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David Waldeck

University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Chicago, 1983

David Waldeck received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati and his Ph.D. also in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. After a postdoctoral appointment funded by an IBM Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California Berkeley, he joined the Department of Chemistry of the University of Pittsburgh in 1985. He has received several awards including the Chancellors Distinguished Research Award in 1994. He was also a Belkin Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute in Israel a few years later. He is affiliated with both the American Chemical Society and the American Physical Society and has authored three books.


The Chiral-Induced Spin Selectivity Effect
Waldeck’s group is examining the nature of the Chiral-Induced Spin Selectivity (CISS) effect and exploring ways in which it can be exploited technologically. As electrons move through a chiral molecule (or structure) the electron current generates an effective magnetic field, , that acts on the electrons’ intrinsic magnetic moment. Thus, a preference exists for electrons with one magnetic moment direction to pass through the chiral molecule (or structure). A thorough understanding of the properties that affect the chiral induced spin selectivity effect is important for realizing its true potential.
The chiral induced spin selectivity effect can be exploited for facilitating chemical reactions. We demonstrated that chiral materials are accompanied by a spin polarization that can be used to discriminate between triplet and singlet reaction pathways. Additionally, these studies are guiding the development of new methods for enantiomeric separation and discrimination.
Chiral nanomaterials represent a new class of materials with promising properties for applications in the fields of optoelectronics and spintronics, amongst others. This part of our group is focused on the synthesis of new chiral nanomaterials and understanding mechanistically how the chirality manifests. These studies are pointing to structure – property relationships for the rational design of new chiral materials. We are studying spin-mediated processes of chiral materials and the tantalizing phenomena that manifest. Our work is leading to technological breakthroughs in the separation of enantiomers, the miniaturization of ferromagnets, and chiral oxide spin filters.


Title Position Email
Joe Albro Graduate Student
Edward Beall Graduate Student
Brian Bloom Postdoctoral Fellow
Caleb Clever Graduate Student
Arthur Davis Graduate Student
Gouranga Debnath Postdoctoral Fellow
Zheni Georgieva Graduate Student
Supriya Ghosh Graduate Student
Brittney Graff Graduate Student
Dan Lamont Graduate Student
Yiyang Lu Graduate Student
Madu Mendis Graduate Student
Jose Rivas Graduate Student
Ford Smith Undergraduate Student
Nazifa Tabassum Graduate Student
Aravind Vadakkayil Graduate Student
Jimeng(Simon) Wei Graduate Student
Emil Wierzbinski Graduate Student
Most Cited Publications

"Photoisomerization dynamics of stilbenes." David H Waldeck. Chemical Reviews.
"Noncovalent engineering of carbon nanotube surfaces by rigid, functional conjugated polymers." Jian Chen, Haiying Liu, Wayne A Weimer, Mathew D Halls, David H Waldeck, Gilbert C Walker. Journal of the American Chemical Society.
"Spintronics and chirality: Spin selectivity in electron transport through chiral molecules." Ron Naaman and David H. Waldeck. Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem 66 (2015), 263-281.
"Breakdown of Kramers theory description of photochemical isomerization and the possible involvement of frequency dependent friction." Stephan P Velsko, David H Waldeck, Graham R Fleming. The Journal of Chemical Physics.
"Chiral-induced spin selectivity effect." Ron Naaman and David H. Waldeck, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 3 (2012), 2178-2187.

Recent Publications

K. Santra, Y.Lu, D. H. Waldeck, and R. Naaman Spin Selectivity Damage Dependence of Adsorption of dsDNA on Ferromagnets J. Phys. Chem. C (2023), 10.1021/acs.jpcb.2c08820.
A. Vadakkayil, C. Clever, K. N. Kunzler, S. Tan, B. P. Bloom, and D. H. Waldeck Chiral electrocatalysts eclipse water splitting metrics through spin control Nature Commun. 14 (2023) 1067.
N. Tabassum, Z.N. Georgieva, G. H. Debnath, and D. H. Waldeck Size-dependent Chiro-optical Properties of CsPbBr3 Nanoparticles Nanoscale 15 (2023) 2143 – 2151.
R. Naaman, D. H. Waldeck, and J. Fransson New Perspective on Electron Transfer through Molecules J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 13 (2022) 11753−11759
S. Rudra, G. H. Debnath, N. Bhunia, B.P. Bloom, D. H. Waldeck, and P. Mukherjee Evaluating Inter-Lanthanide Interactions in Co-Doped Zinc Sulfide Nanoparticles for Multiplex Assays J. Phys. Chem. C 126 (2022) 11723-11734.