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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

Faculty Member, Applied Physics Program

Co-Executive Director, Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy

Director, Center for Molecular Quantum Transduction (CMQT)

Director, Initiative for Quantum Information Research and Engineering (INQUIRE)

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

Xie, F.; Mao, H.; Lin, C.; Feng, Y.; Stoddart, J. F.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Quantum sensing of electric fields using spin-correlated radical ion pairs. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 14922-14931.

Kim, T.; Feng, Y.; O’Connor, J. P.; Stoddart, J. F.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Coherent vibronic wavepackets show structure-directed charge flow in host-guest donor-acceptor complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 8389-8400.

Mao, H.; Pazera, G. J.; Young, R. M.; Krzyaniak, M. D; Wasielewski, M. R. Quantum gate operations on a spectrally addressable photogenerated molecular spin qubit pair. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 6585-6593.

Lin, C.; Qi, Y.; Brown, P. J.; Williams, M. L.; Myong, M.; Zhao, X.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Singlet fission in perylene monoimide single crystals and polycrystalline films. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2023, 14, 2573-2579.

Wasielewski, M. R. Light-driven spin chemistry for quantum information science. Phys. Today 2023, 76, 28-34.

Qiu, Y; Equbal, A.; Lin, C.; Huang, Y.; Brown, P. J.; Young, R. M.; Krzyaniak, M. D.; Wasielewski, M. R. Optical spin polarization of a narrow linewidth electron spin qubit in a chromophore/stable-radical system. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, 62, e202214668.

Williams, M. L.; Schlesinger, I.; Jacobberger, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Mechanism of ultrafast triplet exciton formation in single cocrystals of p-stacked electron donors and acceptors. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 18607-18618.

Kim, T.; Lin, C.; Schultz, J. D.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. p-Stacking-dependent vibronic couplings drive excited-state dynamics in perylenediimide assemblies. J. Am. Chem. Soc.  2022, 144, 11386-11396.

Lin, C.; Kim, T.; Schultz, J. D.; Young, R. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Accelerating symmetry-breaking charge separation in a perylenediimide trimer through a vibronically coherent dimer intermediate. Nat. Chem. 2022, 14, 786–793.

Jacobberger, R. M.; Qiu, Y.; Krzyaniak, M. D.; Wasielewski, M. R. Using molecular design to enhance the coherence time of quintet multiexcitons generated by singlet fission in single crystals. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 2276–2283.

Harvey, S. M.; Wasielewski, M. R. Photogenerated spin-correlated radical pairs: From photosynthetic energy transduction to quantum information science. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 15508-15529.

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.

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. 20211432049-2058.

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.

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.


Selected Honors/Awards

  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Faraday Lectureship Prize, 2022
  • Hinshelwood Lecturer, University of Oxford, 2022
  • Visiting Fellow, St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, 2022
  • Inaugural Guilford Jones Lecturer, Boston University, 2022
  • Bergman Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley, 2021
  • 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