Faculty & Staff

Deon T. Miles

Professor and Chair of Chemistry
A.B., Wabash College; Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Deon T. Miles earned an A.B. in Chemistry from Wabash College and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research projects include the synthesis and characterization of water-soluble, monolayer-protected quantum dots and the modification of these nanoparticles with interesting moieties. He teaches courses in analytical chemistry, general chemistry, and food chemistry.

Miles CV 2018

Deon T. Miles graduated from Wabash College in 1997 with a major in Chemistry and earned his doctoral degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002. Since 2002, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Sewanee, where he is currently a tenured Professor. He teaches the following courses at the University: Instrumental Analysis, General Chemistry, Advanced Topics in Analytical Chemistry, and the Science of Food and Cooking.

Miles Teaching Philosophy

Research Information

The research interests of Professor Miles focuses on the study of monolayer-protected semiconducting and metallic nanoparticles as a precursor to incorporating them into nanoscale sensing devices. The synthesis of these nanoparticles is done using simple protocols under ambient conditions.  Several analytical techniques are used in his research laboratory to characterize these nanoparticles, including:

  • Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) Spectroscopy
  • Photoluminescence (PL) Spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy
  • Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy
  • High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Mass Spectrometry (MS)
  • Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) and Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV)

The key factors that determine if the nanoparticles can be used in potential sensing devices include: (1) desired solubility (H2O or organic solvents), (2) stability under true operating conditions (e.g., temperature, pH), (3) uniform size (monodispersity), and (4) integration into modules of classical instrumentation.

The Miles research group is informally called "MINI", which is an acronym that stands for the Miles Institute of Nanomaterials Investigation.

MINI logo

MINI Group Pictures

MINIs at Scholarship Sewanee 2016

MINI Group Members:

  • Logan M. Brammer (B.S. 2018, graduate student, University of California, Merced)
  • Emily A. Shriner (B.S. 2018)
  • Veronica Gordillo-Herrejon (B.S. 2017, medical student, Auburn University)
  • Ena V. S. R. Aguilar (B.A. 2017)
  • Sonia C. Francone (B.S. 2017, medical student, Georgetown University)
  • William L. F. Wright (B.S. 2016)
  • Fernando E. Acosta (B.A. 2015)
  • Luis R. Tinoco (B.S. 2015; medical student, University of Illinois) 
  • Ava E. Conner (B.S. 2015)
  • Nate D. Barnett (B.S. 2016 [dual degree in engineering], Washington University at St. Louis)
  • Adrienne C. (Borchardt) Smith (B.S. 2012; M.S. 2015 [occupational therapy], Louisiana State University; graduate student [disability studies], University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Elizabeth M. Henry (B.S. 2012; Ph.D. 2016, Georgia Institute of Technology; graduate student [2019 MFA, fine arts], Savannah College of Art and Design) 
  • Laura A. Logan (B.S. 2011)
  • Joseph A. Giesen (B.S. 2010; Ph.D. 2016, Tulane University)
  • April D. (Dale) Looper (B.S. 2010; M.S. 2016 [physician assistant studies], Christian Brothers University)
  • Molly C. Carpenter (B.S. 2009; Ph.D. 2015, Dartmouth College)
  • Jack R. Renehan (B.S. 2009; M.D. 2014, University of Virginia)
  • Corwin A. Miller (B.S. 2008; Ph.D. 2013, Rice University)
  • James W. H. Sonne (B.A. 2007; Ph.D. 2013, University of Kentucky)
  • Tracian A. Meikle (B.S. 2007; M.Sc. 2011 [sociology], University of the West Indies at Mona; graduate student [social science], University of Amsterdam)
  • Stephanie A. (Owens) Morris (B.S. 2007; Ph.D. 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Heather L. (Turbeville) Sharp (B.S. 2007, Univ. of Tennessee; M.S. 2011 [medicine], Trevecca Nazarene Univ.)
  • Melissa A. (Ensor) Freiderich (B.S. 2006; Ph.D. 2011, Washington State University)
  • K. Grace Kennedy (B.S. 2006; Ph.D. [math] 2013, University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Charles A. Odonkor (B.S. 2006; M.D. 2013, Yale University)
  • Cynthia G. Gray (B.S. 2005; M.S. [biology] 2008, Middle Tennessee State University)
  • Kathryn M. (Panzner) Leininger (B.S. 2004; M.D. 2008, The Ohio State University)

Recent Publications‌

  1. Conner, A. E.; Gordillo-Herrejon, V.; Francone, S. C.; Shriner, E. A.; Acosta, F. E.; Barnett, N. D.; Miles, D. T.; “Limiting the growth of water-soluble, monolayer-protected quantum dots International Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 2018, Article ID 3164347, 6 pages. 
  2. Miles, D. T.; Borchardt, A. C. “Laboratory development and lecture renovation for a science of food and cooking courseJ. Chem. Educ. 2013, 91, 1637-1642. 
  3. Miles, D. T. “Run-D.M.C.: A mnemonic aid for explaining mass transfer in electrochemical systems” J. Chem. Educ. 2013, 90, 1649-1653. chemical education book cover
  4. Owens, S. A.; Carpenter, M. C.; Sonne, J. W. H.; Miller, C. A.; Renehan, J. R.; Odonkor, C. A.; Henry, E. M.; Miles, D. T. “Reversed-phase HPLC separation of water-soluble, monolayer-protected quantum dots” J. Phys. Chem. C. 2011, 115, 18952-18957.
  5. Miles, D. T.; Bachman, J. K. “The science of food and cooking: a non-science majors course” J. Chem. Educ. 2009, 86, 311-315.

Personal Interests

My Family
My Faith


Areas of Expertise

Analytical Chemistry, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology