Steven Szczepankiewicz, PhD Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry

Steven Szczepankiewicz, PhD

PhD, California Institute of Technology
(716) 888-2355

Teaching Interests

Teaching areas include general, analytical and environmental chemistry. Research interests include the study of surface interactions with applications towards the development of new sensor technologies and photochemistry. Dr. Szczepankiewicz is also the coordinator of the college's annual summer science camp for local middle school students.  

Research Interests 

Dr. Szczepankiewicz’s group is interested in developing rugged photoactivated catalysts capable of reducing small stable molecules such as CO2.


One application of reduction photocatalysis is incorporating a small inactive molecule like CO2 into some useful product.  We’ve demonstrated the ability to reduce CO2 in the presence of benzyl alcohol to produce benzyl formate, a common fragrance additive.  The reaction is completed under the following conditions:  10 µM TMS-HPT, 30 µM benzyl alcohol, 1 atm CO2, and 10 min UV (1 kW Xe).

(tha)6[SiW11O39Co(CO2)] + 2 C6H5CH2OH  

(tha)6[SiW11O39Co(__)] + C6H5CHO + C6H5CH2OOCH + H2O

We are investigating the possibility of generating H2 from ethanol using similar conditions.