Professor Joseph Francisco

Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry
Professor Joseph Francisco
Department of  Chemistry and Department of Earth and Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
Host: Professor Don Truhlar


Water Effects on Atmospheric Reactions

Water has a significant impact on many processes that occur in the Earth's atmosphere. It is one the most abundant resources in our atmosphere and, because of its ability to be both a hydrogen bond donor and acceptor, water can form very stable complexes. The formation of these complexes can dramatically affect the chemistry in the atmosphere, including heterogeneous removal and alteration of the photochemical properties of the atmospheric species, the formation of water droplets and aerosol particles, as well as the participation of complexes in chemical reactions. This talk will review both experimental and theoretical investigations of water vapor effects on gas phase reactions, with an emphasis on those pertinent to the atmosphere. A goal of the talk is to provide an understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying potential water effects, imparting a framework to better understand global effects of water chemistry in our atmosphere.


Professor Joseph S. Francisco’s laboratory focuses on basic studies in spectroscopy, kinetics, and photochemistry of novel transient species in the gas phase. He has made significant contributions in many areas of atmospheric chemistry by applying new tools from experimental physical and theoretical chemistry to atmospheric chemical problems. His research has transformed our understanding of chemical processes in the atmosphere at the molecular level. Francisco’s work has led to important discoveries of new chemistries occurring on the interfaces of cloud surfaces as well as fundamental new types of chemical bonding that control these processes.

Professor Joseph S. Francisco

Francisco received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977 and his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. From 1983-85, Francisco trained as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in England, and then returned to MIT as a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow. He was also a Visiting Associate in Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology.

Over his career to date, Francisco has published more than 700 journal articles, written several book chapters, and he is the co-author of the fundamental textbook in chemical kinetics and dynamics, Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics. He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, the EdwardW. Morley Medal from the Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Francisco is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Francisco is currently the Executive Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and he has recently been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2005-07 he served as President of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and was President of the American Chemical Society in 2010. Also in 2010, Francisco was appointed to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama.


Start date
Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, 9:45 a.m.
End date
Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, 11 a.m.

This seminar will be presented remotely and live-streamed
331 Smith Hall
Zoom Link