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James P. Riehl
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota Duluth

Professor Riehl received his B.S. in Chemistry from Villanova University in 1970 and his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in 1975. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia with Professor F.S. Richardson he joined the faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He joined the faculty at Michigan Tech University in 1993 as Professor and Chairperson of Chemistry. He has held visiting appointments at Kings College, London and the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. In 1992 he received the St. Louis Award from the American Chemical Society. In 2004 he received the Gold Medal from the University of Wrocław Poland to honor 15 years of collaborative research and education programs. He currently holds the title of 3M McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair at the University of Minnesota.

Research Areas

Professor Riehl is involved in a number of research projects involving the study of the structure and reactions of so-called chiral molecules. These are molecules whose structure is such that their mirror image molecule is not superimposable on the original structure. Almost all important biological molecules are chiral, so much of the focus of this research is concerned directly or indirectly with this class of molecules.

Dr. Riehl is studying chiral molecules using both experimental measurements and theoretical treatments. The experimental work is largely centered around the use of circularly polarized light as a probe of chiral structure. Much of this work is focused on the exploitation of the special luminescence properties of lanthanide(III) ions. His theoretical projects use modern computational chemistry techniques to study the interactions of chiral molecules, and more formal theoretical development aimed at coming up with useful relationships between experimental measurements and molecule properties. Examples of ongoing research projects are outlined below.

• Structure and Spectroscopy of Chiral Lanthanide(III) Complexes as Potential Probes of Biological Structure

Chiral complexes containing the luminescence lanthanide ions Eu(III), Tb(IIII), Dy(III), and Yb(III) are being studied by various chiral-optical techniques in order to understand the relationship between structure and spectra, and the interaction of these complexes with biological systems. Of special interest is the extension of the circularly polarized luminescence technique to the near-IR region through the use of Yb(III).

• The Use Of Pressure And Temperature Variation As A Probe Of The Solution Structure, Dynamics, And Thermodynamics Of Lanthanide(III) Complexes In Solution.

Lanthanide complexes have large and variable coordination numbers, and many important complexes containing multidentate ligands exist in solution as a distribution of species. A knowledge of this speciation is especially important when lanthanide complexes are being used as models for studies involving the chemistry of radioactive actinide species. In our laboratory we are involved in several projects in which the temperature and pressure variation is used to extract important information concerning complex and solution structure.

Recent Publications

  • Riehl, James P.; Muller, G. "Circularly Polarized Luminescence and Emission-Detected Circular Dichroism", in Advances in Chiroptical Methods, N. Berova, P. Polavarapu, K. Nakanishi, R. Woody Eds., John Wiley & Sons, Volume 1, 2012.

    Riehl, J. P.; Kaizaki, S. "The Absolute Structure of Chiral Inorganic Compounds", in Physical Inorganic Chemistry, A. Balcak, ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

    Riehl, James P. "Mirror-Image Asymmetry: An Introduction to the Origin and Consequences of Chirality", John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

    Pedziwiatr, M.; Kosareff, N. M.;  Muller, G.; Koposov, A. Y.; Nemykin, V. M.; Riehl, J. P.; Legendziewicz, J. , "Preparation, Characterization, and Circularly Polarized Luminescence of Lanthanum and Europium 1,1’-binaphthyl-2,2’-diyl Phosphate Complexes", J. Alloys and Compounds, 2008, 45, 251-253.

  • Petoud, S.;Muller, G.; Moore, E. G.; Xu, J.; Sokolnicki, J.; Riehl, J. P.; Le, U.; Cohen, S. M.; Raymond, K. N., "Brilliant Sm, Eu, Tb, and Dy Chiral Lanthanide Comples with Strong Circular Polarization", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 77-83.

    Muller, F. C.; Muller, G.; Riehl, J. P. "Emission Detected Circular Dichroism (EDCD) from Long-lived Excited States: Application to Chiral Eu(III) Systems", Chirality, 2007, 19, 826-832.

    Gawryszewska, P.; Legendziewicz, J.; Cuinik, Z.; Esfandiari, N.; Muller, G.; Piguet, C.; Cantuel, M.; Riehl, J. P. "On the Determination of  Empirical Absolute Chiral Structure:Chiroptical Spectrum Correlations for D3 Lanthanide (III)  Complexes", Chirality, 2006, 18, 406-412.

  • Sokolnicki, J. ;Legendziewicz, J.; Muller, G.; Riehl, J. P, "The luminescence, molecular and electronic structure, and excited state energetics of tris complexes of 4-phenylethynyl-2,6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid with Eu(III) and Tb(III) prepared in sol-gel", Optical Materials, 2005, 27, 1529-1536.
  • Riehl, J. P.; Muller, G. "Circularly Polarized Luminescence from Lanthanide Systems" in Handbook of the Chemistry and Physics of the Rare Earths, Volume 34, Gschneidner Jr. K.;  Bünzli , J.-C.; Pecharsky, V. Eds., 2005, Volume 34, Chapter 220, 289-357.
  • Gawryszewska, P.; Sokolnicki, J.; Dossing, A.; Riehl, J. P.; Muller, G.;  Legendziewicz, J., "Photophysical Properties and Circularly Polarized Luminescence for some lanthanide complexes of the polypyridine ligand 6,6’-bis[bis(2-pyridylmethyl)aminomethyl]-2,2’-bipyridine’, J. Phys. Chem., 2005, 109, 3858-3863.
  • Muller, G,; Riehl, J. P., "Use of Induced Circularly Polarized Luminescence from Racemic Lanthanide Complexes to Determine the Absolute Configuration of Amino Acids", J. Fluoresc., 2005, 15, 553-558.
  • Muller, G.; Muller, F. C.; Maupin, C. L.; Riehl, J. P., "The Measurement of the Fluorescence Detected Circular Dichroism (FDCD) from a Chiral Eu(III) System ", J.Chem. Soc. Chem. Comm. 2005, 3615-3617.

For more information on these or any other research projects please send e-mail to jpriehl@d.umn.edu.

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