Richard J. Saykally

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Richard J. Saykally
Born 1947
Nationality American
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Doctoral students Martin Gruebele
Known for Molecular characteristics and structure of water

Richard J. Saykally (born 1947) is an American chemist. He is currently a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He has received numerous awards for his research on the molecular characteristics of water.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Rhinelander, Wisconsin,[1] Saykally received a B.S. degree in Physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.[2] He received a Ph. D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1977. He was an NRC postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Boulder, Colorado) from 1977-1979.


Saykally's first faculty position was at the University of California, Berkeley in 1979. He has remained at that institution his entire career, and holds the Class of 1932 Professor Chair there.[3]

Saykally was listed number 15 in the Science Watch Magazine's "Cream of the Crop in Chemistry", a compilation of "high-impact" papers in chemistry published 1994-1996. This review tabulates the number of citations a given author's works receives in the published literature.[4] This compilation stated "Investigation of a particular liquid - water - accounts for the presence of yet another UC Berkeley chemist on the list: Richard J. Saykally. his four highly-cited reports contribute to a detailed picture, on a time scale of trillionths of a second, of the complex interactions of water molecules."

Additionally, Saykally participated in the award-winning US PBS television series The Sacred Balance. The second episode of that series showed Saykally explaining how the structure of the water molecule gives it special properties.[5]

Saykally and his research team pioneered IR Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy and the study of small clusters of water molecules.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

Current research interests[edit]

As of 2009, Saykally's active research includes:[7]


External links[edit]