Department of Chemistry

Christa L. Brosseau

‌Associate Professor

BSc Honours (Dalhousie University) 2001
MSc (Acadia University) 2003
PhD (University of Guelph) 2007
Postdoctoral Fellowship (Northwestern University) 2007-2009

Contact: Christa Brosseau

Biographical Sketch

Christa was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and received a BSc degree in chemistry from Dalhousie University. Her MSc degree was completed in 2003 under the supervision of Prof. Sharon Roscoe at Acadia University, where she studied the adsorption of proteins on metallic surfaces using electrochemical methods. In 2007 she completed a PhD at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Prof. Jacek Lipkowski on a project which involved using electrochemistry and infrared spectroscopy to probe the interaction of cholera toxin with a model biological membrane supported on an electrode surface. In 2007 Christa moved to Evanston, Illinois to take up an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University under the supervision of Prof. Richard P. Van Duyne, a project which, in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago, used surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to analyze colorants in historical textiles and paintings. In 2009 Christa joined the Chemistry department at Saint Mary's University as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014.

Research Interests

Research is focused on a better understanding of the fundamentals and applications of nanoscale materials. Specific topics of interest include interfacial electrochemistry, plasmonics, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, sustainable nanotechnology and biosensors.


2013 – Emerging Professional Award (Discovery Award, Discovery Centre)

2010 – Saint Mary’s University Student’s Association Faculty of Science Excellent in Teaching Award


26. "Development of an Electrochemical Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (EC-SERS) Aptasensor for Direct Detection of DNA Hybridization" R. Karaballi, A. Nel, S. Krishnan, J. Blackburn, C.L. Brosseau. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2015, 17, 21356-21363. Invited special issue contribution on Surface-Enhanced Spectroscopies.

25. “Quantitative Detection of Uric Acid by Electrochemical-Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (EC-SERS) Using a Multilayered Au/Ag Substrate” L. Zhao, J. Blackburn, C.L. Brosseau. Analytical Chemistry, 2015, 87(1), p.441. Featured in C&E News online:

24. “The development of “Fab-Chips” as low-cost, sensitive surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates for prospective disease diagnosis”  A. M. Robinson, L. Zhao, M. Yasmin, P. Bhandari, S.G. Harroun, D. Dendukuri, J. Blackburn, C.L. Brosseau. Analyst, 2015, 140(3), p.779. Featured as a highlight in Canadian Chemical News, July/Aug 2015. Received national attention through CBC/CTV broadcasts.

23. “A Simple Complex on the Verge of Breakdown: Isolation of the Elusive Cyanoformate Ion.” L.J. Murphy, K.N. Robertson, S.G. Harroun, C.L. Brosseau, U. Werner-Zwanziger, J. Moilanen, H.M. Tuononen, J.A. Clyburne. Science, 2014, 344(6179), p.75

22. “Electrochemical Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (E-SERS) of Novel Biodegradable Ionic Liquids” S.G Harroun, T.J. Abraham, C. Prudhoe,  Y. Zhang, P.J. Scammells, C.L. Brosseau, C.C. Pye, R.D. Singer. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15(44), p.19205

21. “Electrochemical SERS Study of a Biomimetic Membrane Supported at a Nanocavity Patterned Ag Electrode” M. Vezvaie, C.L. Brosseau, J. Lipkowski. Electrochemica Acta, 2013, 110, p.120.

20. “Electrochemical and PM-IRRAS Characterization of Cholera Toxin Binding at a Model Biological Membrane” J. J. Leitch, C.L. Brosseau, S.G. Roscoe, K. Bessonov, J.R. Dutcher, J. Lipkowski, Langmuir, 2013, 29, 965.

19. “Electrochemical-Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (E-SERS) of uric acid: A Potential Rapid Diagnostic Method for Early Preeclampsia Detection” B.L. Goodall, A.M. Robinson, C.L. Brosseau, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2013, 15, p.1382.

18. “Use of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Studying Fouling on Nanofiltration Membrane” R. Lamsal, S.G. Harroun, C.L. Brosseau, G.A. Gagnon, Separation and Purification Technology, 2012, 96, p.7.

17. “A Portable Electrochemical SERS system for Routine Spectroelectrochemical Analysis” A. Robinson, S. Harroun, J. Bergman, C.L. Brosseau. Analytical Chemistry, 2012, 84, p.1760.

16. “Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of House Paint and Wallpaper Samples from an 18th Century Historic Property”. S.G. Harroun, J. Bergman, E. Jablonski, C.L. Brosseau, Analyst, 2011, 136(17), p.3453 Invited contribution for special issue featuring “Emerging Investigators”

15. “Revealing the Invisible – Using Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy to Identify Minute Remnants of Color in Winslow Homer’s Colorless Skies.”  C. L Brosseau, F. Casadio, V.P. Van Duyne, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, DOI 10.1002/jrs.2877

14. “Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy of b-Thioglucose adsorbed on Nano-structured silver electrodes” M. Vezvaie, C.L. Brosseau, J.D. Goddard, J. Lipkowski, Chemphyschem, 2010, 11(7) p. 1460.

13. “Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy of dyes: from single molecules to the artists’ canvas.” K. L. Wustholz, C.L. Brosseau, F. Casadio, R.P Van Duyne. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2009, DOI: 10.1039/b904733f.

12. “Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy: A Direct Method to Identify Colorants in Various Artist Media” C.L. Brosseau, K.   Rayner, F. Casadio, C.M Grzywacz, R.P Van Duyne. Analytical Chemistry, 2009, 81(17) p.7443.

11. “Ad-Hoc SERS Methodologies for the Detection of Artist Dyestuffs:Thin Layer Chromatography – Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TLC-SERS) and In Situ On the Fiber Analysis” C.L. Brosseau, A. Gambardella, F. Casadio, C.M. Grzywacz, J. Wouters, R.P. Van Duyne. Analytical Chemistry, 2009, 81(8), p. 3056.

10.“AFM Studies of the Effect of Temperature and Electric Field on the Structure of a DMPC-Cholesterol Bilayer Supported on a Au(111) Electrode Surface” M. Chen, M. Li, C.L. Brosseau, J. Lipkowski, Langmuir, 2009, 25(2), 1028.

9.“Electrochemical and PM-IRRAS Studies of a Glycolipid Containing Biomimetic Membrane Prepared using Langmuir Blodgett / Langmuir Schaefer Deposition”  C.L Brosseau, J. Leitch, X. Bin, M. Chen, S.G. Roscoe, J. Lipkowski, Langmuir, 2008, 24(22), p. 13058.

8. “AFM Studies of Solid-Supported Lipid Bilayers formed at a Au(111) Electrode Surface Using Vesicle Fusion and a Combination of Langmuir-Blodgett and Langmuir-Schaefer Techniques” M. Li, M. Chen, E. Sheepwash, C. L. Brosseau, H-Q Li, B. Pettinger, H. Gruler, J. Lipkowski, Langmuir, 2008, 24(18), p. 10313.

7.“In Situ STM Study of Field Driven Transitions in the Film of a Cationic Surfactant Adsorbed on a Au(111) Electrode Surface” S. Sek, C.L. Brosseau, M. Chen, J. Lipkowski, Langmuir (COVER), 2007, 23, p.12529.

6.“Electrochemical and PM-IRRAS Characterization of DMPC/Cholesterol Bilayers Prepared Using Langmuir-Blodgett / Langmuir-Schaefer Deposition” C.L. Brosseau, X. Bin, S.G. Roscoe, J. Lipkowski, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 2008, 621, p. 222.

5.“Adsorption of N-Decyl-N,N,N-Trimethyl Ammonium Triflate (DeTATf), A Model Cationic Surfactant, on the Au(111) Surface” C.L. Brosseau, E. Sheepwash, I. Burgess, E. Cholewa, J. Lipkowski, S.G. Roscoe, Langmuir, 2007, 23, p. 1784.

4.“Layer by layer Characterization of DMPC Bilayers Deposited on a Au(111) Electrode Surface by PM-IRRAS” N. Garcia-Araez, C.L. Brosseau, P. Rodriguez, J. Lipkowski.  Langmuir, 2006, 22(25), p. 10365.

3.“Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Nanobalance and ChronocoulometryStudies of Phenylalanine Adsorption on Au” C.L. Brosseau and S.G. Roscoe, Electrochimica Acta, 2006, 51(11), p. 2145

2.“Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Nanobalance (EQCN) Studies of the Adsorption Behaviour of an Enzyme, Mandelate Racemase, and its Substrate, Mandelic acid on Pt” C.L. Brosseau and S.G. Roscoe, Electrochimica Acta, 2005, 50(6), p. 1289.

1.“L-Phenylalanine Adsorption on Pt: Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and Quartz Crystal Nanobalance Studies” J.E.I Wright, K. Fatih, C.L. Brosseau, S. Omanovic, and S.G. Roscoe, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 2003, 550, p. 41