Highlighting Female Physical Chemists for Marie Curie’s 150th Birthday

Highlighting Female Physical Chemists

(A version of this editorial orginally appeared in The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, B, C and Letters, as part of the Virtual Issue in Honor of the 150th Birthday of Marie Curie: Highlighting Female Physical Chemists)

November 7th marks the 150th birthday of Marie Curie, who is arguably one of the most famous physical chemists of all time, credited with the discovery of radium and polonium, along with important contributions to the understanding of radioactivity and different kinds of radiation.

Marie Curie is also the first-ever female author (as far as we can tell) whose name appears in The Journal of Physical Chemistry (JPC), having appeared in a review article that was published in 1901. The citation appears as P Curie, S Curie, J. Phys. Chem. We note that P. Curie is her husband Pierre and S. Curie is actually Marie Curie, with the “S” denoting her maiden name Sklodowska. The title of the paper is “Review: The electric charge on the deflectable radium rays”. This article was a one sentence review written by the JPC editor Wilder Bancroft that alerted readers to the article in the French journal Comptes Rendus des Seá nces de l’Acadeḿ ie des Sciences in which the Curies announced that “deflectable” radiation from radium is not charged (meaning that it is electromagnetic rather than involving charged particles). While this was only a “cameo” appearance for Marie Curie, it was the only place in the literature at that time that the title of her paper “Sur la charge électrique des rayons déviables due radium” has appeared in English.

Although Marie Curie was the first female author in JPC, there have been numerous women since then who have authored articles, so in celebration of her birthday, we are presenting this Virtual Issue to highlight not only Marie Curie but many women who have published in JPC. We note that the number of women who have published in the journal is probably quite large given that there have been over 160,000 papers published since the beginning of the journal in 1896. Unfortunately, we do not keep track of the gender of our authors so there’s no way to provide comprehensive information about women authors. Indeed, it is impossible to tell if Marie Curie was the first female author, as the table of contents of the Journal often just gives initials. However, on the basis of the first names that are provided, it appears that the next female author after Marie Curie was Clara C. Benson (University of Toronto), who was the sole author of a paper that appeared in JPC entitled “The Rate of Oxidation of Ferrous Salts by Chromic Acid”. Clara Benson published two other papers the following year (apparently as part of her Ph.D. work), and subsequently, she had a distinguished career at the University of Toronto. The next woman to appear was Gertrud Woker, in 1906 with two single author articlesthat were translated by Dwight Bancroft from German manuscripts. She was at the University of Bern during her career, and was not only a well-known chemist but also a human rights writer. Two other early women in JPC were Katherine Blodgett (of the Langmuir−Blodgett films) whose career is described here, and Lucy Pickett of Mount Holyoke College whose career is described here. Among more recent women was Mildred Dresselhaus, who published 17 papers over the last 15 years.

Women who have published more than 50 papers in JPC (including Letters) include Mary Anne Fox, Janet Del Bene, Anne McCoy, Otilia Mo, Catherine Murphy, and Sharon Hammes-Schiffer. Ellen Stechel was the first Senior Editor of JPC (starting in 1998), and since then, there have been 11 more . Special issues (Festschrift and Memorial) for women have featured Branka Ladanyi, Victoria Buch, Barbara Garrison, Chava Lifshitz, and Marilyn Jacox.

Moving forward to the modern era, there are numerous women who have contributed to JPC, and to physical chemistry more generally. Marie Curie died when she was 66 years old, so we have decided to focus on contributions from 66 women in this issue, specifically those who have played an important role both through their publications in JPC and in other JPC-related capacities. In particular, the following list includes the highest cited JPC paper (as lead author, including JPC Letters) by women who have been JPC Editors, who have been JPC Editorial Advisory Board members, or who have won JPC/ACS Division of Physical Chemistry Lectureship Awards. (Note that middle initials have been omitted unless needed to distinguish the person from other authors). Enjoy reading!

Highlighting Female Physical Chemists

  • Christine Aikens: Electronic structure of ligand-passivated gold and silver nanoclusters, JPCL 2011, 2, 99–104. DOI: 10.1021/jz101499g.

  • Anastassia Alexandrova: H(H2O)n Clusters: microsolvation of the hydrogen atom via molecular ab initio gradient embedded genetic algorithm (GEGA), JPCA 2010, 114, 12591–12599. DOI: 10.1021/jp1092543.

  • Heather Allen: Vibrational spectroscopy of aqueous sodium halide solutions and air–liquid interfaces: observation of increased interfacial depth, JPCB 2004, 108, 2252–2260. DOI: 10.1021/jp036169r.

  • Rose Amal: Reducing graphene oxide on a visible-light BiVO4 photocatalyst for an enhanced photoelectrochemical water splitting, JPCL 2010, 1, 2607–2612. DOI: 10.1021/jz100978u.

  • Natalie Banerji: Charge transfer dynamics from organometal halide perovskites to polymeric hole transport materials in hybrid solar cells, JPCL 2015, 6, 3675–3681. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b01698.

  • Julie Biteen: Plasmon-enhanced brightness and photostability from single fluorescent proteins coupled to gold nanorods, JPCC 2014, 118, 15027–15035. DOI: 10.1021/jp504186n.

  • Irene Burghardt: Excited-state charge transfer at a conical intersection: effects of an environment, JPCA 2006, 110, 11411–11423. DOI: 10.1021/jp057569c.

  • Laurie Butler: Competing bond fission and molecular elimination channels in the photodissociation of CH3NH2 at 222 nm, JPC 1995, 99, 2635–2645. DOI: 10.1021/j100009a022.

  • Emily Carter: Interactions of NO and CO with Pd and Pt atoms, JPC 1991, 95, 2327–2339. DOI: 10.1021/j100159a040.

  • Sylvia Ceyer: Catalytic hydrogenation of acetylene on Ni(111) by surface-bound H and bulk H, JPCB 2001, 105, 11480–11492. DOI: 10.1021/jp0119734.

  • Lin X. Chen: XAFS studies of surface structures of TiO2 nanoparticles and photocatalytic reduction of metal ions, JPCB 1997, 101, 10688–10697. DOI: 10.1021/jp971930g.

  • Odile Eisenstein: Do f electrons play a role in the lanthanide-ligand bonds? A DFT study of Ln(NR2)3, R = H, SiH3, JPCA 2000, 104, 7140–7143. DOI: 10.1021/jp0010278.

  • Janet A. W. Elliott: A multisolute osmotic virial equation for solutions of interest in biology, JPCB 2007, 111, 1775–1785. DOI: 10.1021/jp0680342.

  • Zahra Fakhraai: Unusual weak interparticle distance dependence in Raman enhancement from nanoparticle dimers, JPCC 2016, 120, 1824–1830. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b09396.

  • Maria Forsyth (Senior Editor): Transport properties in ionic liquids and ionic liquid mixtures: the challenge of NMR pulsed field gradient diffusion measurements, JPCB 2007, 111, 9018–9024. DOI: 10.1021/jp072737h.

  • Barbara Finlayson-Pitts: New experimental and theoretical approaches to the heterogeneous hydrolysis of NO2: key role of molecular nitric acid and its complexes, JPCA 2006, 110, 6886–6897. DOI: 10.1021/jp056426n.

  • Laura Gagliardi: On the electronic structure of the UO2 molecule, JPCA 2001, 105, 10602–10606. DOI: 10.1021/jp012888z.

  • Giulia Galli: Electronic properties of MoS2 nanoparticles, JPCC 2007, 111, 16192–16196. DOI: 10.1021/jp075424v.

  • Barbara Garrison: Molecular dynamics model for laser ablation and desorption of organic solids, JPCB 1997, 101, 2028–2037. DOI: 10.1021/jp9634013.

  • Nien-Hui Ge: Different spectral signatures of octapeptide 3(10) and alpha-helices revealed by two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy, JPCB 2006, 110, 5834–5837. DOI: 10.1021/jp057472q.

  • Naomi Ginsberg: Discerning variable extents of interdomain orientational and structural heterogeneity in solution-cast polycrystalline organic semiconducting thin films, JPCL 2015, 6, 3155–3162. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b01416.

  • Sharon Glotzer: Molecular dynamics simulation study of self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiol surfactants on spherical gold nanoparticles, JPCC 2007, 111, 15857–15862. DOI: 10.1021/jp0746289.

  • Vicki Grassian: Spectroscopic study of nitric acid and water adsorption on oxide particles: enhanced nitric acid uptake kinetics in the presence of adsorbed water, JPCA 2001, 105, 6443–6457. DOI: 10.1021/jp003722l.

  • Clare Gray: Cation migration in zeolites: an in site powder diffraction and MAS NMR study of the structure of zeolite Cs(Na)-Y during dehydration, JPCB 1998, 102, 839–856. DOI: 10.1021/jp9730398.

  • Sharon Hammes-Schiffer (former Deputy Editor): Proton-coupled electron transfer in solution, proteins, and electrochemistry, JPCB 2008, 112, 14108–14123. DOI: 10.1021/jp805876e.

  • Teresa Head-Gordon: Current status of the AMOEBA polarizable force field, JPCB 2010, 114, 2549–2564. DOI: 10.1021/jp910674d.

  • Janice Hicks: Circular-dichroism spectroscopy at interfaces: a surface second harmonic generation study, JPC 1993, 97, 1383–1388. DOI: 10.1021/j100109a022.

  • Caroline Chick Jarrold: Reactivity of small MoxOy clusters toward methane and ethane, JPCA 2006, 110, 2157–2164. DOI: 10.1021/jp057195n.

  • Anne B. Myers: Absorption, fluorescence and resonance Raman spectroscopy of the hexamethylbenzene tetracyanoethylene charge-transfer complex: toward a self-consistent model, JPC 1995, 99, 9017–9026. DOI: 10.1021/j100022a012.

  • Munira Khalil: Picosecond X-ray absorption spectroscopy of a photoinduced iron(II) spin crossover reaction in solution, JPCA 2006, 110, 38–44. DOI: 10.1021/jp055002q.

  • Anna Krylov: Effect of protein environment on electronically excited and ionized states of the green fluorescent protein chromophore, JPCB 2011, 115, 8296–8303. DOI: 10.1021/jp2020269.

  • Christy Landes: Improved resolution of complex single-molecule FRET systems via wavelet shrinkage, JPCB 2011, 115, 1105–1114. DOI: 10.1021/jp1050707.

  • Sarah Larsen (Senior Editor): Nanocrystalline zeolites and zeolite structures: synthesis, characterization, and applications, JPCC 2007, 111, 18464–18474. DOI: 10.1021/jp074980m.

  • Marsha Lester: Spectroscopic mapping of the hydroxyl-argon van der Waals potential, JPC 1988, 92, 5551–5553. DOI: 10.1021/j100331a001.

  • Helen Leung: Rotational spectroscopy and molecular structure of the 1,1,2-trifluoroethylene-hydrogen chloride complex, JPCA 2010, 114, 10975–10980. DOI: 10.1021/jp107494t.

  • Nancy Levinger: Water immobilization at surfactant interfaces in reverse micelles, JPCA 1998, 102, 2705–2714. DOI: 10.1021/jp973330n.

  • Carmay Lim: Factors governing metal–ligand distances and coordination geometries of metal complexes, JPCB 2009, 113, 2952–2960. DOI: 10.1021/jp807972e.

  • Gang-Yu Liu (Senior Editor): New insights into self-assembled monolayers of organothiols on Au(111) revealed by scanning tunneling microscopy, JPCB 2003, 107, 8746–8759. DOI: 10.1021/jp0219810.

  • Spiridoula Matsika: Radiationless decay of excited states of uracil through conical intersections, JPCA 2004, 108, 7584–7590. DOI: 10.1021/jp048284n.

  • Anne McCoy (Deputy Editor): Ab initio diffusion Monte Carlo calculations of the quantum behavior of CH5+ in full dimensionality, JPCA 2004, 108, 4991–4994. DOI: 10.1021/jp0487096.

  • Ann McDermott: Nuclear magnetic resonance studies of biopolymer dynamics, JPC 1996, 100, 13293–13310. DOI: 10.1021/jp9606117.

  • Benedetta Mennucci (Senior Editor): What is solvatochromism?, JPCB 2010, 114, 17128–17135. DOI: 10.1021/jp1097487.

  • Amy Mullin (Senior Editor): Independent determination of supercollision energy loss magnitudes and rates in highly vibrationally excited pyrazine with E(vib) = 36000–41000 cm–1, JPCA 1998, 102, 9101–9105. DOI: 10.1021/jp9819801.

  • Catherine J. Murphy (Deputy Editor): Anisotropic metal nanoparticles: synthesis, assembly and optical applications, JPCB 2005, 109, 13857–13870. DOI: 10.1021/jp0516846.

  • Teri Odom: Manipulating the optical properties of pyramidal nanoparticle arrays, JPCB 2006, 110, 14028–14031. DOI: 10.1021/jp063226i.

  • Christine Payne: Nanoparticle surface charge mediates the cellular receptors used by protein-nanoparticle complexes, JPCB 2012, 116, 8901–8907. DOI: 10.1021/jp304630q.

  • Marie Paule Pileni: Reverse micelles as microreactors, JPC 1993, 97, 6961–6973. DOI: 10.1021/j100129a008.

  • Kimberly Prather: Gold nanoparticles as a matrix for visible-wavelength single-particle matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry of small biomolecules, JPCC 2008, 112, 4083–4090. DOI: 10.1021/jp076688k.

  • Hanna Reisler: Unimolecular reaction of NO2: overlapping resonances fluctuations and the transition state, JPC 1996, 100, 474–487. DOI: 10.1021/jp952843w.

  • Geraldine Richmond: Probing the molecular structure and bonding of the surface of aqueous salt solutions, JPCB 2004, 108, 5051–5059. DOI: 10.1021/jp037725k.

  • Mary T. Rodgers: Substituent effects in the binding of alkali metal ions to pyridines, studied by threshold collision-induced dissociation and ab initio theory: the methylpyridines, JPCA 2001, 105, 2374–2383. DOI: 10.1021/jp011555z.

  • Ursula Rothlisberger: D-RESP: Dynamically generated electrostatic potential derived charges from quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simluations, JPCB 2002, 106, 7300–7307. DOI: 10.1021/jp0143138.

  • Tamar Seideman: Dissipative dynamics of laser-induced torsional coherences, JPCC 2013, 117, 22391–22400. DOI: 10.1021/jp403090u.

  • Annabella Selloni: Reactivity of anatase TiO2 nanoparticles: The role of the minority (001) surface, JPCB 2005, 109, 19550–19562. DOI: 10.1021/jp055311g.

  • Roseanne Sension: Time-resolved spectroscopic studies of B-12 coenzymes: the photolysis of methylcobalamin is wavelength dependent, JPCB 1999, 103, 10532–10539. DOI: 10.1021/jp992358r.

  • Joan-Emma Shea (Deputy Editor): Double resolution model for studying TMAO/water effective interactions, JPCB 2013, 117, 13268–13277. DOI: 10.1021/jp403635g.

  • Gemma Solomon (Senior Editor): From chemistry to functionality: trends for the length dependence of the thermopower in molecular junctions, JPCC 2015, 119, 14056–14062. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b04106.

  • Hongmei Su: Structure-dependent all-optical switching in graphene nanoribbon like molecules: fully conjugated tru(perylene bisimides), JPCA 2010, 114, 9130–9135. DOI: 10.1021/jp1056489.

  • Patricia Thiel: Coarsening of two-dimensional nanoclusters on metal surfaces, JPCC 2009, 113, 5047–5067. DOI: 10.1021/jp8063849.

  • Sarah Tolbert (former Senior Editor): Controlling magnetic coupling between cobalt nanoparticles through nanoscale confinement in hexagonal mesoporous silica, JPCB 2003, 107, 5475–5482. DOI: 10.1021/jp034240n.

  • Veronica Vaida: Medium effects on the photodissociation of hexacarbonylchromium Cr(CO)6, JPC 1982, 86, 1941–1947. DOI: 10.1021/j100208a008.

  • Claire Vallance: Multimass velocity-map imaging with the pixel imaging mass spectrometry (PImMS) sensor: an ultrafast event-triggered camera for particle imaging, JPCA 2012, 116, 10897–10903. DOI: 10.1021/jp309860t.

  • Susanna Widicus Weaver: Do H5+ and its isotologues have rotational spectra?, JPCL 2011, 2, 1405–1407. DOI: 10.1021/jz2005539.

  • K. Birgitta Whaley: Coherent and diffusive time scales for exciton dissociation in bulk heterojunction photovoltaic cells, JPCC 2014, 118, 27235–27244. DOI: 10.1021/jp508561z.

  • Angela Wilson: Toward accurate theoretical thermochemistry of first row transition metal complexes, JPCA 2012, 116, 870–885. DOI: 10.1021/jp205710e.

  • Theresa Windus: Density functional studies on the complexation and spectroscopy of uranyl ligated with acetonitrile and acetone derivatives, JPCA 2009, 113, 12535–12531. DOI: 10.1021/jp9038623.

If you have comments or questions for the author of this post, please e-mail: Axial@acs.org.