Ph.D. 1996: Physical Chemistry, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Kenneth Leopold
B.A., Cum Laude, 1991: Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
Major: Chemistry; Concentration: Music Composition
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Sunhee Choi
CHEM 115: Chemical Principles
CHEM 127: Chemistry and Climate
CHEM 304: Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 433: Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHEM 434: Physical Chemistry II: Molecular Structure and Spectroscopy
CHEM 438: Physical Analysis Lab
CHEM 300/497/499: Independent Study
Structural and Energetic Properties of Molecular Complexes
: The main interest of the Phillips group is to identify and characterize complexes (associations of two otherwise stable molecules) that are apt to undergo substantial changes in structure in reopens to a change in their chemical environment. One example of the phenomenon is a "gas-solid structure difference", i.e., when a complex has a different structure in its gaseous state than as a solid. We are particularly interested in complexes hat show extreme sensitivity to their environment, and undergo significant structural changes in solution, or even in solid neon, argon, and nitrogen. The main tools of the research are low-temperature infrared spectroscopy, which allows us to detect structural change in inert, bulk solid samples near absolute zero, and computer models, which enable us to understand the underlying features of these systems, and the mechanism that drives the structural changes.
Selected Publications(* designates UWEC undergraduate co-authors)
Principle author of 20 research articles with 41 UWEC student co-authors since 1998.
"Structural and Energetic Properties of Nitrile –BX3 Complexes: Substituent Effects and their Impact on Condensed-Phase Sensitivity";J.A. Phillips, Theor. Chem Accts. (Feature Article) 2017, 136(1):16.
"Structural and Energetic Properties of Haloacetonitrile –GeF4 Complexes";A.W. Waller,* N.M. Weiss,* D.A. Decato, and J.A. Phillips, J Mol. Struct. 2017,1130, 984.
"Infrared Spectrum of CH3CN–HCl in Solid Neon, and Modeling Matrix Effects in CH3CN–HCl and H3N–HCl";N.M. Weiss,* A.W. Waller,* and J.A. Phillips, J Mol. Struct. 2016, 1105, 341-349.
"Quantum chemical and matrix-IR characterization of CH3CN–BCl3: A complex with two distinct minima along the B–N bond potential";J.P. Wrass,* D. Sadowsky, K.M. Bloomgren,* C.J. Cramer, J.A. Phillips, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2014, 16, 16480.
"Structural and Energetic Properties of Acetonitrile –Group IV (A &B) Halide Complexes";H.M. Helminiak,* R.R. Knauf,* S.J. Danforth,* J.A. Phillips, J. Phys. Chem. A 2014, 118, 4266.
"Condensed-Phase Effects on the Structural Properties of FCH2CN–BF3 and ClCH2CN–BF3: A Matrix-Isolation and Computational Study";A.R. Buchberger,* S.J. Danforth ,* K.M. Bloomgren,* J.A. Rohde,* E.L. Smith,* C.C.A. Gardener,* J.A. Phillips, J. Phys. Chem. B 2013, 117, 11687.
"Structural and Energetic Properties of Alkylfluoride –BF3 complexes in the Gas Phase and Condensed-Phase Media: Computations and Matrix Infrared Spectroscopy";R.R. Knauf,* H.M. Helminiak,* J.P. Wrass,* T.M. Gallert,* J.A. Phillips, J. Phys. Org. Chem. 2012, 25, 493.
"Structure, Bonding, and Energetic Properties of Nitrile - Borane Complexes: RCN–BH3";E.L. Smith,* D. Sadowsky, C. J. Cramer, J.A. Phillips, J. Phys. Chem. A 2011, 115, 1955.
"A Short –Yet Very Weak Dative Bond: Structure, Bonding, and Energetic Properties of N2–BH3";E.L. Smith,* D. Sadowski, J.A. Phillips, C.J. Cramer, D.J. Giesen, J. Phys. Chem. A 2010, 114, 2628.
12 external grants for a total of $1,240,099 in support for research since 1998.
"RUI: Continued Studies of Condensed-Phase Effects on the Structural Properties of Molecular Complexes";NSF-RUI-Chemistry, 9/1/16 - 8/31/19, ($246,592).
"Continued Studies of the Structure, Bonding, and Energetic Properties Friedel-Crafts Intermediates: RF–BF3";Petroleum Research Fund-Type UR, 1/1/13 - 8/31/17, ($65,000).
"RUI: Continued Studies of Condensed-Phase Structural Effects in Complexes of BCl3 and Group IV Lewis Acids";NSF-RUI-Chemistry, 7/1/12 - 1/30/17, ($227,330).
"RUI: Continued Studies of Condensed-Phase Effects on the Structural Properties of Nitrile Donor-Acceptor Complexes";NSF-RUI-Chemistry, 9/1/07 - 8/31/10, ($189,000).
"Condensed Phase Effects on the Structural Properties of Friedel-Crafts Intermediates: RF–BF3";Petroleum Research Fund-Type B, 6/2/07 - 8/31/10, ($55,000).
"Continued Studies of Condensed Phase Effects in Nitrile Donor-Acceptor Complexes";Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, 12/1/04 - 11/30/09, ($60,000).