Ernest earned his B.Sc.(Hons) and M.Phil. Chemistry degrees from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana in 2016 and 2019, respectively under the supervision of Professor Richard Tia. At this stage, he used molecular modeling techniques to study the reaction mechanisms of several interesting organic, acid-, and transition metal-catalyzed reactions and contributed to several peer reviewed articles. At the same time, Ernest worked directly with several undergraduate seniors and graduate students for their thesis which led to peer-reviewed publications with many of them.
Ernest began his graduate studies at Auburn University in Spring 2020 and joined the Professor Vincent Ortiz’s quantum chemistry group in May 2020. Graduate research works are focused on development and applications of a new generation of electron and polarization propagators for accurate prediction of ionization energies, electron affinities, excitation energies, and associated transition probabilities and Dyson orbitals. Second theme of graduate research is focused on identification of a new generation of exotic molecules with particular focus on multiple Rydberg anions. The new generation of methods will be deployed for spectra assignment, prediction and interpretation of electron binding energies (ionization energies, detachment energies and electron affinities) of DNA and RNA fragments, fullerene anions, metalloporphyrins and other multiply charged molecular ions.
Selected Honors, Grants and Awards
- 2023: Outstanding Doctoral Student, Auburn University, Auburn AL.
- 2023: Dean’s Research Award for PhD Student, Auburn University, Auburn AL.
- 2023: Dow Fellowship, Auburn University, Auburn AL.
- 2019: Postgraduate Research Grant (maiden recipient in chemistry), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.
Development of Molecular Electronic Structure Theory
- Electron propagator theory of molecular electron binding processes
- Polarization propagator theory of molecular excitation processes
- Double electron propagator theory of double-electron binding processes
- Chemical bonding concepts development
- Qualitative theories of molecular structure, spectra, and reactivity
Applications of Molecular Electronic Structure Theory
- Biochemistry: Nucleotides, metalloporphyrins and other molecules of biochemical importance
- Materials Science: Fullerenes, metal-oxide anions and other clusters of interest in materials science research
- Molecular Anions: Multiple Rydberg anions, diffusely-bound, multiply-charged and other anions with unusual electronic structure
- Molecular Clusters: Anions that interact strongly with solvents
Computational Catalysis and Reaction Mechanisms
- The mechanisms of oxidation of olefins with transition metal oxo complexes
- Spin forbidden reactions in transition metal chemistry
- Thermal cycloaddition reactions to produce complex carbocyclic frameworks in a single step
- Mechanistic studies on homogeneous transition metal and base catalyzed reactions
- Water oxidation catalysis
- NHC catalysis
- Photochemistry and excited states
- Mechanistic elucidation of tandem/domino reactions