Josef Michl

Office: Cristol Chemistry 127
Lab: Cristol Chemistry 120
Lab Phone: 303-492-65589
Fax: 303-492-0799


Ph.D.: Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, 1965

Areas of Expertise

Inorganic, Physical, Photochemistry, Organometallic Chemistry, Organic, Physical Organic

Awards and Honors

Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences, 2017, Neuron Foundation Award, Czech Republic, 2016, Hammond Award, I-APS, 2015, Boron in the Americas Award, 2014, American Chemical Society Fellow, 2010, Medal of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (Acad. Sci., Prague, Czech Republic), 2012 and 2004, Fulbright Fellowship, 2006, University of Colorado Faculty Fellowship, 2006, Patria Award, Government of the Czech Republic, Prague, 2005, Honorary Doctorate, Masaryk University, Czech Republic, 2004, Marinus Smith Award, University of Colorado, 2003, Porter Medal (I-APS, EPA, JPA), 2002, Best Journal Issue Award for Chemical Reviews (Association of American Publishers), 2002, ALA Achievement Award (Association for Laboratory Automation), 2002, Otto Wichterle Award (Czech Chemical Society), 2001, James Flack Norris Award (American Chemical Society), 2001, Auburn - G. M. Kosolapoff Award (ACS Auburn Section), 2000, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999, Japan Society for Promotion of Science Award, 1998, Honorary Doctorate, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic, 1996, World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemists (WATOC) Fellow, 1996, Czech Learned Society, Honorary Member, 1995, Charles University Gold Medal, Prague, Czech Republic, 1995, J. Heyrovsky Gold Medal (Czech Academy of Sciences), 1994, IAPS Award (Inter-American Photochemical Society), 1994, Schrödinger Medal (World Association of Theoretical Organic Chemists), 1993, Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award (American Chemical Society), 1993, Honorary Doctorate, Georgetown University, 1990, International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, 1988, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 1986, ACS Utah Section Award, 1986, John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 1984-85, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (Member), Alexander von Humboldt Senior U.S. Scientist Award, 1980, Distinguished Research Award, University of Utah, 1978-79, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1971-75

Synthesis and Properties of Organic and Organometallic Compounds

Professor Michl's group works in physical organic chemistry, a combination of synthesis of organic and organometallic (both main group and transition metal) compounds with an investigation of their properties by physical, mechanistic, and computational methods. This ranges from photochemical reactions to nanotechnology.

The areas of most interest at this time are (i) molecular electronics of the traditional (electron motion) and non traditional (electrostatic charge motion) types, (ii) photochemical reaction mechanisms, (iii) nature of electronic excitation in saturated compounds, and (iv) new structures based on carborane anions radicals and reactions.

In traditional single molecule electronics we are looking at the use of single molecules as electronic components (diode, transistor). In non traditional molecular electronics we are exploiting the concept of dipolar molecular rotors mounted on surfaces and driven by rotating electric field or by fluid flow. In an attempt to position such rotors in a regular two dimensional pattern, we are developing synthetic approaches to molecules that look like a tennis net or chicken wire.

Photochemical mechanisms deal with issues such as the nature of "twisted internal charge transfer states", heavy atom effects on intersystem crossing, and harvesting of solar energy. The saturated compounds whose electronic excitation we are examining as a function of chain conformation are peralkylated oligosilanes.

The new carborane and related structures involve some of the strongest acids and strongest oxidants known. We are attempting to prepare bulk species otherwise known only in the gas phase. This is very fundamental science but it also has some immediate applications for polymer lithium battery electrolytes and fuel cell membranes.

The research group has about two dozen members with roughly equal numbers of post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students. After the first year of study, the graduate students are supported by research assistantships or their own scholarships. The group is quite international. Many of the post docs are from various European and other foreign countries, and each graduate student presents results at one or more conferences abroad; many work on their projects for weeks or months in foreign laboratories. The group social life includes enjoyment of Colorado mountains during long-weekend group trips on skis or hiking and camping.

Akdag, A.; Wahab, A.; Beran, P.; Rulíšek, L.; Dron, P. I.; Ludvík, J.; Michl, J. “Covalent Dimers of 1,3-Diphenylisobenzofuran for Singlet Fission: Synthesis and Electrochemistry”, J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 80.

Schrauben, J. N.; Zhao, Y.; Mercado, C.; Dron, P. I.; Ryerson, J. M.; Michl, J.; Zhu, K; Johnson, J. C. “Singlet Fission-Induced Photocurrent in a Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 2286.

Oliva, J. M.; Alcoba, D. R.; Oña, O. B.; Torre, A.; Lain, L.; Michl, J. “Towards (Car)Borane-based Molecular Magnets”, Theor. Chem. Acc. 2015, 134, 8. Erratum: Theor. Chem. Acc. 2016, 135, 83.

Cipolloni, M.; Kaleta, J.; Mašát, M.; Dron, P. I.; Yongqiang, S.; Zhao, K.; Rogers, C. T.; Shoemaker, R. K.; Michl, J. “Time-Resolved Fluorescence Anisotropy of Bicyclo[1.1.1]pentane/Tolane-Based Molecular Rods Included in Tris(o-phenylenedioxy)cyclotriphosphazene (TPP)”, J. Phys. Chem. C 2015, 119, 8805.

Kaleta, J.; Dron, P. I.; Zhao, K.; Yongqiang, S.; Císařová, I.; Rogers, C.; Michl, J. “Arrays of Molecular Rotors with Triptycene Stoppers: Surface Inclusion in Hexagonal Tris-(o-phenylenedioxy)cyclotriphosphazene (TPP)”, J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 6173.

Kaleta, J.; Kaletová, E.; Císařová, I.; Teat, S. J.; Michl, J. “Synthesis of Triptycene-Based Molecular Rotors for Langmuir-Blodgett Monolayers”, J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 10134.

Schrauben, J.; Akdag, A.; Wen, J.; Ryerson, J.; Havlas, Z.; Michl, J.; Johnson, J. C. “Excitation Localization/Delocalization Isomerism in a Strongly Coupled Covalent Dimer of 1,3-Diphenylisobenzofuran”, J. Phys. Chem. A 2016, 120, 3473.

Kaleta, J.; Michl, J.; Mézière, C.; Simonov, S.; Zorina, L.; Wzietek, P.; Rodríguez-Fortea, A.; Canadell, E.; Batail, P.“Gearing Motion in Cogwheels Pairs of Molecular Rotors: Weak-Coupling Limit”, CrystEngComm 2015, 17, 7829.

Kaletová, E.; Kohutová, A.; Hajduch, J.; Kaleta, J.; Bastl, Z.; Pospíšil, L.; Stibor, I.; Magnera, T. F.; Michl, J. “The Scope of Direct Alkylation of Gold Surface with Solutions of C1 - C4 n-Alkylstannanes”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 12086.

Pospíšil, L.; Kaleta, J.; Michl, J. “Electrochemical Hydrogen Oxidation in Toluene/LiCB11Me12: H2 as a Surrogate for Lithium Metal?”, ChemElectroChem 2016, 3, 332.

Merna, J.; Vlček, P.; Volkis, V.; Michl, J. “Li+ Catalysis and Other New Methodologies for the Radical Polymerization of Less Activated Olefins”, Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 771.

Dron, P. I.; Zhao, K.; Kaleta, J.; Shen, Y.; Wen, J.; Shoemaker, R. K.; Rogers, C. T.; Michl, J. “Bulk Inclusions of Pyridazine-Based Molecular Rotors in Tris(o-phenylene)cyclotriphosphazene (TPP)”, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2016, 26, 5718.

Craig, P. R.; Havlas, Z.; Trujillo, M.; Rempala, P.; Kirby, J. P.; Miller, J. R.; Noll, B. C.; Michl, J. “Electronic Spectra of the Tetraphenylcyclobutadienecyclopentadienylnickel(II) Cation and Radical”, J. Phys. Chem. A 2016, 120, 3456.

Fogarty, H. A.; Chen, X.; Wang, B.; Michl, J. “Controlling n-Oligosilane Conformation  by Stretching on a Staffane Rack”, in Efficient Methods for Preparing Silicon Compounds, Roesky, H. W., Ed.; Elsevier: New York, NY, 2016, p. 355.

Urbanová, V.; Karlický, F.; Matěj, A.; Šembera, F.; Janoušek, Z.; Perman, J. A.; Ranc, V.; Čépe, K.; Michl, J.; Otyepka, M.; Zbořil, R. “Fluorinated Graphenes as Advanced Biosensors - Effect of Fluorine Coverage on Electron Transfer Properties and Adsorption of Biomolecules”, Nanoscale 2016, 8, 12134.

Givelet, C. C.; Dron, P. I.; Wen, J.; Magnera, T. F.; Zamadar, M.; Čépe, K.; Fujiwara, H.; Shi, Y.; Tuchband, M. R. K.; Clark, N.; Zbořil, R.; Michl, J. “Challenges in the Structure Determination of Self-Assembled Metallacages: What Do Cage Cavities Contain, Internal Vapor Bubbles or Solvent and/or Counterions?”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 6676.

Šembera, F.; Plutnar, J.; Higelin, A.; Janoušek, Z.; Císařová, I.; Michl, J. “Metal Complexes with Very Large Dipole Moments: the Anionic Carborane Nitriles 12-NC-CB11X11− (X = H, F, CH3) as Ligands on Pt(II) and Pd(II)”, Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 3797.

Dron, P. I.; Ramešová, Š.; Holloran, N. P.; Pospíšil, L.; Michl, M. “Redox Behavior of 2,3-Diamino-1,4-naphthoquinone and its N-Alkylated Derivatives”, Electroanalysis 2016, 28, 2

Plutnar, J.; Michl, J. “Oxidation of the B12 and CB11 Icosahedral Anions”, in Boron Chemistry in Organometallics, Catalysis, Materials and Medicine, Hosmane, N., Eagling, R., Eds.; World Scientific: Singapore, in press.

Wahab, A.; Douvris, C.; Klíma, J.; Šembera, F.; Ugolotti, J.; Kaleta, J.; Michl, J. “Anodic Oxidation of 18 Halogenated and/or Methylated Derivatives of CB11H12−”, Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 269.

Wahab, A.; Kaleta, J.; Wen, J.; Valášek, M.; Polášek, M.; Michl, J.; Ludvík, J. “Electrochemical Oxidation of [1-X-12-I-CB11Me10−] Anions: Formation of Borenium Ylides [12-Dehydro-1-X-CB11Me10] and Iodonium Ylide Anions [{12-(1-X-CB11Me10−)}2I+]”, Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 12815.

Jovanovic, M.; Antic, D.; Rooklin, D.; Bande, A.; Michl, J. “Intuitive Understanding of   Delocalization in Loose and   Localization in Tight Helical Conformations of an Oligosilane Chain”, Chem. Asian J. 2017, 12, 1250.

Kaleta, J.; Bednárová, L.; Čížková, M.; Wen, J.; Kaletová, E.; Michl, J. “IR Spectra of n-Bu4M (M = Si, Ge, Sn, Pb), n-BuAuPPh3-d15, and of "n-Bu" on a Gold Surface”, J. Phys. Chem. A 2017, 121, 4619.

Benkovičová, M.; Wen, D.; Plutnar, J.; Čížková, M.; Eychmüller, A.; Michl, J. “Mechanism of Surface Alkylation of a Gold Aerogel with Tetra-n-butylstannane-d36: Identification of Byproducts”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 2339.

Mašát, M.; Wen, J.; Sofer, Z.; Michl, J. “Low-Temperature PM IRRAS of a Monolayer on Au: Peculiarities in the Spectra of C18D37SH”, Langmuir 2017, 33, 5613.

Johnson, J. C.; Michl, J. “1,3-Diphenylisobenzofuran: a Model Chromophore for Singlet Fission”, Top. Curr. Chem. 2017, 375, 80.

Buchanan, E. A.; Havlas, Z.; Michl, J. “Singlet Fission: Optimization of Chromophore Dimer Geometry”, in Advances in Quantum Chemistry: Ratner Volume, Volume 75; Sabin, J. R.; Brändas, E. J., Eds.; Elsevier: Cambridge, MA, 2017, p. 175.

Kaleta, J.; Chen, J.; Bastien, G.; Dračínský, M.; Mašát, M.; Rogers, C. T.; Feringa, B. L.; Michl, J. “Surface Inclusion of Unidirectional Molecular Motors in Hexagonal  Tris(o-phenylene)cyclotriphosphazene TPP”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 10486.

Grotjahn, R.; Maier, T. M.; Michl, J.; Kaupp, M. “Development of a TDDFT-Based Protocol with Local Hybrid Functionals for the Screening of Potential Singlet Fission”, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2017, 13, 4984.