Hiram College
James Kercher, Ph.D. Photo

James Kercher, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Chair

Jim Kercher is an avid hiker, climber and camper. He enjoys spending time outside in the garden, on the trails and in the woods. He has 2 children, 8 and 4, and a lovely wife of almost 14 years. They also have a 13 year old shephard and a rabbit. At any time, one is chasing the other, though he never knows which is which.

Jim loves chemistry, teaching, and research at Hiram College. It is one of the few places where he can interact with students over their careers in many ways.


  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, UNC -Chapel Hill
  • M.A., Physical Chemistry, UNC – Chapel Hill
  • B.S., Chemistry, Gettysburg College

Research Interests

Our group is interested in the unimolecular dissociation dynamics of energy-selected gas phase ions. Reaction dynamics are probed through the technique of threshold photoelectron photoion spectroscopy (TPEPICO) in which ions are prepared with selected internal energies and dissociation products are recorded using a custom built time-of-flight mass spectrometer.

Selected Publications

  • [1] Nicholas Shuman, James P. Kercher, and Tomas Baer. Modeling The Dissociation Dynamics of Energy-Selected Neopentylamine Ions: Heats of Formation of Neopentylamine and Neopentyl Alcohol Int. J. Mass Spec. 2008, 278, 26-31.
  • [2] James P. Kercher, Will Stevens, Zsolt Gengelizcki, and Tomas Baer. Modeling Unimolecular Dissociations from a Temperature Controlled TPEPICO Study on 1-C4H9I+ Ions. Int. J. Mass Spec. 2007, 267(1-3) 159-166.
  • [3] James P. Kercher, Zsolt Gengeliczki, Bálint Sztáray, and Tomas Baer. Dissociation Dynamics of Sequential Ionic Reactions: Heats of Formation of Tri-, Di-, and Monoethyl Phosphine Ions. J. Phys. Chem. A, 2007, 111(1), 16-26.
  • [4] Felipe D. Lopez-Hilfiker, Kevin Constantin, James P. Kercher, and Joel Thornton. Temperature-Dependent Halogen Activation by N2O5 reaction on Halide-Doped Ice Surfaces. Atm. Chem. Phys. Dis., 2012,(12), 6085-6112.
  • [5] Joel A. Thornton, James P. Kercher, Theran P. Reidel, Nicholas L. Wagner, Julie Cozic, John S. Holloway, Willian P. Dube, Glenn M. Wolfe, Patricia K. Quinn, Ann M. Middlebrook, Becky Alexander, Steven S. Brown. A large atomic chlorine source inferred from mid-continental reactive nitrogen chemistry. Nature, 2010, 464, 271.
  • [6] James P. Kercher, Theran P. Reidel, and Joel A. Thornton. Chlorine Activation by N2O5: Simultaneous, In Situ Detection of ClNO2 and N2O5 by Chemical Ionizaiton Mass Spectrometry.Atmos. Meas.Tech.,2009, 2, 1-12.

Fun Facts

  • I have been married for 13 years and my family consists of my daughter Lillian (9), son Ben (5), Ellie our shepard (13) and Nimbus the Rabbit (3-4). At some point one is chasing the other and my wife Kristin and I never know who is chasing who.
  • I like to hike, bike, climb, and camp. Nothing is better than sitting around a fire.