Jeanne E. Pemberton

Regents Professor

Degrees and Appointments 

  • Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • B.S. University of Delaware (Chemistry)
  • B.A. University of Delaware (Biology)

Awards and Honors

  • American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Spectrochemical Analysis, 2021
  • Executive Editor, Analytical Chemistry, 2019-present
  • Galileo Circle Fellow, College of Science, University of Arizona, 2013
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2009
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society (inaugural class), 2009
  • Associate Editor, Analytical Chemistry, 2008-present
  • Regents Professor, University of Arizona, 2005-present
  • American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry, 2004
  • Co-Editor, Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry, 2012-2020

Research Specialties: Chemical Reaction Dynamics/Kinetics/Interactions​, Energy Science, Instrument Development, Materials and Polymer Chemistry, Spectroscopy/Molecular Structure, Surface and Solid State, Synthesis/Synthetic Methods Development


I. The Chemistry of Organic Semiconductors and their Interfaces in Molecular Electronic & Photonic Devices

The interfacial regions between phases are sites of critical importance in many relevant processes and technologies. Despite decades of intense study, our understanding of the chemistry of interfacial and surface processes at the molecular level is still only modestly developed. Thus, the development of adequate tools with which to study surface and interfacial chemistry and elucidation of the molecular details of such complex chemistry represent two of the most exciting frontiers of modern measurement science. Our research seeks to develop an understanding of such chemistry in several technologically important areas including organic semiconductor-based devices. Methodologies employed for these efforts include surface vibrational spectroscopies, electrochemistry, surface electron spectroscopies, work function measurements, ellipsometry, fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy, and the scanning probe microscopies (AFM and STM). These methods are supplemented by more conventional chemical measurement tools (e.g. mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy) as needed for complete characterization of relevant solution and interfacial systems.

Solid-state organic semiconductor (OSC) materials are the essential active components of a variety of existing and emerging technologies, including LED lasers and organic-based electronic and photonic devices. These technologies suffer from limited lifetimes due to the inevitable degradation of OSCs through poorly defined chemical, photochemical and photophysical processes, especially in operando, or under conditions of operation. Addressing these limitations requires characterization of the molecular structural, electronic, and charge transport attributes of these OSC materials during and after degradation.  We are employing a suite of state-of-the-art methods to study OSCs in environments that systematically increase in chemical and optoelectronic complexity, including in operando. Tools being used include surface vibrational spectroscopies (Raman, PM-IRRAS) in environments ranging from ambient to ultrahigh vacuum, synchrotron IR nanospectroscopy (SINS), and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Exceptional among these tools are our capabilities for UHV Raman spectroscopy for detailed chemical characterization, which are being implemented in operando.  Specific objectives being addressed through this work include: 1) Intrinsic OSC chemistry: What roles do intrinsic chemical nature, degree and type of crystallinity, and frontier orbital energetics of the OSC play in dictating chemical, photochemical, and photophysical degradation of the OSC? How do different chemical penetrants contribute to or drive these degradation pathways as a function of time and exposure? What role do thermal versus photolytic pathways play in OSC degradation? 2) Effects of "intrinsic" catalysts and materials interfaces: What roles do catalyst species, introduced as impurities during the fabrication process, created through unintended chemical reactions during the fabrication process, or created through degradation reactions, play in initiating or accelerating degradation pathways? What role do contacts of the OSC with transparent conductive oxide or metallic electrodes play in initiating or accelerating degradation pathways? 3) In operando effects:  What role does the presence of an applied electric field play in promoting or altering the chemical, photochemical, or photophysical degradation pathways elucidated above in Objectives 1 and 2, or in changing their mechanisms? What role does the presence of excess charge carriers near OSC-electrode contacts and interfaces with other active materials play in promoting or altering the chemical, photochemical, or photophysical degradation pathways elucidated above?





New Functional Materials from Sugar-based Glycolipids: Glyonic Liquids

Glycolipids are surfactants based on sugars with variable lipid tails. Surfactants are critical, ubiquitous chemicals in many consumer products areas, technologies, and industrial processes. The ubiquity of surfactants as essential chemicals and their massive industrial use, coupled with emerging concerns about their long-term environmental impacts, present a compelling opportunity for advances in molecular design and synthesis of green surfactants. Widespread interest in these issues supports exploration of all viable alternatives to meet the increasing demands of the global surfactant market, predicted to reach $40B annually by 2018. This work grew out of concerns about the toxicity of many conventional synthetic surfactants as well as their persistence in the environment that is driving regulatory and consumer pressure to develop greener and more sustainable alternatives to these materials. Building on a collaborative effort to explore the systematic design, synthesis, and characterization of a wide array of new glycolipid surfactants, we have identified new functional sugar-based materials that are being explored for different applications. We have made ionic liquids, liquids containing only ionic species, from sugar-based surfactants that we have termed glyonic liquids. These materials demonstrate superionic proton conductivity and thus, may be of interest for electrochemical device applications. 

R. Palos-Pacheco, R.J. Eismin, C.S. Coss, H. Wang, R.M. Maier, R. Polt, J.E. Pemberton, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2017139, 5125-5132. “Synthesis and Characterization of Four Diastereomers of Monorhamnolipids.”  DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b00427

E. Munusamy, C.M. Luft, J.E. Pemberton, S.D. Schwartz, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2017121, 5781-5793. “Structural Properties of Nonionic Monorhamnolipid Aggregates in Water Studied by Classical Molecular Dynamics Simulations.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b00997

D.E. Hogan, J.E. Curry, J.E. Pemberton, R.M. Maier, J. Hazard. Mater., 2017340, 171-178. “Rhamnolipid biosurfactant complexation of rare earth elements .” DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.06.056

H. Wang, J. E. Pemberton, Langmuir, 201733, 7468–7478. “Effect of Solvent Quality on Laminar Slip Flow Field Penetration of Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) Films with an Exploration of Mass Transport Mechanism.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b01598

R.J. Eismin, E. Munusamy, L.M. Kegel, D.E. Hogan, R.M. Maier, S.D. Schwartz, J.E. Pemberton, Langmuir201733, 7412–7424. “Evolution of Aggregate Structure in Solutions of Anionic Monorhamnolipids: Experimental and Computational Results.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b00078

C.M. Luft, E. Munusamy, J.E. Pemberton, S.D. Schwartz, J. Phys. Chem. B2018122, 3944-3952. "Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Oil Sequestration Properties of a Nonionic Rhamnolipid." DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b11959

E. Munusamy, C.M. Luft, J.E. Pemberton, S.D. Schwartz, “Unraveling the Differential Aggregation of Anionic and Nonionic Monorhamnolipids at the Interfaces: A Classical Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study”, J. Phys. Chem. B2018122, 6403–6416. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b03037

B. Neelamraju, K.E. Watts, J.E. Pemberton, E.L. Ratcliff, J. Phys. Chem. Lett.20189, 6871-6877. “Correlation of Coexistent Charge Transfer States in F4TCNQ-Doped P3HT with Microstructure.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b03104

D.E. Hogan, F. Tian, S.W. Malm, C. Olivares, R. Palos Pacheco, M.T. Simonich, A.S. Hunjan, R.L. Tanguay, W.T. Klimecki, R. Polt, J.E. Pemberton, J.E. Curry, R.M. Maier, “Biodegradability and Toxicity of Monorhamnolipid Biosurfactant Diastereomers”, J. Hazard. Mater.2019364, 600-607.

J.E. Keener, D.E. Zambrano, G. Zhang, C.K. Zak, D.J. Reid, B.S. Deodhar, J.E. Pemberton, J. Prell, M.T. Marty, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2019141, 1054–1061. “Chemical Additives Enable Native Mass Spectrometry Measurement of Membrane Protein Oligomeric State within Intact Nanodiscs.” DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b11529

K.E. Watts, T.J. Blackburn, J.E. Pemberton, Anal. Chem.201991, 4235–4265. “Optical Spectroscopy of Surfaces, Interfaces, and Thin Films: A Status Report.” (Invited) DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b00735

K.E. Watts, B. Neelamraju, E.L. Ratcliff, J.E. Pemberton, Chem. Mater.201931, 6986-6994. “Stability of Charge Transfer States in F4TCNQ-doped P3HT.” (Invited) DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b01549

L. Sang, J.E. Pemberton, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2019123, 18877-18888. “Chemistry at the Interface of a-Sexithiophene and Vapor Deposited Ag, Al, Mg, and Ca: A Molecular View.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b06479

L. Sang, J.E. Pemberton, Chem. Mater.201931, 6908-6917. “Penetration and Reaction Depths of Vapor Deposited Ag, Mg, Al and Ca on Oligothiophene Thin Films.” (Invited) DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b01313

K.E. Watts, T. Nguyen, B.J. Tremolet de Villers, B. Neelamraju, M.A. Anderson, W.A. Braunecker, A.J. Ferguson, R.E. Larsen, B.W. Larson, Z.R. Owczarczyk, J.R. Pfeilsticker, J.E. Pemberton, E.L. Ratcliff, J. Mater. Chem. A, 20197, 19984-19995. “Stability of push-pull small molecule donors for organic photovoltaics: spectroscopic degradation of acceptor endcaps on benzo[1,2-b: 4,5-b’]dithiophene cores.” DOI: 10.1039/c9ta06310b

H. Wang, J. E. Pemberton, Langmuir201935, 13646-13655. “Direct Nanoscopic Measurement of Laminar Slip Flow Penetration of Deformable Polymer Brush Surfaces: Synergistic Effect of Grafting Density and Solvent Quality.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b02357

C.M. Luft, E. Munusamy, J.E. Pemberton, S.D. Schwartz, J. Phys. Chem. B2020124, 814-827. “A Classical Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of Interfacial and Bulk Solution Aggregation Properties of Dirhamnolipids.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.9b08800

D.E. Hogan, F. Tian, S.W. Malm, L. L. Kegel, L.Z Szabo, A.S. Hunjan, J.E. Pemberton, W.T. Klimecki, R. Polt, R.M. Maier, J. Surfactants Deterg.,202023, 0000. “Biodegradability and Toxicity of Cellobiosides and Melibiosides.” DOI: 10.1002/jsde.12421

K.E. Watts, K.E. Clary, D.L. Lichtenberger, J.E. Pemberton, Anal. Chem.2020, 92, 7154-7161. “FTIR Spectroelectrochemistry of F4TCNQ Reduction Products and Their Protonated Forms.” DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00615

A.A. Compton, B.S. Deodhar, A. Fathi, J.E. Pemberton, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.2020, 8, 8918-8927. “Optimization of a Chemical Synthesis for Rhamnolipids.” DOI: 

K.E. Watts, B. Neelamraju, M. Moser, I. McCulloch, E.L. Ratcliff, J.E. Pemberton, J. Phys. Chem. Lett.2020, 11, 6586-6592. “Thermally Induced Formation of HF4TCNQ- in F4TCNQ doped rr-P3HT.”