Fall 2011 Newsletter




Remarks from Division Chair
Election Information and Ballot
Notes from the Secretary/Treasurer
Councilor's Report
Biophysical Subdivision
Theoretical Subdivision

Energy Subdivision
Student Poster Awards

ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry

ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Experimental Chemistry

ACS Physical Chemistry Annual Postdoctoral Award
Request for Symposia Topics
Recent Symposia Topics
Call for Papers — 243rd  National Meeting — San Diego, CA
Fall 2012 Meeting, Call for Papers, August 19-23, 2012, Philadelphia, PA
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 (8/10-11) Mark A. Johnson

Department of Chemistry, Yale University

New Haven, CT 06520-8107

(203) 436-4930, fax (203) 432-6144



Chair Elect (8/10-11) Sharon Hammes-Schiffer

Department of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

 (814) 865-6442, fax  (814) 863-5319



Secretary/Treasurer (8/06-11) Anne B. McCoy
Ohio State University, Department of Chemistry

Columbus, OH 43210

(614) 292-4992, fax (614) 292-1654


Vice-Chair ((8/10-11)   Martin Gruebele

Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois

Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-1624, fax (217)244-3186



Vice Chair Elect (8/10-11)  Joel Bowman

Department of Chemistry , Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia  30322

404-727-6592: fax 404-727-6628



Past Chair (8/10-11)  Martin Head-Gordon

Department of Chemistry, University of California

Berkeley, CA 94720

(510) 642-5957, fax (510) 643-1255

mhg@ cchem.berkeley.edu


Robert Cave  (8/08-11)  Harvey Mudd College

Ted Goodson (8/09-12) University of Michigan

Frank Keutsch (8/10-13) University of Wisconsin - Madison

Caroline Chick-Jarrold (8/08-11) Indiana University

Sotiris Xantheas (8/09-12)  PNNL

Angela Wilson (8/10-13) University of North Texas


John E. Adams (09-11) University of Missouri

Ellen Stechel (10-12) Sandia National Labs

Michael R. Berman (09-11) AFOSR

Paul Jagodzinski (11-13)  Northern Arizona University


Xiaoyang Zhu (09-11)  University of Texas

Jianpeng Ma (11-13) Baylor College of Medicine

Mary J. Shultz (10-12), Tufts University

Rob Walker (11-13) Montana State University


Chair (8/10-11)  Douglas J. Tobias

Department of Chemistry

University of California, Irvine

(949) 824-4295



Chair-Elect (8/10-11)  Greg Engel
  Department of Chemistry
University of Chicago
(773) 834-0818


Vice-Chair (8/10-11) Judy Kim
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Califormia San Diego
(858) 534-8080



Past Chair (8/10-11)  Christine Payne

  Department of Chemistry

Georgia Tech

(404) 385-3125



Chair  (8/10-11) C. David  Sherrill

Department of Chemistry, Georgia Tech

(404) 894-4037





Chair-Elect (8/10-11) Phillip Geissler

Department of Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley




Vice-Chair (8/10-11)  Laura Gagliardi
Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota
Minneapolis,  Minnesota  5545-0431



Secretary Jan Steckel

 (412) 386-4430



Past Chair  (8/10-11)  Gerhard Hummer

Laboratory of Chemical Physics, National Institutes of Health




Chair (8/10-11) Emily A. Carter

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Princeton University

(609) 258-5391



Chair-Elect (8/10-11) John C. Hemminger

Department of Chemistry
University of California, Irvine

(949) 824-6022



Vice-Chair (8/10-11)  William Schneider

Department of Chemistry

University of Notre Dame

(574) 631-8754



Past Chair (8/10-11) Bruce D. Kay

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

 (509) 386-0028






Remarks from the Division Chair

Fall, 2011

Mark Johnson


The symposia organized by Sharon Hammes-Schiffer for the ACS National Meetings at Anaheim and Denver were quite successful, providing excellent venues to highlight the outstanding work being carried out by leaders in the field as well as younger scientists at many levels.  We are particularly excited by the introduction of our mid-career awards for Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry, with James Skinner and Michael Duncan being named this year’s winners.  In addition, we have four post-doctoral prize lectures at the fall meeting, which provides a new venue designed to enhance the visibility of physical chemists just on the threshold of their independent careers.  This year’s winners are Christian Bleiholder (University of California, Santa Barbara), Sean T. Roberts (University of Southern California), Ksenia Bravaya (University of Southern California) and Igor Schapiro (Bowling Green State University), who received the awards at the PHYS division reception on Tuesday evening in Denver.  The reception is another relatively new addition to our portfolio of division activities, and we are very grateful to George Schatz and the Journal of Physical Chemistry in particular for supporting this wildly successful event.  The poster sessions were once again well attended, with awards presented to outstanding presentations by graduate students. Finally, Denver included the Undergraduate Research Symposium organized by George Shields, bringing 12 students to the meeting with special introductory lectures by luminaries in the fields highlighted in the program.


The PHYS division is thus constantly seeking ways to serve our membership and maintain the vitality of the discipline. We urge younger scientists to join PHYS so as to be eligible for these and other opportunities.  We look forward to another successful year as I turn the Chair’s responsibilities over to Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, and enjoy the symposia organized by program chair Martin Gruebele.  Remember, the programming is for YOU, and we seriously invite your suggestions for new areas to highlight and organizers who may wish to participate more fully in the division.


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, Secretary/Treasurer 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 Martin Head-Gordon, Mark Johnson and Fleming Crim. They have chosen the following candidates for election:


Nancy Levinger (to succeed Joel Bowman)

Executive Committee:
Andrei Sanov (to replace Caroline Chick-Jarrold)

Carol Parish (to replace Robert Cave)

Alternate Councilor:
Donna Minton (to replace Xiaoyang Zhu)


John Adams (for re-election)

Michael Berman (for re-election)


T. Daniel Crawford (to succeed Anne B. McCoy)






The election will open September 30, with a closing date of October 28. 


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 Curators’ Teaching 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 Excellence in Advising Award (2005), the Outstanding Faculty Academic Advisor Award of the Missouri Academic Advising Association (2005), the President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (2009), and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009). His research is in theoretical chemical dynamics, with current interests in the dynamics of host-guest complexes and in energy transfer at a gas-liquid interface. A member of ACS since 1974, he has served as Chair (1988-1989), Chair-Elect (1987-1988), Secretary-Treasurer (1984-1985), and Councilor (1993-2002) of the University of Missouri Local Section; and Program Chair (1993) and General Chair (2003) of the Midwest Regional Meeting.  His previous national service includes the Council Committee on Membership Affairs (associate 1994 and 2001, member 1995-2000), the Society Committee on Budget and Finance (associate 2002, member 2003-2010, chair 2010), the Council Committee on Constitution and Bylaws (member 2002, associate 2003-2010), the Program Review Advisory Group (2006-2009, chair 2009), the Board Committee on Executive Compensation (2010), and the Board Committee on Planning (2010), as well as several task forces.. He currently serves as Councilor of the Physical Chemistry Division (2003-2011) and is a member of the Council Policy Committee (2011-2013), the chair of the ACS Fellows Program Oversight Committee (2010-2011), a Trustee of the Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members (1997-2000, 2011-2013), webmaster of the Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision, and webmaster and archivist of the Midwest Regional Board. He received the E. Ann Nalley Midwest Award for Volunteer Service (2008) and was named an ACS Fellow in 2009.  He also is active in the Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry Fraternity (vice president 1998-2002, president 2002-2004), is Secretary-Treasurer of the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation (2009-2012), 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 the American Physical Society (2008) a member of the American Chemical 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).  He also serves on the ACS Committee on Science(2009 - present) and the ACS Divisional Activities Committee (2009 - present).


Nancy E. Levinger is a Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Colorado State University where she holds faculty positions in Chemistry and in Electrical Computer Engineering. She earned B.A. degrees from Northwestern University in Integrated Science and physics. Her Ph.D. degree in chemical physics from the University of Colorado investigated spectroscopy and dynamics in large cluster ions.  As a NSF postdoctoral fellow, she worked on ultrafast electron transfer dynamics with P. F. Barbara at the University of Minnesota.  Since joining the faculty at Colorado State University in 1992, her work has focused on dynamics of molecules in the condensed phase, especially molecular assemblies, molecules at liquid interfaces and in confined environments structure. She utilizes a broad range of techniques from ultrafast spectroscopies to NMR to neutron scattering to develop detailed models for complex systems. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science.  She has served in the American Physical Society Division of Chemical Physics as a committee-member-at-large.  As the current councilor for the APS DCP, she serves on the APS Executive committee. For her contributions in science and education, she holds the title of University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.


Carol Parish is currently the Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gotttwald Chair and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Richmond. She received the Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Purdue University where she studied electronic structure theory with Cliff Dykstra.  She was also a Fujitsu post-doctoral fellow in Clark Still’s laboratory at Columbia University and completed a sabbatical year in Roald Hoffmann’s group at Cornell.  Her work investigates the fundamental molecular nature of a wide range of physical phenomenon ranging from the accurate characterization of diradical excited states to the dynamics of motor proteins.  In the last 9 years she has coauthored 18 research publications with her undergraduate students and raised over $1.8 million to support her research group from NSF, DOE, ACS-PRF and the Dreyfus Foundation including the receipt of a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award in 2005. Professor Parish has mentored 74 amazingly bright and hard-working undergraduates in her research. Her students have gone on to do great things including winning a Rhodes Scholarship, a Gates – Cambridge Scholarship, a Department of Energy Fellowship, 3 ACS Scholar awards, a Fulbright Fellowship, a DAAD Fellowship and 8 Goldwater Scholarships. Twenty-five of her students have pursued the Ph.D in the chemical sciences and a similar number have gone on to high-quality medical schools. Women and other underrepresented students have worked with her in disproportionate numbers.  She is a founding member of the MERCURY consortium to support undergraduate computational chemistry.


T. Daniel Crawford is a Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.  He received his B.S. in chemistry and mathematics (cum laude) from Duke University in 1992 and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1996 under the direction of Prof. Henry F. Schaefer.  His research interests focus on the development of quantum chemical models – especially high-accuracy methods such as coupled cluster theory – for chiroptical spectroscopy, including optical rotation, electronic and vibrational circular dichroism, and Raman optical activity.  In addition, his work contributes to new advances in reduced-scaling models for large molecules, as well as accurate simulations of solvation effects on molecular properties.  He has given more than 90 invited lectures at conferences and universities worldwide, and in 2010 he was co-organizer of the international conference, "Molecular Quantum Mechanics: From Methylene to DNA and Beyond" held at the University of California, Berkeley.  In addition to multiple teaching awards, he is the recipient of a New Faculty Award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation (2000), an NSF CAREER award (2002), a Cottrell Scholar award from the Research Corporation for the Advancement of Science (2003), and the Dirac Medal of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (given annually to "the outstanding computational chemist under the age of 40").


Donna J. Minton earned her B.S. (highest honors), M.S., and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Montana State University - Bozeman.  Her research involved molecular-beam investigations of the dynamics of atomic-oxygen reactions with liquid hydrocarbon surfaces and gaseous H2, methane, and ethane.  During her graduate work, she received a NASA GSRP Fellowship, and upon completion of her degree, she was awarded the 2004 the university-wide Graduate Achievement Award for Outstanding Performance in a Doctoral Program.   Following her graduate studies, she became the Deputy Director of the NASA Montana Space Grant Consortium, during which time she also served as Chair of the Montana Section of the ACS.  In her position with the Montana Space Grant Consortium, she organized several research projects involving materials testing on the International Space Station.  She took her current position as Managing Editor with ACS Publications in 2007.  Her primary responsibilities have been with the Journal of Physical Chemistry, but she has also participated in a number of initiatives within the ACS Publications Division, including the launch of the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.  She has recently assumed additional responsibilities as Managing Editor for the Journal of Chemical Theory & Computation and Energy & Fuels.


Andrei Sanov is a Davis & Weed Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Univer­sity of Arizona. He received his Master’s degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1992 and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Southern California in 1996 (advisor: H. Reisler).  Prior to joining the University of Arizona faculty, he worked as a postdoc­toral research associate in the laboratory of W. C. Lineberger at JILA, the University of Colorado in Boulder (1996-1999). His current research program focuses on the applications of photoelectron imaging spectroscopy to the studies of the electronic structure, reactivity, and photoemission dynamics of atomic, molecular, and cluster anions. He is a past recipient of the Beckman Young Investigator Award for innovative research within the chemical and biological sciences (2002), the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award (2002), the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering (2002), and the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2004).























I approve the nomination of Michael Berman for Councilor from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014.


YES [     ]          NO [     ]




I approve the nomination of John Adams for Councilor from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014.


YES [     ]          NO [     ]





I approve the nomination of Donna Minton for Alternate Councilor from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014.


YES [     ]          NO [     ]






Voter’s Signature                                 __________________________________



Please return your ballot by October 28, 2011 to:




Or by mail to:


Anne B. McCoy, Secretary/Treasurer
Department of Chemistry
The Ohio State University
100 W. 18th Avenue

Columbus, OH 43210

















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 April 1 and August 15 for the newsletters appearing before the Spring and Fall ACS meetings, respectively.  Submissions may be made via mail, FAX, or e-mail.


Councilor’s Report

Paul Jagodzinski


Fellow members of the Physical Division,


The finances of the Society continue to be an issue requiring due diligence on the part of the Board of Directors, the Committee on Budget and Finance, and senior staff. The Society is anticipating a greater net return from operations than budgeted for the current fiscal year. However, the market decline and low interest rates require that the Society use unrestricted net assets to cover some liabilities. Consequently, the Society is not able to meet all of its financial guidelines.


Contained below is a synopsis of the discussions and actions taken during the Council meeting held at the Fall 2011 national meeting in Denver as well as other information reported to Councilors. The complete Council Agenda may be found at the following link: http://portal.acs.org/portal/PublicWebSite/about/governance/councilors/CNBP_027851


·         Council elected Rigoberto Hernandez, Zaida Martinez-Morales, Howard Peters and Sara Risch to serve on the Committee on Committees for the 2012-2014 term.

·         Council elected Lawrence Barton, Peter Jurs, Mamie Moy and Eleanor Siebert to serve on the Council Policy Committee for the 2012-2014 term.

·         Council elected Jack Breazeale, Catherine Fenseleau, Anne O’Brien and Andrea Twiss-Brooks to serve on the Committee on Nominations and Elections for the 2012-2014 term.

·         Dennis Chamot and Marinda Li Wu were announced as candidates for President-Elect 2012.

·         Ken Anderson, William Carroll, Charles Kolb and Barbara Sawrey were announced as candidates for Director-at-Large 2012-2014.

·         Pat Confalone and David Lohse were announced as candidates for Director, District III, 2012-2014.

·         Bonnie Charpentier and Carlos Gutierrez were announced as candidates for Director, District VI, 2012-2014.

·         Council voted to approve the Petition on Position Statements. This petition assures that the Board of Directors has sole authority in issuing position statements that establish policy for the Society and that Society bodies other than the Board may issue statements on issues that fall solely in their jurisdiction so long as they do not impair other Society bodies’ ability to do the same. The Board will vote within 90 days on whether to ratify the approved petition.

·         Council received two petitions to amend the ACS Constitution and Bylaws for consideration. Action is expected at the 2012 Spring meeting.

1)     Petition on Market Data Collection

o    This petition seeks to allow for controlled market testing in order to collect data before the Society would change benefits, dues, or membership categories.

2)     Petition to Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure

o    This petition, impacting Council meeting procedures, provides that a call for a recorded vote after clicker voting has commenced and that a call for a recorded vote after the initial clicker voting has taken place would both be out of order.

·         As the result of a regular performance review, Council voted to continue the joint Board-Council Committees on Publications and on Community Activities. Continuing these committees requires Board of Directors concurrence.

·         President Nancy Jackson led Council in a discussion on how the ACS can best cultivate a culture of safety in US universities and colleges.

·         Council voted to grant full division status to the previously probationary Division of Catalysis Science and Technology and to approve the division bylaws.

·         After much discussion, Council voted 53%-47% to dissolve the Division of Petroleum Chemistry and to combine its assets and members with those of the Division of Fuel Chemistry under the new name of the Division of Energy and Fuels effective December 31, 2011. The discussion focused on the name of the new division.

·         The Chair of the Board reported that the ACS appealed a previous ruling in the Leadscope case to the Ohio Supreme Court and that the Court has agreed to hear the case. Oral arguments are scheduled for September 7 in Columbus, Ohio.

·         The Board considered several program funding requests and, on the recommendation of B&F, voted to include ACS Fellows, ACS Leadership, ACS Scholars, and ACS Global Research Experiences, Exchanges, and Training Programs in the 2012 proposed budget. The Board also voted to include funding for the ACS Entrepreneurship Initiative in the 2012 and 2013 budgets.

·         The Board voted to adopt a non-Councilor committee member reimbursement policy at the rate of 50% of Councilor travel reimbursement effective 2012.


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these or any other issues.

Biophysical Subdivision

Gregory Engel


Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry.  To join the Biophysical Subdivision, notify the chair, Gregory Engel, 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

Phillip Geissler


Representing diverse interests within quantum chemistry and statistical mechanics, the Theoretical Subdivision leads the planning
of PHYS symposia that feature significant contributions from theory and/or computation.  The Subdivision also promotes the work of
theoretical physical chemists by developing and administering awards for early- and mid-career scientists, currently including the ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry (nominations due Nov. 1) and the Graduate Student Award  in Computational Physical Chemistry. We invite your nominations for these awards, as well as ideas for symposia at upcoming national meetings. Please submit such input to the current Subdivision Chair, Phillip Geissler.
Theoretical chemistry will be strongly represented at the Spring 2012 meeting in San Diego. Symposia concentrated in theoretical
presentations include "Water Mediated Chemical Assembly," "Single Molecules: Theory Meets Experiment," "Frontiers in Heterogeneous Catalysis," "Nonadiabatic Dynamics: Surface Hopping and Beyond," and "Physical Chemistry of CO2 Separation."
Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry.  To join the Theoretical
Subdivision, please contact the Subdivision Secretary, Jan Steckel.



Emily Carter


The Energy Subdivision was created in 2010 to address fundamental physical chemistry phenomena relevant to the efficient conversion, storage, and utilization of energy and the impact of energy technologies on the environment.   Physical chemistry provides the scientific foundation for many energy-related technologies such as combustion, catalysis, fuel cells, energy storage, lighting, and solar energy conversion (photocatalysis, photoelectrochemistry, and photovoltaics), and plays a central role in understanding related issues in climate change, carbon capture and sequestration, and environmental detection and remediation of pollutants caused by energy technologies.  The Subdivision works closely with the Division and the Theoretical and Biophysical Subdivisions in developing energy-related programming for symposia at national meetings.


The inaugural officers for the Subdivision were Bruce D. Kay (Chair) of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Emily A. Carter (Chair-Elect) of Princeton University, and John C. Hemminger (Vice-Chair) of the University of California, Irvine.  William F. Schneider of the University of Notre Dame joined the leadership team in 2011 as Vice-Chair-Elect. Currently, the leadership is Emily A. Carter (Chair), John C. Hemminger (Chair-elect), and William F. Schneider (Vice-Chair). We are delighted to welcome Dr. Steve Harris of General Motors Research & Development Center as our new Vice-Chair-Elect.


Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry.  To join the Energy Subdivision, simply complete and submit the application form at the end of this newsletter.


Lastly, I’d like to call your attention to two symposia we are sponsoring that will be held at the Spring 2012 ACS National Meeting: 

“Physical Chemistry of CO2 Separation,” co-organized by our Vice-Chair Bill Schneider and Abhoyit Brown of EPRI, and

“Solar Energy Conversion and Utilization for Fuels and Energy Production,” co-sponsored by PHYS and the Fuels Division.



Student Poster Awards

Mark Johnson


The winners of the Physical Chemistry Student Poster Award Competition at the Fall 2011 ACS meeting in Denver, CO were:


Yuyuan Zhang, University of Southern California,  “Competing photoionization and photodissociation process in small heteroaromatic systems”
Anne-Marie Dowgiallo, Florida State University, “Ultrafast electron-phonon coupling in hollow gold nanospheres
Melissa Paulite, University of Toronto, “Nanoscale imaging of the secondary structure of individual amyloid fibrils made from a ß2-microglobulin fragment using near-field infrared microscopy”
Zulma Jimenez (Sid Benson Award), Florida State University, “Stabilization of scroll rings in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction”
Takuji Adachi, University of Texas at Austin, Optical properties of ordered and disordered single P3HT chains and the conformational effect on energy transfer”
Joshua Martin, University of Colorado,  Photodissociation dynamics of a triatomic pseudo-dihalide: Absorption cross section and dynamics of solvated ICN-
Alina Sergeeva, Utah State University , “Rationalizing chemical bonding in molecular Wankel motors”

ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry


The ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry, which is jointly sponsored by the PHYS division of ACS and the Telluride Schools on Theoretical Chemistry (TSTC), recognizes contributions in theoretical chemistry. The recipient of the 2012 award will receive a plaque and will be invited to present her or his work at the 2013  summer school, which will be held the in July, 2013 in Telluride, Colorado. The Award will be presented at that meeting. The TSTC will pay up to $1500 to cover travel, lodging, and meal expenses for the award winner while at the TSTC.


ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Experimental  Chemistry


The ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry recognizes contributions in experimental physical chemistry.  The awardee will receive a plaque and will be invited to present his or her work at an appropriate symposium at the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia, PA  August 19-23, 2012.  At that meeting, he or she will present an invited talk and receive the Award. The division will pay up to $1500 to cover the travel, lodging, and meal expenses for the award winner while at this ACS meeting.  Nominations are being accepted through November 1, 2011.


ACS Physical Chemistry Division Postdoctoral Research Award


Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 ACS Physical Chemistry Division Postdoctoral  Research Award. There are two winners in the theoretical and computational area: Ksenia Bravaya (USC: Krylov group), Igor Schapiro (Bowling Green: Olivucci group), and two winners in experimental physical chemistry: Sean Roberts (USC; Bradforth/Benderskii group) and Christian Blieholder(UCSB; Bowers group).   Each award winner gave an invited talk at the Fall 2011 National ACS meeting in Denver, CO, and they were honored at a reception that was held on Tuesday.  Nominations are being accepted through November 1, 2011.


Request for Symposia Topics

Nancy Levinger


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 San Diego, CA in March, 2012 to plan the programs for 2013.   Please send your suggestions to the 2013 Program Chair, Joel Bowman, at the address in the table of officers.  The deadline for receipt of suggestions is November 1, 2011.  These suggestions will be essential input for organizing the programs of the meetings.  For greatest effectiveness, follow these guidelines:


                a)            Recommend a symposium topic, organizer, and list of suggested speakers (a list of recent PHYS symposia

                             follows for informational purposes).                   

                b)            Provide a brief description of the significance of the symposium.


Recent Symposia Topics



235th ACS                                  Physical Chemistry of Atmospheric Processes

National Meeting                     Optical Probes of Dynamics in Complex Environments

New Orleans, LA                     Multiscale Modeling in Biophysics

April 6-10, 2008                       Computational Spectroscopy

                                                    Nanostructured Materials

                                                    Electronic Structure and Reaction Dynamics of Open-Shell Species

                                                    Spectroscopy, Chemistry and Imaging Through Nanophotonics


236th ACS                                  Water Mediated Interactions

National Meeting                     Advances in the Electronic Structure of Transition Metal Systems and Organometallics

Philadelphia, PA                      Spectroscopic Probes of Chemical Dynamics in Gaseous and Condensed Phases

August 17-21, 2008                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








237th ACS                                  New Developments in Energy Conversion and Light-Harvesting

National Meeting                     Advances in Electronic Structure Theory and First Principles Dynamics

Salt Lake City, UT                    Attosecond Science- The Next Frontier

March 22-26, 2009                  Convergence Between Theory and Experiment in Surface Chemistry and Catalysis

                                                    Functional Motions in Enzyme Catalysis

                                                    Molecular Hydrogen in Nanoporous Materials: Meeting Ground for Theory and Experiment

                                                    From Clusters to the Condensed Phase: Progress in Polarizable Force Fields and Simulation


238th ACS                                  Molecular Basis of Protein Aggregation and Amyloid Fibril Formation

National Meeting                     New Developments in Strongly Correlated Electrons

Washington, DC                      25 Years of ZEKE

August 16-20, 2009                Protected Metallic Clusters, Quantum Wells and Metal-Nanocrystal Molecules in Fundamental and  Applied Chemistry

                                                    The Physical Chemistry of Photon to Fuel Conversion

                                                    Graphitic Materials

                                                    Fluorescence Microscopy Beyond the Diffraction Limit

                                                    Chemical Reaction Dynamics in Gaseous and Condensed Phases

                                                    Special Symposium for Postdoctoral Presenters


239th ACS                                  Multiscale Nanomaterials, Polymer, and Biomolecular Dynamics

National Meeting                     Optical Science and Emerging Energy Technologies

San Francisco, CA                  Dynamics in Clusters and Floppy Systems: Theory and Experiment

March 21-25, 2010                  Fluorescent Probes in Biophysics and Chemistry

                                                    Recent Advances in Observational and Experimental Astrochemistry

 Measuring and Manipulating Condensed Phase Chemistry in Time and Frequency: Celebrating 50    Years of the Laser

    Physical Chemistry of Ionic Liquids


240th ACS                                  Electrons in Bio-Molecules

National Meeting                     Molecular Systems for Efficient Solar Energy Conversion and Storage

Boston, MA                               Challenges for Density Functional Theory

August 22-26, 2010                Physical Chemistry of Spectrochemical Analysis

                                                    Metals in Biology

                                                    Physical Chemistry of Hydrates, Interfaces and Aerosols and Their Relationship to Climate

                                                    Recent Advances in Ion Mobility for Analysis and Characterization of Macromolecules

                                                    Chemical Computations on General Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GP-GPU’s)


241st ACS                                  Membrane Protein Structure and Function

National Meeting                     Fragment and Local Orbital Methods in Electronic Structure Theory

Anaheim, CA                            20 Years of Tunneling Pathways

March 27-31, 2011                  Chemical Reactions and Dynamics at Surfaces: Advances in Experiment and Theory

                                                    Chemical Carbon Mitigation: A Physiochemical Approach

                                                    Quantum Information and Computation in Chemistry: Experiment and Theory

                                                    Infrared Spectroscopy of Gas and Condensed Phase Biomolecules


242nd ACS                                 From Ultrafast Electron Transfer to Single Molecule Spectroscopy: Forces Driving Contemporary National Meeting                                     Themes in Physical Chemistry

Denver, CO                               Heterogeneous Atmospheric Chemistry

August 28-                                Pushing the Envelope: Computational Chemistry at the Petascale and Beyond

September 1, 2011                 Advances in SERS and Molecular Plasmonics

Symposium in Honor of 100th Anniversary of Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize For International Year of Chemistry

Excited State Dynamics: Theory and Experiment

Advanced Microscopy Techniques for Biophysical Questions

Reduced Density Matrices in Quantum Chemistry and Physics


Spring 2012 Meeting

Technical Program

March 25-29, 2012 San Diego, CA




The 243rd  American Chemical Society National Meeting will take place in San Diego, CA during the week of March 25-29, 2012.

Martin Gruebele, 2012 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 17th .  The topical symposia and their organizers are:


Water Mediated Chemical Assembly, Dor Ben-Amotz (Purdue University), Dmitry Matyushov (Arizona State University)

Single Molecules: Theory Meets Experiment, Robert Dickson (Georgia Tech), Jianshu Cao (MIT)

From Geochemistry to Biochemistry and the Origin of Life, Veronica Vaida (University of Colorado), Sheref Mansy (Universita di Trento), Ulrich Muller (UCSD)

Frontiers in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Roger Rousseau (Pacific Northwest Laboratory), Zdenek Dohnalek (Pacific Northwest Laboratory)

Nonadiabatic Dynamics: Surface Hopping and Beyond, Oleg Prezhdo (University of Rochester), Xiaosong Li (University of Washington)

Current Views on Secondary Structure, Angel Garcia (Renesellaer Polytechnic Institute), Feng Gai (University of Pennsylvania), Sean Decatur (Oberlin College)

Physical Chemistry of CO2 Separation, William Schneider (University of Notre Dame), Abhoyjit Bhown (Electric Power Research Institute)






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 be asked your primary area of chemical research.  If you check the Physical Chemistry, you will contribute to our income and allow the Division to offer better symposia.



Fall 2012 Meeting

Call for Papers

August 19 – 23, 2012  Philadelphia, PA


Program Chair:  Martin Gruebele, University of Illinois,  mgruebel@illinois.edu

Online abstract submission for this meeting opens in January or February, 2012.  Please see http://abstracts.acs.org for abstract submission access and guidelines.  Only electronic abstracts via the ACS online submittal system 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 http://phys-acs.org/.


Submit your abstract online at the ACS website:  http://abstracts.acs.org.   Please see the following for more information regarding submission.  As is now customary, Program Chair Hammes-Schiffer 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.


Kinetics and mechanism in the Earth’s Atmosphere  Ronald C. Cohen (UC Berkeley), Timothy H. Bertram (UC San Diego)


Bridging the Gap between ab ignition and Classical Simulations Laura Gagliardi (University of MInnesota), Lyudmilla Slipchenko (Purdue)


Solvent Dynamics at Biomolecular Interfaces: Experiment and Theory Casey Londergan (Haverford College), Steven Corcelli (University of Notre Dame)


Dynamics and Jamming in Complex Environments Laura Kaufman (Columbia University), Vassiliy Lubchenko (University of Houston)


Electron and Energy Transfer Phenomena: At the Intersection of Electronic Structure Theory and Chemical Dynamics Joseph Subotnik (University of Pennsylvania), Robert Cave (Harvey Mudd College), Marshall Newton (Brookhaven National Laboratory)


Synthesis, Spectroscopy, Theory and Applications of Nanocrystals and Nanowires Yi Cui (Stanford University),  Todd Krauss (University of Rochester), Eran Rabani (Tel Aviv University)


Photochemistry in Biology Judy Kim (UC San Diego), Greg Engel (University of Chicago)





Restrictions on Speakers for PHYS Symposia


A speaker may give, at most, one invited talk in the PHYS Division in any given meeting.  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, abstracts.acs.org.  Submission instructions and information on abstract requirements can be found at the ACS Web site, http://www.acs.org/meetings.


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. 


Presentation Requirements : If you plan to use an overhead projector for you presentation, please notify the symposium organizer and the Secretary/Treasurer (Daniel Crawford, Virginia Tech)  so we can ensure it is ordered. 


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, http://www.acs.org/meetings.  The deadline, as published in C&E News, on the abstract submission, 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


San Diego, CA March 25-29, 2012                                                                                      New Orleans, LA April 7-11, 2013

 Program Chair: Martin Gruebele                                                                                          Program Chair:  Joel Bowman   

University of Illinois                                                                                                                  Emory University

gruebele@scs.illinois.edu                                                                                                      jbowma@emory.edu


Philadelphia, PA August 19-23, 2012                                                                                 Indianapolis, IN September 8-12, 2013

Program Chair: Martin Gruebele                                                                                          Program Chair:  Joel Bowman                   

University of Illinois                                                                                                                 Emory University

gruebele@scs.illinois.edu                                                                                                     jbowma@emory.edu


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.    Using 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.    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.

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

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

14.    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.

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

16.    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.

17.    Students wishing to have their posters considered for the poster competition should obtain a red star from the program chair to and post it next to the poster number.

American Chemical Society, Division of Physical Chemistry
Subdivision of Theoretical Chemistry, Subdivision of Biophysical Chemistry and Subdivision of Energy
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, posters announcing the symposia that will be sponsored by the Division of Physical Chemistry programs at national meetings of the ACS.
2.             Members receive electronic notification of the posting of the electronic newsletters.  These newsletters list future symposia and divisional meetings and provide the deadlines for submission of papers to be presented at these meetings.  
3.             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.
4.             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.
5.             Beginning in 2008, the division has co-sponsored receptions at the fall national meetings with the Journal of Physical Chemistry.
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.             The Division sponsors an award in Theoretical Chemistry.
10.          The Division sponsors an award in Experimental Physical Chemistry.
11.          The Division sponsors up to six awards given to presenters of posters at each of the national ACS meetings each year.
12.          The Division sponsors awards for Post Doctoral researchers, presented at the Fall national meeting each year.
13.          The Division sponsors special programming for a selected group of undergraduate chemistry majors at the fall National meeting.  This program provides an introduction to the symposia and opportunities for the students to interact with faculty from other Universities.
14.          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.
15.          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.
16.          In 2009, the Division established the Subdivision of Energy.  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 related to issues, systems and processes related to energy.


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Subdivision Membership
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