Richard J. Saykally

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Richard J. Saykally
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Known forMolecular characteristics and structure of water
AwardsIrving Langmuir Award (2000)
E. O. Lawrence Award (2004)
Peter Debye Award (2009)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley

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 and aqueous solutions.


Richard Saykally is the Class of 1932 Endowed Professor at the University of California-Berkeley. Born in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and educated at UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison, Saykally has been a professor at the University of California, Berkeley since 1979. He and his students have pioneered many important advances in spectroscopy, including velocity modulation spectroscopy of ions, terahertz laser vibration-rotation-tunneling spectroscopy of clusters, infrared photon counting spectroscopy, cavity ringdown spectroscopy, and X-ray spectroscopy of liquid microjets. These have permitted the first detailed study of important textbook molecules, including the hydronium (H3O+), hydroxide (OH-) and ammonium (NH4+) ions, as well as small water clusters and carbon clusters.

Recent work includes the spectroscopic determination of a universal water force field via the study of water clusters, the development of femtosecond nonlinear optical molecular imaging methods applied to single nanowire lasers and biological systems, femtosecond UV SHG/SFG studies of liquid electrolyte surfaces, and soft X-ray spectroscopy of liquids and liquid surfaces.

A co-author of over 400 publications that have been cited over 37,000 times (H index> 90), the recipient of over 70 honors and awards from 10 different countries, Saykally is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has recently[when?] received the E.O. Lawrence Award in Chemistry from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Hinshelwood Lectureship from Oxford University, the Inaugural International Solvay Chair in Chemistry from the Solvay Institutes of Belgium, the Peter DeBye Award in Physical Chemistry from the ACS, the J.C. Bose Lectureship from IACS-Kolkata, and the Faraday Lectureship Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a UC-Berkeley Distinguished Teacher, and has been active at the national level in science education. Over 150 students and postdocs have trained under his direction, many of whom hold prominent positions in academic, government, and industrial institutions.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]

Current research interests[edit]

As of 2014, Saykally's active research includes:[2]


External links[edit]