December 2018

Message from the Chair

Scott AndersonGreetings fellow chemical physicists! I hope 2018 has been a great year for all of you, and that 2019 will be even better. Elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter you will find details about the exciting DCP program for the 2019 March meeting, organized by Laura Gagliardi, to be held in Boston, March 4-8.

We are fortunate to have lots of people to congratulate. The annual DCP Prize session at the March meeting will be very full this year. Marsha Lester (University of Pennsylvania) will be the recipient of the 2019 Herbert P. Broida Prize, which recognizes experimental advancements in spectroscopy or chemical physics. The Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics will go to Devarajan (Dave) Thirumalai, (University of Texas), recognizing his theoretical work in a wide variety of condensed phase systems. Abraham Nitzan (University of Pennsylvania and Tel Aviv University) will receive the Earle K. Plyler Prize for molecular spectroscopy and dynamics for his work on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and molecular electronics.

In addition, this year we invited the three finalists for the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award to give short talks at the DCP prize session, and will announce the winner at the conclusion of the session. The finalists are Drs. Wenjie Dou, Arpa Hudait, and Yuning Chen. Two additional competitors, Drs. Maria Demireva and William Bassett, will receive travel awards to present their work as part of the regular the March meeting program. Fundraising for this award is nearing the target, and donations from the DCP membership to help get the endowment secured are much appreciated. You can donate at, or contact me or David Chandler (Sandia) if you would like to discuss the award and its endowment.

I am happy to say that five distinguished chemical physicists have been named Fellows of the APS through the DCP. These are Rainer D. Beck (EPFL, Lausanne) Vicki H. Grassian (UC San Diego), Teri W. Odom (Northwestern), Jeffrey C. Owrutsky (Naval Research Lab), and Trevor J. Sears (Stony Brook). Eligibility for Fellowship is one of the benefits of DCP membership.

At the March meeting, Laura Gagliardi will become the division chair, Albert Stolow will become the Chair Elect, responsible for organizing the 2020 DCP March Meeting, and Amy Mullin (University of Maryland) will join the chair rotation as the newly elected Vice Chair. Also newly elected are David Osborn (Sandia), who will be the new Secretary Treasurer, and Robert J. Gordon (University of Illinois, Chicago) who will join Zahra Fakhraai (U. Penn) and Stephen E. Bradforth (USC) as our Members-at-Large. Robert E. Continetti (Councilor) and I (moving to Past Chair) will round out the 2019 DCP executive committee.

I would like to thank Tim Zwier and Heather Allen for their service in the chair rotation and as a Member-at-Large, respectively. I am especially grateful for the efforts of Robert Gordon as out-going Secretary-Treasurer. He has kept all the DCP activities running on schedule as well as handling the finances. Finally, I would also like to thank all the DCP members who have served on various division committees for this service, and all of you for your continued support of the DCP.

I hope to see you all in Boston for a fantastic meeting!

Scott L. Anderson
Division of Chemical Physics

Election of DCP Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected DCP officers! We are pleased to announce that Amy Mullin, David Osborn, and Robert Gordon were elected to the positions of Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Member-at-Large, respectively. All three will assume their offices at the business meeting of the March Meeting in 2019. Also at that meeting, Laura Gagliardi will rotate into the position of Chair, Albert Stolow will become the Chair-Elect, and Scott Anderson will assume the office of Past-Chair. In addition, Steve Bradforth and Zahra Fakhraii will continue to serve as Members-at-Large and Robert Continetti as DCP Councilor. We wish to thank all of them for their dedicated service.

Amy MullinAmy Mullin, the newly elected Vice-Chair, has been a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park since 2005. She obtained a B.A. in Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1985 and a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1991. Mullin did postdoctoral research at Columbia University, 1992-1994, where she was an AAUW Postdoctoral Fellow. Subsequently she was a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor at Boston University (1994-2000) and an Associate Professor at Boston University (2000-2005). Her many awards include the ONR Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER Award, Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, AAAS Fellow, APS Fellow and OSA Fellow. She is currently a Senior Editor of The Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Mullin’s research interests include state- and time-resolved spectroscopy of high energy molecules; transient spectroscopy of molecular collision and reaction outcomes, the behavior of molecules in strong optical fields, and the dynamics of molecules in extreme rotational states made with an optical centrifuge.

OsbornDavid Osborn, the newly elected Secretary/Treasurer, earned his S. B. degree in Chemistry in 1991 from the University of Chicago where he studied intramolecular vibrational redistribution in the laboratory of Donald Levy. In 1996 he completed his Ph.D. on the photodissociation of free radicals as a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, under the guidance of Daniel Neumark. From 1997 – 1999, Osborn studied semiconductor photodynamics as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow with Stephen Leone at JILA. In 1999 he joined the Combustion Research Facility’s Combustion Chemistry Group. Osborn is a Fellow of the APS in the Division of Chemical Physics. He was awarded the Lockheed Martin NOVA Award in 2013 and the David Shirley Award for Outstanding Science in 2012 for his development of multiplexed photoionization mass spectrometry and its illumination of chemical reaction mechanisms. He was a JILA Visiting Fellow in 2010, a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Advanced Light Source of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics Letters.

Osborn is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at the Combustion Research Facility of Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. His research program creates multiplexed methods that provide global views of chemical reaction mechanisms, with insights into kinetics, dynamics, spectroscopy, and molecular structure of reacting systems. He has applied these techniques to problems in combustion chemistry, Earth’s troposphere, and planetary atmospheres, with the goal of improving our fundamental understanding of chemical reactions and the predictive capability of chemical reaction models.

Robert GordonRobert Gordon is completing his second term as Secretary/Treasurer and will continue to serve the Division as a Member-at-Large. Gordon has been a professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 1974. He obtained his AB in Chemistry and Physics at Harvard in 1965 and his PhD in Chemical Physics at Harvard in 1970 under the guidance of Dudley Herschbach. He subsequently did post-doctoral work with Aaron Kupperman at CalTech (1970-1972) and M. C. Lin at NRL (1972-1974). Later, Gordon was a Visiting Professor of Chemistry at Stanford (1980-1981); he was a Yamada Fellow at the University of Hokaido (1991); he was a Fellow at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at the University of Michigan (1995-1996); and he was a Weston Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute, (2011). In 1999 he co-founded with Paul Brumer the Gordon Research Conference on Quantum Control. Since retiring from the University of Illinois, Gordon has been a visiting lecturer at the Weizmann Institute, where he regularly teaches courses in chemical reaction dynamics and molecular spectroscopy (2015-present).

Gordon’s research interests are centered on the dynamics and spectroscopy of small molecules, with a focus on the coherent control of chemical reactions. He has also done research on biomedical applications of lasers with emphasis on the treatment of glaucoma, laser ablation of solid materials, laser control of plasma dynamics, and plasmonics. He co-authored with Kleiman, Park, and Zare the Companion to Angular Momentum (Wiley, 1998), and he is currently writing a book with Tamar Seideman on the interaction of light with matter (Cambridge).

Laura GagliardiLaura Gagliardi, who will become 62nd Chair of DCP, was born and raised in Bologna, Italy. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Bologna. She defended her PhD thesis (in theoretical chemistry) in 1997, focusing on the development of configuration interaction methods. She then spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate in Cambridge, UK, where she worked on density functional theory and actinide chemistry. She started her independent career as an assistant professor at the University of Palermo, Italy, in 2002, and two years later received the annual award of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science to scientists under 40. In 2005, she moved to the University of Geneva, Switzerland as an associate professor, and in 2009 she moved to the University of Minnesota as a full professor—the latter institution recognized her as a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 2014, and she currently directs Minnesota’s Chemical Theory Center. Since 2014, she has also been director of the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy. In 2016 she won the Bourke Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK and she became a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. Since 2016 she has become associate editor for Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, an American Chemical Society publication. In 2018 she received a Humboldt Foundation Research Award.

Gagliardi’s research focuses on the development of novel quantum chemical methods for strongly correlated systems and the combination of first principle methods with classical simulation techniques. The applications are focused on the computational design of novel materials and molecular systems for energy-related challenges. Special focus is devoted to modeling catalysis and spectroscopy in molecular systems; catalysis and gas separation in porous materials; photovoltaic properties of organic and inorganic semiconductors; separation of actinides. She has co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed papers.

Winner of the 2019 Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics

Abraham NitzanCongratulations to Prof. Abraham Nitzan (University of Pennsylvania / Tel Aviv University), winner of this year’s Plyler Prize, sponsored by the Journal of Chemical Physics. This prize was awarded “For deep physical insights in the fields of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and molecular electronics.” Prof. Nitzan will deliver a lecture on this topic at the DCP Prize Session at the APS March meeting 2019.

Winner of the 2019 Herbert P. Broida Prize

Marsha LesterCongratulations to Prof. Marsha Lester (University of Pennsylvania), winner of this year’s Broida Prize for outstanding experimental advancements in the fields of atomic and molecular spectroscopy or chemical physics. This prize was awarded “For the development of innovative methods for generating and characterizing reactive intermediates using sophisticated laser techniques that elucidate important reaction pathways in atmospheric and combustion chemistry.” Prof. Lester will deliver her prize lecture at the DCP Prize Session at the APS March meeting 2019.

Winner of the 2019 Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics

ThirumalaiCongratulations to Prof. Devarajan Thirumalai (University of Texas, Austin), winner of this year’s Langmuir Prize for outstanding interdisciplinary research in chemistry and physics, in the spirit of Irving Langmuir. This prize was awarded “For the development of analytical and computational approaches to soft-matter systems and their application to the transitional behavior of supercooled fluids and glasses, folding dynamics of protein and RNA biopolymers, and functioning of molecular motors.” Prof. Thirumalai will deliver his prize lecture at the DCP Prize Session at the APS March meeting 2019.

Finalists for the 2019 Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics

The competition for the Jankunas thesis award will follow a new format this year. Three finalists for the award have been invited to present 24 minute talks about their thesis at the DCP Prize Session at the 2019 March Meeting. The finalists are:

Yuning Chen, Stony Brook University (Dissertation advisor: Prof. Thomas K. Allison), for a thesis entitled “Cavity-Enhanced Ultrafast Spectroscopy”

Wenjie Dou, University of Pennsylvania (Dissertation advisor: Prof. Joseph Subotnik), for a thesis entitled “Modeling Nonadiabatic Dynamics at Molecule-Metal Interfaces”

Arpa Hudait, University of Utah (Dissertation advisor: Prof. Valeria Molinero) for a thesis entitled “Structure and Thermodynamics of Ice Interfaces in Atmospheric and Biologically Relevant Systems”

2018 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 2019 in Los Angeles.

Rainer D. Beck, Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne
Citation: For pioneering experimental studies of quantum-state-resolved of gas-surface reaction dynamics.

Vicki H. Grassian, University of California, San Diego
Citation: For groundbreaking contributions in understanding the surface structure and reactivity of environmental interfaces, including carbonate and oxide surfaces, under ambient conditions of temperature and relative humidity and delineating the important role of adsorbed water.

Teri W. Odom, Northwestern University
Citation: For contributions to plasmonics, and to understanding plasmon-exciton interactions through the development of multi-scale metal nanostructures, and plasmon-enhanced lasers.

Jeffrey C. Owrutsky, United States Naval Research Laboratory
Citation: For contributions to chemical physics using infrared and vibrational spectroscopy, especially for ions in solution, and optical studies of plasmon, phonon and vibration-cavity polaritons.

Trevor J. Sears, Stony Brook University
Citation: For advances in the high-resolution spectroscopy of small molecular free radicals, particularly those of importance in combustion chemistry.

Winners of the 2019 DCP New Investigator Travel Award

Congratulations to the following winners of travel awards to attend the APS March Meeting 2019:

  • William Bassett, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Maria Demiriva, University of Utah
  • Yaroslav Filipov, Clarkson University

DCP Prize Session at the APS March Meeting 2019

The DCP Prize Session this year will feature talks given by the winners of the Plyler, Broida, and Langmuir Prizes as well as by the finalist for the Jankunas Dissertation Award. The winner of that award will be announced at the end of the session.

Plyler Prize winner, Abe Nitzan, “Energy transfer and conversion in molecular junctions”

Broida Prize winner, Marsha Lester, “Spectroscopic and dynamical probes of atmospheric reaction pathways”

Langmuir Prize winner, Devarajan Thirumalai, “Interphase human chromosome exhibits glassy dynamics”

Jankunas award finalist, Yuming Chen, "Cavity-Enhanced Ultrafast Spectroscopy"

Jankunas award finalist, Wenjie Dou, "Nonadiabatic dynamics at metal surfaces: Surface hopping and electronic friction"

Jankunas award finalist, Arpa Hudait, “A molecular perspective on the structure and thermodynamics of ice interfaces in atmospherically relevant systems”

DCP-Sponsored Focus Sessions at the APS March Meeting 2019

Gray Arrow DCP Focus Sessions 2019 Poster format_pdf

The following five focus sessions are scheduled throughout the week of the March 2019 meeting. A complete list of titles of the invited talks may be found on the DCP webpage.

Gas Phase Clusters - Experiment and Theory in Concert

Organizers: Joachim Sauer and Knut Asmis

The aim of the symposium is to bring together world-leading experts on structure and reactivity of gas phase clusters and to discuss future directions in this field. The role of gas phase clusters as model systems for related condensed phase systems will be emphasized.

Invited speakers: David Dixon, Marie-Pierre Gaigeot, Etienne Garand, Sheng-Gui He, Masahiko Ichihashi, Mark Johnson, Daniel Neumark, Cristina Puzzarini, Helmut Schwarz, Gereon Schatteburg-Niedner

Molecular Magnetism and Quantum Information

Organizers: Bess Vlaisavljevich, Mark Pederson, Evelyn Goldfield and Michael Berman

This symposium will bring together experts in the field of molecular magnetism to define current challenges in this field, examine conditions under which their behaviors transform from classical to quantum, and determine how coherent spin effects arise and break down. In addition to possible qubit and quantum-sensor design, talks aimed at rigorous understanding of field-, photon-, or electron- induced control or interrogation of such systems in chemical, physical and aqueous environs are encouraged as are talks that investigate the role of spin physics in similar naturally occurring functional inorganic molecules and poly-radical biochemical compasses.

Invited speakers: George Christou, Annie Powell, Juan Peralta, Kyungwha Park, Coen de Graaf, Eliseo Ruiz, Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Jeffrey Rinehart

Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Experiment in Gas-Phase Spectroscopy and Dynamics

Organizers: Cristina Puzzarini and Julien Bloino

The aim of the symposium is to bring together world experts on state-of-the-art computational and experimental techniques to discuss (i) the key role played by the interplay of experiment and theory in spectroscopy gas-phase studies, (ii) the target accuracy and challenges to be faced by computations when aiming at reproducing and predicting experimental results, and (iii) future directions.

Invited speakers: Vincenzo Barone, Francesca Calegari, Tucker Carrington, Jr., Ryan Fortenberry, Markus Reiher Kenneth Ruud, Yunjie Xu, Nadia Rega, Maria Eugenia Sanz, Patrick H. Vaccaro

Periodic Quantum Chemistry Beyond DFT

Organizers: Timothy C. Berkelbach and Garnet Chan

The accurate simulation of many electronic phenomena in the condensed phase requires tools with predictive power beyond that of DFT. This Focus Session will bring together researchers working on such techniques for systems with explicit periodicity. Represented approaches will include those based on many-electron wavefunctions, Green's functions, quantum Monte Carlo, and embedding formalisms. Emphasis will be placed on a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of various methods and collaborative opportunities to advance the field of condensed-phase electronic structure.

Invited speakers: Brenda Rubenstein, Giulia Galli, Mario Motta, Qiming Sun, Andreas Gruneis, Jason Goodpaster

Advances in Hierarchical Systems: Theory and Experiments

Organizers: Neeraj Rai and Dongxia Liu

Organic and/or inorganic hierarchical systems with multiple temporal and spatial scales display novel functionalities and find applications in catalysis, optoelectronics, and sensors. This symposium will bring together experts working in the field of synthesis, characterization, and modeling of hierarchical systems to discuss recent advances and future research directions.

Invited Speakers: Joachim Sauer, Sanat Kumar, Svetlana Mintova, Sankar Nair Jason Hicks, Nicholas Brunelli, Wei Fan, Michelle Ostraat Alexandar Katz, Ilja Siepman

2019 JCP Editors’ Choice Session

Kehinde E. Ogunronbi, Aliasghar Sepehri, Bin Chen, and Barbara E. Wyslouzil, “Vapor phase nucleation of the short-chain nalkanes (n-pentane, n-hexane and nheptane): Experiments and Monte Carlo simulations”

Alyssa S. Manz, Keewook Paeng, and Laura J. Kaufman, “Single Molecule Studies Reveal Temperature Independence of Lifetime of Dynamic Heterogeneity in Polystyrene”

Lixin Zheng, Mohan Chen, Zhaoru Sun, Hsin-Yu Ko, Biswajit Santra, Pratikkumar Dhuvad, Xifan Wu, “Structural, Electronic, and Dynamical Properties of Liquid Water by ab initio Molecular Dynamics based on SCAN Functional within the Canonical Ensemble”

Wenwei Zheng, Gül H. Zerze, Alessandro Borgia, Jeetain Mittal, Benjamin Schuler, and Robert B. Best, “Inferring Properties of Disordered Chains from FRET Transfer Efficiencies”

Duc Nguyen, Joshua J. Goings, Huy A. Nguyen, Joseph Lyding, Xiaosong Li, and Martin Gruebele, “Orientation-dependent imaging of electronically excited quantum dots”

DCP Business Meeting

The Division Meeting at the 2019 March Meeting will held on Tuesday, March 5 at 5:45 PM. All are welcome!

2019 APS Fellowship Nominations

We encourage the nomination for fellowship of deserving candidates. Nominations for 2019 APS Fellowship to be considered by the DCP Fellowship Committee should be made by April 1, 2019. Instructions for submitting a nomination are included on the APS Fellows web page.

2019 Plyler and Jankunas Nominations

We welcome nominations for the 2019 Earle K. Plyler Prize. The nomination deadline for this Prize is June 3, 2019.

We welcome nominations for the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award. The nomination deadline for this Prize is October 1, 2019.

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.