Laura P. Ford

Laura Ford

Associate ProfessorKeplinger Hall 311

My research is on the dry etching of metals using beta-diketones. We are studying the kinetics of this etching reaction under low vacuum conditions in a glass flow reactor. The effects of oxidant, ß-diketone, relative proportions of oxidant and ß-diketone, temperature, total pressure, and surface treatment will be studied on both metals and metal alloys. Right now we are studying the fine-tuning of the copper content in copper indium diselenide, which is a photovoltaic material. We also investigate the surface chemistry of ß-diketone metal etching under ultra-high vacuum conditions. Ultra-high vacuum conditions allow us to control the environment of the metal and to look carefully at the reactants and their formation temperatures. The effects of surface, oxidant, ß-diketone, relative proportions of oxidant and ß-diketone, and temperature can also be studied in ultra-high vacuum. Our current study metal is copper.

Education and Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 1993

Areas of Research Focus

  • Surface Science
  • Ultra-high Vacuum

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Society for Engineering Education
Engineers Without Borders

Courses Taught at TU

  • Chemical Engineering Lab I (CHE 4003)
  • Chemical Engineering Lab II (CHE 4013)
  • Introduction to Fluid Mechanics (ES 3003)


  • Laura P. Ford and Christi L. Patton, "A Chemical Engineering Competition for Middle and High School Students", Proceedings of the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Oct. 30 – Nov. 4, 2005, Cincinnati, OH.

  • Laura P. Ford and Christi L. Patton, "Attracting High School Students to Engineering by Adapting a National Collegiate Competition", Proceedings of the 2004 American Society of Engineering Education Midwest Section Conference, September 29 – October 1, 2004, Pittsburg, KS,, posted Sept. 3, 2004.

  • Christi L. Patton and Laura P. Ford, "Chemically Powered Toy Cars: A Way to Interest High School Students in a Chemical Engineering Career", Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, June 22-25, 2003, Nashville, TN.

  • Aditya Moralwar, Kerry L. Sublette, Laura P. Ford, Kathleen Duncan, Greg Thoma, and Josh Brokaw, "Remediation of a Spill of Crude Oil and Brine Without Gypsum", Environmental Geosciences 12 (2005) 115 - 125.

  • Chintan Mehta, Aditya Moralwar, Kerry Sublette, Laura Ford, Kathleen Duncan, Joshua Brokaw, Tim Todd, and Greg Thoma, "Soil Ecosystem Recovery Following Managed and Unmanaged Bioremediation of a Terrestrial Crude Oil Spill", Proceedings of the XIVth International Colloquium on Soil Zoology and Ecology, August 30 – September 3, 2004, Université de Rouen, Mont Saint Aignan, France.

  • L. P. Ford, "Water Day: An Experiential Lecture for Fluid Mechanics", Chemical Engineering Education 37 (2003) 170 - 173.