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Matthew Sprague
matthew sprague

Matthew Sprague

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Matthew Sprague leverages state-of-the-art computers and software in his role as an associate professor of chemistry at St. Norbert College. Sprague has established a computational chemistry laboratory at SNC for use in both classroom teaching and student-faculty collaborative research. His teaching interests include introducing students to chemical modeling and computational chemistry across the curriculum.

Sprague’s primary research focus is on identifying new chemicals and reactions that could impact our understanding of atmospheric chemistry, in particular factors that may affect ozone and smog chemistry. He uses the tools of computational chemistry to study these chemical species, which uses the laws of quantum mechanics to simulate various molecular properties.

  • CHEM 105 General Chemistry 1 + Lab
  • CHEM 107 General Chemistry 2 + Lab
  • CHEM 330 Physical Chemistry 1 + Lab
  • CHEM 332 Physical Chemistry 2 + Lab

  • B.S. – Ithaca College, Chemistry, 2005
  • B.A. – Ithaca College, Physics, 2005
  • Ph.D. – California Institute of Technology, Physical Chemistry, 2012

Previous Professional Appointments:

  • Research Chemist (Postdoctoral Scholar), 2013-2015, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Chemical Informatics Group
  • Lecturer, 2012-2013, California Institute of Technology, Chemistry

  • Computational Chemistry
  • Thermochemistry of polyoxide formation from peroxy species
  • Ozonolysis of alkenes and formation of Criegee intermediates
  • Assessment of uncertainty on computed thermochemical data
  • Effects of hydrogen bonding on vibrational spectra

F.J. Lovas and M.K. Sprague, “Microwave spectral study of SO2–CO,” J. Mol. Spec., 2015, 316: 49–53, doi:10.1016/j.jms.2015.07.005

M.K. Sprague and K.K. Irikura, “Thermochemistry of HO2+HO2-->H2O4: Does HO2 dimerization affect laboratory studies?” J. Phys. Chem. A, 2015, 119 (27): 7052–7062, doi:10.1021/acs.jpca.5b04265

P.P. Hughes, A. Beasten, J.C. McComb, M.A. Coplan, M. al-Sheikhly, A.K. Thompson, R.E. Vest, M.K. Sprague, K.K. Irikura, and C.W. Clark, “High-resolution, vacuum-ultraviolet absorption spectrum of boron trifluoride,” J. Chem. Phys., 141, 194301 (2014), doi:10.1063/1.4901324

M.K. Sprague and K.K. Irikura, “Quantitative estimation of uncertainties from wavefunction diagnostics,” Theor. Chem. Acc., 2014, 133 (9): 1544, doi:10.1007/s00214-014-1544-z

M.K. Sprague, L.A. Mertens, H.N. Widgren, M. Okumura, S.P. Sander, and A.B. McCoy, “Cavity ringdown spectroscopy of the hydroxy-methyl-peroxy radical,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 2013, 117 (39): 10006–10017, doi:10.1021/jp400390y

M.K. Sprague, E.R. Garland, A.K. Mollner, C. Bloss, B.D. Bean, M.L. Weichman, L.A. Mertens, M. Okumura, and S.P. Sander, “Kinetics of n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy isomerization and detection of primary products by infrared cavity ringdown spectroscopy,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 2012, 116 (24): 6327–6340, doi:10.1021/jp212136r

A.K. Mollner, S. Valluvadasan, L. Feng, M.K. Sprague, M. Okumura, D.B. Milligan, W.J. Bloss, S.P. Sander, P.T. Martien, R.A. Harley, A.B. McCoy, and W.P.L. Carter, “Rate of gas phase association of hydroxyl radical and nitrogen dioxide,” Science 330 (2010): 646–649, doi:10.1126/science.1193030

A.B. McCoy, M.K. Sprague, and M. Okumura, “The role of torsion/torsion coupling in the vibrational spectrum of cis-cis HOONO,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 2010, 114 (3): 1324–1333, doi:10.1021/jp905731h

P.M. Dentinger, B.A. Simmons, E. Cruz, and M. Sprague “DNA-mediated delivery of lipophilic molecules via hybridization to DNA-based vesicular aggregates,” Langmuir, 2006, 22 (7), 2935–2937, doi:10.1021/la053005o