December 2015

In this issue:

Important Dates

APS March Meeting Early Bird Registration Deadline: 08 Jan 2016

APS March Meeting Online Registration Deadline: 12 Feb 2016

APS March Meeting Hotel Reservation Deadline: 13 Feb 2016

Application Deadline for 2016 March Meeting Dependent Child Care Award: 16 Feb 2016

Nomination Deadline for 2016 APS Fellowship Through DCP: 01 April 2016

Nomination Deadline for 2017 Plyler Prize: 01 Jul 2016

Nomination Deadline for 2017 Broida Prize: 01 Jul 2016

Nomination Deadline for 2017 Langmuir Prize: 01 Jul 2016

Nomination Deadline for 2017 Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award: 01 Nov 2016

Application Deadline for 2017 March Meeting Young Investigator Travel Award: 04 Nov 2016

Message from the Chair

David ChandlerFirst of all, I would like to wish all the members of the Division of Chemical Physics a warm “season’s greetings” and my best wishes for a great and productive 2016. This has been a year of initiative for the division. We are instituting officially the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics. This award consists of $1000 cash prize and travel stipend to the National APS meeting in March where the winner is given an invited speakers slot. This is actually the second year of the award as we independently instituted the award last year and Dr. Alexander White was the winner. This year we renamed the award after Justin Jankunas, an exceptional student of Professor Richard N. Zare of Stanford who tragically died of a motorcycle accident soon after he received his Doctorate. Justin’s intellect and publication record would have made him a prime candidate for this award. In order for this award to be recognized by the APS as one of their awards it must be endowed, therefore we have begun fundraising to support this award (Jankunas Campaign Page). If you find this to be a valuable and important way to encourage young scientists, please donate. I have pledged and hope you do as well.

In addition to the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award initiative we have also strengthened the divisions ties with the Journal of Chemical Physics. The Journal supports the Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics and has renewed that support for the next five years. As part of that renewal process the division has agreed to institute a session at the National APS Meeting in March titled the JCP Editor’s Choice session, where speakers will be invited from the authorship of papers that the JCP Associate Editors designated as their Editor’s Choice papers every year. The bad news is that General Electric has decided, after 50 years of support, to no longer support the Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, and we will be looking to replace them as sponsors of this award.

Finally, let me congratulate the new offices of the DCP who were recently elected. Dr. Scott Anderson from University of Utah is the new Chair-Elect for the division, Dr. Robert J. Gordon from the University of Illinois at Chicago was re-elected as the new Secretary / Treasurer of the division, and Dr. Heather C. Allen of Ohio State University is a new member-at-large to the executive committee. Congratulations to them and thanks to those who ran and were not victorious this time.

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season,

David W. Chandler
Chair DCS

Election of DCP Officers

We are pleased to announce the election of Scott Anderson to the position of Vice Chair, Robert J. Gordon to the position of Secretary/Treasurer, and Heather Allen to the position of Member-at-Large of the Division of Chemical Physics. We also wish to thank outgoing officers Gil Nathanson (Past Chair) and Anna Krylov (Member-at-Large) for their valuable service to the Division, as well as officers David Nesbitt, who will serve as Chair, Timothy Zwier, who will serve as Chair-Elect, Janice Ruett-Robey and Jeffrey Owrutsky, who will continue to serve as Members-at-Large, and Amy Mulin, who will continue to serve as Councilor in 2016.

Winner and Finalists of the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award

Peter KrausThe winner of the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics is Dr. Peter Kraus for his dissertation, “Studies of Electronic and Nuclear Structure and Dynamics by High Harmonic Spectroscopy,” which he wrote under the direction of Prof. Hans Jakob Wörner at ETH Zürich. Dr. Kraus was born in Marburg, Germany, where he attended the Philipps-University in Marburg from 2007 until 2010, earning his bachelor degree in chemistry working with Prof. Karl-Michael Weitzel. He subsequently moved to ETH Zürich, where he earned his master’s degree in 2011 with a thesis exploring the generation and characterization of few-cycle mid-infrared laser pulses for high-harmonic spectroscopy, working with Prof. Hans Jakob Wörner. Peter stayed in the group of Prof. Wörner at ETH Zürich for his PhD studies, during which he advanced the techniques of high harmonic-spectroscopy for investigations of electronic and nuclear structure and dynamics of molecular systems. These advances enabled the study of valence—shell electron currents in neutral molecules on the femtosecond time scale as well as the measurement and laser control of attosecond-time-scale electronic charge migration. Peter is currently working with Prof. Stephen Leone and Prof. Daniel Neumark at the University of California, Berkeley on the development of new experimental techniques for investigating attosecond phenomena in solid-state materials.

The two finalists for this award are Dr. Jenée D. Cyran, who wrote her dissertation, “Exploring Nanoaggregate Structures of Model Asphaltenes Using Two Dimensional Infrared Spectroscopy” under the direction of Prof. Amber T. Krummel at Colorado State University, and Dr. Shi Liu, who wrote his dissertation, “Multiscale Simulations of Dynamics of Ferroelectric Domains" under the direction of Prof. Andrew M. Rappe at the University of Pennsylvania.

All three will present their work at the DCP Plyler and Jankunis Prize Session, to be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at 11:15 a.m. in the Hilton Inner Harbor Holiday Ballroom IV.

Launching of Endowment Campaign for the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award

In 2015, the APS Division of Chemical Physics (DCP) renamed the division’s new Doctoral Thesis Award in Chemical Physics as the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics. The renaming, established with friends, family, and colleagues of Justin Jankunas, honors his memory and work as a promising young chemical physicist at the beginning of a promising career. Justin died tragically in a motorcycle accident in May 2015 at the age of 30. In his short life, Justin published 19 papers in molecular reaction dynamics from work as a grad student at Stanford University and one year as a postdoctoral fellow at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Details on how to support this award may be found at

2015 DCP Fellows of the American Physical Society

We are pleased to congratulate the following newly-elected APS Fellows, who will be recognized at the APS March Meeting 2016 in Baltimore.

  • Stephen Bradforth, University of Southern California
  • Majed Chergui, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
  • Pablo Debenedetti, Princeton University
  • Tianquan Lian, Emory University
  • John Maier, University of Basel
  • Timothy Minton, Montana State University
  • David Osborn, Sandia National Laboratory
  • Kenneth Suslick, University of Illinois, Urbana

Citations of their work may be found at

Winners of the DCP New Investigator Travel Award

Congratulations to the following winners of travel awards to attend the APS March Meeting 2016:

  • Kumar Abhishek, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Jenée D. Cyran, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany
  • Shi Liu, University of Pennsylvania
  • Haoyu Yu, University of Minnesota

DCP Plyler and Jankunis Prize Focus Session at the APS March Meeting 2016

The 2016 Earl K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics will be awarded to Prof. Donald Truhlar at the Plyler and Jankunis Prize Session. Prof. Truhlar will give a talk in this session entitled “Photochemistry of Phenol: A Full-Dimensional Semiclassical Simulation.”

In addition, Dr. Peter Kraus, the winner of the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award, will give a 36 minute talk about his doctoral research, and finalists Jenée D. Cyran and Shi Liu will each give 12 talks about their research.

Abstracts of these talks may be found at

DCP-Sponsored Focus Sessions at the March Meeting 2016

The following focus sessions will be sponsored by DCP in the March Meeting 2016 in Baltimore.

Advances in Density Functional Theory: Focus Sessions A31, B31, E31, H31, K31, L31
Emerging Nanomaterials for Solar Energy Conversion: Focus Sessions B32, E32, H32
Journal of Chemical Physics Editor's Choice: Focus Session C31
Device Characterization of Nanostructured Devices and Heterostructures: Focus Session C32
DCP Plyler and Jankunis Prize Session: Focus Session F53
Chemical Physics of Graphene and Carbon: Focus Session H47
Plasmonics and Beyond: Focus Sessions K32, R32, V32, X32
Dynamic Interactions Between Nanostructures: Focus Session L32
Materials in Extremes: Energetic Materials and Reactive Chemistry: Focus Session P21
Water at Interfaces: From Spectroscopy Techniques to Computer Simulations: Focus Session R31
Ice Nucleation, Amorphous Ices and the Role of Interfaces: Focus Session S31
Chemical Physics of Extreme Environments: Focus Sessions S32, V32, Y32
Nanoconfined and Interfacial Water: Focus Session X31
Water at Biological Interfaces: Focus Session Y31

A detailed description of the various sessions may be found on the DCP webpage.

DCP Business Meeting

The Division Meeting at the March Meeting 2016 will held on Tuesday, March 15 at 5:45 PM in room 338. All are welcome!

2016 APS Fellowship Nominations

We encourage the nomination for fellowship of deserving candidates. Nominations for 2016 APS Fellowship to be considered by the DCP Fellowship Committee should be made before the deadline, April 1, 2016. Please note the new, extended date for nominations. Instructions for submitting a nomination are included on the APS Fellows webpage.

2017 Plyler Nominations

We welcome nominations for the 2017 Earle K. Plyler Prize. Details of the prize and the nomination procedure may be found on the APS website.

Upcoming Conferences of Possible Interest to DCP Membership

A list of conferences in 2016 in various areas of chemical physics may be found on the DCP webpage.

Prepared by Robert Gordon, DCP Secretary/Treasurer

The articles in this newsletter represent the views of their author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Unit or APS.