American Chemical Society
Division of Physical Chemistry
Fall 2008 Newsletter

Remarks from Division Chair
Election Information and Ballot
Notes from the Secretary/Treasurer
Councilor's Report
Biophysical Subdivision
Theoretical Subdivision
Student Poster Awards
ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry
Request for Symposia Topics
Recent Symposia Topics
Technical Program — 237rd National Meeting — Salt Lake City, UT
Fall 2009 Meeting, Call for Papers, August 16-20-2009, Washington DC
Restrictions for Speakers for PHYS Symposia
Submission of Abstracts
General Information for Contributed Papers
Future ACS Meetings
Information and Rules Applying to All Contributed Poster Papers
Membership Information
Membership Application


Chair (8/07-08) Gregory A. Voth
University of Utah
Department of Chemistry
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-7272, fax (801)581-4353

Chair Elect (8/07-08) Laurie J. Butler
Department of Chemistry
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-7206, fax (773) 702-5863

Secretary/Treasurer (8/06-11) Anne McCoy
Ohio State University
Department of Chemistry
Columbus, OH
(614) 292-4992, fax (614) 292-1654

Vice-Chair (8/07-08) Martin Head-Gordon
Department of Chemistry
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-5957, fax (510)643-1255

Vice Chair Elect (8/07-08) Mark A. Johnson
Department of Chemistry
Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520-8107
(203) 436-4930, fax (203)432-6144

Past Chair (8/07-08) Bruce D. Kay
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352 (509)386-0028, fax (509)376-6066


Marsha Lester (8/07-09) University of Pennsylvania

Jingsong Zhang (8/06-09) Univ. of California, Riverside

C. David Sherrill (8/07-10) Georgia Inst. of Technology

William F. Polik (8/05-08) Hope College

Vicki Grassian (8/07-10) University of Iowa

Gustavo E. Scuseria (8/05-08) Rice University


John E. Adams (06-08) University of Missouri

Michael R. Berman (06-08) AFOSR

Ellen Stechel (07-09) Sandia National Labs

Paul Jagodzinski (08-10) Colorado School of Mines


Veronica Vaida (08-10) University of Colorado

Edwin J. Heilweil (06-08) NIST

Gang-Yu Liu (08-10) University of California-Davis

James Lisy (07-09), University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana


(8/07-08) Cecilia Clementi
Department of Chemistry
Rice University
 (713) 348-3485

Chair-Elect (8/07-08) Martin Zanni
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin
(608) 262-4783

Vice-Chair (08/07-08) Christine Payne
  Department of Chemistry
Georgia Tech
(404) 385-3125

Past Chair (8/07-08) Jeffrey Saven
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania


Chair (8/07-08) Todd G. Martinez
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
 (217) 333-1449

Chair-Elect (8/07-08) Bernard Schlegel
Department of Chemistry
Wayne State University

Vice-Chair (8/07-08) Gerhard Hummer
Laboratory of Chemical Physics
National Institutes of Health

Secretary Jan Steckel
 (412) 386-4430

Past Chair (8/07-08) Angel Garcia
Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Science
Department of Physics
Applied Physics and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
 (518) 276-3590

Remarks from the Division Chair

Fall, 2008

Gregory Voth

The Centennial Year of the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry is coming to an end. It’s been my great pleasure to serve this past year as the Chair of the Physical Chemistry (PHYS) Division. Our activities during 2008, including the PHYS Centennial Celebration at the Philadelphia National ACS Meeting in August, serve to highlight both the strength and breadth of our divisional membership, their outstanding scientific accomplishments and illustrious past, and our significant future opportunities and challenges.

The recent Fall National ACS meeting in Philadelphia was indeed a great success for the PHYS Division. Program Chair and incoming Divisional Chair Laurie Butler developed a superb PHYS program, with symposium topics including: Water Mediated Interactions; Protein Folding Dynamics: Experiments and Theory; Advances in the Electronic Structure of Transition Metal Systems and Organometallics; Recent Advances in Biophysical Chemistry of Transport by Biomolecular Motors and Machines; Spectroscopic Probes of Chemical Dynamics in Gaseous and Condensed Phases; Fundamental Advances in Contemporary NMR Spectroscopy. George Schatz and Steve Sibener also organized a very special symposium entitled Centennial of the Physical Division: Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future. This exciting symposium featured many of our most distinguished senior PHYS colleagues, including several Nobel Laureates. We should all thank Laurie for her exceptional efforts in putting together a great Fall National meeting program for our division.

The 2009 Spring National ACS Meeting in Salt Lake City will be held March 22-26. Program Chair Martin Head-Gordon has done a great job in developing a PHYS program with a number of excellent symposia. These include: New Developments in Energy Conversion and Light-Harvesting; Functional Motions in Enzyme Catalysis; Advances in Electronic Structure Theory and First Principles Dynamics; Molecular Hydrogen in Nanoporous Materials: Meeting Ground For Theory and Experiment; Attosecond Science-The Next Frontier; From Clusters to the Condensed Phase: Progress In Polarizable Force Fields and Simulation; and Convergence Between Theory and Experiment in Surface Chemistry And Catalysis. We look forward to seeing all of you in Salt Lake City!

The ACS National Award winners have now been announced (see under the “Funding and Awards” link). We congratulate all of our distinguished PHYS colleagues who won some of these awards for their exceptional contributions to our field. The PHYS National ACS Award winners will present their award lectures at the Spring National ACS Meeting in Salt Lake. We are very pleased to announce that Dell Computer will be sponsoring the ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry beginning with the 2010 Award. Thank you Dell!

The Physical Chemistry Division is also very pleased to announce a new Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry. This award is intended for theoretical chemists who have not yet won a National ACS Award. Nominations are due Nov. 1st of each year. Please see the Divisional web site at for instructions on submitting nominations and other pertinent information. The winners of these awards will be invited to present a lecture at the new ACS Physical Division Summer Schools in Theoretical Chemistry to be held every other year in Telluride, Colorado (see: These summer schools are a result of the vision and generosity of Prof. Jack Simons of the University of Utah, who created an endowment with his own substantial personal contribution along with a partial matching contribution from the PHYS Division. We are hopeful that other PHYS members who may have the financial means will consider creating additional endowed programs and/or awards within our division. Please feel free to contact any of the PHYS Division officers if you are interested in this possibility.

The PHYS Division continues to prosper because of our outstanding volunteers. We invite all PHYS members to become more active in the division, as officers, executive committee members, or as symposium organizers. If you are interested in being an officer or being on the Executive Committee, please contact me at and I will forward your name to the Nominating Committee. If you would like to organize a symposium, Mark Johnson ( is Program Chair for 2010. The PHYS Division also hopes to embark on a Strategic Planning exercise within the next year or so. If you have ideas on how the Division can better serve its members and/or expand its influence, please feel free to contact any of the PHYS officers.

It is important more than ever for all of our members to become involved in promoting and supporting our profession at the national level. Please encourage others to join our division ( in order to keep our membership numbers within the ACS strong and growing. Please also get involved with governmental issues such as advocating increased Federal research funding. One way to do this is by joining the ACS Legislative Action Network (go to and click the “Policy” link for more information). The past fiscal year has been a very difficult one for Federal research funding. Physical chemists cannot take it for granted that our profession will prosper and that increased funding for research will be appropriated by Congress unless we provide a strong level of advocacy for our field.

I also want to thank all of the officers and staff of the Physical Division for their excellence, dedication, and hard work. The past two Chairs, Bruce Kay and Barbara Garrison, provided me with invaluable advice, help, and encouragement. Our Secretary/Treasurer, Anne McCoy, and her very able assistant, Betsy Foran, do an exceptional job for the Division and their efforts are without parallel. I also want to take this opportunity to welcome Laurie Butler into the PHYS Chair position. It was a real pleasure to work with her this past year in her role as Chair-Elect and Program Chair. There is no doubt that Laurie will do an exceptional job for our division as its leader in 2009.

Finally, I would like to say that has been my great pleasure and honor to serve as PHYS Chair. We have an exceptionally vigorous, broad, and intellectually stimulating division. With a strong ongoing level of commitment and involvement by our membership, there is every reason for all of us to be optimistic about our future.

Election Information and Ballot

Dear PHYS Division Member:

The Bylaws of the Division of Physical Chemistry, approved in 2006, call for the Division Chair to appoint a three-person, Nominating Committee before the spring meeting. A complete slate of candidates prepared by this committee will consist of one candidate for Vice-Chair-Elect, one candidate for each vacancy on the Executive Committee, and one candidate for each vacancy that may have developed in the ranks of the division Councilors, Alternate Councilors, and Secretary/Treasurer position. The Vice-Chair-Elect automatically becomes the Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, Chair, and Immediate past-Chair in each succeeding year. Thus, this person makes a commitment to serve five years on the Executive Committee. In the year this person serves as Chair-Elect, the duties of Program Chair are also his or hers. The term of office for other Executive Committee members, Councilors, and Alternate Councilors is three years. The Secretary/Treasurer serves five years.

The Secretary/Treasurer is required to announce the slate of candidates in the fall newsletter.

To increase the input of the members in this nominating process and to broaden the pool of candidates, the Executive Committee seeks input directly from members for use by the Nominating Committee. Any member may suggest nominees to any of the officers of the PHYS division in writing. The nominee must agree to serve.

Additional nominations can come from the membership in the following fashion: A petition candidate must be supported by the signatures of not fewer than 4% of the members of the PHYS division in good standing (presently approximately 4,000). No signature shall be valid if it appears on more than one nominating petition for the same vacancy during the same calendar year.

A letter shall be submitted from each petition nominee stating willingness to be a candidate for election and to serve the Division for a full term if elected. No nominee may be a candidate for more than one vacancy. If nominated for more than one vacancy, the nominee must choose which nomination to accept.

If no valid nominations are forthcoming from the membership, the nominees submitted by the Nominating Committee for Vice-Chair-Elect and membership on the Executive Committee are declared elected.

Regardless of whether petition nominees are validated or not, the Bylaws require the Secretary/Treasurer to distribute to every PHYS division member a ballot that bears at a minimum the names and biographical sketches of the single candidates for each Councilor and Alternate Councilor vacancy submitted by the Nominating Committee.

Biographical sketches of all the nominees are found below. This year, the Nominating Committee consisted of Bruce Kay, Greg Voth and John Tully. They have chosen the following candidates for election:

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer (to succeed Mark Johnson)

John Adams (for re-election)
Michael Berman (for re-election)

Alternate Councilor:
Xiaoyang Zhu (to replace Edwin Heilweil)

Executive Committee:
Caroline Chick-Jarrold (to replace Gustavo Scuseria)
Robert Cave (to replace William Polik)

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer received her B.A. in 1988 from Princeton University and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Stanford University in 1993. After obtaining her Ph.D., she spent the subsequent two years at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a postdoctoral research scientist. In 1995, she accepted a position as the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. In 2000, she accepted a position as the Shaffer Associate Professor of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University and was promoted to the position of Full Professor of Chemistry in 2003. She was appointed as the Eberly Professor of Biotechnology in 2006. Dr. Hammes-Schiffer’s research centers on the investigation of proton and electron transfer reactions in chemical and biological processes. Her work encompasses the development of analytical theories and computational methods, as well as applications to a wide range of experimentally relevant systems. Dr. Hammes-Schiffer’s awards include the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (1996), Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (1998), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (1998), Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1999), Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award (2005), International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science Medal (2005), and American Chemical Society Akron Section Award (2008). She was selected as an Alexander M. Cruickshank Lecturer for the Gordon Research Conference on Isotopes in Biological & Chemical Sciences in 2004. Dr. Hammes-Schiffer has been a Senior Editor for The Journal of Physical Chemistry since 2001. She has also served as Chair of the Theoretical Subdivision of the American Chemical Society and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards for Theoretical Chemistry Accounts, Accounts of Chemical Research, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Hammes-Schiffer has over 105 scientific publications and 170 invited talks.

John E. Adams received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Missouri-Rolla (1974) and his Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, working with W. H. Miller (1979). He was a Director’s postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Lab (1979-1981), working with J. D. Doll, before moving to the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1981. He currently is Professor of Chemistry and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies at MU and has been cited for his teaching and service to the University by being awarded the AMOCO Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award (1987), a William T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching (1993), the Excellence in Education Award (1999), the Outstanding Learning Community Partner Award (2003), the Excellence in Advising Award (2005), the Outstanding Faculty Academic Advisor Award of the Missouri Academic Advising Association (2005), and honorary induction into Mortar Board (2007). His research is in theoretical chemical dynamics, with current interests in energy transfer at a gas-liquid interface and in the dynamics of host-guest complexes. A member of ACS since 1974, he has served as Chair (1988-1989), Chair-Elect (1987-1988), Secretary-Treasurer (1984-1985), and Councilor of the University of Missouri Local Section; Program Chair (1993) and General Chair (2003) of the Midwest Regional Meeting; member of the Council Committee on Membership Affairs (1994-2001); and Trustee of the Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members (1997-2000). He currently serves as Councilor of the Physical Chemistry Division and is a member of the Society Committee on Budget and Finance, an associate of the Council Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, a member of the Program Review Advisory Group, webmaster of the Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision, and webmaster of the Midwest Regional Board. He also is active in Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry Fraternity, having served as national president from 2002 to 2004, and is a member of APS and Sigma Xi.

Michael R. Berman received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1975) and his Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley (1981). He was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory (1981-2) and then a scientist at the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories (1982-1991). He currently is a program manager at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (1991-present) where he directs major national research programs in Chemical Dynamics and Theoretical Chemistry. His own research has included analytical chemistry using laser fluorescence detection (with R. N. \Zare), the first experiments in multiphoton ionization spectroscopy of molecules (with P. M. Johnson), infrared laser-induced chemistry (with C. B. Moore) and the chemistry of CH radicals (with M. C. Lin). He has also done work on laser kinetics and laser materials processing. The research program that he manages at AFOSR has interests in nanostructures for catalysis and sensing, chemical reaction dynamics, atmospheric and space chemistry, energy storage and utilization, and lasers and diagnostics. Dr. Berman has received awards that include the Air Force John L. McLucas Basic Research Award (2008), the Arthur S. Flemming Award (1999), and the Donald R. Ulrich Award (1995). He is a fellow of the American Association of Arts and Sciences (2002) and a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Physical Society. He also serves as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Chemical Sciences Roundtable (2001 – present), and as a Councilor for the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (2006 – present).

Xiaoyang Zhu is the Merck Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. After postdoctoral research with Prof. Mike White at UT-Austin and Prof. Gerhard Ertl (2007 Chemistry Nobel Laureate) at the Fritz-Haber-Institute in Berlin, he joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1993. In 1997, he moved to the University of Minnesota, first as an Associate Professor and then a Full Professor of Chemistry. Zhu directs and conducts research in two areas: 1) a fundamental research program on organic electronics and organic or nanomaterial based solar cells; and 2) an applied research program on interfacial chemistry for high throughput screening techniques in proteomics, glycomics, and nanomedicine. Zhu is the author/coauthor of ~140 peer reviewed publications and 3 patents. Zhu has been recognized by several professional awards, including a Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award, and a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award. Among his professional services, Zhu serves as an editor for Progress in Surface Science. In the fundamental program, Zhu is an expert on interfacial electron transfer involving molecular materials, a subject at the heart of emerging technologies such as photovoltaic and molecular electronics. Zhu pioneered the approach of using femtosecond two-photon photoemission spectroscopy to probe interfacial electron transfer in these systems. Highlights of achievements include providing quantitative insights into interfacial interactions in molecular electronics and uniting the concept of electron transport in physics with the concept of electron transfer is chemistry. Currently, Zhu’s research program focuses on solar energy conversion, in particular, how excitons generated by the absorption of light in organic, polymeric, or inorganic nanomaterials can be separated into electric charge carriers (i.e., photovoltaic). In the applied research program, Zhu focuses on the rational design and development of enabling surface technologies, such as protein and cell membrane microarrays, for high throughput drug screening. Zhu’s research on protein immobilization has lead to the founding in 2001 of a high-tech startup, MicroSurfaces, Inc. (, now a key provider of surface technologies in high throughput bioanalysis and biophysical research.

Caroline Chick Jarrold received her B.S. degree (1989) in chemistry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her Ph.D. (1994) in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research projects at Berkeley in the laboratory of Daniel Neumark involved using anion zero electron kinetic energy (ZEKE) spectroscopy to determine the structures of small covalent clusters as well as van der Waals clusters.  Immediately following this, she moved to UCLA where she was a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of James Heath. She studied fluorescence of semiconductor nanoparticles and pursued new ways to produce nanowires. In 1997, she was appointed as an assistant professor in the chemistry department at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Her projects involved the mass spectrometric and anion photoelectron spectroscopic probes of reaction products between p-block metal- and metal oxide clusters, and transition metal atoms with small organic molecules. In 2002, she moved to the Indiana University in Bloomington department of chemistry as an associate professor. Her research interests include transition metal oxide cluster structure and reactivity, and the photochemistry of atmospheric molecular complexes. While at IU, she has served on the Advisory Board to the Women in Science Program in the Office for Women’s Affairs, and has been active in recruiting and retaining women scientists from the high school to faculty levels. Prof. Jarrold received an NSF CAREER Award in 1998, and the Army Research Office Young Investigator Program Award in 1999.

Robert J. Cave received his B. S. degree in Chemical Physics from Michigan State University (1979) and Ph. D. from the California Institute of Technology (1986) where he worked for Rudolph Marcus and William A. Goddard III.  In his graduate work he developed models for the study of distance and orientation effects in biological electron transfer, specifically focusing on models to understand electron transfer between porphyrins.  He then did a postdoctoral appointment in the group of Ernest Davidson at Indiana University.   While there his work focused on computational studies of the low-lying electronically excited states of polyenes and the development of approximately size-consistent multi-reference perturbation theories. The polyene studies were the first ab initio studies to correctly predict the order of the low-lying singlet states in hexatriene and octatetraene and also provided a rationale for why butadiene was a particularly difficult system for theory to treat accurately.   The multi-reference perturbation theory he developed (Quasi-Degenerate Variational Perturbation Theory) allowed for use of general reference spaces and solved the intruder state problem in Hylleraas Perturbation Theory for multi-reference situations. In 1998 he joined the faculty at Harvey Mudd College where he has been since.  He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1993 and the rank of full professor in 1999.  His teaching and research have largely been in physical and theoretical chemistry and he has mentored research students ranging from freshman to seniors and from the chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology departments. Among the systems he and his students have treated are the structures and energetics of alkali halide dimers, the low-lying excited states of polyenes and polyene radical cations, tunneling of electrons through water, the dynamics of ultrafast electron transfer in coumarin-dimethyl aniline solutions, and detailed treatments of through-bond and through-space electron transfer.  In 1994 he was named a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar.   In 1994-1995 he spent his sabbatical year as a Research Fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he collaborated with Marshall Newton on the development of the Generalized Mulliken-Hush approach for the calculation of the electronic coupling in electron transfer reactions.  The method has been used extensively since, as it permits calculation of the electronic coupling for excited-state as well as ground-state electron transfer processes and can be used to study the geometry dependence of the coupling.   In 2001-2002 he was a Visiting Professor at Rutgers University in the labs of Ed Castner and Kieron Burke, where he worked on theoretical descriptions of the spectroscopy of a series of coumarins and also helped develop a model for treating doubly-excited states in Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory.  His current work is focused on developing approximate one-electron treatments of the electronic coupling and the understanding of multi-state effects in electron transfer processes. He is currently Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Harvey Mudd College.



I approve the nomination of John Adams for Councilor from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011.

YES [ ]   NO [ ]




I approve the nomination of Michael Berman for Councilor from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011.

YES [ ]   NO [ ]




I approve the nomination of Xiaoyang Zhu for Alternate Councilor from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011.

YES [ ]   NO [ ]



Voter’s Signature                                 __________________________________                            




Department of Chemistry
The Ohio State University
100 W. 18th Avenue



Notes from the Secretary/Treasurer

Anne B. McCoy

This newsletter contains information about the ACS national meetings and any other items of interest to significant numbers of PHYS Division members. All members of the PHYS Division are welcome to submit items to the Secretary for inclusion in this newsletter. The deadlines are generally around December 1 and May 1 for the newsletters appearing before the Spring and Fall ACS meetings, respectively.  Submissions may be made via mail, FAX, or e-mail.

The current ACS Bylaws & Regulations may be viewed at:

Click on the link to Documents of the Committee and then on the link to Charter, Constitution, Bylaws, and Regulations of the American Chemical Society (Bulletin 5).

A copy of the bylaws and regulations is also included on the Division’s web page (

Councilor’s Report

John E. Adams

It is my pleasure to relate to the members of the Physical Chemistry Division a synopsis of action taken by the ACS Council at the recent national meeting in Philadelphia.

  1. At the Fall national meeting, the Council elects members of certain governance committees. Two PHYS members were successful this time in their election bids: Rigoberto Hernandez was elected to the Committee on Committees (yes, there really is a committee by that name) and Angela Wilson was elected to the Committee on Nominations and Elections. Congratulations! By the way, the winner of this year’s election for ACS President-Elect is sure to be a member of PHYS. Don’t forget to cast your vote for either Joseph Francisco or Josef Michl when you get your ballot this fall.
  2. President-Elect Tom Lane indicated that the programming themes for the 2009 national meetings will be Nanoscience (Salt Lake City in March) and Chemistry and Global Security (DC in August). I note that PHYS is sponsoring several symposia in Salt Lake City that support the overall theme for that meeting.
  3. Judy Benham, Chair of the Board of Directors, reported that a task force is being formed to explore the question of what (if anything) ACS uniquely can do to transform education. She also announced that the ACS Board has approved an alliance on research with the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  4. Executive Director Madeleine Jacobs indicated that in 2009, C&EN would be available electronically in facsimile edition, with active embedded URLs and search capability. A sample of the new format is available at For each member who opts to receive the electronic version rather than print in 2009, $10 will be contributed to the Green Chemistry Institute. Ultimately, reduction or elimination of printing costs could translate into a net reduction in your dues allocation to C&EN and thus to increased funding for ACS programs.
  5. Committee Reports:
  6. The special discussion topic at this Council meeting was “Achieving Sustainability (e.g., Energy, Water, Food). Uh, you had to have been there. Let’s just say that outstanding problems remain.
  7. Finally, Council approved a petition for amendment of the Bylaws that will set the dues paid by Society Affiliates to the full member rate. Previously, Society Affiliates paid three-quarters of the full-member dues. Council also approved a formula change for allocating dues money to the technical divisions. The new formula was designed to encourage joint programming by Divisions at national meetings. Finally, the Catalysis Secretariat was raised to probationary division status, the new division being named the Catalysis Science and Technology Division.

Biophysical Subdivision

Martin Zanni

Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry.< To join the Biophysical Subdivision, notify the chair, Martin Zanni, at the address in the table of officers. Indicate that you wish to join and mention that you belong to the PHYS Division. If you do not belong to the Division, you may join both the Division and the Biophysical Subdivision by completing the application form at the end of this newsletter.


Theoretical Subdivision

H. Bernard Schlegel

Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry. To join the Theoretical Subdivision, notify the Chair, H. Bernard Schlegel, at the address in the table of officers. Indicate that you wish to join and mention that you belong to the PHYS Division. If you do not belong to the Division, you may join both the Division and the Theoretical Subdivision by completing the application form at the end of this newsletter.

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Student Poster Awards

Laurie Butler

The winners of the Physical Chemistry Student Poster Award Competition at the Fall 2008 ACS meeting in Philadelphia, PA were:

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ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry

Nominations are solicited for a new ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry. Nominations will accepted only by email sent to the address: The nominator should include as attachments in a single email a nominating letter, the nominee's curriculum vitae and publication list, and one seconding letter. The deadline for nominations is November 1st. Eligibility is restricted to Physical Chemistry Division Members who have not yet won a National ACS Award at the time of the nomination. Current serving members of the PHYS Division or Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision Executive Committees are ineligible to be nominated for the award until their service has ended. Self-nominations will not be accepted. The Award winner will be informed of the decision; by mid-February and invited to the next Telluride School on Theoretical Chemistry (TSTC),which are held every other summer, starting in 2009.  At that meeting, he/she will present a plenary lecture and receive the Award. The TSTC will pay the travel, lodging, and meal expenses for the Award winner while at the TSTC.

Any questions regarding this award should be directed to the PHYS division secretary/treasurer, Anne McCoy  (

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Request for Symposia Topics

Mark Johnson

The Executive Committee solicits formal suggestions for symposia and speakers for the meetings to be held in future years. The Executive Committee will meet in Salt Lake City, UT in March, 2009 to plan the programs for 2010. Please send your suggestions to the 2010 Program Chair, Mark Johnson, at the address in the table of officers. The deadline for receipt of suggestions is November 1, 2009. These suggestions will be essential input for organizing the programs of the meetings. For greatest effectiveness, follow these guidelines:

Recent Symposia Topics

231st ACS National Meeting
Atlanta, GA
March 29-30, 2006

Emerging Issues in Atmospheric Science: A Physical Chemistry Perspective
Interactions of Peptides & Proteins with Membrane Surfaces
Molecular & Molecular-Scale Electronics
Molecules in Space
Quantum Molecular Dynamics in the Condensed Phase: Towards Bridging the Gap Between Theory & Experiment
Spectroscopy of Interfaces
Theoretical & Experimental Advances in the Study of Low-Energy Electron-Induced Processes In Complex Systems

232nd ACS National Meeting
San Francisco, CA
Sept 10-14, 2006

Chemistry in Extreme Environments
Cyber Science, Chemistry
Fundamentals of Metal Oxide Catalysis
Physical Chemical Foundations of Biological Membrane Phenomenon
Fifty Years of Electron Transfer & RRKM Theories
Frontiers in Single-Molecule Biophysical Chemistry and Imaging
Frontiers in Molecular Dynamics: Experiment & Theory
Theory of Rare Events & Accelerated Dynamics
Physical Chemistry of Ionic Liquids

233rd ACS National Meeting
Chicago, IL
March 25-29, 2007

Capturing Complexity in Physical Sciences Simulations
Dynamics on the Nanoscale
Measure of Accuracy and Reliability in Molecular Simulation
Structure and Dynamics at the Liquid-Liquid Interface
The Biophysics of DNA
Vibrational Spectroscopy as a Probe of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics: Theory and experiment
Implications and Applications of Chirality in Physical Chemistry

234th ACS National Meeting
Boston, MA
August 19-23, 2007

Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Novel Imaging Techniques for Biomlecular Systems
Emergence of Function in Molecular Assemblies
Computational Electrochemistry for New Energy
Hydration: From Clusters to Aqueous Solution
Structural Determination, Refinement, and Modeling of Large Biomolecular Complexes
Excited Electronic States in Chemistry and Biology- Theory and Experiment
Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics: Can One Avoid the Other?
Biological Ion Channels: From Molecular Structure to Cellular Function

235th ACS National Meeting
New Orleans, LA
April 6-10, 2008

Physical Chemistry of Atmospheric Processes
Optical Probes of Dynamics in Complex Environments
Multiscale Computational Spectroscopy
Nanostructured Materials
Electronic Structure and Reaction Dynamics of Open-Shell Species
Spectroscopy, Chemistry and Imaging Through Nanophotonics

236th ACS National Meeting
Philadelphia, PA
August 17-21, 2008

Water Mediated Interactions
Advances in the Electronic Structure of Transition Metal Systems and Organometallics
Spectroscopic Probes of Chemical Dynamics in Gaseous and Condensed Phases
Protein Folding Dynamics: Experiments and Theory
Recent Advances in Biophysical Chemistry of Transport by Biomolecular Motors and Machines
Fundamental Advances in Contemporary NMR Spectroscopy
Centennial of the Physical Division: Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future


Spring 09 Meeting

Technical Program

March 22-26, 2009 Salt Lake City, UT

The 237th American Chemical Society National Meeting will take place in Salt Lake City, UT during the week of March 22-26, 2009.

Martin Head-Gordon, 2009 Physical Chemistry Division Program Chair, has arranged a broad range of topics in modern physical chemistry to be featured in symposia and a general poster session at this meeting. The window for abstract submission for this meeting is open until October 20th. The topical symposia and their organizers are:



A significant portion of the Division’s annual income is provided by the ACS, based in part on Division members’ attendance at the national meetings. On the advance meeting registration form, you will see a question such as that given below. If you list the Physical Division, you will contribute to our income and allow the Division to offer better symposia.


Fall 2009 Meeting

Call for Papers

August 16-20, 2009 Washington, DC

Program Chair: Martin Head-Gordon, University of California Berkeley,

Online abstract submission for this meeting opens in January or February, 2009. Please see for abstract submission access and guidelines. Only electronic abstracts via the ACS online submittal system, OASYS, will be accepted, except by special arrangement with the ACS symposium organizers. You can check the Division’s website for specific deadlines. The web page is

Submit your abstract online at the ACS website: Please see the following for more information regarding submission. As is now customary, Program Chair Head-Gordon has arranged for the presentation of contributed talks in each of the topical symposia. The contributed talks will be selected by the individual symposium organizers from among abstracts that explicitly request consideration for oral presentation. The criterion for selection will be close connection with the topics addressed in the symposia. Abstracts not selected for oral presentation will be assigned to the poster session(s), unless the authors request otherwise. Since the organizers will not be able to accommodate all requests, the poster sessions will be specifically organized to group posters by symposium topic. While the symposia do cover a wide range of topics, they cannot cover the full depth and breadth of physical chemistry. The Division, therefore, also welcomes general contributions to the poster sessions, which will be grouped by subject area.

The planned symposia and their organizers are:


Restrictions on Speakers for PHYS Symposia

. Note that this rule does not apply to contributed talks and posters, so there is still plenty of opportunity for all physical chemists to present their research results in the PHYS Division.

Submission of Abstracts

Abstract Requirements: Submit a 150-word abstract via the ACS web-based submission system, OASys. Submission instructions and information on abstract requirements can be found at the ACS Web site,

Request for Contributed Oral Presentations: Authors who submit a contributed paper to the program and wish their abstract to be considered for possible oral presentation in a topical symposium must indicate such preference. The abstract should be submitted to the symposium in which oral presentation is desired and is due one week prior to the deadline.


General Information for Contributed Papers

General Papers – Members are cordially invited to present papers at the poster sessions. Abstracts should be submitted as instructed on the ACS Meetings web page, The deadline, as published in C&E News, on the OASys web site, and the call for papers must be observed to allow the ACS to compile the program and to print and to circulate the abstracts.


Future National ACS Meetings

Salt Lake City, UT, March 22-26, 2009

Program Chair: Martin Head-Gordon
University of California, Berkeley

San Francisco, CA, March 21-25, 2010

Program Chair: Mark Johnson
Yale University

Washington, DC, August 16-20, 2009

Program Chair: Martin Head-Gordon
University of California, Berkeley

Boston, MA August 22-26, 2010

Program Chair: Mark Johnson
Yale University



Information and Rules Applying to All Contributed Poster Papers

  1. No paper will be accepted unless an author expects to be present.

  2. ACS Bylaws 3(a) require that “papers by American Chemists or chemical engineers not members of the Society shall not appear on the program unless they be joint with one or more Society members.”

  3. Prospective poster presenters who also submit papers to other Divisions should inform the Chairman-Elects as to the Division, titles of papers and co-authors by the deadline date.

  4. Each poster paper will have a poster board measuring 4’x8’.

  5. All illustrations, charts, and textual material to be posted must be prepared in advance since materials for these purposes will not be available at the meeting.

  6. Posters should be mounted prior to the opening of the session and left in place until the close. Authors are encouraged to be present the entire session.

  7. There must be a heading (with letter at least 1” height) giving the title of the papers, the author(s), their affiliation(s), and the number assigned to it in the program.

  8. Illustrative material will be read by attendees from a distance of 3’ or more, so lettering on illustrations should be at least 3/8” high.

  9. There should be a logical sequence (introduction, development and conclusion) to the display and each sheet should be numbered.

  10. Mounting the sheets on colored construction paper and using other techniques for improving graphic impact will enhance the presentation’s effectiveness. Ease of reading is far more important than artistic flair. Certain color combinations, for instance, may look beautiful but may be almost impossible to read, especially in the absence of optimum lighting.

  11. Do NOT mount illustrations on heavy stock, which is difficult to mount on the poster boards.

  12. Each author is responsible for mounting his or her material at least ½ hour prior to the opening of the assigned poster session and removing it within ½ hour after the close of the session. ACS cannot assume any responsibility for materials beyond those time limits.

  13. Do provide sign-up sheets to record names and addresses of attendees who wish more information.

  14. Do bring duplicates of data and conclusions. Duplicating facilities are unavailable through ACS.

  15. ACS provides a modest supply of pushpins, masking tape, and felt-tipped pens, but it is wise to bring your own. Upon advance request, ACS will arrange for blackboards to be available in the room.

  16. Admission to poster sessions will be by ACS meeting badge only.

  17. A poster paper submitted to the Program Chair (before the deadline) for presentation at a national meeting should be considered accepted unless the author is specifically notified to the contrary by the Division of Physical Chemistry Program Chair.

Division of Physical Chemistry
Subdivision of Theoretical Chemistry and Subdivision of Biophysical Chemistry
We invite you to encourage non-members to join the PHYS division. It is the professional organization devoted to physical chemistry and physical chemists and can be most successful with maximum participation by physical chemists. Some of the more practical advantages of membership are:
1.             Members receive, in advance, abstracts of the papers to be delivered in the Division of Physical Chemistry programs at national meetings of the ACS
2.             Members receive a newsletter with the abstracts of the National meetings listing future symposia and divisional meetings and giving the deadlines for submission of papers to be presented at these meetings. The newsletter is included with the abstracts of papers for convenience.
3.             Members receive discounts on the purchase price of the complete bound books of meeting abstracts. Discounts for other books and journals are also available, and new arrangements are negotiated from time to time.
4.             The Division of Physical Chemistry is an affiliate of the American Institute of Physics, and members of the Division are eligible for a discount on various AIP publications including The Journal of Chemical Physics.
5.             The Division holds mixers at each national meeting of the ACS at which a division program is presented. These events are held in conjunction with a poster session and provide an excellent opportunity to meet other physical chemists.
6.             Members may vote and hold office in the Division and participate in its activities. Division Affiliates may not vote and may not hold office. Members and Affiliates are invited to suggest symposium topics, speakers, and organizers.
7.             The Division maintains a close relationship with the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Through the Division programs and through cooperation with the Journal of Physical Chemistry, we seek to call attention to the vigorous and dynamic character of physical chemistry in this country and to stimulate intellectual cross-fertilization between the different fields of research in physical chemistry.
8.             The Division hosts important awards symposia. The Debye, Hildebrand, and Theoretical Chemistry awards are given each year, the Langmuir Award every other year by the ACS. In addition, the Pure Chemistry and Nobel Laureate Signature awards are frequent features in Division symposia.
9.             In 1978, the Division established the Subdivision of Theoretical Chemistry. There is no additional fee for membership in the Subdivision. The subdivision provides special services and participates fully in developing symposium topics at the national meetings, specifically for the theoretically inclined.
10.          In 1978, the Division established the Subdivision of Biophysical Chemistry. There is no additional fee for membership in the Subdivision. The subdivision provides special services and participates fully in developing symposium topics at the national meetings, specifically for the biophysically inclined.

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