The Saykally Group

Experimental and Theoretical Physical Chemistry

Curriculum Vitae


The Class of 1932 Endowed Professor of Chemistry
University of California, Department of Chemistry
Berkeley, CA 94720-1460, U.S.A.
(Born: 1947; Rhinelander, Wisconsin)

Professional Interests: Synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy of liquids, femtosecond nonlinear optical spectroscopy of liquid interfaces, terahertz laser spectroscopy of clusters and ions, aqueous evaporation and surface processes, electrokinetic phenomena, astrophysics, electrochemical interfaces, science education.

• UC Berkeley Distinguished Teacher
• Research advisor for 77 Ph.D. and 7 M.S. Graduates and 56 Postdoctoral Scholars
• Coauthor of over 400 articles that have been cited over 50,000 times (H Index > 100)
• Recipient of over 78 honors and awards from 15 different countries


B.S. (1970) University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Ph.D. (1977) University of Wisconsin - Madison (with R. C. Woods)
Postdoctoral (1977-1979) NIST - Boulder (with K. M. Evenson)


National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship — 1977
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award — 1979
NSF Presidential Young Investigator — 1984-88
UC Berkeley Miller Research Professor — 1985-86
Fellow — Royal Society of Chemistry — 1986
UW-Eau Claire Distinguished Alumnus Award — 1987
Bergman Lectureship, Yale University — 1987
Merck-Frost Lectureship, University of British Columbia — 1988
Bomem Michelson Prize for Spectroscopy (Coblentz Society) — 1989
E.K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy (APS) — 1989

Citation: “For the creation of new infrared techniques and their use to expandinfrared spectroscopy to many of the chemically most important molecular ions,including H3O+, H2F+, NH2 – and C2H–. The impact of his molecular ion studies ranges from quantum chemistry to astrophysics. His inventions, particularly velocity modulation laser spectroscopy, are in use world wide. The breadth of his contributions places him among the virtuosos of molecular spectroscopy.”

Fellow — American Physical Society — 1989

Citation: “For the development of new techniques for high resolution laser spectroscopy and their application to molecular ions, radicals, and weakly bound molecules.”

E.R. Lippincott Medal for Spectroscopy (OSA, SAS) — 1992
Distinguished Teaching Award — University of California-Berkeley — 1992
Harrison Howe Award (ACS-Rochester Section) — 1992

Citation: “In recognition of his development of a new generation of techniques formeasuring high-resolution infrared spectra of transient species. He is credited with the development of, among others, velocity modulation spectroscopy, which is recognized for its tremendous impact on the characterization of molecular ions.”

Bourke Medal, U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry — 1992
L.J. Bircher Lectureship, Vanderbilt University — 1993
Fellow — Optical Society of America — 1994
Churchill Fellowship, Cambridge University — 1995
Harry Emmett Gunning Lectureship, University of Alberta — 1995
Fellow — American Academy of Arts and Sciences — 1995
Humboldt Senior Scientist Award — 1995
Samuel M. McElvain Lectureship, University of Wisconsin-Madison — 1995
UC Berkeley Miller Research Professor — 1997-98
Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award — 1999

Citation: “For his pioneering research in laser spectroscopy. He has provided elegant studies of many fundamental chemical systems which will appear in the textbooks of the future. His techniques are in world-wide use and have led him to definitive experiments on the hydronium ion, the ammonium ion, the water trimer, small carbon clusters, and numerous other positive and negative ions. He is a renowned and dedicated teacher: In recognition of his exceptional achievements, the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh is pleased to confer this award.”

Bryce Crawford Lectureship, University of Minnesota — 1999
Frontiers in Chemical Research, Distinguished Lecturer, Texas A&M University — 1999
Member — National Academy of Sciences — 1999
Sesquicentennial Colloquium Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Utah – 2000
Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics (ACS) — 2000

Citation: “For the development and application of powerful new techniques in laser spectroscopy that have dramatically enhanced our knowledge of structure and dynamics in ions and clusters.”

Rayson Huang Visiting Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Hong Kong– 2000
Dreyfus Lecturer, Dartmouth College – 2001
Centenary Medal, U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry – 2001

Citation: “Distinguished for his original contributions to the high resolution spectroscopy of molecules, including his recent determination of the structures of water clusters.”

Fellow – American Association for the Advancement of Science – 2001
Moses Gomberg Lecturer, University of Michigan – 2002
Distinguished Lecturer, Molecular Sciences Forum, Chinese Academy of Sciences – 2002
Edward Mack Award in Chemistry, Ohio State University – 2004
Malcolm Dole Distinguished Lecturer in Chemical Physics, Northwestern University – 2004
Joannes Markus Marci Medal, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic – 2004

Citation: “For outstanding scientific contributions and discoveries in molecular spectroscopy.”

R. A. Woodward Lecturer, Harvard University – 2004
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in Chemistry, U.S. Department of Energy – 2004

Citation: “For the invention of velocity modulation spectroscopy ofmolecular ions; for the development of far-infrared vibration-rotation spectroscopy of radicals, clusters and carbon chains; for the elucidation of the structure and potential energy surfaces for water clusters; and for the development and application of cavity ring down spectroscopy techniques.”

Peter C. Reilly Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Notre Dame – 2005
Morino Lectureship, Morino Foundation of Japan – 2005
John Willard Lectureship in Chemistry, University of Wisconsin – 2006
Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Florida – 2006
Mary E. Kapp Lectureship, Virginia Commonwealth University – 2006
Hinshelwood Lectureship in Physical Chemistry, Oxford University – 2006
Christensen Fellow, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University – 2006
Greg Watson Memorial Lecturer, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, United Kingdom – 2006
UC Berkeley Miller Research Professor – Fall 2006
Richard B. Bernstein Lectureship, UCLA – 2007
Robert S. Mulliken Lectureship, University of Georgia – 2007
Charles M. Knight Lecturer, University of Akron – 2007
Frank T. Gucker Lectureship, University of Indiana – 2007
Abbott Lecturer, University of North Dakota – 2008
Inaugural International Solvay Chair in Chemistry, Belgium – 2008
ICI Distinguished Lecturer, University of Calgary – 2008
Frontiers in Chemistry Lecturer, Wayne State University – 2008
Peter DeBye Award in Physical Chemistry (ACS) – 2009

Citation: “For his seminal studies of water from small clusters to the surface and bulk, providing the basis for potentials that correctly treat many-body effects.”

Frontiers in Chemical Physics and Analysis Lecturer, PNNL – 2009
Harold S. Johnston Lectureship, Emory University – 2009
Marple-Schweitzer Lectureship, Northwestern University - 2010
Chemistry Student Advisory Lecturer, University of Utah - 2011
J.C. Bose Memorial Lectureship, IACS Kolkata - 2011
Morris Travers Lecturer, IIS Bangalore - 2011
Golden Jubilee Thematic Lecturer, IIT Delhi - 2011
Institute Lecturer, IIT Kanpur - 2011
A.C. Albrecht Lecturer, Cornell University - 2011
CGSS Distinguished Lecturer, University of British Columbia - 2011
Royal Society of Chemistry Faraday Lectureship Prize - 2012

Citation: “For the development of powerful new spectroscopic technology and its application in pioneering studies of molecular ions, water clusters, liquid water and aqueous solutions and their surfaces.”

W.A. Noyes Distinguished Lecture in Physical Chemistry, University of Texas, Austin - 2013
CaSTL (Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit) Lecturer, University of California, Irvine - 2014
E. Roger Washburn Memorial Lectureship in Physical Chemistry, University of Nebraska - 2016
NANOLYTICA 2017 Keynote Speaker, Simon Fraser University - 2017
E. B. Wilson Prize in Spectroscopy (ACS) - 2018

Citation: “For the development of powerful new laser spectroscopy technology and its application for pioneering studies of molecular ions, water, and aqeuous solutions and their surfaces.”

Jean Dreyfus Lectureship, Hobart and William Smith Colleges - 2018
BESE Distinguished Lecturer, KAUST, Saudi Arabia - 2018
SCS Lectureship, Swiss Chemical Society - 2019
Helmholtz International Fellowship Award, Helmholtz Society, Berlin - 2019
Inaugural Claude and Janice Trottier Endowed Lectureship, University of Rhode Island - 2019
Paul C. Cross Lecture in Physical Chemistry, University of Washington - 2021


Co-Director – “Science for Science Teachers (S4ST),” NSF Summer Training Institute for Junior High School Science Teachers – 1989-1993
Co-Director – “Prime Science,” NSF Junior High School Curriculum Development Project – 1992-present
Advisory Committee – Radio Astronomy Laboratory (UCB) – 1996-present
Canvassing Committee - Irving Langmuir Award (ACS) – 1996-2001
Executive Committee - Division of Chemical Physics (APS) – 1995-1999
Laser Science Topical Group Fellowship Committee (APS) – 1993-present
Selection Committees - E.K. Plyler Prize (APS), Ellis R. Lippincott Medal (OSA)
Editor – Chemical Physics Letters (2008 - 2018)
Editorial Advisory Board – The Journal of Physical Chemistry – 2003
Journal Editorial Review Boards:

Molecular Physics (1983-present), Spectroscopy (1986-present), Review of Scientific Instruments (1987-90), Chemical Physics Letters (1987-present), Journal of Chemical Physics (1993-95), Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy (1995-present), European Journal of Chemical Physics and Chemistry (2000-present), Journal of Physical Chemistry (2002-present), Editor – The Cambridge Series in Molecular Sciences, Cambridge University Press (2003)

Triennial Oversight Committee for the NSF – 1992
Executive Committee – Western Spectroscopy Conference – 1982-85
International Steering Committee – Twelfth International Conference on Laser Spectroscopy (TWICOLS ‘95)
Board of Directors, Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley 1983-86
Member – American Association of University Professors, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society
University of California – Committee on Teaching, Committee on Research, Committee on Committees, Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations
Miller Institute Advisory Board Executive Committee – 2008-2017
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Divisional Council, Division of Chemical Sciences – 2012-Present
Advisory Committee – RESOLV; Center of Excellence, Rohr University; Bochum, Germany – 2012-Present


Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of California-Berkeley (1979-83)
Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of California-Berkeley (1983-86)
Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (1983-91, 2002-09)
Professor of Chemistry, University of California-Berkeley (1986-99)
Vice Chairman, Department of Chemistry; University of California-Berkeley (1988-91)
Class of 1932 Endowed Professor of Chemistry, University of California-Berkeley (1999-present)
Faculty Senior Scientist, Chemical Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (2009 - present)


University of Nijmegen (1991), Max-Planck-Institute for Fluid Dynamics-Göttingen (1991), Cambridge University (1995), University of Montpellier (1996), TechnicalUniversity-Munich (1996-97), Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Physics-Stuttgart (1999), Physics Institute, University of Cologne (2000), Fritz Haber Institute-Berlin (2001), Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics-Munich (2002-05, 2007-08, 2012), Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry-Martinsried (2002), Oxford University (2006), Université Libre Brussels (2008)