Please watch our video for personal insights of students and faculty into the benefits of our extraordinary graduate program.


Mikhail Solovyev Wins a DOE Science Graduate Student Research Award

SOL Ph.D. student Mikhail Solovyev, a senior member of the Lockard group, won a Department of Energy award to support his electrocatalysis studies at the Argonne National Lab. The aim of his project is to gain molecular-level insights into mechanisms of hydrogen evolution reactions and carbon dioxide reductions catalyzed by porous hybrid materials. Read more about the award and the research in this recent press release.

Award Competition: Herbert C. Cheung Scholarships, Anna and Bernard Senkowski Scholarships

Each spring, the Chemistry Department runs an award competition open to all chemistry majors currently enrolled at Rutgers-Newark. To be eligible, a student must be a declared chemistry major by April 25 of this year. Award winners are selected based upon the evaluation of grade-point average, financial need, and two letters of recommendation. To be considered, students should go to the SASN Scholarship portal and submit an application by April 26, 2019.

Demyan Prokopchuk Joins the Department of Chemistry in January 2019

PRO In January, Demyan Prokopchuk began as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His research interest involve inorganic and organometallic chemistry, focusing on catalysis and renewable energy using abundant transition metals. Specific projects feature synthesis, ligand design, catalysis, bond activation, mechanistic studies, and structural analysis.

Ph.D. Program Applicants! NEW: Application Fee Waiver for Fall 2019

The Chemistry Department is offering to waive application fees for the first 15 qualified applicants. To qualify, potential Ph.D. students should have a GPA of 3.3 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) and for international students, a TOEFL score of 90 or higher. Please contact the graduate program coordinator regarding this initiative and for other inquiries at

Chemistry Graduate Open House on November 2, 2018

LSC2 The Rutgers-Newark Graduate Chemistry Club will host its annual open house on Friday, November 2 (5:00p - 7:30p). Prospective M.S. and Ph.D. students are encouraged to attend. The program includes short presentations about specific research opportunities, a poster session, and a tour of the facilities used by the Department of Chemistry. For additional details, please see this flyer.

New Environment-Friendly Routes to Amides from the Szostak Group

SZO Guanchen Lin and Michal Szostak have developed new methods for the direct conversion of esters to amides and for transamidation reactions of amides. These new protocols for amide synthesis are highly selective, remarkably mild, and require no transition-metal catalysts. Their Nature Communications article includes more than 75 demonstrated reactions spanning a broad range of substrates, along with mechanistic studies.

Student Report to Published Review: Conversion of Carboxylic Acids to High-Value Olefins

SZO Graduate Student Xu Zhang's extensive report for Dr. Szostak's Topics in Organometallic Chemistry course served as the essential basis for a review article published in Organic Chemistry Frontiers. The work recounts and analyzes the recent surge in transition-metal catalyzed decarbonylation reactions to produce linear α-olefins with high yields and good selectivity from bio-renewable carboxylic acids.

Diferrocenyl-Hg-Bridged Diphosphine: A Chiral, Ambiphilic, and Redox-Active Bidentate Ligand

FJ2 Alain C. Tagne Kuate, Roger Lalancette, Thomas Bannenberg (University of Braunschweig), and Frieder Jäkle teamed up to prepare a new transition metal ligand with unprecedented bonding features, leading to a variety of useful properties. The announcement of their communication closely coincides with a milestone in Prof. Jäkle's Angewandte Chemie publication record, captured in a revealing author profile.

N-Acyl-Glutaramides: New, Versatile Cross-Coupling Agents

SZO Guangrong Meng and Michal Szostak have published a fascinating account of the recent surge in interest surrounding the use of N-acyl-glutaramides in a broad range of cross-coupling reaction types. Their comprehensive review, featured on the cover of the European Journal of Organic Chemistry, describes the mechanistic rationale, synthetic utility, and computational aspects of this N-acyl-glutaramide reactivity.

2018 Gordon Research Conference on Electron Donor-Accepter Interactions

EG Elena Galoppini (Rutgers-Newark) and David Beratan (Duke) are co-chairing the next GRC Electron Donor-Acceptor Conference. Running from August 5-10, the meeting will be held at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. This year, the conference topic is Electron Flow: From the Molecular to the Global Scale. Applications to attend the meeting should be submitted well before the posted July 8 deadline.

New Book: Main Group Strategies towards Functional Hybrid Materials

FJ2 Thomas Baumgartner (York University) and Frieder Jäkle co-edited a recently published book on hybrid materials containing main-group elements. In nineteen chapters, readers are treated to advances in the preparation of molecular, supramolecular, and polymeric materials incorporating B, Si, P, S, Ge, As, Se, Sn, Sb, Te, and I, along with their use in electronic applications. See the news entry below for a workshop on this subject.

US-Japan Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Materials Workshop in June

FJ2 The 10th US-Japan Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Materials Workshop will be held at Rutgers University - Newark from June 17 to June 21 (2018). Leading scientists from both Japan and the United States that are internationally recognized will showcase emerging concepts in inorganic polymers, organic/inorganic hybrids and nanocomposite materials. For more information, including registration details, see the workshop web page.

Severely Twisted Amides for Future Synthetic Applications

SZO The Szostak group has set the record for preparing the most twisted amide bond to date: 82° away from a typical planar structure. Their J. Am. Chem. Soc. article, describes the readily reversible di-tert-butoxy carbonylation of a series of primary aryl amines, and demonstrates that the extent of the twist is electronically tunable. While these amides show enhanced reactivity, they are sufficiently stable to have broad potential for use in new synthetic methods.

Innovative Polymeric Organoboron Electron Acceptors for Solar Devices

FJ2 The Jäkle group, in collaboration with the Jun Liu group, synthesized new polymers for optoelectronic applications based on highly electron-deficient, air-stable triarylborane monomers with tunable p-π conjugation. They found that these materials could serve as electron acceptors in all-polymer solar cells with promising photovoltaic performance. Read their Angewandte Chemie article for an illuminating account of how the photophysical and electronic properties of the polymers impact solar cell design.

Turning Amides into Phosphonates: A New Route to C-P Bonds

SZO In a recent issue of Angewandte Chemie, Chengwei Liu and Michal Szostak report on the broad scope of their new catalytic deamidative phosphorylation reaction, and they describe mechanistic studies that support an oxidative addition/transmetallation pathway. The journal's editors distinguished the work as a hot paper for its "importance in a rapidly evolving field of high current interest."

Intramolecular B-N Lewis Pairs Wrench New Properties into Aromatic Systems

FJ2 Kanglei Liu, Roger Lalancette, and Frieder Jäkle discovered that Lewis acid-base interactions can be incorporated into aromatic frameworks to cause structural distortions, leading to enhanced reactivity and shifts in optical properties. Read their JACS communication to learn about the synthesis and characterization of these compounds, and their potential for optoelectronic materials development.

Iron Catalysts Plus O-Based Electrophiles for Economy and Environment

FJ In their recent review, Elwira Bisz and Michal Szostak provide a comprehensive perspective on important advances in a class of reactions that features low-toxicty components and low-cost catalysts. Their article, promoted on the October 5 cover of ChemSusChem, casts key developments in the field as harbingers of new opportunities for sustainable catalysis.

Subsystem Time-Dependent DFT Helps Explain the Optical Spectrum of Water

MP The Pavanello group used their versatile subsystem treatment of density functional theory to simulate the optical spectrum of liquid water. Read their recent J. Phys. Chem. Lett. article to learn how this computational approach allows them to investigate liquid structure effects and excitonic coupling between molecules to understand the elusive orgins of differences between vapor phase and liquid phase water spectra.

Interfacial Electron Transfer Meets Supramolecular Chemistry

EG In a J. Phys. Chem. C article, Prof. Galoppini and her collaborator, V. Ramamurthy (University of Miami), demonstrate electron transfer from photo-excited azulenes through the walls of encapsulating molecules to electron acceptor molecules in solution, or to nanostructured semiconductors in thin films or colloidal solutions. Their findings point to encapsulated dyes as a possible solution to aggregation and degradation problems in some dye-sensitized solar cells.

Featured Symposium Promotes Inovative Monomers for Conducting Polymers

AP The latest issue of Chemical and Engineering News includes a lively report on a symposium organized by Professors Pietrangelo, Jäkle, and Noonan (Carnegie Mellon) for the August 2017 meeting of the American Chemical Society. At the symposium, 23 researchers presented recent studies of the use of non-conventional building blocks in conjugated materials, developed for optical and electronic device applications.

Microscopic/Spectroscopic Methods Resolve Coral Skeletal Growth Mechanism

FJ The Mendelsohn group has recently collaborated with physicist and geophysicist colleagues to determine how corals construct their skeletons. A combination of high resolution imaging (confocal Raman microscopy and scanning helium ion microscopy) and solid-state NMR methods suggest that nucleation of the solid mineral phase is driven by coral acid-rich proteins. Learn more and read about implications for ocean pH on coral health, in their Science article.

Polyenynes with Cyclopentadiene Motifs Highlighted by Synfacts

FJ The editorial board of Synfacts selected a recent paper by the Pietrangelo group as a "SynFact of the Month" for its important insights into the design of new polyenynes. For a more detailed account of the synthesis and characterization of the first of this class of materials constructed from dienyne-based repeat units, read the ACS Macro Letters communication.

Synthesis Cover: Negishi Cross-Coupling with a Twist

FJ Highlighted on the cover of the journal Synthesis, a recent paper by graduate student Shicheng Shi and Prof. Michal Szostak describes their development of a new inexpensive method for C-C bond formation under mild conditions. The key to their success is the half-twisted amide bond of N-acylsuccinimides, providing sufficient reactivity for the desired catalytic reaction without generating undesirable side reactions.

Embedded Quantum Espresso (eQE) is Served Up at Advanced Science News

FJ The development of a new computer program for quantum chemical calculations is featured in Advanced Science News. The program, eQE, uses a divide-and-conquer strategy developed by Michele Pavanello and his collaborators to calculate properties of large systems with high computational efficiency. The science behind the software along with sample calculations are provided in their recent International Journal of Quantum Chemistry article.

New High Performance Polymers for Organic Field-Effect Transistors

FJ In a collaborative project, the groups of Professors Pietrangelo and Heeney (Imperial College) have developed high performance thin-film transistors using polymers with cyclopentadiene units in the backbone. Read the details of polymer synthesis, characterization, and device construction in their recent Journal of the American Chemical Society communication.

RU-Newark Chemistry Makes the Cover of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry

FJ In a recent communication, Nareddy, Jordan, and Szostak report a new synthetic method that employs aryl silanes and ruthenium catalysis to arylate C-H bonds of N-heterocycles. The journal cover features a snazzy image of the Newark Campus surrounding Olson Hall, where this highly regioselective and chemoselective reaction was developed.

Award Competition: Herbert C. Cheung Scholarships, Anna and Bernard Senkowski Scholarships

Each spring, the Chemistry Department runs an award competition open to all chemistry majors currently enrolled at Rutgers-Newark. To be eligible, a student must be a declared chemistry major by June 30 of this year. Award winners are selected based upon the evaluation of grade-point average, financial need, and two letters of recommendation. The deadline for submitting application forms is June 30.

Rutgers-Newark Alumus Inducted into NJ Inventors Hall of Fame

FJ Dr. Salvatore Salamone was recently honored for his "luminary discoveries and contributions in the fields of oncology research, therapeutic diganostics, health care, and medical device services." As a former Ph.D. student (1976-1981) in the Jordan group, Dr. Salamone is now the founder, president, and CEO of Saladax Biomedical, Inc.

Diabatic States for Charge Transfer Reactions

MP Pablo Ramos (recently featured by the Graduate School) and Michele Pavanello have published their formulation of a constrained density functional theory, and demonstrated its use to model hole transport in DNA. Learn the details and read about plans for additional applications of the theory in their Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article.

New Nickel-catalyzed Route to Biaryl Compounds from Bench-stable Amides

MS The Szostak research group has developed a new method for the synthesis of biaryl compounds from a Suzuki-Miyaura coupling reaction using amides. Employing an air-stable nickel complex, the catalytic process has a very broad substrate scope. Read the synthetic details in their Angewandte Chemie article, and learn about their supporting mechanistic studies.

N-H--π Interactions Stabilize Azaborine Oligomer and Polymer Conformations

MS In collaboration with the Liu group at Boston College, the Jäkle group reported the synthesis and characterization of regioregular 1,2-azaborine oligomers and polymers with long effective conjugation lengths. Read their Angewandte Chemie communication to learn about the N-H--π effects responsible for maintaining coplanar alignment of the azaborines in the main chain.

Isoxazole Chemistry Review Wins High Praise

MS A recent review article by the Szostak group, Recent Developments in the Synthesis and Reactivity of Isoxazoles: Metal Catalysis and Beyond, has been selected as a "VIP" (Very Important Publication) in Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis. Read the article to learn about the advances in the chemistry of this important ring system in the last decade.

Pietrangelo Group Research Makes the Cover of Polymer Chemistry

AP A recent article by the Pietrangelo research group, Effect of Residue Structure on the Thermal and Thermoresponsive Properties of Substituted Poly(N-acryloyl-2-pyrrolidone)s, has been published in Polymer Chemistry and featured on the cover! Read the article to learn about how both the structure and chemical class of the pyrrolidone residues influence the physicochemical properties of polymers that are highly desirable for drug delivery applications.

Novel Tools in Computational Chemistry Coding Workshop

MP Experts in chemistry and computer science will host a workshop at Rutgers University-Newark on April 11, 2015. The aim of the workshop is to bring researchers up-to-speed with the latest developments in both disciplines. More details and registration information is available here.

Pavanello Group Research Makes the Cover of JCP

MP The latest paper by the Pavanello research group on Periodic Subsystem Density-Functional Theory was selected as the Featured Article of Issue 7 of Volume 141 of The Journal of Chemical Physics. One figure from the article was placed on the cover of the issue! Read the full paper to learn how their research will improve computational studies of molecules interacting with metal and semiconductor surfaces.

more news