headshot of Robert Whetten

Robert Whetten

Professor, Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Contact Information

phone: (928) 523-5517
email: Robert.whetten@nau.edu
office: Science and Health Building, Room 432

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Awards and Honors

Sloan Fellow
Packard Fellow
Finland Distinguished Professor (2010-2011)
Humbolt-Foundation Fellow, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2006 and 1998)

Professional Experience

Professor of Chemical Physics, Northern Arizona University (2019-current)
Professor of Chemical Physics, University of Texas, San Antonio (2013-2019)
Visiting Professor of Materials Physics, University of Texas, San Antonio (2012-2013)
Professor of Chemistry & Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology (1993-2013)
Asst./Assoc./Full Professor, UCLA, Dept of Chemistry & Biochemistry (1985-1994)


Molecular & discrete metallurgy; chemical physics of protected metallic clusters; structure and bonding

Representative Publications

Sakthivel, N. Shabaninezhad, M. Sementa, L. Yoon, B. Stener, M. Whetten, R. Ramakrishna, G. Fortunelli, A. Landman, U., & Dass, A. (2020). The Missing Link: Au-191(SPh-tBu)(66) Janus Nanoparticle with Molecular and Bulk-Metal-like Properties. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 142(37), 15799-15814.

Hoque, M. Dass, A. Mayer, K., & Whetten, R. (2019). Protein-Like Large Gold Clusters Based on the omega-Aminothiolate DMAET: Precision Thermal and Reaction Control Leading to Selective Formation of Cationic Gold Clusters in the Critical Size Range, n=130-144 Gold Atoms. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 123(23), 14871-14879.
Hoque, M. Black, D. Mayer, K. Dass, A., & Whetten, R. (2019). Base Side of Noble Metal Clusters: Efficient Route to Captamino-Gold, Aug(n)(-S(CH2)(2)N(CH3)(2))(p), n=25-144. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 10(12), 3307-3311.
Hoque, M. Mayer, K. Ponce, A. Alvarez, M., & Whetten, R. (2019). Toward Smaller Aqueous-Phase Plasmonic Gold Nanoparticles: High-Stability Thiolate-Protected similar to 4.5 nm Cores. LANGMUIR, 35(32), 10610-10617.
Hoque, M. Vergara, S. Das, P. Ugarte, D. Santiago, U. Kumara, C. Whetten, R. Dass, A., & Ponce, A. (2019). Structural Analysis of Ligand-Protected Smaller Metallic Nanocrystals by Atomic Pair Distribution Function under Precession Electron Diffraction. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 123(32), 19894-19902.
Reina, M. Wallace, W. Wyrwas, R. Whetten, R., & Martinez, A. (2019). Binding of multiple SO2 molecules to small gold cluster anions (Au-N(-), AuNOH-, N=1-8). INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF QUANTUM CHEMISTRY, 119(19).
Lara, H. Black, D. Moon, C. Orr, E. Lopez, P. Alvarez, M. Baghdasarian, G. Lopez-Ribot, J., & Whetten, R. (2019). Activating a Silver Lipoate Nanocluster with a Penicillin Backbone Induces a Synergistic Effect against S. aureus Biofilm. ACS OMEGA, 4(26), 21914-21920.

Other Significant Publications

Whetten, R.L., et.al. Nanocrystal gold molecules. Adv. Mat. 1996, 8(5), pp.428-33. Citations: 1419

Alvarez, M.M., Khoury, J.T., Schaaff, T.G., Shafigullin, M.N., Vezmar, I., Whetten, R.L., Optical absorption spectra of nanocrystal gold molecules. J. Phys. Chem. B 1997, 101(19), 3706-12. Citations: 1515

Cleveland, C.L., Landman, U., Schaaff, T.G., Shafigullin, M.N., Stephens, P.W., et.al., Structural evolution of smaller gold nanocrystals: The truncated decahedral motif. Phys. Rev. Lett 1997, 79(10), 1873-76. Citations: 579

Whetten, R.L., Shafigullin, M.N., Khoury, J.T., Schaaff, T.G., Vezmar, I., Alvarez, M.M. Wilkinson, A., Crystal structures of molecular gold nanocrystal arrays. Acc. Chem. Res. 1999, 32(5), 397-406. Citations: 616

Schaaff, T., Shafigullin, M., Khoury, J., Vezmar, I., Whetten, R.L., et.al. Isolation of smaller nanocrystal Au molecules: robust quantum effects in optical spectra. J. Phys. Chem. B 1997, 101(40), 7885-7891. Citations: 698