13 captures
05 Jul 2008 - 23 Feb 2021
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Richard G. Weiss
Department of Chemistry 
Georgetown University
37th and O Streets NW
Washington, DC 20057-1227
Office: 306 Reiss Science
Phone: 202-687-6013
Fax: 202-687-6209
Education /
Sc.B. 1965, Brown University
M.S. 1967, University of Connecticut
Ph.D. 1969, University of Connecticut
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1969-1971; Visiting Professor: University of São Paulo, Brazil (1972-1976); Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie, Muhlheim/Ruhr, Germany (1981); Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France (1982); Université de Bordeaux I, Talence, France (1982); Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India (1989-1990, 1998); Institute of Photographic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (1997-1998).; Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, Kanpur, India (2006); Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan (2006); State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil (2006).
U.S. National Academy of Science Overseas Fellow (1971-1974); Fellow of the Indo-U.S. Subcommission on Education and Culture (1989-1990); Fulbright Research Fellow (1998); Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; CareerResearch Award, Georgetown University (2002); International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Fellow (2008); Doctor honoris causa, Universite Bordeaux 1, Bordeaux, France (2009)
Senior Editor for Langmuir; Member of the Advisory Editorial Board of theJournal of the Brazilian Chemical Society.
TeachingOrganic Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry Lab I & II, Solution Kinetics, Special Topics in Organic Chemistry (Photochemistry and Free Radicals), Physical Organic Chemistry
Research InterestsMaterials and physical organic chemistry and organic photochemistry and photophysics; syntheses and properties of thermally and chemically reversible gels; study of reaction rates and mechanisms; anisotropic solvent effects on reaction mechanisms; ionic liquid crystals as mechanistic probes and 'green solvents'; molecular processes in polymers.
We continue to develop experimental techniques which employ anisotropic solvents (specifically gels, liquid crystals, solids, and polymers) as reaction media and which allow previously inaccessible details of thermal and photochemical reaction mechanisms to be elucidated. The techniques are being applied to unimolecular, bimolecular, and polymer reactions, as well as to explore the microscopic ordering of anisotropic media. Reactions of the media themselves are being used to develop molecular switches and devices and to characterize novel phases of ordered molecules. Some of the media, such as isothermally rheoreversible gels, are being exploited for other applications, including art conservation.  In addition, we are developing probes based on photochemical reactions that generate chemically identical but spatially different chiral and prochiral singlet radical pairs to explore the rates of tumbling and translational diffusion of species within ‘cages’ afforded by isotropic liquids and anisotropic media.
Recent PublicationsMolecular Gels. Materials with Self-Assembled Fibrillar Networks; Weiss, R. G., Terech, P., Eds.; Springer: Dordrecht, 2005.
“New insights into the mechanism of triplet radical-pair combinations. The persistent radical effect masks the distinction between in-cage and out-of-cage processes.” Chesta, C. A.; Mohanty, J.; Nau, W. M.; Bhattacharjee, U.; Weiss, R. G. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 5012-5022.
“Carbon Dioxide and Molecular Nitrogen as Switches between Ionic and Uncharged Room-Temperature Liquids Comprised of Amidines and Chiral Amino Alcohols" Yu, T.; Yamada, T.; Gaviola, G. C.; Weiss, R. G. Chem. Mater. 2008, 20, 5337-5344.
“Room-Temperature and Low-Ordered, Amphotropic-Lyotropic Ionic Liquid Crystal Phases Induced by Alcohols in Phosphonium Halides” Ma, K.; Shahkhatuni, A. A.; Somashekhar, B. S.; Gowda, G. A. N.; Tong, Y.; Khetrapal, C. L.; Weiss, R. G. Langmuir, 2008, 24, 9843-9854.
“Designing Amphotropic Smectic Liquid Crystals Based on Phosphonium Salts for Partial Ordering of Solutes as Monitored by NMR Spectroscopy" Ma, Kefeng; Shahkhatuni, Astghik A.; Weiss, Richard G. J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 4209–4217.
   page last updated: October 24, 2011
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