Professor Jerry Atwood

Curators' Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia

Prof. Jerry L. Atwood received a B.S. in chemistry and mathematics in 1964 from Southwest Missouri State University. After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1968, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, where he rose to the position of University Research Professor in 1987.  He moved to the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1994, where he is currently a Curators' Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry.

His discovery of liquid clathrates in 1969 provided the underpinnings of the current ionic liquid research, ultimately leading to his involvement in the emerging field of supramolecular chemistry.  Prof. Atwood first discovered organic clays, O-H...hydrogen bonding involving water, ordered water clusters, including (H2O)10, in a supramolecular environment, and selective binding of anions within the cavities of metallated calixarenes and related hosts.  In 1997, Prof. Atwood published the discovery of a chiral spherical molecular capsule held together by 60 hydrogen bonds.  This work led to a strategy for the design of very large molecular capsules based on the geometrical principles of Plato and Archimedes.  Beginning in 2002, Prof. Atwood published several studies in which a new view of porosity and the organic solid state is delineated. Recent discoveries have revealed robust nano-capsules based on pyrogallol[4]arenes seamed together by metal ions, and the use of gas pressure to control the crystal form of pharmaceutical compounds.

Prof. Atwood has published over 680 research publications, which have been cited over 29,000 times.  He has served as editor of numerous peer-reviewed journals, including a ten-year term as Associate Editor for Supramolecular Chemistry for Chemical Communications.  Prof. Atwood currently serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief for the New Journal of Chemistry.​

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