Dean Johnston

Dean Johnston



Science Building 325

Department of Chemistry

Dean Johnston started at Otterbein in 1995 and teaches courses in General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Cheminformatics, and X-ray Crystallography.

Dean received his undergraduate education at the College of Wooster where he majored in Chemistry. He earned a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at Northwestern University working with Duward Shriver and continued his studies conducting post-doctoral work with H. Holden Thorp at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dean’s primary research interests are in synthetic inorganic chemistry and the photophysical properties of metal cluster systems. His research with undergraduate students has been supported by Research Corporation, the Petroleum Research Fund, and the National Science Foundation. Dean has also received funding to develop online resources for teaching molecular symmetry and to incorporate structural chemistry into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum.


  • Northwestern University, Ph.D., 1993
  • Northwestern University, M.S., 1989
  • The College of Wooster, B.A., 1988

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

  • Synthetic inorganic chemistry
  • X-ray crystallography
  • Photophysical properties of metal cluster systems
  • Molecular symmetry
  • Structural chemistry


  • Structural and Conformational Analysis of 1‐Butyl‐3‐methylimidazolium Nitrate, Johnston, D. H.; Gasbarre, M.; Norris, C. E. Chem. Crystallogr. 2022, 52, 140-151.
  • Crystal structures and hydrogen-bonding analysis of a series of benzamide complexes of zinc(II) chloride, Tinapple, E.; Farrar, S.; Johnston, D. H. Acta Cryst. 2021, E77, 880-886.
  • Bis(2,4-dioxopentan-3-ido-κ2O,O′)dioxidomolybdenum(VI): a redetermination, Johnston, D. H.; King, C.; Seitz, A.; Sethi, M. IUCrData, 2021, 6, x210778.
  • Teaching Cheminformatics through a Collaborative Intercollegiate Online Chemistry Course (OLCC), Kim, S.; Bucholtz, E. C.; Briney, K.; Cornell, A. P.; Cuadros, J.; Fulfer, K. D.; Gupta, T.; Hepler-Smith, E.; Johnston, D. H.; Lang, A. S. I. D.; Larsen, D.; Li, Y.; McEwen, L. R.; Morsch, L. A.; Muzyka, J. L.; Belford, R. E. Chem. Educ. 2021, 98, 416-425.
  • Crystal structures and hydrogen-bonding analysis of a series of solvated ammonium salts of molybdenum(II) chloride clusters, Johnston, D. H.; Agho, I. Acta Cryst. 2019, E75(11), 1705-1711.

Affiliations & Awards

  • Member of the American Chemical Society
  • Member of the American Crystallographic Association