Andrea Munro, Ph.D.

Chair of Chemistry


Andrea Munro

Office Location: Rieke Science Center - 240

  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Director of STEM Education


  • NSF-ACC Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Neal Armstrong, University of Arizona, 2008-2010
  • Ph.D., University of Washington, 2008
  • B.S., University of Washington, 2003

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystal synthesis
  • Colloidal metallic nanoparticle synthesis
  • Ligand exchange studies


Dr. Munro often teaches General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, but has taught courses throughout the chemistry curriculum including:

CHEM 103: Food Chemistry
CHEM 115:  General Chemistry 1
CHEM 116: General Chemistry 2
CHEM 341: Physical Chemistry (kinetics & thermodynamics)
CHEM 342: Physical Chemistry (quantum mechanics)
CHEM 343: Physical Chemistry Lab
CHEM 344: Physical Chemistry Lab
CHEM 410: Introduction to Research
CHEM 420: Instrumental Analysis
CHEM 487: Inorganic Synthesis
CHEM 499: Capstone

NSCI 350: STEM Education Partnership

WRIT 101 – A writing course for students during their first semester at PLU. Dr. Munro taught WRIT 101: Writing and the Scientific Method in Fall 2017 for students in the STEM dorm and WRIT 101: Writing and the Scientific Method in Fall 2021.

Selected Publications

Selected Articles

  • Munro, A. M. "Synthetic Approaches for Growing Zinc Sulfide and Zinc Selenide Colloidal Nanocrystals." Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A Vol. 38, 2020: 020805.
  • Munro, A. M., Chandler, C., Garling, M., Chai, D., Popovich, V., Lystrom, L., Kilina, S. "Phenyldithiocarbamate Ligands Decompose During Nanocrystal Ligand Exchange." Journal of Physical Chemistry C Vol. 120, 2016: 29455-29462.


  • "Inspirational Woman" - PLU Center for Gender Equity 2018
  • Karen Hille Phillips Regency Advancement Award Recipient 2015-2016, Pacific Lutheran University
  • National Science Foundation American Competitiveness in Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellowship 2008-2010
  • Nellie Yeoh Whetton American Vacuum Society Graduate Student Award 2007


Dr. Andrea Munro conducts scientific research with a team of undergraduate students. We investigate colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals. Our group examines the effect of surface chemistry on nanocrystal properties. We also conduct studies to better understand the chemistry that determines the final nanocrystal shape and crystal structure of a batch of colloidal nanocrystals. Students in the Munro Lab synthesize semiconductor nanocrystals using air-free techniques. We use XRD, TEM, and ICP-MS to characterize nanocrystal composition, shape, and structure. Student researchers exchange the native ligands on the nanocrystal surface with novel molecules and characterize the effects of ligand exchange using UV/vis absorbance, photoluminescence, FTIR, and NMR spectroscopy. Read more about Dr. Munro’s research on her research group webpage.

Dr. Munro developed a new course CHEM 103: Food Chemistry, a lab-based chemistry course designed to introduce students to the scientific method and quantitative analysis. The course was designed for students who are not majoring in the sciences.

Dr. Munro is currently a co-PI on the NSF-funded project, “Pathways to Culturally Sustaining STEM Teaching” designed to encourage talented STEM students to pursue K-12 STEM teaching. This project is part of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.