Department of Chemistry
Washington DC 20057
page last updated:
October 26, 2012
Department of Chemistry
422 Regents Hall
and O Streets NW
Sc.B. 1965, Brown University
M.S. 1967, University of Connecticut
Ph.D. 1969, University of Connecticut
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1969-1971; Visiting Professor: University of São Paulo, Brazil (1972-1976); Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie, Muhlheim/Ruhr, Germany (1981); Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France (1982); Université de Bordeaux I, Talence, France (1982); Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India (1989-1990, 1998); Institute of Photographic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (1997-1998).; Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, Kanpur, India (2006); Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan (2006); State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil (2006).
U.S. National Academy of Science Overseas Fellow (1971-1974); Fellow of the Indo-U.S. Subcommission on Education and Culture (1989-1990); Fulbright Research Fellow (1998); Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; CareerResearch Award, Georgetown University (2002); International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Fellow (2008); Doctor honoris causa, Universite Bordeaux 1, Bordeaux, France (2009)
Senior Editor for Langmuir; Member of the Advisory Editorial Board of theJournal of the Brazilian Chemical Society.
Organic Chemistry I & II, Organic
Chemistry Lab I & II, Solution Kinetics, Special
Topics in Organic Chemistry (Photochemistry and Free
Radicals), Physical Organic Chemistry
||Materials and physical organic chemistry
and organic photochemistry and photophysics; syntheses
and properties of thermally and chemically reversible
gels; study of reaction rates and mechanisms; anisotropic
solvent effects on reaction mechanisms; ionic liquid
crystals as mechanistic probes and 'green solvents';
molecular processes in polymers.
We continue to develop experimental techniques which
employ anisotropic solvents (specifically gels, liquid
crystals, solids, and polymers) as reaction media and
which allow previously inaccessible details of thermal
and photochemical reaction mechanisms to be elucidated.
The techniques are being applied to unimolecular, bimolecular,
and polymer reactions, as well as to explore the microscopic
ordering of anisotropic media. Reactions of the media
themselves are being used to develop molecular switches
and devices and to characterize novel phases of ordered
molecules. Some of the media, such as isothermally
rheoreversible gels, are being exploited for other
applications, including art conservation. In
addition, we are developing probes based on photochemical
reactions that generate chemically identical but spatially
different chiral and prochiral singlet radical pairs
to explore the rates of tumbling and translational
diffusion of species within ‘cages’ afforded
by isotropic liquids and anisotropic media.
Molecular Gels. Materials with Self-Assembled Fibrillar Networks; Weiss, R. G., Terech, P., Eds.; Springer: Dordrecht, 2005.
“New insights into the mechanism of triplet radical-pair combinations. The persistent
radical effect masks the distinction between in-cage and out-of-cage processes.”
Chesta, C. A.; Mohanty, J.; Nau, W. M.; Bhattacharjee, U.; Weiss, R. G. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 5012-5022.
“Carbon Dioxide and Molecular Nitrogen as Switches between Ionic and Uncharged
Room-Temperature Liquids Comprised of Amidines and Chiral Amino Alcohols"
Yu, T.; Yamada, T.; Gaviola, G. C.; Weiss, R. G. Chem. Mater. 2008, 20, 5337-5344.
“Room-Temperature and Low-Ordered, Amphotropic-Lyotropic Ionic Liquid Crystal
Phases Induced by Alcohols in Phosphonium Halides” Ma, K.; Shahkhatuni, A. A.; Somashekhar, B. S.; Gowda, G. A. N.; Tong, Y.; Khetrapal, C. L.; Weiss, R. G. Langmuir, 2008, 24, 9843-9854.
“Designing Amphotropic Smectic Liquid Crystals Based on Phosphonium Salts for
Partial Ordering of Solutes as Monitored by NMR Spectroscopy" Ma, Kefeng; Shahkhatuni, Astghik A.; Weiss, Richard G. J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 4209–4217.