Paul Withey, Ph.D.
Program Chair of Physics, Associate Professor of Physics,
College of Science and Engineering
Dr. Withey earned his PhD in Physics from TCU with his research dissertation entitled Fourier Transform Vibrational Spectroscopy of Pure Carbon and Silicon-Carbon Clusters. Since then he has been on the faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Northwestern State University of LA, where he also served as Head of the Dept. of Chemistry and Physics. Recently he completed a sabbatical at Rice University performing nanotechnology research investigating the behavior of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) embedded in nanocomposites using fluorescence spectroscopy. These nanocomposites are of interest to the aerospace industry where embedded CNTs show promise to improve strength and flexibility over currently available materials. Dr. Withey also has expertise in the area of infrared spectroscopy of molecular clusters, especially carbon and silicon-carbon clusters, and has performed research on single-magnetic-domain iron nanoparticles embedded in epoxy as a Visiting Scientist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. Some of his experimental expertise includes low temperature cryogenics, high vacuum systems, laser evaporation, thin film deposition, FTIR spectroscopy, and near-IR fluorescence spectroscopy. He has mentored a large number of chemistry, physics and engineering physics students in research projects such as spectroscopic investigations of small molecules produced via laser evaporation, modeling molecules using ab initio calculations, infrared studies of silicate particles produced under simulated astrophysical conditions, and characterization of carbon nanotubes using fluorescence spectroscopy.