Areas of research emphasis include computational catalysis, fluorine chemistry, computational thermochemistry and kinetics, relativistic effects in quantum chemistry for actinide chemistry, prediction of NMR chemical shifts especially for fluorinated materials, solid state chemistry, aqueous metal ion chemistry with a focus on geochemical applications, the design of new separation materials including force field development, and new developments in density functional theory.
Other areas of interest include simulations of polymers and of novel chemical systems, especially main group and organic compounds containing
fluorine. He has applied computational methods to solve environmental problems, specifically those facing the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons production complex.
The main techniques used by Dr. Dixon are those from electronic structure theory. He uses numerical simulation to obtain quantitative results for molecular systems of interest to experimental chemists and engineers with specific emphasis on materials and production processes. He is the world leader in computational aspects of fluorine chemistry with a broad range of studies on organic, inorganic and polymer systems. A major interest is the appropriate use of large scale computing systems and the appropriate choice of computational methods. For example, Dr. Dixon was one of the first to apply computational functional theory to solve chemical problems.