Joseph S. Francisco
President’s Distinguished Professor
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences


Research in our laboratory focuses on basic studies in spectroscopy, kinetics and photochemistry of novel transient species in the gas phase, in aerosol and at the ice-quasi liquid layer. These species play an important role in atmospheric processes. Yet questions dealing with how structures correlate to reactivity and photochemical mechanisms have not been addressed for these systems. These problems are addressed by research efforts in our laboratory. Specific research areas of interest are: 1) Spectroscopic determinations of electronic and vibrational transitions in free radicals; 2) Kinetics of individual gas-phase reaction steps involving free radicals in complex reaction mechanisms involved in the gas phase and at interfaces; 3) Characteristics of primary photo chemical processes that free radicals can undergo in the gas phase and at interfaces; 4) Atmospheric chemistry and dynamics at the air/water interface chemistry; and 5) Atmospheric chemistry and dynamics at the ice-quasi liquid layer.



Our goal is to use state-of-the-art molecular orbital methods to predict properties that can be used as a guide in the experimental search. We aim to predict spectroscopic properties for these novel species in the gas phase and at the air/water interface, that would facilitate their full experimental characterization. 


B.S.: Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin, 1977


Ph.D.: Chemical Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1983.


Research Fellow: University of Cambridge, 1983-1985


Provost Postdoctoral Fellow: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985-1986

Selected Publications

M. Kumar, and J.S. Francisco, Mechanistic Insight into Ion-Pair Particle Formation from Methanesulfonic Acid-Amines Chemistry at the Air-Water Interface,  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 114, 12401-12406 (2017).


L. Artiglia, J. Edebeli,  F. Orlando, S. Chen, P. C. Arroyo, A. Gilgen, T. Bartels-Rausch, A. Kleibert, M. Vazdar, M. A. Garegnano, J.S. Francisco,  P.B. Shepson, I. Gladich, and M. Ammann, A Surface-Stabilized Ozonide Triggers Bromide Oxidation at the Aqueous Solution-Vapor Interface, Nature Communications8, 700 (2017).


C.Q. Zhu, J. Zhong, M. Kumar, J.S. Francisco, X.C. Zeng, New Mechanistic Pathways for Creigee-Water Chemistry at the Air/Water Interface,  J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 11164-11169 (2016).


R. Hoehn, M.A. Carignano, S. Kais,  J.S. Francisco, and  I. Gladich, Hydrogen Bonding and Orientation Effects on the Accommodation of Methylamine at the Air-Water Interface, J. Chem. Phys.144, 214701 (2016).


M. Kumar, A. Sinha, and J. S. Francisco, Role of Double Hydrogen Atom Transfer Reactions in Atmospheric Chemistry, Acc. Chem. Res., 49, 877- 833 (2016).


M. Kumar and J.S. Francisco, Red-Light Induced Decomposition of Organic Peroxy Radical: A New Source of the HO2Radical, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.54, 15711-15714 (2015).


J.M. Anglada, M. Martins-Costa, M.F. Ruiz-Lopez, J.S. Francisco, Spectroscopic Signatures of Ozone at the Air/Water Interface and Photochemistry Implications, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 111, 11618-11623 (2014).



Department of Chemistry

231 S. 34 Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323

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