportunity to become proficient with FTIR, UV-vis, HPLC, GC, GC-MS, TGA and DSC.


Department of Chemistry, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia, 1993-1995

Dreyfuss Fellow

Postdoctoral position involving research and instructional duties.

Research in glass science- spectroscopic studies of redox chemistry and coordination of transition metal ions in silicate and acetate glasses.

Instructor for General and Physical Chemistry.




“Solvations of Redox Ions in Glass-Forming Silicate Melts,” H.D. Schreiber, M.T. Coolbaugh; Journal of non-crystalline solids, 181(3) 1995, pp. 225-230.


 “Compositional Dependence of Redox Equilibria in Sodium Silicate Glasses,”  S.B. Kochanowski, H.D. Schreiber, C.W. ; Schreiber, A.B. Morgan, M.T. Coolbaugh; Journal of non-crystalline solids, 177(1), 1994; pp 340-46.


“Photoionization-induced Intracluster Reactions of Chlorobenzene/Ammonia Mixed Complexes,”   J.R. Grover, B.M. Cheng, W.J. Herron, M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry, 98(31), 1994 pp. 7479-7487       


“Cationic Polymerization Within Clusters Composed of Unsaturated Molecules,” M.T. Coolbaugh, G. Vaidyanathan, J.F. Garvey; International Reviews in Physical Chemistry, 13(1), 1994, pp. 1-19.


“Intracluster Polymerization Reactions Within Acetylene and Methylacetylene Cluster Ions,” M.T. Coolbaugh, S.G. Whitney, G. Vaidyanathan, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry, 96(23), 1992, pp. 9139-9144.


“Novel Ion Molecule Reactions of C-602+ with NH3,”  J.J. Stry, M.T. Coolbaugh, E. Turos, J.F. Garvey; Journal of The American Chemical Society, 114(20), 1992, pp. 7914-7916.


“Magic Numbers In Molecular Clusters - A Probe For Chemical-Reactivity,”  M.T. Coolbaugh, J.F. Garvey; Chemical Society Reviews, 21(3), 1992, pp. 163-169.


“Observation of Magic Numbers for (ROH)NH3O+ Heteroclusters (R = CH3, CH3CH2, (CH3)2CH, and CH3CH2CH2) - Implications for Cluster Ion Structure,” W.J. Herron, M.T. Coolbaugh, G. Vaidyanathan, W.R. Peiferr, J.F. Garvey; Journal of The American Chemical Society, 114(10), 1992, pp. 3684-3689.


“Electron-impact Ionization Efficiency Curves of Argon Clusters and Argon Methanol Heteroclusters,” G. Vaidyanathan, M.T. Coolbaugh, J.F. Garvey, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 96(4), 1992, pp. 1589-1593.


“Solvated Ion Chemistry Within Acetylene Acetone Heterocluster Ions - Production of C7H10O+ and C6H7O+ Cyclic Ions via Intracluster Polymerization Reactions,” S.G. Whitney, M.T. Coolbaugh, G. Vaidyanathan, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry,  95(24),  1991, pp. 9625-9627.


“Cationic Polymerization Within van der Waals Clusters of the Form (CH2=R)n+ (R = CH2, CF2, and CHCH3),” M.T. Coolbaugh, G. Vaidyanathan, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry, 95(21), 1991, pp. 8337-8343.


“Cluster Beam Analysis via Photoionization,”  J.R. Grover, W.J. Herron, M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry, 95(17), 1991, pp. 6473-6481.


“Observation of Magic Numbers Within ArnH2O+ Heteroclusters,”  G. Vaidyanathan, M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry, 95(11), 1991, pp.  4193-4195.


“Some Novel Ion Molecule Chemistry Within van der Waals Clusters,” J.F. Garvey, W.R. Peifer, M.T. Coolbaugh; Accounts of Chemical Research, 24(2), 1991, pp. 48-54.


“Observation of a Magic Number in the Ion Distribution of Ethene Clusters,” M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Chemical Physics Letters, 168(3-4), 1990, pp. 337-344.


“Production of Protonated Methanol Ions via Intermolecular Reactions Within van der Waals Clusters of Dimethyl Ether,” M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Journal of The American Chemical Society, 112(9), 1990, pp. 3692-3693.


“Novel Size-dependent Chemistry Within Ionized van der Waals Clusters Of 1,1-Difluoroethane,” M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry, 94(4), 1990, pp. 1619-1624.


“On the Production and Composition of Doubly Ionized NH3 Clusters – Reply,” M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Chemical Physics Letters, 164(4), 1989, pp. 441-442.


“Ion-molecule Chemistry Within Triply Charged Ammonia Clusters,” W.R. Peifer, M.T. Coolbaugh, J.F. Garvey; Journal of Physical Chemistry, 93(12), 1989, pp. 4700-4703.


“Ion-molecule Chemistry Within Doubly Charged Ammonia Clusters,” M.T. Coolbaugh, W.R. Peifer, J.F. Garvey; Chemical Physics Letters, 156(1), 1989, pp. 19-23.





“Investigating Enzyme Kinetics: A Laboratory Experience for General Chemistry Students,” R. Jones, M.T. Coolbaugh, T.D. Champion; Poster Presentation, 63rd Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, October 27, Richmond, Virginia.


“Using Vanadium to Impart Self-healing to Corrosion Control Coatings for Aerospace Aluminum Alloys,” M.T. Coolbaugh, H.P. Groger, E.C. Aquino, S.E. Morris, J.E. Roberts, F. Pearlstein; Tri-Service Corrosion Conference, 14-18 January 2002, San Antonio Texas


“Readiness of Trivalent Chromium Conversion Coatings for Aluminum Alloys,” M.T. Coolbaugh, M.D. Harig, H.P. Groger, V.S. Agarwala, F. Pearlstein; Corrosion 2000, 26-31 March 2000, Orlando, Florida




Diode laser electrochemical sensor for detecting chemical and biological analytes, H.P. Groger, M.T. Coolbaugh, K.P. Lo, R.J. Churchill, U.S. Patent 6,277,651, August 21, 2001.


Modular probe for total internal reflection fluorescence spectroscopy, H.P Groger, J. Raymonda, K.P. Lo, W.F. Sullivan, M.T. Coolbaugh, U.S. Patent 6,300,638, October 9, 2001




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