February 2018

Message from the Chair

Timothy Zweir photoAs Chair of the Division of Chemical Physics, I offer my best wishes for 2018 to all members of the Division. We work in an area of science that is a rich one, with many opportunities for new discoveries. May we bring to this year a passion for our work and a satisfying enjoyment in our roles as chemical physicists.

I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate the winners of Division of Chemical Physics awards presented through the American Physical Society, specifically Prof. David Jonas (University of Colorado) for the 2018 Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, and Dr. Marissa L. Weichman (UC-Berkeley) for the 2018 Jankunas Thesis Award. Profs. Jonas and Dr. Weichmann will present talks about their award-winning work in a special prize session on Tuesday afternoon (3/6/2018) at the March 2018 APS meeting in Los Angeles. We hope that many of you will be able to attend.

Secondly, I wish to congratulate the six distinguished DCP scientists who comprise the 2018 class of Fellows of the American Physical Society. The new APS Fellows this year are Mischa Bonn (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research), Eberhard K.U. Gross (Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics), Han Htoon (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Vitaly V. Kresin (University of Southern California), Andrei Sanov (University of Arizona), and Roland Wester (University of Innsbruck). This is a great honor and one of many advantages of being a member of the American Physical Society and the Division of Chemical Physics.

Thirdly, I’d like to thank the members of the DCP Executive Committee for their efforts on behalf of the Division over the past year: Chair-elect Scott L. Anderson (Univ. Utah), Vice-Chair Laura Gagliardi (Univ. Minnesota), Past Chair David J. Nesbitt (Univ. Colorado-Boulder), Councilor Robert E. Continetti (UC-San Diego), Secretary/Treasurer Robert J. Gordon (University of Illinois-Chicago), and Members-at-Large Jeffrey C. Owrutsky (Naval Research Laboratory), Heather C. Allen (Ohio State), and Stephen E. Bradforth (USC).

Every year the Chair is asked to make suggestions for additions to an external nominating committee, who then come up with a two-person slate of chemical physicists for each slot on the DCP Executive committee, and for which we all vote annually as DCP members. So I’d like to take the time to congratulate this past year’s winners of these elections: Vice Chair Albert Stolow (University of Ottawa) and Member-at-Large Zahra Fakhraii (University of Pennsylvania), as well as to thank them in advance for their much appreciated service to the Division. I’d also like to thank David Nesbitt (University of Colorado-Boulder, Past Chair) and Jeff Owrutsky (Naval Research Laboratory, Member-at-Large), who have generously contributed their time and talents on the DCP executive committee and whose terms will be completed as of the March Meeting 2018.

Finally, as this is my last newsletter to you as Chair, I want to thank all members of the Division of Chemical Physics for your continued support and help. I have had the great pleasure of meeting many of you at APS March meetings over the past three years, and I particularly want to thank those of you who helped make the 2017 March Meeting in New Orleans such a success. It has been a distinct honor to help the Division of Chemical Physics move forward and grow stronger. I’d especially like to thank our Secretary-Treasurer Robert J. Gordon, who works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep us apprised of upcoming deadlines and important issues to consider.

As you know, Chair-Elect Scott Anderson from the University of Utah, will take over as Chair of the Division after the March meeting in Los Angeles. He has done a fantastic job of putting together an exciting and diverse program for the 2018 March Meeting. With superb people like Scott Anderson, Laura Gagliardi, and Albert Stolow in the executive committee progression, the Division of Chemical Physics will be in excellent hands, both immediately and for many years into the future.

I hope to see you in Los Angeles in March!

Timothy S. Zweir
Division of Chemical Physics

Election of DCP Officers

Albert Stolow photoWe are pleased to announce the election of Albert Stolow to the position of Vice Chair of DCP. Albert is the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Photonics at the University of Ottawa and Professor of Chemistry & Physics at the University of Ottawa. He founded the Molecular Photonics Group within the National Research Council Canada, where he retains an ongoing research program. He is Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and of Physics at Queen’s University in Kingston and a Graduate Faculty Scholar in the Department of Physics, University of Central Florida. He is also a Fellow of the Max-Planck-University of Ottawa Centre for Extreme and Quantum Photonics. His research interests include ultrafast molecular excited state dynamics and quantum control, strong field physics of polyatomic molecules, and coherent non-linear optical microscopy.

Albert Stolow studied Chemistry and Physics at Queen’s University and then obtained his Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1988, studying under John C. Polanyi. Stolow was an NSERC post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley from 1989-1992, where he worked with Yuan T. Lee. In Fall 1992, Stolow joined the National Research Council in Ottawa, and in 2014 he assumed the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Photonics at the University of Ottawa. Stolow is a Fellow of both the APS and the OSA. He has won several national prizes, including the APS Earle K. Plyler Prize, the Laidler Award of the Canadian Society of Chemistry, and the Barringer Award of the Spectroscopy Society of Canada and sits on the editorial boards of numerous international journals and on the Advisory Boards of several research institutions. Within the APS, Stolow is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Division of Laser Science (DLS).

Zahra Fakhraai photoWe are also pleased to announce the election of Zahra Fakhraai to the position of Member-at-Large. Zahra received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in physics from Sharif University of Technology in Iran. She then joined the University of Waterloo to study the dynamics of polymers in thin films and on their surfaces (2003-2007) for which she received the APS’s Padden award (2007). After two post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto (2008-2009) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Zahra is the recipient of the NSERC post-doctoral fellowship (2009), NSF Career Award (2014), the Sloan Fellowship (2015), and the JPCB and ACS-PHYS Lectureship Award (2017). Zahra is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Fakhraai’s research is focused on studies of the effect of surfaces and interfaces on structure, dynamics and other properties of amorphous materials. Understanding these interfacial effects is crucial in many technological applications such as coatings, organic electronics, and polymer composites. One can take advantage of enhanced mobility at glass surfaces to produce novel materials, such as stable vapor deposited glasses. In biological systems, most of the dynamics happens in nanometer size proximity of surfaces and interfaces, and understanding the properties in confinement is a key in predicting function. Fakhraai’s research is focused on understanding the origins of such modified properties on a fundamental level, advancing applications, and developing novel experimental tools for these studies.

We also wish to thank outgoing officers David Nesbitt (Past Chair) and Jeff Owrutsky (Member-at-Large), as well as continuing officers Tim Zwier, who will serve as Past Chair, Scott Anderson, who will serve as Chair, Laura Gagliardi, who will serve as Chair-Elect, Robert Gordon, who will continue to serve as Secretary/Treasurer, and Heather Allen and Stephen Bradforth, who will continue to serve as Members-at-Large.

Winner of the 2018 Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics

David Jonas photoCongratulations to Prof. David M. Jonas (University of Colorado), the winner of this year’s Plyler Prize, sponsored by the Journal of Chemical Physics. This prize was awarded “for the demonstration and development of femtosecond two-dimensional Fourier transform spectroscopy and its use in studying fast processes.” Prof. Jonas will deliver a lecture on this topic at the DCP Prize Session at the APS March meeting 2018, on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 11:15 AM. in LACC 502A.


Winner of the 2018 Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics

Marissa Weichman photoThe winner of the 2018 Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics is Dr. Marissa L. Weichman for her thesis entitled "Slow Photoelectron Velocity-Map Imaging and Infrared Photodissociation Spectroscopy of Cryo-Cooled Molecular and Cluster Anions," which she wrote under the direction of Prof. Dan Neumark at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Weichman earned her B.S. in chemistry in 2012 at the California Institute of Technology. She then moved to UC Berkeley to complete her Ph.D. work in chemistry under Professor Daniel Neumark as an NSF graduate research fellow. In her Ph.D. research, Dr. Weichman used slow photoelectron velocity-map imaging spectroscopy to elucidate the electronic and vibrational structure of exotic neutral species via photodetachment of the corresponding cryogenically cooled anions. Systems of particular interest included atmospheric and astrochemically relevant molecular species, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon radicals, transition metal oxide clusters, and the transition states and transient reactive complexes of bimolecular reactions. Part of Dr. Weichman`s thesis work was also carried out in collaboration with the research group of Prof. Knut Asmis at the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) in Berlin, Germany, using the FHI free electron laser to perform infrared photodissociation spectroscopy experiments on cold metal oxide cluster anions and their reactive complexes. Dr. Weichman completed her Ph.D. in 2017, and subsequently joined the research group of Dr. Jun Ye at JILA/CU Boulder as a NIST/NRC postdoctoral research fellow. In her current work, Dr. Weichman is working to develop cavity-enhanced frequency comb spectroscopy techniques to perform sensitive, broadband, and high-resolution direct infrared absorption spectroscopy of large gas phase molecules.

The finalists for this year’s award are:

  • Dr. Naihao Chiang, for his thesis entitled "Molecular Vibrational Nanoscopy: Fundamental Studies of Surface-Bound Molecules with Ultrahigh Vacuum Tipped-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy," which he wrote under the direction of Prof. Richard Van Duyne at Northwestern University.
  • Dr. Erin Duffy, for her thesis entitled "A Ruthenium Water Oxidation Catalyst and Intermediates: Vibrational Spectroscopy of Isolated and Solvated Cryogenic Ions," which she wrote under the direction of Prof. Etienne Garand at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • Dr. Mathew Murray, for his thesis entitled "Collision Dynamics of Highly Oriented Super Rotor Molecules from an Optical Centrifuge," which he wrote under the direction of Prof. Amy Mullin at the University of Maryland.
  • Dr. Mahima Sneha, for her thesis entitled " The Hydrogen Atom and Hydrogen Molecule Reaction in a New Light: Scattering Dynamics Beyond the Conical Intersection," which she wrote under the direction of Prof. Richard Zare at Stanford University.

Drs. Weichman, Duffy, and Chiang will present their work at the DCP Prize Session, to be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 11:15 AM in Room LACC 502A.

2017 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 2018 in Los Angeles.

  • Mischa Bonn, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, “for seminal contributions to the study of ultrafast, interfacial molecular dynamics; and for pioneering applications of time-resolved, nonlinear, surface-specific spectroscopic techniques to fundamental challenges in surface molecular physics.”
  • Eberhard K U Gross, Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, “for foundational work on time-dependent density functional theory, which allows routine calculation of electronic excitations in molecules, and for contributions to the electronic structure theory of materials in general, including first-principles calculations of superconductivity and magnetism.”
  • Han Htoon, Los Alamos National Laboratory, “for pioneering accomplishments in development of single nanostructure, optical spectroscopy/imaging techniques, elucidating fundamental/quantum optical processes of quantum dots and single wall carbon nanotubes, and device integration of optical nanomateirals.”
  • Vitaly V Kresin, University of Southern California, “for contributions to the experimental and theoretical studies of electronic states, polarization phenomena, and thermal effects in atomic and molecular nanoclusters.”
  • Andrei Sanov, University of Arizona, “for contributions to the field of anion spectroscopy, including the application of photoelectron imaging for probing molecular electronic structures and their transformations in chemical reactions, and the development of practical models for the analysis of photoelectron angular distributions as signatures of molecular orbitals.”
  • Roland Wester, University of Innsbruck, “for outstanding contributions to the fields of cold chemistry and gas-phase molecular physics, studied with clever experiments on molecular ions in cold traps, state-selecting several ionic molecules by photodetachment and laser excitation, making them react with complex organic species.”

Winners of the 2018 DCP New Investigator Travel Award

Congratulations to the following winners of travel awards to attend the APS March Meeting 2018:

  • Sriteja Mantha, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Bing Gu, University of Rochester

DCP Prize Session at the APS March Meeting 2018

The DCP Prize Session will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 11:15 AM. in LACC 502A (Session F41). The speakers in this session will be:

  • David Jonas, winner of the Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics. The title of his talk is “Two-Dimensional Femtosecond Spectroscopy.”
  • Marissa Weichman, winner of the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics. The title of her talk is “Slow Photoelectron Velocity-map Imaging (SEVI) Spectroscopy of Cryo-cooled Anions.”
  • Erin Duffy, finalist for the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics. The title of her talk is “Vibrational Characterization of a Ruthenium Water Oxidation Catalyst and Intermediates.”
  • Naihao Chiang, finalist for the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics. The title of his talk is “Lifting of Accidental Degeneracy in Molecular Vibrations Probed with Ultrahigh Vacuum Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.”

Abstracts of these talks may be found at http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR18/Session/F41

DCP-Sponsored Focus Sessions at the APS March Meeting

The following focus sessions will be sponsored by DCP in the March, 2018 meeting in Los Angeles:

Self-assembly of nano-structured, macromolecular, and nano-porous materials (Sessions B25, C26, F25, H25, P26)
Michael Grünwald (University of Utah)
Jim De Yoreo (PNNL and University of Washington)

Supported nano-clusters as highly-tunable interfaces for chemistry (Sessions A03, B03, E03, H03)
Anastassia N. Alexandrova (University of California, Los Angeles)
Michael White (Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University)

Strong light‐matter coupling: Enhanced spectroscopy, modified molecular dynamics and altered chemical reactions (Sessions A03, S03, V02, X02)
Felipe Herrera, Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH)
Jeff Owrutsky, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
Frank Spano (Temple University)
Joel Yuen-Zhou (University of California, San Diego)

Excited States and Non-adiabatic Dynamics in Molecular Systems (Sessions R03, V03, X03)
Laura Gagliardi (University of Minnesota)
Toru Shiozaki (Northwestern University)

Developments of DFT from Quantum to Statistical Mechanics (Sessions A02, C02, E02, P02, R02, S02)
Jianzhong Wu (University of California, Riverside)
Kieron Burke (University of California, Irvine)

DCP is also cross listed with other divisions in sponsoring the following focus sessions:

Petascale Science and Beyond: Applications and Opportunities for Materials, Chemical, and Bio Physics (DCOMP/DCP/DMP)
(Sessions A34, B34, C34)

First-principles Modeling of Excited-State Phenomena in Materials (DCOMP/DCP/DMP)
(Sessions A29, B29, C29, E29, H29, K29)

In addition to these topical sessions, there will be one session (K25) devoted to the editors’ choice of the best papers published in the Journal of Chemical Physics in 2017. The authors and titles of these papers are listed below:

JCP Focus Session slide

The times and locations of all the focus sessions organized by DCP are displayed in the following graphic. A more detailed description of the various sessions, including a list of the invited speakers, may be found on the DCP web page.

DCP Focus Sessions graphic

DCP Business Meeting

The Division Meeting at the 2018 March Meeting will held on Tuesday, March 6 at 5:45 PM in LACC 150C. All are welcome!

2018 APS Fellowship Nominations

We encourage the nomination for fellowship of deserving candidates. Nominations for 2018 APS Fellowship to be considered by the DCP Fellowship Committee should be made by March 30, 2018. Instructions for submitting a nomination are included on the APS Fellows web page.

2019 Plyler, Langmuir, and Broida Prize Nominations

We welcome nominations for the 2019 Earle K. Plyler, Herbert P. Broida, and Irving Langmuir Prizes. The nomination deadline for the Plyler and Langmuir Prizes is June 1, 2018, and the deadline for the Broida Prize is July 2, 2018.

Details of the prize and the nomination procedure may be found on the APS web site.

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.