Faculty Profile

Cindy Samet

Professor of Chemistry (1988)

Contact Information


Stuart Hall - Rector Complex Room 1107


For years, the Samet research group has been using the "matrix isolation" technique - the freezing of molecules in an inert gas at close to absolute zero - to study hydrogen bonding. Specifically, nonconventional hydrogen bond linkages such as C-H---N, C-H---O, and C-H---pi have been the focus of published work. Recently, the team pioneered a new technique called Polymer Soft Landing Isolation, which is a twist on the standard matrix isolation technique. In particular, molecules are now deposited onto a polymer surface, rather than a clean surface, so that hydrogen bonding throughout the polymer may be studied. This new technique, which is unique to Samet's laboratory at Dickinson, allows for the probing of the self-assembly process and the building of nanostructures, which has brought her traditional matrix isolation research into the realm of nanotechnology. Outside of the research laboratory, she studies the chemistry of certain illnesses that the conventional medical system struggles with, such as vitamin B12 deficiency, gluten-related problems, and thyroid disease. At the advanced level, she teaches in the area of physical chemistry that involves quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, and also inorganic chemistry. Her scholarly pursuits in the field of chemical education include studying the role of chemistry in history, and incorporating both nanotechnology and lasers into the undergraduate curriculum.


  • B.S., Dickinson College, 1982
  • Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1988

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

CHEM 141 Accelerated General Chem w/Lab
A one-semester introductory course for students who are especially well-prepared for general chemistry, replacing CHEM 131, 132 as a prerequisite for more advanced courses in the major. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, acid/base chemistry, solubility, and transition metal chemistry. The laboratory experiments will relate directly to topics covered in lecture, and will include statistical analysis of data, molecular modeling, instrumental methods of analysis, and quantitative analytical and inorganic chemistry. Admittance into this course is based on a placement exam. Three hours of classroom and three hours of laboratory per week.

CHEM 341 Quantum Chem & Spectroscopy
Examines how the Quantum Theory, and in particular the Schrödinger Equation, makes possible the determination of translational, rotational, and vibrational energies of molecules, and how spectroscopy experimentally determines the energy and hence structure of atoms and molecules. Three hours classroom per week. Prerequisites: 132 or 141, MATH 171 and PHYS 141 or 131, or permission of the instructor. NOTE: PHYS 141 or 131 may be taken concurrently with CHEM 341.

Spring 2019

CHEM 132 General Chemistry II with Lab
A continuation of Chemistry 131. Topics covered in the second semester will include: kinetics, equilibrium, acids, bases, and buffers, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and transition metal chemistry. Three hours of classroom and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: 131.

CHEM 200 Current Research Topics
This advanced topics class will focus on current research topics that have a direct influence on various applications including but not limited to catalysis, solar energy, materials chemistry, and molecular recognition, to name but a few. Topics will be selected according to student interest. The course focuses as much on the topics as it does on building skills such as navigating the modern chemistry literature and presenting research in various formats.