American Chemical Society
Division of Physical Chemistry
Fall 2007 Newslette


Chair (8/06-07) Bruce D. Kay
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352
(509)376-0028, fax (509)376-6066

Chair Elect (8/06-07) Gregory A. Voth
University of Utah
Department of Chemistry
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-7272, fax (801)581-4353

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

Vice-Chair ( 8/06-07) Laurie J. Butler
Department of Chemistry
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-7206, FAX (773) 702-5863

Vice Chair Elect (8/06-07) Martin Head-Gordon
Department of Chemistry
University of California
Berkeley, CA
(510) 642-5957, fax (510)643-1255

Past Chair(8/05-06) Barbara Garrison
Penn State University
Department of Chemistry
University Park, PA 16802
(814)863-2103, fax (814)863-5319


Mark A. Johnson (06-09) Yale University

Jingsong Zhang (07-10) University of California, Riverside

Branka M. Ladanyi (05-08) Colorado State University

William F. Polik (06-09) Hope College

William F. Schneider (05-08) Notre Dame University

Gustavo E. Scuseria (06-09) Rice University


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

Michael R. Berman (06-08) AFOS

Ellen Stechel (07-09) Sandia National Labs

John T. Yates (05-07) University of Pittsburgh


Peter B. Armentrout (05-07) University of Utah

Edwin J. Heilweil (06-08) NIST

Anne Meyers Kelley (05-07) University of California,Merced

University of Illinois,


Chair (8/06-07) Jeffrey Saven
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, 19104

Chair-Elect (8/06-07) Cecilia Clementi
Department of Chemistry
Rice University
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 348-3485

Vice-Chair Martin Zanni
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin - Madison
1101 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706-1396
phone: 608-262-4783
fax: 608-262-9918

Secretary To Be Announced<

Past Chair (8/05-06) Jay R. Winkler
Beckman Institute
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125

Chair (8/06-07) Angel Garcia
Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Science
Department of Physics
Applied Physics and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180-3590
(518) 276-3590

Chair-Elect (8/06-07) Todd G. Martinez
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-1449

Vice-Chair (8/05-06) Bernard Schlegel
Department of Chemistry
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202

Secretary (8/06-07) Jan Steckel
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
(412) 386-4430

Past Chair (8/06-07) Krishnan Raghavachari
Department of Chemistry
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405-7102
(812) 855-9043

Remarks from the Division Chair
Fall, 2007

Bruce D. Kay

Greeting from the Chair! The recent ACS meeting in Boston was a huge success for the PHYS Division. Outgoing Program Chair and new Division Chair Greg Voth organized an outstanding meeting consisting of eight symposia spanning a broad range of topics. The topics were: Biological Ion Channels: From Molecular Structure to Cellular Function; Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Imaging and Manipulation of Biomolecular Systems; Structural Determination, Refinement, and Modeling of Large Biomolecular Complexes; Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics: Can One Avoid the Other?; Computational Electrochemistry for New Energy; Hydration: From Clusters to Aqueous Solution; Excited Electronic States in Chemistry and Biology: Theory and Experiment; Emergence of Function in Molecular Assembly. Over 700 papers were presented in the PHYS Division and the attendance was overflowing in many sessions. Thanks, Greg, for putting together a fantastic program!

The Physical Chemistry Division also gives awards for the best student posters at each meeting. The awardees for the Fall 2007 meeting in Boston are given later in this newsletter and their pictures can be found on the web. (

The 2008 Spring National ACS Meeting in New Orleans is coming up April 6-10, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the outstanding program that incoming Program Chair Laurie Butler has put together. Symposium topics will include: Physical Chemistry of Atmospheric Processes; Computational Spectroscopy; Emergence of Function in Molecular Assemblies; Nanostructured Materials; Multiscale Modeling in Biophysics; Electronic Structure and Reaction Dynamics of Open–Shell Species; and, Spectroscopy, Chemistry and Imaging through Nanophotonics. I encourage you all to contribute papers to these symposia. OASYS ( ) is currently open for abstract submission and will close for the PHYS Division on October 28, 2008. The Spring meeting is also the time when we honor our colleagues who have won National ACS Awards. The 2008 award winners will be announced in an upcoming edition of the newsletter.

The PHYS Division functions because of the excellent volunteers within the division. I would like to invite all Physical Division 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 and I will forward your name to the Nominating Committee. If you would like to organize a symposium, Martin Head-Gordon ( is the Program Chair for 2009 and Mark Johnson ( is Program Chair for 2010.

I would like to thank all the officers and staff of the Physical Division for their unwavering dedication and hard work. The past two Chairs, Barbara Garrison and David Nesbitt provided endless advice, help, and encouragement that has made my job much easier. Our Secretary/Treasurer, Anne McCoy, and her assistant, Betsy Foran, worked tirelessly and their efforts have been essential to the smooth running of the Division.

Finally, I just want to say that it has been an honor to serve as the Chair of the PHYS Division this past year. We can all take great pride in the health, vitality, and scientific diversity of physical chemistry. Let's keep up the good work! I hope that you will take the opportunity to let me know of any ways in which you think that the Physical Chemistry Division can better serve its membership and help contribute to our field.

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.

Four weeks from the date of the mailing of the fall newsletter shall be allowed for additional nominations to be received by the Secretary/Treasurer. All valid nominations received within that period shall be accepted and no others.

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 Barbara Garrison, Bruce Kay, and Geri Richmond. They have chosen the following candidates for election:

Mark Johnson (to succeed Martin Head-Gordon)

Paul Jagodzinski (to succeed John Yates)

Alternate Councilor:
Veronica Vaida (to succeed Peter Armentrout)

Gang-Yu Liu (to succeed Anne Meyers Kelly)

Executive Committee:
Vicki Grassian ( 3 year term to succeed William F. Schneider)

C. David Sherrill (3 year term to succeed Branka Ladanyi)

Marsha Lester (2 year term to replace Mark Johnson)

Mark A. Johnson, Received his B. S. degree from The University of California, Berkeley, in 1977, where he worked for several years on the photochemistry of DNA adducts in the laboratories of Prof. C. Bradley Moore. He then studied under Prof. Richard N. Zare at Stanford University where he applied laser population labeling schemes in the application of high resolution spectroscopy to reaction dynamics, earning a Ph. D. in Chemistry in 1983. His interests turned to cluster ion spectroscopy in his postdoctoral work with Prof. W. Carl Lineberger from 1983 to 1985, during which he played a key role in the development of widely used “ion bunching” techniques for size-selected cluster ion studies that match pulsed supersonic ion sources with broadly tunable pulsed lasers. He then began independent work as an Assistant Professor at Yale University, where he rose through the ranks to his present position as the Arthur T. Kemp Professor of Chemistry. There he introduced pulsed time-of-flight techniques for anion photoelectron spectroscopy and more recently has applied tunable solid state lasers to obtain the uv/vis/ir spectra of size-selected ion-solvent clusters. His current research themes ( largely involve exploiting molecular clusters as model systems with which to expose fundamental, molecular level paradigms underlying condensed phase behavior. Particular emphasis is placed on pure and doped water clusters, especially hydrated electrons and protons, that are explored with broadly tunable infrared radiation in conjunction with negative ion photoelectron spectroscopy. A speciality in this regard is the implementation of argon cluster-mediated synthesis and “messenger” spectroscopy of trapped intermediates in chemical reactions.

His teaching and research activities have been acknowledged by many awards and honors, including the Yale College Dylan Hixon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences (2007) and the APS Plyler Prize (2006) as well as his designation as an NSF Presidential Young Investigator (1987), Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar and Distinguished New Investigator. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (DLS, 1999) and the AAAS (2005). He also participates widely in the professional societies at the national level, where he is presently Chair Elect of the APS Division of Laser Science (2007) and an Executive Committee member of the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry (2006-8).  He has been on the selection committees for several national awards including the APS Plyler Prize (2001-2003) and Langmuir Award. He has been a Distinguished Visitor, J.I.L.A. (2005) and serves as Advisory Editor to Chemical Physics Letters (2004-), J. Phys. Chem. A (2006-), and Molecular Physics (2006-). He as served a Chair for two Gordon Research Conferences (Photoions (2001) and Molecular and Ionic Clusters (1996)). He has also been acknowledged internationally as a J.S.P.S. Fellow (2001) and Visiting Professor at the University of Paris-Nord (1998) and –Sud (Orsay, 1989, 1995). He is presently a member of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has graduated 16 Ph. D. students over the past 22 years, and is presently overseeing a research group of 8 students and postdocs. His research work has appeared in over 140 refereed publications as well as several reviews (Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem., Adv. Chemical Physics, Accounts of Chemical Research, etc.), and he has given over 200 invited lectures, including the Condon Lecture at C.U. Boulder in 2005.

Paul W. Jagodzinski,received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (1973) and the Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from Texas A&M University (1979). At Texas A&M he worked with Jaan Laane on the vibrational spectroscopy of large-amplitude, low-frequency normal modes. Jagodzinski was a postdoctoral fellow with Warner Peticolas at the University of Oregon (1979-1981) where he used resonance Raman spectroscopy to study enzyme-substrate intermediate complexes. He spent one year as an Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University before moving to West Virginia University where he attained the rank of Professor. He served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry at WVU from 1990 until 2001. In 2001 he moved to the Department of Chemistry & Geochemistry at the Colorado School of Mines as Professor and Head of the Department where he served as Head until 2006. He has received Outstanding Faculty Awards at both WVU and the School of Mines. Jagodzinski’s current work involves understanding the effects of quantum confinement as manifest in adsorbate-surface interactions and chemistry using plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy. He has mentored 6 postdoctoral fellows and 20 graduate students in his career. Jagodzinski is involved with programs to increase opportunities for traditionally under-represented groups in the sciences and engineering and has been recognized for those efforts. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. Within the ACS he has served as Councilor for the Northern West Virginia Section (1986-2001) and also Chair of that Section. He serves as Alternate Councilor for the Colorado Section (2005-present) and also was Chair of that Section. Jagodzinski has served on the Women Chemists Committee (member, 1988-1992), Meetings and Exposition Committee (member, 1997-2001; Vice Chair, 2001; Finance Subcommittee Chair, 1999-2001), Budget and Finance Committee (member, 2001-present; member, Advisory Subcommittee, 2007-present; Subcommittee on Financial Impacts of Constitutional Amendments member, 2006-present, Chair 2007-present), Task Force on National Meeting Finances (member, 2002-2003), and the Program Review Advisory Group (member, 2006-present).

Veronica Vaida received her B.Sc. degree (1973) in chemistry at Brown University having started her studies at the University of Bucharest, Romania. She completed a M.Sc. (1975) and Ph.D. (1977) degree at Yale University where she used the tools of spectroscopy to investigate energy transfer in molecular crystals. In 1977 Dr. Vaida went to Harvard University, first as a Xerox post-doctoral fellow, then as an assistant and associate professor in chemistry. At Harvard she developed spectroscopic methods for the study of reactive molecules and used these methods to probe photochemistry of transition metal complexes, polyenes and small polyatomic molecules (NH3, CS2, etc.). In 1984 Prof. Vaida moved to the University of Colorado, Boulder as an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry where she received tenure in 1987 and was promoted to Full Professor in 1990. She served as Chair of her Department from 2002 to 2006. Her teaching and her research have followed an interdisciplinary path at the interface of physical chemistry and atmospheric science. In addition to her faculty appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Prof. Vaida served on the faculty of PAOS (Program in Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences), the Environmental Studies Program and has been a fellow of CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) since 2000. Prof. Vaida was a major contributor to the development of a graduate program in atmospheric chemistry. Her research at the University of Colorado focused on light-initiated reactions of molecules and radicals of atmospheric interest (OClO, H2SO4, organic acids and alcohols, etc.). She developed methods for the study of water by investigating water clusters (hydrates), water-air interfaces and aerosols to provide the fundamental data base needed to establish the role of chemistry in aqueous environments in atmospheric chemistry and climate. Veronica Vaida has been a fellow of the Sloan Foundation (1980), the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar (1984), Erskine (University of Canterbury, New Zealand 1994), Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard (2004-2006), AAAS since 2004, APS since 2004 and is a Sigman Xi Distinguished Lecturer for 2007-2008.

Gang-yu Liu completed B.Sc. (1985) at Peking University (PR China) before coming to the U.S. to obtain her M.A. (1988) in biophysics, and Ph.D. (1992) in physical chemistry at Princeton University, working with Giacinto Scoles on molecular beam scattering from inorganic surfaces and organic monolayers. From 1992-1994 Liu was a recipient of a Miller Research Fellowship working at Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory with Miquel Salmeron and Y. T. Lee.  She utilized scanning probe microscopy for the investigation of surface chemical reactions and physical properties. From 1994-2000, Liu had been a faculty member at Wayne State University, Chemistry Department. She constructed state-of-the-art atomic force microscopes (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopes (STM), and applied scanning probe techniques for nanofabrication of various of materials. Liu and her team have invented an advanced nanofabrication technique known as nanografting in 1997. In 2001, Liu moved to University of California, Davis, and became a faculty member at Chemistry Department in association with biophysical graduate group as well as the organized research unit (ORU) of Nanomaterials for Environment, Agriculture and Technology (NEAT). Liu is known to apply nanotechnology to solve chemistry and biochemistry problems that are otherwise difficult to probe, such as size-dependent surface chemical reactions and cellular signaling processes triggered by nanostructures of ligands mimicking extracellular matrices. Liu has received awards that include a CGP Fellowship (1986), a Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship (190-1991), and a Miller Research Fellowship (1992-1994), a Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty (1994-1999) and an Arnold and Mable Beckman Young Investigator Award (1996-1998). She is a Senior Editor of Journal of Physical Chemistry, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Langmuir, ACS Nano, and Nanobiotechnology. Liu has over 70 scientific publications and over 100 invited talks.

Vicki H. Grassian< received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the State University of New York-Albany (1981), a M.S. degree in Chemistry (1982) and a Ph.D. degree in Chemsitry (1987) from University of California-Berkeley with George C. Pimentel. Following postdoctoral positions, she began her independent academic career at the University of Iowa as an Assistant Professor in 1990. Vicki H. Grassian is currently a full professor in the Department of Chemistry and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. She was just recently appointed as the Director of the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Iowa. Grassian and her group have pioneered experimental studies investigating how aerosol particles in the atmosphere affect its chemical composition., and data from her lab are being used in atmospheric chemistry models. Her current research interests are in the areas of heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry, climate impact of atmospheric aerosols, environmental molecular surface science and environmental and health aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. She has over 140 peer-reviewed publications and is the editor of two books. The most recent entitled Environmental Catalysis published by CRC Press in 2005. At the University of Iowa, Professor Grassian has been the recipient of a Faculty Scholar Award (1999-2001) a Distinguished Achievement Award (2002), a James Van Allen Natural Sciences Faculty Fellowship (2004), the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (2006) and was recently named a Collegiate Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2007). In 2003, she received an NSF Creativity Award and in 2005, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Surface Science Divsion of AVS, the Publication Committee of AAAR, the Users Advisory Committee of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL and is a member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

C. David Sherrill eceived his B.S. in Chemistry from MIT in 1992 and his Ph.D. in computational quantum chemistry in 1996, working as an NSF graduate fellow in the laboratory of Fritz Schaefer at the University of Georgia. As an NSF postdoctoral fellow, he worked with the group of Martin Head-Gordon at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1999, Sherrill has been on the faculty of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Since 2006, he has held a joint appointment with the Computational Science and Engineering division of the College of Computing. He serves as co-director of the Center for Computational Molecular Science and Technology. His interests include the development of new electronic structure models and their application to highly reactive species, bond-breaking reactions, excited electronic states, and fundamental forces of molecular recognition.  He has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles on these topics.  Dr. Sherrill has received a Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award (1999), the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry Young Investigator Award (2001), an NSF CAREER Award (2001), and the W. Howard Ector Outstanding Teacher Award (2006). He served as chair of the Georgia Section of the American Chemical Society in 2006, and he joined the editorial board of the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry in 2007.

Marsha I. Lester Born, 1955. B.A. Douglass College, Rutgers University (1976), Ph.D. Columbia University (1981), National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Bell Laboratories (1981-82), University of Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor (1982-88), Associate Professor (1988-92), Professor of Chemistry (1992-present), Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor in the Natural Sciences (2003-present), and Chair, Department of Chemistry (2005-08).

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Young Faculty Award (1982) and Teacher-Scholar Award (1986), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1987), National Science Foundation Career Advancement Award (1988), Broida Prize awarded by the International Symposium on Free Radicals (1995), Fellow of the American Physical Society (1993) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (1997), Guggenheim Fellowship (2002-03), Visiting Miller Research Professor, Berkeley (2003), Distinguished Traveling Lecturer, Division of Laser Science, American Physical Society (2002-06), Bourke Lectureship, Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2005).

Recent professional activities: Chair, Chair-Elect, Vice-Chair, and Past-Chair, Division of Laser Science, American Physical Society (1998-2002), Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (1998-2002) and Chair, Council for Chemical Sciences (2004-07), Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council (1996-2001), Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Area Coordinator, Pacifichem 2000, sponsored by the American Chemical Society (2000), International Advisory Committee, International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy (2005-07), American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section Committee on Chemistry, Member-at-Large (2004-08). She has previously served as an Alternate Councilor for the Physical Division of the ACS (2002-04).

Her current research employs a variety of novel laser spectroscopic methods to investigate the dynamics of free radicals in encounters with reactive molecular partners of atmospheric and combustion relevance. She is the coauthor of more than 100 publications in physical chemistry. She has served on the editorial advisory boards of Chemical Physics Letters (1997-present), Molecular Physics (1998-2000), Journal of Chemical Physics (2007-09), and the Journal of Physical Chemistry (1995-2000, 2005-07).

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

I will not attempt to summarize everything that came before the ACS Council at its most recent meeting in Boston because some of those items are not likely to be of general interest.  If any members of PHYS would like additional information or clarification, however, I would be pleased to elaborate further and answer any questions that I can.

We began with balloting for members of the elected committees (Council Policy Committee, Committee on Nominations and Elections, and the Committee on Committees). Those particular elections may not be of much interest to most of you reading this report, but I do want to call your attention to upcoming elections in which I hope you WILL take an interest.

The fact of the matter is that too few members participate in these elections. Whom you select really CAN make a difference. The ultimate power to determine the direction of ACS rests with the Board of Directors, so please exercise your privilege to decide who will be wielding that power. Those of us who are members of the Council will also be choosing two Directors-at-Large from a slate of four candidates.

There was a petition on the floor for a vote at this meeting that would make a minor, essentially housekeeping, change in the Society Bylaws. The issue at hand had to do with oversight by the Committee on Local Section Activities of Local Section affiliations with other technical organizations. Yeah, the topic was just as dull and insignificant as it sounds, and the petition was approved overwhelmingly. Of more interest, though, was what is on tap for New Orleans next spring. At that time, Council will be voting on a very long petition that would (1) change the basic qualifications for membership, (2) eliminate the Associate Member category (current Associate Members would be eligible immediately for full membership), and (3) create a new category of Student Members. Currently, ACS Student Affiliates are NOT members of the Society, no matter what the confusing and somewhat deceptive wording used by the Membership Division on the ACS web site actually says. The proposed changes would enable undergraduates to join the Society with most of the privileges of regular membership. (Lest you be concerned, they certainly WOULD get a substantial dues break. The proposal would not dissolve the existing Student Affiliate chapters, although there may be some changes in what we call these groups.)  The real sticking point with some folks is the provision permitting the Student Members to vote in national elections. There were two other petitions being previewed for action in New Orleans, one on preferential balloting in national elections and another on Local Section election procedures.  The language of the first of these petitions is currently being reworked by the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws to clarify the procedure, while the second petition was found to contain significant flaws (such as outright violations of the ACS Constitution) and will be (or has been) withdrawn.

Attendance at the Boston meeting (15,344 as of 8/21) was somewhat better than expected. Lack of hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity of the Convention Center caused some problems for folks, but I am told that there are supposed to be two additional large hotels in that area by the time we go back to Boston. Due to negative reactions from attendees at the Spring 2007 meeting in Chicago, the National Meeting in 2011 will be moved from Chicago to Denver. We also learned that renovations to the convention center in New York will not be complete in time for the scheduled 2012 meeting, so that meeting will be moved to Philadelphia. In other news about national meetings, it was announced that the abstracts of any papers that are withdrawn will henceforth be eliminated from the CAS database. There is also a growing sentiment to remove the abstracts of “no-shows”.

ACS membership is up this year and the number of those who are delinquent in their dues payments is down. While I often hear ACS members say that membership is dropping because dues have gotten too high, the data has never substantiated that conclusion. And speaking of finances, the Society at mid-year was running right on budget.

Finally, I note three items that may be of interest.

Biophysical Subdivision

Jeffrey Saven

Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry. To join the Biophysical Subdivision, notify the Chair, Jeffrey Saven, 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

Angel Garcia

Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry. To join the Theoretical Subdivision, notify the Chair, Angel Garcia, 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.

Student Poster Awards

Gregory Voth

The winners of the Physical Chemistry Student Poster Award Competition at the Fall 2007 ACS meeting in Boston, MA, were:

Nina Schwalb, Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, "Ultrafast nonradiative deactivation dynamics of electronically excited nucleobases: Resolution of the gas vs. solution phase mystery"

Matthew Rossi, Department of Chemistry, Drexel University, "Predictions of Hole Mobilities in Organic Nanoscale Data Storage Materials"

Beth A. Lindquist, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Notre Dame University "Nitrile Groups as Vibrational Probes of Protein Structure and Dynamics: Calculations of the C?N Vibrational Line Shape"

Gene-Wei Li, Department of Physics, Harvard University "Probing Transcription Factor Dynamics at the Single Molecule Level in a Living Cell"

Albert DeFusco III, Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh "Electron Attachment to Large Water Clusters"

Leigh Foster and Katharyn Fletcher, Department of Chemistry, Mount Holyoke College, "Effect of dopant on perovskite proton conduction pathways"

Congratulations to the presenters of these excellent posters! Each winner received $300 and a signed award certificate. The Physical Chemistry Division thanks the many other people who entered the competition and also the anonymous and impartial judges.

Request for Symposia Topics and Speakers

Martin Head-Gordon

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 New Orleans, LA in March, 2008, to plan the programs for 2010. Please send your suggestions to the 2009 Program Chair, Martin Head-Gordon, at the address in the table of officers. The deadline for receipt of suggestions is November 1, 2008. These suggestions will be essential input for organizing the programs of the meetings. For greatest effectiveness, follow these guidelines:

Recent Symposia Topics

229th ACS
National Meeting
San Diego, CA
March 13-17, 2005

Applications of Physical Chemistry to Environmental & Biogeochemical Research
Biophysical Aspects of Protein & Peptide Aggregation: Experiment & Theory
Dynamics & Conductivity of Nanoparticles & Their Assemblies
Growth & Catalysis of Metal Overlays
Hydrogen Bonds: Developments in Experiment & Theory
NMR Research Developments in Magnetic Resonance: Liquid & Solid State Applications,
Theoretical Methodology, & Emerging Techniques
Novel Directions in Photonics: Nanophotonics & Biophotonics
Water: Structure Dynamics & Reactions Across the Phase Diagram

230th ACS
National Meeting
Washington, DC
Aug 28 – Sept 1, 2005

Charge Transfer Processes: Making Connections
Chemical Control of Oxide Material Response
Computational Exploration of Energy Landscapes: Challenges & Solutions
Influence of Local Structure & Reagent Energy on Chemical Reactions at Solid Surfaces
Frontiers in Photobiology
Physical Chemistry Curriculum Reform Update: Where are We & Where are We Going?
Structures & Properties of Small Clusters
  Symposium on Ions in Complex Physical, Chemical, & Biological Systems

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 Energybr> 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

Spring 2008 Meeting
Technical Program
April 6-10, 2008, New Orleans, LA

The 235nd American Chemical Society National Meeting will take place in New Orleans, LA during the week of April 6-10, 2008.

Dr. Laurie J. Butler, 2008 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 28th. The topical symposia and their organizers are:

Physical Chemistry of Atmospheric Processes, Matthew Elrod (Oberlin College) and Joel Thornton (University of Washington)

Optical Probes of Dynamics in Complex Environments, Andrei Tokmakoff (MIT) and Roseanne Sension (University of Michigan)

Multiscale Modeling in Biophysics, Cecilia Clemente (Rice University) and Gregory Voth (University of Utah)

Computational Spectroscopy, Krishnan Raghavachari (Indiana University) and H. B. Schlegel (Wayne State University)

Nanostructured Materials, Peidong Yang (University of California-Berkeley), Xiaogang Peng (University of Arkansas) and Christopher Murray (University of Pennsylvania)

Electronic Structure and Reaction Dynamics of Open-Shell Species>, Jingsong Zhang (University of California-Riverside) and Martin Head-Gordon (University of California- Berkeley)

Spectroscopy, Chemistry and Imaging Through Nanophotonics, Stephen K. Gray (Argonne National Laboratory) and Gary P. Wiederrecht (Argonne National Laboratory)


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 2008 Meeting
Call for Papers
August 17-21, 2008 Philadelphia, PA

Program Chair: Laurie J. Butler, University of Chicago, Department of Chemistry, Chicago, IL 60637,

Online abstract submission for this meeting opens in January or February, 2008. 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 Butler 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:

Fundamental Advances in Contemporary NMR Spectroscopy, Mei Hong (Iowa State) and Lucio Frydman (Weizmann Institute)

Water Mediated Interactions, Dor Ben-Amotz (Purdue) and Hank Ashbaugh (Chemical Engineering, Tulane)

Protein Folding Dynamics: Experiment and Theory, Feng Gai (Penn) and Angel Garcia (Rensaleer)

Spectroscopic Probes of Chemical Dynamics in Gaseous and Condensed Phase, Mark Johnson (Yale) and Steve Corcelli (Notre Dame)

Advances in the Electronic Structure of Transition Metal Systems and , Mu-Hyun Baik (Indiana) and Christopher Cramer (Minnesota)

Recent Advances in Biophysical Chemistry of Transport by Biomolecular Motors and Machines, Anatoly Kolomeisky (Rice) and Alan Hunt (University of Michigan, Department of Bioengineering)

Centennial of the Physical Division, George C. Schatz (Northwestern) and Steven Sibener (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, 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

New Orleans, LA, April 6-10, 2008

Program Chair: Laurie J. Butler
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637

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

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

Philadelphia, PA, August 17-21, 2008

Program Chair: Laurie J. Butler
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637

Washington, DC, August 16-20, 2009

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

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.

American Chemical Society, 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.

Division of Physical Chemistry
American Chemical Society
Membership Application

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r             National Affiliate (current National Affiliate ACS member)                   $15.00
Subdivision Membership
r             Theoretical Chemistry (no additional fee at this time)
r             Biophysical Chemistry (no additional fee at this time)
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Please mail this application (and check, if applicable) to:
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