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Michael R. Wasielewski


B.S.: University of Chicago 1971
Ph.D.: University of Chicago 1975


Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry 

Executive Director, Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN)

Director, Center for Molecular Quantum Transduction (CMQT)

Research Statement

Prof. Wasielewski’s research centers on light-driven processes in molecules and materials, artificial photosynthesis, molecular electronics, quantum information science, ultrafast optical spectroscopy, and time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Selected Publications

Lorenzo, E. R;  Olshansky, J. H.; Abia, D. S. D.; Krzyaniak, M. D.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Interaction of photogenerated spin qubit pairs with a third electron spin in DNA hairpins. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 4625-4632.

Mao, H.; Young, R. M.; Krzyaniak, M. D.; Wasielewski, M. R. Controlling the dynamics of three electron spin qubits in a donor-acceptor-radical molecule using dielectric environment changes. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2021, 12, 2213-2218.

Schultz, J. D.; Shin, J. Y.; Chen, M.; O'Connor, J. P. Young, R. M.; Ratner, M. A.; Wasielewski, M. R. Influence of vibronic coupling on ultrafast singlet fission in a linear terrylenediimide dimer. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021143, 2049-2058.

Ramirez, C. E.; Chen, S.; Powers-Riggs, N. E.; Schlesinger, I.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Symmetry-breaking charge separation in the solid state: tetra(phenoxy)perylenediimide polycrystalline films. J. Am. Chem. Soc.  2020142, 18243-18250.

Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Mixed electronic states in molecular dimers: Connecting singlet fission, excimer formation and symmetry-breaking charge transfer. Acc. Chem. Res. 2020, 53, 1957-1968.

Schlesinger, I.; Powers-Riggs, N. E.; Logsdon, J. L.; Qi, Y.; Miller, S. A.; Tempelaar, R.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Charge-transfer biexciton annihilation in a donor-acceptor co-crystal yields high-energy long-lived charge carriers. Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 9532-9541.

Wasielewski, M. R.; Forbes, M. D. E.; Frank, N. L.; Kowalski, K.; Scholes, G. D.; Yuen-Zhou, J.; Baldo, M. A.; Freedman, D. E.; Goldsmith, R. H.; Goodson, III, T.; Kirk, M. L.;  McCusker, J. K.; Ogilvie, J. P.; Shultz, D. A.; Stoll, S.; Whaley, K. B. Exploiting chemistry and chemical systems for quantum information science. Nat. Rev. Chem. 2020, 4, 490-504.

Olshansky, J. H.; Zhang, J.; Krzyaniak, M. D.; Lorenzo, E. R.; Wasielewski, M. R., Selectively addressable photogenerated spin qubit pairs in DNA hairpins. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 3346-3350.

Nelson, J. N.; Zhang, J.; Zhou, J.; Rugg, B. K.; Krzyaniak, M. D.; Wasielewski, M. R., CNOT gate operation on a photogenerated molecular electron spin-qubit pair. J. Chem. Phys. 2020, 152, 014503.

Rugg, B. K.; Krzyaniak, M. D.; Phelan, B. T.; Ratner, M. A.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R., Photodriven quantum teleportation of an electron spin state in a covalent donor-acceptor-radical system. Nat. Chem. 2019, 11, 981-986.

Martinez, J. F.; La Porte, N. T.; Young, R. M.; Sinopoli, A.; Sohail, M.; Wasielewski, M. R., Direct observation of the photoreduction products of Mn(NDI-bpy)(CO)3X CO2 reduction catalysts using femtosecond transient IR spectroscopy. J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123, 6416-6426.

La Porte, N. T.; Martinez, J. F.; Chaudhuri, S.; Hedstrom, S.; Batista, V. S.; Wasielewski, M. R., Photoexcited radical anion super-reductants for solar fuels catalysis. Coord. Chem. Rev. 2018, 361, 98-119.

Selected Honors/Awards

  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2021
  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Bruker Prize in EPR Spectroscopy, 2021
  • Josef Michl American Chemical Society Award in Photochemistry, 2020
  • XingDa Lecturer, Peking University, 2019
  • Silver Medal in Chemistry, International EPR Society, 2018
  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Physical Organic Chemistry Award, 2017
  • Closs Lecturer, University of Chicago, 2017
  • Wu-Xi AppTec Lecturer, Peking University, 2017
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016
  • American Institute of Chemists, Chemical Pioneer Award, 2016
  • Honda-Fujishima Lectureship Award, Japanese Photochemistry Association, 2015
  • Swiss Chemical Society Lectureship, 2015
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, 2014
  • Royal Society of Chemistry Environment Award, 2013
  • Humboldt Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2013
  • Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society, 2012
  • R. Stephen Berry Lecturer, Telluride Science Center, 2010
  • Frontiers of Chemistry Lecturer, Case Western Reserve University, 2010
  • Clare Hamilton Hall Endowed Chair, Northwestern University, 2010
  • Hutchison Lecturer, University of Rochester, 2009
  • Kaufman Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
  • The Porter Medal for Photochemistry, 2008
  • Eminent Scholar Lecturer, University of Arizona, 2007
  • James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2006
  • Closs Lecturer, University of Chicago, 2005
  • I-APS Photochemistry Research Award, Inter-American Photochemical Society, 2004
  • Pederson Lecturer, Dupont, Inc., 2003
  • Weissberger-Williams Lecturer, Eastman Kodak Company, 2001
  • W. Heinlen Hall Lecturer, Bowling Green State University, 1999
  • R&D 100 Award (sponsored by R&D Magazine) for work in photorefractivity, 1996
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995
  • Holland Research School for Molecular Chemistry Lecturer, 1995
  • R&D 100 Award (sponsored by R&D Magazine) for work in molecular switches, 1993
  • Argonne Pacesetter Award, 1993
  • W. E. Heraeus Foundation Fellow, University of Stuttgart, 1992
  • Inaugural Lecturer, Center for Photomolecular Sciences, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, London, 1991
  • Nodzu Memorial Lecturer, Kyoto University, 1991
  • University of Chicago Award for Distinguished Performance at Argonne National Laboratory, 1989
  • Elizabeth R. Norton Prize for Excellence in Research in Chemistry at the University of Chicago, 1975
  • Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellow, 1972 1974
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1971
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