Doreen Geller Leopold

portrait of Professor Doreen Leopold

Doreen Geller Leopold

Associate Professor, Distinguished University Teaching Professor, Department of Chemistry


Smith Hall
Room 211
207 Pleasant Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


B.A. Philosophy, Cornell University, 1972

B.S. Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1978

Ph.D. Harvard University, 1983 (Professor Veronica Vaida)

Post Doctorate Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), University of Colorado, 1984-1986 (Professor Carl Lineberger)

Research Interests

Chemical Physics

Experimental Physical Chemistry

We use anion photoelectron spectroscopy and flow tube ion-molecule chemistry to study the gas phase structures and reactivities of metals and metal-ligand complexes. The electron affinities, electronic state energies and vibrational frequencies measured in these experiments provide insight into the chemical bonding and energetics of the neutral and negatively charged metal dimers, clusters and organometallic complexes. We use density functional theory to calculate the structures, vibrational properties and energies of different spin states and isomers to aid in spectroscopic assignments. The photoelectron data can provide benchmarks for computational studies, and can contribute to an improved understanding of the evolution of metallic properties with increasing particle size and the chemical reactivities of metal catalysts.

Minnesota Anion Photoelectron Spectrometer
flowing afterglow ion-molecule reactor
photoelectron counts reagent ethylene and benzene


RT @JPhysChem: Introducing the NbMoˉ anion, featuring three robust 4d sigma and pi orbitals, two delicate deltas, and one expansive 5s sigma - all uniting in their diversity to achieve a rare sextuple bond!

NbMoˉ anion

Honors and Awards

Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, 2009

George W. Taylor/College of Science & Engineering Alumni Society Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2000

Selected Publications

M.A. Baudhuin, P. Boopalachandran, S. Rajan, and D.G. Leopold, "A Study of NbMo and NbMoˉ by Anion Photoelectron Spectroscopy," Journal of Physical Chemistry A125, 9658-9679 (2021).

D.G. Leopold, "ConfChem Conference on Mathematics in Undergraduate Chemistry Instruction: Strengthening Students' Math Fluencies through Calculator-Free Chemistry Calculations," with Supporting Information (5 documents, 318 pages), Journal of Chemical Education95, 1432-1433 (2018).

P.W. Villalta and D.G. Leopold, "A Study of the Ground and Excited States of Al3 and Al3ˉ. I. 488 nm Anion Photoelectron Spectrum," Journal of Chemical Physics130, 024303/1-19 (2009).

S.R. Miller, N.E. Schultz, D.G. Truhlar, and D.G. Leopold, "A Study of the Ground and Excited States of Al3 and Al3ˉ. II. Computational Analysis of the 488 nm Anion Photoelectron Spectrum and a Reconsideration of the Al3 Bond Dissociation Energy," Journal of Chemical Physics130, 024304/1-23 (2009).

D.G. Leopold and B. Edgar, "Degree of Mathematics Fluency and Success in Second-Semester Introductory Chemistry," Journal of Chemical Education85, 724-731 (2008).
jce2008p0724w.pdf (694.27 kb)

S.R. Miller, T.P. Marcy, E.L. Millam, and D.G. Leopold, "Photoelectron Spectroscopic Characterization of the Niobium-Benzene Anion Produced by Reaction of Niobium with Ethylene," Journal of the American Chemical Society 129, 3482-3483 (2007).

Mailing Address

Doreen Geller Leopold
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry
B-1, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431