Chemistry Events

Upcoming Events

Douglas A. Reed, Ph.D.

Douglas A. Reed, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher
Columbia University
Host: Professor Nicholas Race

Abstract

Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Materials with Emergent Properties

Hybrid materials composed of both organic and inorganic components allow for precise synthesis of extended materials. In this talk, I will show how the tools of inorganic and organic chemistry can be leveraged to create highly specific electronic, structural, or guest responsive characteristics, producing materials with unprecedented functions.

The first part of my talk will focus on porous metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) for gas separation applications. These designer adsorbents could greatly reduce energy costs of current industrial separations and facilitate many emerging technologies. New frameworks are described that contain electron-donating metal sites, currently a rare feature in MOFs, which enable many new separations involving π-acidic gases through novel gas binding mechanisms. Furthermore, selective gas binding to specifically positioned, electronically interacting metal centers is demonstrated to induce framework structural changes that result in even greater energy efficiencies for separations than seen in rigid materials, moving beyond the thermodynamic limitations of classical adsorbents.

In the second part of the talk, I will discuss the use of atomically defined metal-chalcogenide clusters in single-molecule electronics applications. By precisely positioning surface organic ligands or tuning the composition of the cluster core, single-cluster junctions can be fabricated that display exciting properties like nonlinear current-voltage characteristics and directional charge transport. Due to the atomic precision of our materials, these features are highly reproducible across thousands of devices, substantially improving upon traditional nanocrystal-based junctions. The ability to accurately control junction features by modifying the electronic and structural properties of these clusters paves the way for utilization of these inorganic-based junctions in nanoscale electronics.

Douglas A. Reed, Ph.D.

Douglas A. Reed, Ph.D., is an academic research scientist designing new materials for applications in environmental solutions or nanotechnology. As a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University, he is studying superatomic clusters and two-dimensional materials. He earned his Artium Baccalaureus in chemistry and physics from Harvard University where he worked on multinuclear metal clusters, and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, studying metal-organic frameworks for gas separations.

Ivan Moreno-Hernandez, Ph.D.

Ivan Moreno-Hernandez, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar
University of California, Berkeley
Host: Professor Lee Penn

Abstract

Advancing Sustainability through Electrocatalyst Discovery and Time-Resolved Nanoscale Structural Observations

Sustainable energy practices require electrochemical materials to couple renewable energy sources with our chemical and energy industries. This talk will focus on advancements in both the discovery of new electrochemical materials with improved performance and the development of new techniques to observe electrochemical reaction dynamics. We will first discuss the discovery of an earth-abundant class of electrocatalysts that are thermodynamically stable for the oxygen evolution and chlorine evolution reactions in acidic electrolytes. Our discussion will then focus on the development of electrochemical graphene liquid cell electron microscopy, a technique that allows electrochemical reactions to be observed at near-atomic resolution in real time.

Ivan Moreno-Hernandez, Ph.D.

Ivan Moreno-Hernandez, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. He hopes to use his knowledge of chemistry and physics to understand the fundamental principles that govern limiting factors in photoelectrochemical development, in order to optimize materials for solar-energy conversion.

Gwendolyn A. Bailey, Ph.D.

Gwendolyn "Gwen" A. Bailey, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Chemistry
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Host: Ian Tonks

Abstract

Inside the Catalytic Cycle: Understanding Mechanism and Deactivation in Important C–C Bond-Forming Reactions

To meet the world’s growing demand for chemicals and fuels, design of more efficient and sustainable catalysts is needed. Central to all catalyst design efforts, however, is an underlying knowledge of how catalysts behave: how they bind, transform, and turnover substrates, and (just as importantly) how they decompose. For example, Ru-catalyzed olefin metathesis has emerged as an exceptionally powerful C–C bond forming technology for the synthesis of important pharmaceuticals, including the blockbuster hepatitis-C virus inhibitor Simeprevir. However, catalyst deactivation plagues widespread uptake in industry, with attendant issues of low product yield, challenging purification, and swollen costs. The first part of this seminar will illustrate how pinpointing deactivation processes in Ru-catalyzed olefin metathesis can lead to informed process and catalyst redesign. In the second part, the C–C coupling reactivity and electronic properties of some rare and unprecedented examples of terminal carbide complexes will be examined. While posited as key intermediates in important industrial processes including the Fischer Tropsch conversion of synthesis gas (CO and H2) into long-chain hydrocarbons, terminal carbides have remained elusive in molecular form and hence have evaded detailed examination. Understanding the reactivity of these complexes can therefore inform on potential mechanisms in the industrial catalysts, as well as inspire de novo catalyst design. The first open-shell examples of these complexes will be presented, along with in-depth experimental and computational studies that shed light on electron delocalization and its consequences for reactivity.

Gwendolyn "Gwen" A. Bailey, Ph.D.

Gwendolyn "Gwen" A. Bailey, Ph.D.,  is a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council/Resnick Sustainability Institute Postdoctoral Fellow in synthetic inorganic chemistry at Caltech. She earned her doctorate from the University of Ottawa, and her Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia. Her research experience encompasses inorganic synthetic and catalytic methodologies; rigorous glovebox and schlenk techniques; and advanced inorganic characterization techniques, including multidimensional Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy, single-crystal X-ray diffraction, Ultraviolet-visible Spectroscopy, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and infrared spectroscopy. At Caltech, Bailey's research focused on new ways to activate carbon dioxide (CO2) using mixed-metal complexes. 

Professor Joanna Atkin

Professor Joanna Atkin
Department of Chemistry
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Host: Professor Renee Frontiera

Abstract

Near-field optical spectroscopy for the study of semiconducting nanostructures

Semiconducting nanostructures have been proposed as material platforms for a wide variety of photonic, electronic, and photovoltaic elements. In order to realize these applications, careful design and characterization of electronic properties such as dopant concentration, activation, and distribution are needed. I will discuss the use of near-field optical microscopy as a non-destructive method for chemical, structural, and electronic imaging in nanomaterials. Near-field optical techniques break the diffraction limit to access nanometer scale information through the lightning-rod properties of an illuminated atomic force microscope tip. Many nanoscale optical spectroscopies can be realized using this approach, but signal interpretation is often challenging due to convolutional effects between the tip and sample. I will discuss experimental and theoretical considerations in quantitative near-field optical microscopy in general, and then focus on two applications that illustrate the importance of understanding near-field interactions. In the first example, we use infrared near-field spectroscopy to resolve free-carriers in axially-doped silicon nanowires (SiNWs). We can detect local changes in the electrically-active doping concentration from the free-carrier absorption in both n-type and p-type doped SiNWs. The high spatial resolution (< 20 nm) allows us to directly measure dopant transition abruptness and charge carrier properties in the vicinity of interfaces in single and multi-junction SiNWs. In the second example, we use nano-Raman spectroscopy to study functionalized graphene, a derivative of graphene engineered to open a finite band gap. The high degree of chemical and physical disorder in these types of systems can be resolved with near-field spectroscopy, demonstrating its utility in understanding how local properties of nanomaterials affect functionality in optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices.

Research

Researchers in Professor Atkin's group develop and use techniques based on atomic-force microscopy (AFM) combined with optical spectroscopy to understand how nanoscale structure underpins functionality in molecular and inorganic semiconductors, solar cells, and biological systems. They take advantage of the “optical antenna” properties of the AFM tip to concentrate and locally enhance light, and use simulation tools to study how improve the light-matter interaction to increase spatial resolution, improve sensitivity, and explore new types of materials.

Professor Atkin

Professor Atkin obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. She completed her doctorate at Columbia University in New York, and went on to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington and the University of Colorado, Boulder. She joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015.

Professor Ashleigh Theberge

Professor Ashleigh Theberge
Department of Chemistry
University of Washington
Host: Professor Christy Haynes

Abstract

Studying cell signaling in complex environments using open microfluidics

Small molecule and protein signals provide a rich vocabulary for cellular communication. To better understand signaling processes in both normal and disease states, we have developed new open microfluidic platforms that accommodate the culture of multiple cell types in microfabricated compartments while allowing soluble factor signaling between cell types. Our microscale culture systems allow a 10- to 500-fold reduction in volume compared to conventional assays, enabling experiments with limited cells from patient samples. Furthermore, our devices are open, pipette accessible, interface with high resolution microscopy, and can be manufactured at scale by injection molding, increasing translation to collaborators in biological and clinical labs without chemistry and engineering expertise. This talk will also highlight our use of open microfluidic principles to develop novel strategies for hydrogel 3D printing, with applications in biology and materials science. Finally, I will share a system we have recently developed for at-home blood sampling and transcriptomics, with relevance to conducting human subjects research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Theberge

Ashleigh Theberge is assistant professor of chemistry and adjunct assistant professor of urology at the University of Washington. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. Her group develops microscale culture and analysis methods to study cell-cell, cell-extracellular matrix, and host-microbe interactions. She is also developing new methods for 3D printing and at home blood sampling/transcriptomics.

Selected awards include a National Institutes of Health (NIH) K Career Development Award (2014), Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge Award grant (2017), NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for Early Stage Investigators (2018), Beckman Young Investigator Award (2018), and Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (2019). She was elected co-chair for the Gordon Research Conference on Microfluidics in 2021.

Professor Richmond Sarpong

Professor Richmond Sarpong
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Host: Professor Thomas Hoye

Abstract

A Life Shaped by Diseases and Medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa

Richmond Sarpong is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where he and his group specialize in synthetic organic chemistry. In this lecture, Sarpong will describe the cultural, environmental, and personal influences of mentors that led him to a career as a faculty member in the chemical sciences. He became interested in chemistry after seeing, firsthand, the effectiveness of the drug Ivermectin in combating river blindness during his childhood in Ghana, West Africa. He described his influences and inspirations in a TEDxBerkeley talk in 2015, Face of Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Sarpong

At Berkeley, Professor Sarpong’s laboratory focuses on the synthesis of bioactive complex organic molecules, with a particular focus on secondary metabolites that come from marine or terrestrial flora and fauna. These natural products continue to serve as the inspiration for new medicines. It is Sarpong’s hope that through the work in his laboratory, he and his coworkers will uncover methods and strategies for synthesis that may contribute to more efficient ways to prepare bioactive compounds that may inspire new medicines.

Professor Sarpong completed his undergraduate studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and carried out undergraduate studies with Professor Rebecca Hoye. He earned his doctorate from Princeton, which was followed by post-doctoral studies at Caltech.

Jeannette Brown Lectureship

Alumna Jeannette Brown’s pioneering legacy includes being a talented chemist in the pharmaceutical industry for 25 years, author, historian, and tireless leader and advocate for the inclusion and advancement of African American women in chemistry-related professional pursuits and careers. Brown is the first African American to receive a degree from the Department of Chemistry's graduate program, earning her master's degree in 1958. She is a former faculty associate in the department of Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. For 25 years, she worked as a research chemist at Merck. She is the author of two books, "African American Women Chemists" and "African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era." She is a Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section) Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation (2004), and is a member of the first class of American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows (2009). For her distinguished service to professionalism, she received the Henry Hill Award from the ACS Division of Professional Relations in 2020. For her work as a mentor to minority students and science education advocacy, she was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame in 1991; was honored by the University of Minnesota with an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2005; and received the ACS national award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences in 2005.

Professor Richmond Sarpong

Professor Richmond Sarpong
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Host: Professor Thomas Hoye

Abstract

Break-it-to-Make-it Strategies for Chemical Synthesis Inspired by Complex Natural Products

Natural products continue to inspire and serve as the basis of new medicines. They also provide intricate problems that expose limitations in the strategies and methods employed in chemical synthesis. Several strategies and methods that have been developed in our laboratory and applied to the syntheses of architecturally complex diterpenoid alkaloids, indole alkaloids, and several Lycopodium alkaloids, will be discussed. In addition, new ways to employ C–C bond cleavage in synthesis will be presented (i.e., break-it-to-make-it strategies).

Sarpong Seminar Chemical Synthesis Inspired by Complex Natural Products

Professor Sarpong

Richmond Sarpong is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where he and his group specializes in synthetic organic chemistry. He became interested in chemistry after seeing, firsthand, the effectiveness of the drug ivermectin in combating river blindness during his childhood in Ghana, West Africa. He described his influences and inspirations in a TEDxBerkeley talk in 2015 (Face of Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa). Professor Sarpong completed his undergraduate studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, with Professor Rebecca C. Hoye and his graduate work was carried out at Princeton. He conducted postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology.

At Berkeley, Professor Sarpong’s laboratory focuses on the synthesis of bioactive complex organic molecules, with a particular focus on secondary metabolites that come from marine or terrestrial flora and fauna. These natural products continue to serve as the inspiration for new medicines. It is Sarpong’s hope that through the work in his laboratory, he and his coworkers will uncover methods and strategies for synthesis that may contribute to more efficient ways to prepare bioactive compounds that may inspire new medicines.

Jeannette Brown Lectureship

Alumna Jeannette Brown’s pioneering legacy includes being a talented chemist in the pharmaceutical industry for 25 years, author, historian, and tireless leader and advocate for the inclusion and advancement of African American women in chemistry-related professional pursuits and careers. Brown is the first African American to receive a degree from the Department of Chemistry's graduate program, earning her master's degree in 1958. She is a former faculty associate in the department of Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. For 25 years, she worked as a research chemist at Merck. She is the author of two books, "African American Women Chemists" and "African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era." She is a Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section) Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation (2004), and is a member of the first class of American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows (2009). For her distinguished service to professionalism, she received the Henry Hill Award from the ACS Division of Professional Relations in 2020. For her work as a mentor to minority students and science education advocacy, she was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame in 1991; was honored by the University of Minnesota with an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2005; and received the ACS national award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences in 2005.

Professor Timothy Swager

Kolthoff Lecture #1
Professor Timothy Swager
Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer

Abstract

Functional Materials from Bicyclic Bridged Building Blocks

The ability of triptycene and related structures to produce materials with unusual properties is simply remarkable. Beyond their initial utility in preventing self-quenching in emissive semiconducting polymers for chemical sensors, we have found that they can guide and enhance alignment to liquid crystals, produce high modulus low dielectric constant materials, functional as gas permeable materials, simultaneously give dramatic increases in strength and ductility of polymers, and provide for novel electronic interactions. In this lecture, I will detail our recent triptycene polymer efforts including:  (1) post-polymerization functionalization to give materials with high proton and anion conductivities; (2) scalable mechanochemical synthesis of materials that behave as chemical sponges for aromatic molecules; (3) polymerization of shape persistent iptycene macromonomers to produce high free volume materials; (4) the use of high free volume to create high performance gas separation membranes; (5) iptycene materials as stabilizing hosts for catalytic nanoparticles; and (6) polymers and molecules with electronically active elements that communicate by homo-conjugation to give thermally activated delayed fluorescence.

Professor Timothy Swager bicyclic bridge building blocks

Research

Professor Timothy Swager's research is at the interface of chemistry and materials science, with specific interests in carbon nanomaterials, polymers, and liquid crystals. Reseachers in his group are interested in a spectrum of topics with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Molecular recognition pervades a great deal of their research. Chemosensors require recognition elements to discriminate chemical signals. Electronic polymers are one of the areas that the Swager group is well known for having made many innovations. They are constantly developing new electronic structures, properties, and uses for these materials. Recently, Swager's group launched an effort to create functionalized carbon nanotubes and graphenes. Researchers have advanced new chemical methods for their functionalization and utilization in electrocatalysis and chemical and radiation sensing. In the area of liquid crystals, they make use of molecular complimentarity and receptor-ligand interactions to provide novel organizations.

Professor Swager

Professor Swager joined the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, holding the title of John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry. He is also director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Montana State University, and his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. Before joining the faculty at MIT, he was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Timothy Swager

Kolthoff Lecture #2
Professor Timothy Swager
Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer

Abstract

Translating Chemical Reactions and Catalysis to Nano-Electronic Sensors

This lecture will detail the creation of ultrasensitive sensors based on chemiresistive mechanisms with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). A central concept that a single nano- or molecular-wire spanning between two electrodes would create an exceptional sensor if binding of a molecule of interest to it would block all electronic transport. Nanowire networks of CNTs provide for a practical approximation to the single nanowire scheme. These methods include abrasion deposition and selectivity is generated by covalent and/or non-covalent binding selectors/receptors to the carbon nanotubes. Sensors for a variety of materials and cross-reactive sensor arrays will be described. A current limitation to most, it not all sensors, is chemical selectivity. Synthetic receptors can give some selectivity and when they have 3D structures can be highly specific for recognition of a molecule. However, translating complex molecular constructions into strong readable sensory signals is challenging. I will give multiple examples of how established chemical reactions that occur in solution can be used to create highly specific and sensitive sensors. There is a vast opportunity in translating the products of synthetic and catalytic chemistry into selective chemiresistive sensors. I will highlight the utility of CNT-based gas sensors for the detection of alkenes and other gases relevant to agricultural and food production/storage/transportation are being specifically targeted and can be used to create systems that increase production, manage inventories, and minimize losses.

Professor Timothy Swager's nano-electronic sensors

Research

Professor Timothy Swager's research is at the interface of chemistry and materials science, with specific interests in carbon nanomaterials, polymers, and liquid crystals. Reseachers in his group are interested in a spectrum of topics with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Molecular recognition pervades a great deal of their research. Chemosensors require recognition elements to discriminate chemical signals. Electronic polymers are one of the areas that the Swager group is well known for having made many innovations. They are constantly developing new electronic structures, properties, and uses for these materials. Recently, Swager's group launched an effort to create functionalized carbon nanotubes and graphenes. Researchers have advanced new chemical methods for their functionalization and utilization in electrocatalysis and chemical and radiation sensing. In the area of liquid crystals, they make use of molecular complimentarity and receptor-ligand interactions to provide novel organizations.

Professor Swager

Professor Swager joined the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, holding the title of John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry. He is also director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Montana State University, and his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. Before joining the faculty at MIT, he was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Timothy Swager

Kolthoff Lecture #3
Professor Timothy Swager
Department of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer

Abstract

Chemistry of Dynamic Liquid-Liquid Interfaces

This lecture will focus on the design of systems wherein reconfiguration of complex liquid emulsions (droplets) can be triggered chemically or biochemically. The utility of these methods is to generate new transduction mechanisms by which chemical and biological sensors can be developed. Complex liquid droplets behave as optical lens systems and small changes in surface tensions can change focal lengths or cause systems to switch between optically transmissive or scattering states. Central to this scheme is that the fluids in the droplets have different densities and hence are aligned by the earth’s gravity. The induced optical changes can be triggered with chemical, photochemical, or biochemical stimuli and thereby create new generations of sensors. Demonstrations of these methods for the detection of enzyme concentrations, pathogens, and antibodies will be presented. Droplets containing birefringent liquid crystals (LCs), including chiral nematic phases, have been prepared and designer surfactants cause either planar of vertical anchoring at the water-liquid crystal interface. The liquid crystals can be used for precise positioning of  magnetic particles and biomolecular elements. Magnetic particles can be used to create novel optical functions, including steering of light and selective reflection, which will be detailed.   

LC droplets with complex internal arrangements

Research

Professor Timothy Swager's research is at the interface of chemistry and materials science, with specific interests in carbon nanomaterials, polymers, and liquid crystals. Reseachers in his group are interested in a spectrum of topics with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Molecular recognition pervades a great deal of their research. Chemosensors require recognition elements to discriminate chemical signals. Electronic polymers are one of the areas that the Swager group is well known for having made many innovations. They are constantly developing new electronic structures, properties, and uses for these materials. Recently, Swager's group launched an effort to create functionalized carbon nanotubes and graphenes. Researchers have advanced new chemical methods for their functionalization and utilization in electrocatalysis and chemical and radiation sensing. In the area of liquid crystals, they make use of molecular complimentarity and receptor-ligand interactions to provide novel organizations.

Professor Swager

Professor Swager joined the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, holding the title of John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry. He is also director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Montana State University, and his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. Before joining the faculty at MIT, he was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.