Microdroplet Chemistry

N_02_Rchard Zare
Richard Zare
Stanford University

Abstract :

My research group has been studying chemical reactions in microdroplets and comparing the findings with the behavior of the same reaction in bulk solution.  Our detection method has been a high-resolution mass spectrometer.  Two different experimental setups are employed, one involving fusing together two streams of microdroplets (shown in Fig. l, the panel above), the other simply involving desorption electrospray ionization (shown in Fig, 1, the panel below):


figure 1. Two experimental setups used to investigate the chemistry occuring in microdroplets.
One significant advantage of investigating reactions in microdroplets is that this technique allows us to detect and identify fleeting intermediates in complex reactions. Another special feature of microdroplet chemistry is that the rates of some reactions can be accelerated by a factor of 1000 or more. This talk is intended to be of interest to all those interested in chemical processes that occur in confined spaces.


1964 Ph.D. Chemical Physics, Harvard University
1961 B.A. Chemistry and Physics


Professional Activities

  • 2006–present, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor
  • 2004 Schlumberger Visiting Professor, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory,
  • 1992–present, Professor of Physics, Stanford University
  • 1987–present, Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science, Stanford University
  • 1985–present, Fellow Adjoint, Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, University of Colorado
  • 1984–1986, Stanford University Fellow
  • 1982–present, Christensen Fellow, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University
  • 1980–1985, Shell Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University
  • 1977–present, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University
  • 1975–1977, Higgins Professor of Natural Science, Columbia University
  • 1969–1977, Professor of Chemistry, Columbia University
  • 1968–1969, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astrophysics, and Department
    of Chemistry, University of Colorado
  • 1966–1968, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of
  • 1965–1966, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of
  • 1964–1965, Research Associate, University of Colorado


Awards & Honors

  • Honorary doctoral degrees from University of Edinburgh (2016), University of South Florida
    (2013), Chalmers Institute of Technology (2007), Université P. Sabatier, 2003; Hunan University (2002), The University of York (2001), State University of West Georgia (2001),
    Uppsala University (2000), Columbia University (1999), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (1993), Northwestern University (1993), and University of Arizona (1990).
  • 2012 The International Science and Technology Cooperation Award of the People’s
    Republic of China
  • 2012 The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Lecture Medal
  • 2012 The Torbern Bergman Medal, The Swedish Chemical Society, The Analytical
  • 2011 Honorary Membership into the Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry (JSAC)
  • 2011 Einstein Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2011 King Faisal International Prize in Science
  • 2010 R. B. Bernstein Award in Stereodynamics
  • 2010 Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society
  • 2010 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences category
  • 2010 Priestley Medal, American Chemical Society
  • 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring in Science, Engineering and
  • 2008 Honorary Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences
  • 2008 George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education, American Chemical Society
  • 2005 Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry, Israel
  • 2005 Nichols Medal, New York Section of the American Chemical Society
  • 2004 James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of
    Chemistry, ACS
  • 2004 Elected Foreign Member, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2003 Hoagland Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, Stanford University
  • 2002 Elected Foreign Member, The Royal Society (London)
  • 2001 Faraday Medal and Lectureship, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2001 Charles Lathrop Parsons Award, American Chemical Society
  • 2000 Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education, American Chemical
  • 2000 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science, American Physical Society
  • 1999 The Welch Award in Chemistry
  • 1999 E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy, American Chemical Society
  • 1998 Distinguished Service Award, National Science Board
  • 1998 ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry
  • 1997 California Scientist of the Year
  • 1991 National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences
  • 1991 Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, American Chemical Society
  • 1985 Irving Langmuir Prize, American Physical Society
  • 1983 National Medal of Science