California NanoSystems Institute
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Benjamin Schwartz, Ph.D.

Lab Director, Schwartz Lab
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Physical Chemistry
Vice Chair of Education, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Member, NanoElectronics, Photonics, Architectonics, California NanoSystems Institute
Researcher, Nanoscience and Materials, Physical, Theoretical Chemistry

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1992
B.S., University of Michigan, 1986
1995 - 1996 Institute for Polymers and Organic Solids, UC Santa Barbara, Postdoctoral Fellow
1993 - 1995 University of Texas at Austin, NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemistry

Honors and Awards:
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching
Seaborg Award
Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award

Professional Societies:
Journal of Physical Chemistry, Senior Editor for Journal of Physical Chemistry

Contact Information:
Email Address:
Email Address:
Work Email Address:
Laboratory Address: Young Hall 2072
Mail Code: 156905
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Work Address: Young Hall 2077A
Mail Code: 156905
Los Angeles, CA 90095
ARR Papers:
Home Page:
Fax Number: (310) 206-4038
Work Phone Number: 1 (310) 206-4113
Lab Number: 1 (310) 206-6418
Technical Research Interest:

Research in the Schwartz group is focused on the study of electronic dynamics in disordered media. Our efforts fall into two principle areas. First, we study how the motions of solvent molecules control the dynamics of electron transfer reactions in liquids. Since the relevant solvent motions take place on picosecond time scales, we use femtosecond laser spectroscopy and mixed quantum/classical molecular dynamics simulations to study these processes. The experiments allow us to "watch" the relevant motions in real time, and the simulations provide molecular detail that is unavailable from the experiments; the combination of theory and experiment on the same chemical systems is synergistic. Second, we study the electronic properties of conjugated polymers. Conjugated polymers are remarkable materials that have the electrical properties of semiconductors but the mechanical properties and processing advantages of plastics; thus, these materials have enormous potential for use in displays that have large areas and/or are flexible. We use femtosecond laser and other spectroscopies to understand how the polymer chain conformation and packing controls electronic properties such as how easily charges move between the polymer chains. We also build and characterize optoelectronic devices such as LED's and photovoltaic cells from these novel plastic semiconductors.

Additional Information:

Professor Schwartz joined the faculty at UCLA in 1997, which he established a research program aimed at building a molecular-level picture of chemical reaction dynamics in the condensed phase. The Schwartz group is one of the few pursing both experimental and theoretical approaches to solving chemical reaction dynamics problems. The experimental techniques focus largely on femtosecond spectroscopies, and particularly 3-pulse pump-probe experiments that allow for direct examination of transient species such as the excited states of conjugated polymers or reactive solvated atoms and electrons. The theoretical techniques include both the development and application of new algorithms for dealing with the breakdown of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation in mixed quantum/classical simulations and the development of new methods for deriving the pseudopoentials used in such simulations. Prof. Schwartz has served as the department's curriculum committee chair from 2003-2005 and has been serving as the department's graduate advisor since 2005; Prof. Schwartz was also the department's elected representative to the College Faculty Executive Committee from 2003-2007. Prof. Schwartz is also currently a Senior Editor for the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and serves on the advisory boards of several other journals. Prof. Schwartz has authored over 100 refereed publications during his career.

Selected Publications:

W. J. Glover, R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, How does a Solvent Affect Chemical Bonds? Mixed Quantum/Classical Simulations with a Full CI Treatment of the Bonding Electrons, J. Phys. Chem. Lett, 2010, 1, 165-9.
Ian M. Craig, Hieu M. Duong, Fred Wudl, and Benjamin J. Schwartz, A new route to dual fluorescence: Spectroscopic properties of the valence tautomers of a 3-(2H)-isoquinolinone derivative, Chemical Physics Letters, 2009, 477 (4-6), 319-324 .
B. Tremolet de Villers, C. J. Tassone, S. H. Tolbert and B. J. Schwartz, Improving the Reproducibility of P3HT:PCBM Solar Cells by Controlling the PCBM/Cathode Interface, J. Phys. Chem. C , 2009, 113, 18978-82 .
A. L. Ayzner, C. J. Tassone, S. H. Tolbert and B. J. Schwartz, Reappraising the Need for Bulk Heterojunctions in Polymer-Fullerene Photovoltaics: The Role of Carrier Transport in All-Solution-Processed P3HT:PCBM Bilayer Solar Cells,, J. Phys. Chem. C , 2009, 113, 20050-60.
Larsen, Molly C.; Schwartz, Benjamin J., Searching for solvent cavities via electron photodetachment: The ultrafast charge-transfer-to-solvent dynamics of sodide in a series of ether solvents, Journal of Chemical Physics, 2009, 131 (15), 154506-154506-12.
Benjamin J. Schwartz, Conjugated Polymers: What makes a chromophore?, Nature Materials, 2008, 7, 427 - 428.
Bragg, A. E. Cavanagh, M. C. Schwartz, B. J., Linear response breakdown in solvation dynamics induced by atomic electron-transfer reactions, Science, 2008, 321 (5897), 1817-22.
Alexander L. Ayzner, Darcy D. Wanger, Christopher J. Tassone, Sarah H. Tolbert and Benjamin J. Schwartz, Room to Improve Conjugated Polymer-Based Solar Cells: Understanding How Thermal Annealing Affects the Fullerene Component of a Bulk Heterojunction Photovoltaic Device, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2008, 112 (48), 18711–18716.
Kennedy, R. D. Ayzner, A. L. Wanger, D. D. Day, C. T. Halim, M. Khan, S. I. Tolbert, S. H. Schwartz, B. J. Rubin, Y., Self-assembling fullerenes for improved bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic devices, J Am Chem Soc, 2008, 130 (51), 17290-2.
Glover, W. J. Larsen, R. E. Schwartz, B. J., The roles of electronic exchange and correlation in charge-transfer- to-solvent dynamics: Many-electron nonadiabatic mixed quantum/classical simulations of photoexcited sodium anions in the condensed phase, J Chem Phys, 2008, 129 (16), 164505.
Cavanagh, M. C. Young, R. M. Schwartz, B. J., The roles of the solute and solvent cavities in charge-transfer-to-solvent dynamics: ultrafast studies of potasside and sodide in diethyl ether, J Chem Phys, 2008, 129 (13), 134503.
Bragg, A. E. Schwartz, B. J., The ultrafast charge-transfer-to-solvent dynamics of iodide in tetrahydrofuran. 1. Exploring the roles of solvent and solute electronic structure in condensed-phase charge-transfer reactions, J Phys Chem B, 2008, 112 (2), 483-94.
Bragg, A. E. Schwartz, B. J., Ultrafast charge-transfer-to-solvent dynamics of iodide in tetrahydrofuran. 2. Photoinduced electron transfer to counterions in solution, J Phys Chem A, 2008, 112 (16), 3530-43.
Martini, I. B. Craig, I. M. Molenkamp, W. C. Miyata, H. Tolbert, S. H. Schwartz, B. J., Controlling optical gain in semiconducting polymers with nanoscale chain positioning and alignment, Nat Nanotechnol, 2007, 2 (10), 647-52.
B. Tremolet de Villers and B. J. Schwartz, Destruction of Amplified Spontaneous Emission via Chemical Doping at Low Work-Function Metal/Conjugated Polymer Interfaces, Appl. Phys. Lett, 2007, 90 (091106), 1-3.
A. D. Smith, C. K.-F. Shen, S. R. Roberts, R. Helgeson and B. J. Schwartz, Ionic Strength and Solvent Control over the Physical Structure, Electronic Properties and Superquenching of Conjugated Polyelectrolytes, Res. Chem. Intermed, 2007, 33 (1-2), 125-42.
I. A. Shkrob, W. J. Glover, R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, The Structure of the Hydrated Electron.II. A Mixed Quantum/Classical Molecular Dynamics (MQC MD) Embedded Cluster Density Functional Theory:Single-Excitation Configuration Interaction (DFT:CIS) Study, J. Phys Chem. A, 2007, 111, 5232-43.
M. C. Cavanagh, R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, Watching Na atoms solvate into (Na+,e- ) contact pairs : Untangling the ultrafast charge-transfer-to-solvent dynamics of Na- in tetrahydrofuran (THF), J. Phys. Chem. A, 2007, 111, 5144-57.
Smallwood, C. J. Mejia, C. N. Glover, W. J. Larsen, R. E. Schwartz, B. J., A computationally efficient exact pseudopotential method. II. Application to the molecular pseudopotential of an excess electron interacting with tetrahydrofuran (THF), J Chem Phys, 2006, 125 (7), 074103.
Larsen, R. E. Schwartz, B. J. , Full configuration interaction computer simulation study of the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of hydrated dielectrons, J Phys Chem B Condens Matter Mater Surf Interfaces Biophys, 2006, 110 (2), 1006-14.
M. J. Bedard-Hearn, R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, Moving Solvated Electrons with Light: Nonadiabatic Mixed Quantum/Classical Molecular Dynamics Simluations of the Relocalization of Photoexcited Solvated Electrons in Tetrahydrofuran (THF), J. Chem. Phys, 2006, 125 (19), 1-8.
R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, Nonadiabatic Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Correlated Electrons in Solution. II. A Prediction for the Observation of Hydrated Dielectrons with Pump-Probe Spectroscopy, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2006, 110, 9692-7.
M. J. Bedard-Hearn, R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, Projections of Quantum Observables onto Classical Degrees of Freedom in Mixed Quantum/Classical Simulations: Understanding Linear Response Failure for the Hydrated Electron, Phys. Rev. Lett, 2006, 97 (130403), 1-4.
T. Mitsumori, I. M. Craig, I. B. Martini, B. J. Schwartz and F. Wudl, "Synthesis and Color Tuning Properties of Blue Highly Fluorescent Vinyl Polymers Containing a Pendant Pyrrolopyridazine", Macromol, 2005, 38, 4698-704.
I. B. Martini, E. R. Barthel and B. J. Schwartz., "Building a Molecular-Level Picture of the Ultrafast Dynamics of the Charge-Transfer-to-Solvent Reaction of Sodide (Na-)", Pure Appl. Chem, 2004, 76, 1809-1825.
I. B. Martini, et al., "Evidence for the Direct Production of Interchain Species in Conjugated Polymer Films: The Ultrafast Stimulated Emission and Fluorescence Dynamics of MEH-PPV", Phys. Rev. B, 2004, 69(3) (035204), 1-12.
I. B. Martini and B. J. Schwartz, "Exciton-exciton Annihilation and the Production of Interchain Species in Conjugated Polymer Films", Polym. Preprints, 2004, 45, 201-2.
R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, "Mixed Quantum/Classical Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Hydrated Dielectron: The Role of Exchange in Condensed-Phase Structure, Dynamics and Spectroscopy", J. Phys. Chem, 2004, 108 (31), 11760-73.
M. C. Cavanagh, I. B. Martini and B. J. Schwartz, "Revisiting the Pump-Probe Polarized Hole-Burning of the Hydrated Electron: Is its Absorption Spectrum Inhomogeneously Broadened?", Chem. Phys. Lett, 2004, 396 (4-6), 359-66.
R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz., "An Efficient Real-Space Configuration-Interaction Method for Simulation of Multi-Electron Mixed Quantum/Classical Non-Adiabatic Dynamics in the Condensed Phase", J. Chem. Phys, 2003, 119 (15), 7672-7684.
I. B. Martini, E. R. Barthel and B. J. Schwartz, "Control of an Electron Transfer Reaction Using a Sequence of Femtosecond Laser Pulses", Ultrafast Phenomena XIII, M. Murnane, N. Scherer, R. J. D. Miller and A. M. Weiner (Eds.), 2003, 487-9.
P. G. Conrad II, P. T. Nishimura, D. Aherne, B. J. Schwartz, D. Wu, N. Fang, X. Zhang, J. Roberts, and K. J. Shea, "Functional Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Microstructures Fabricated Using Microstereolithographic Techniques", Adv. Mat, 2003, 15 (18), 1541-4.
M. J. Bedard-Hearn, R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, "Hidden Breakdown of Linear Response: Projections of Molecular Motions in Non-Equilbrium Simulations of Solvation Dynamics", J. Phys. Chem. A, 2003, 107 (24), 4773-7.
E. R. Barthel and B. J. Schwartz, "Mapping out the Conduction Band Under CTTS Transitions: The Photodetachment Quantum Yield of Sodide (Na¯) in Tetrahydrofuran", Chem. Phys. Lett, 2003, 375 (3-4), 435-43.
X. Yin, N. Fang, X. Zhang, I. B. Martini and B. J. Schwartz, "Near-Field Multiphoton Nanolithography Using an Apertureless Near-Field Probe", Proc. SPIE, 2003, 5211, 96-103.
C. F.-K. Shen, G. Sommez, A. D. Smith, B. J. Schwartz, Y. Rubin and F. Wudl, "Photocurrent Generated with a Homoconjugated Bisfulleroid Polymer", Polym. Preprints, 2003, 44, 348-9.
E. R. Barthel, I. B. Martini, E. Keszei and B. J. Schwartz, "Solvent Effects on the Ultrafast Dynamics and Spectroscopy of the Charge-Transfer-to-Solvent (CTTS) Reaction of Sodide", J. Chem. Phys, 2003, 118, 5916-31.
C. J. Smallwood, W. B. Bosma, R. E. Larsen and B. J. Schwartz, "The Role of Electronic Symmetry in Charge-Transfer-to-Solvent Reactions: Quantum Non-Adiabatic Computer Simulation of Photoexcited Sodium Anions", J. Chem. Phys. , 2003, 119 (21), 11263-77.
BEDARD-HEARN Michael J. ; LARSEN Ross E. ; SCHWARTZ Benjamin J. , "Understanding Nonequilibrium Solute and Solvent Motions Through Molecular Projections: Computer Simulations of Solvation Dynamics in Liquid Tetrahydrofuran (THF)", J. Phys. Chem. B, 2003, 107 (51), 14464-75.
Schwartz, BJ, Conjugated polymers as molecular materials: how chain conformation and film morphology influence energy transfer and interchain interactions, Annual review of physical chemistry. , 2003, 54 (54), 141-72.
E. R. Barthel, I. B. Martini, E. Keszei and B. J. Schwartz, Solvent Control of Electron Transfer Dynamics, Ultrafast Phenomena XIII, Ibid, 2003, 459-61.
T.-Q. Nguyen and B. J. Schwartz, "Ionomeric Control of Interchain Interactions, Morphology and the Electronic Properties of Conjugated Polymer Solutions and Films", J. Chem. Phys, 2002, 116 (18), 8198-208.
R. D. Schaller, P. T. Snee, J. C. Johnson, L. F. Lee, K. R. Wilson, L. H. Haber, R. J. Saykally, T.-Q. Nguyen and B. J. Schwartz, "Nanoscopic interchain aggregate domain formation in conjugated polymer films studied by third harmonic generation (THG) near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM)", J. Chem. Phys, 2002, 117 (14), 6688-98.
X. Yin, N. Fang, X. Zhang, I. B. Martini and B. J. Schwartz, "Near-Field Two-Photon Nanolithography Using an Apertureless Optical Probe", Appl. Phys. Lett, 2002, 81 (19), 3663-5.
I. B. Martini and B. J. Schwartz, "On the Insensitivity of the Non-Adiabatic Relaxation of Solvated Electrons to the Details of their Local Solvent Environment", Chem. Phys. Lett, 2002, 360 (1-2), 22-30.
R. D. Schaller, L. F. Lee, J. C. Johnson, L. H. Haber, R. J. Saykally, J. Vieceli, I. Benjamin, T.-Q. Nguyen and B. J. Schwartz, "The Nature of Interchain Excitations in Conjugated Polymers: Near-Field Optical Studies of Spatially-Varying Solvatochromism in Annealed MEH-PPV Films", J. Phys. Chem. B, 2002, 106 (37), 9496-506.