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Faculty and Staff Profiles

Daniel L. Akins

Professor of Physical Chemistry
Director of the Center for Analysis of Structures and Interfaces

School/Division

Division of Science

Department

Chemistry

Affiliated Departments

CENSES
Center for Analysis of Structures and Interfaces
Chemical Engineering

Office

Marshak J-1120

p: 212-650-6953

p: 212-650-8428

f: 212-650-6848

e: akins@sci.ccny.cuny.edu

w: View my website >>

  • Profile

    BIO:

    Dr. Akins has been a Professor of Chemistry at The City College of New York since 1981, and director of the CUNY-Center for Analysis of Structure and Interfaces since 1988. He holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, received in 1968. His mentor at Berkeley was Dr. C. Bradley Moore. From 1968 to 1969, Dr. Akins was a post doctoral associate at the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at The Florida State University (FSU), under the guidance of Dr. Michael Kasha, director. From 1969 to 1970 he served as a visiting assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at FSU. In 1970, Dr. Akins joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department of the University of South Florida, in Tampa, where he rose through the ranks from assistant to associate professor of physical chemistry. In 1977, Dr. Akins took the reins as visiting program director of the physical chemistry subsection of the Dynamics Program at the National Science Foundation. After directing the Dynamics Program for two years, in 1979 Dr. Akins assumed a position as a senior scientist at the Polaroid Corporation, until 1981. Dr. Akins has been published in numerous professional journals. He has extensively lectured at conferences and universities, both national and international. Dr. Akins is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. His principal research focus involves quantum properties of molecular nanostructures and the exploitation of such properties for formulating new nanomaterials with uses in molecular photonic devices (MPDs) and/or chemical sensors. Small groupings of molecules (principally, in our case, so-called molecular aggregates) serve as the active agents. For MPDs the same types of photonic/optoelectronic applications as systems derived from epitaxially prepared inorganic semiconductor superlattices or conjugated organic polymers are anticipated. For chemical sensor applications, the aim is to form robust and highly manipulable new nanomaterials with unique spectral properties for analyses purposes.

    Research conducted, more generally, involves: (1) syntheses of semiconductor and magnetic oxide nanoparticles and nanorods within mesoporous aluminosilicates and silicates; (2) fabrication of carbon nanotubes within various matrices; (3) spectroscopic and dynamical investigations of spontaneous and nonlinear laser Raman scattering by monomeric and aggregated molecules on metallic, semiconductor, vesicles surfaces and encapsulated within mesoporous materials; (4) excited state dynamics and determination of photophysical parameters for cyanine dyes and donor-acceptor systems that involve electron-transfer reactions; (5) Raman investigations of porphyrins in solution or adsorbed onto surfaces; (6) spectroscopic studies of biological tissues and herbs; and (7) quantum chemical calculations of porphyrins and dye molecules..
  • Education

    Education:

    Howard University, B.S., with Honors.  Undergraduate research with Professor Kelso B. Morris.

              University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D. (June 1968).  Research with Professor C. Bradley Moore.

              Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Institute of Molecular Biophysics (June 1968-Sept. 1969), The Florida State University.  Research with Professor Michael Kasha.

  • Courses Taught

    Professional Experience:

    Doctoral Faculty of the Graduate School and University Center's Ph.D. Program in Chemical Engineering, The City University of New York, March 2001 - present

              Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry, The City College of The City University of New York, April 1, 1996 - present

              Director, CUNY–Center for Analysis of Structures and Interfaces (CASI), The City College, Chemistry Department, September 1988 - present

              Professor of Physical Chemistry, The City College of The City University of New York, September 1981 - present

              Senior Scientist, Polaroid Corporation (Research Division), July 1979 - September 1981

              Program Director for Chemical Dynamics, National Science Foundation, July 1977 - July 1979

              Guest Scientist, Laser Chemistry Section (Laboratory of John C. Stephenson), National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, Md., July 1977 - July 1979

              Associate Professor, The University of South Florida, September 1975 - June 1977

              Assistant Professor, The University of South Florida, September 1970 - September 1975

              Visiting Assistant Professor, The Florida State University, June 1969 - September 1970

  • Research Interests

    Research Interests:

    Quantum properties of molecular nanostructures and the exploitation of such properties for formulating new nanomaterials with uses in molecular photonic devices (MPDs) and/or chemical sensors. Small groupings of molecules (principally, in our case, so-called molecular aggregates) serve as the active agents. For MPDs the same types of photonic/optoelectronic applications as systems derived from epitaxially prepared inorganic semiconductor superlattices or conjugated organic polymers are anticipated. For chemical sensor applications, the aim is to form robust and highly manipulable new nanomaterials with unique spectral properties for analyses purposes.

    Research conducted, more generally, involves: (1) syntheses of semiconductor and magnetic oxide nanoparticles and nanorods within mesoporous aluminosilicates and silicates; (2) fabrication of carbon nanotubes within various matrices; (3) spectroscopic and dynamical investigations of spontaneous and nonlinear laser Raman scattering by monomeric and aggregated molecules on metallic, semiconductor, vesicles surfaces and encapsulated within mesoporous materials; (4) excited state dynamics and determination of photophysical parameters for cyanine dyes and donor-acceptor systems that involve electron-transfer reactions; (5) Raman investigations of porphyrins in solution or adsorbed onto surfaces; (6) spectroscopic studies of biological tissues and herbs; and (7) quantum chemical calculations of porphyrins and dye molecules.

  • Additional Information

    Honors:

    2000 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM); NSF administered award for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Fifth Symposium held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 7-8, 2000.

              1999 Faculty Service Award, at the 147th Annual Meeting of The Alumni Association of the City College of New York

              Distinguished Lecturer, Sigma Xi Lecturers, 1997-1998

              Biography in Math: A Rich Heritage, Globe Fearon Educational Publisher, Simon & Schuster Education Group, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 1995.

              Distinguished Lecturer, Sigma Xi Lecturers, 1996-1997.

              Bausch and Lomb Science Award, 1959.

              Howard University Competitive Scholarship.

              Howard University Sophomore Chemistry Award.

              American Institute of Chemists Award, 1963.

              Phi Beta Kappa, 1963.

              Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Society, 1962.

              Society of Sigma Xi, 1963.

    Recent Local/National/International Committees and Boards:

    Advisory Board for the 2012 Emerging Researchers National ((ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  Hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Education and Human Resources Program (EHR) and the NSF Division of Human Resource Development (HRD).

    Enabling Bioanalytical & Biophysical Technologies (EBT) Study Section, NIH, 2010 -2013.

    Invited by The National Academies (Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences) NRC Committee to Review 2008 Engineering Research and Commercialization Proposal of the Ohio Third Frontier Program,. The NAS Building, Washington, DC, April 23-24, 2008.

    Invited NSF Workshop Participant.  "Building Electronic Function into Nanoscale Molecular Architectures," June 7-8, 2007, Marymount Univ. Conference Center.

    Invited Member of the Science Foundation of Arizona's (SFAz's) Proposal Review Committee.  May 9 – May 12, 2007, Phoenix, Arizona.

    Invited Member of The Council for Chemical Research (27th Annual Meeting: "Shaping the Future of Chemical Sciences & Engineering").  April 30 – May 3, 2006, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, Arizona.

    The National Academy of Sciences, member of the Committee to Review Physical Sciences Proposals to the 2005 Wright Centers of Innovation Competition of the State of Ohio, Columbus, Ohio.  Meeting Location: 31st Floor, Riffe Center; Meeting Date: February 9 and 10, 2005.

    Invited Member of the Pre-Conference on Designing Nanostructures.  Convened Under the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) on Designing Nanostructures–September 18-19, 2004.

    NSF-Partnership for Innovation (PFI).  Panel-4 member: Research, Tech Transfer, Commercialization, Arlington, VA, May 15-16, 2003.

    NSF-IGERT Project Directors' Meeting, 2003.

    DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers Workshop, Washington, D.C., February 26-28, 2003.  "Building for the Nanoscale Revolution."

    NSF-Chemistry Site-Visit team member for Caltech's Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (LMS), October 11-13, 2001.  Team members: Daniel L. Akins, CCNY; David Chandler, Sandia National Labs; Robert F. Curl, Rice Univ.; Hai-Lung Dai, Univ. of Pennsylvania. 

    NSF-Chemistry REU PI Workshop, Arlington, VA, 3/2-3/2001.  (Co-organizer and Chair of two subcommittees and developed reports dealing with "Recruiting Participant Demographics" and "Research Experience for Teachers.")

    NSF-Committee of Visitors for the Chemistry Division, Arlington, VA, 2/12-14/2001.  (Chaired committee and developed COV report for Foundation efforts dealing with Large Groups projects, Chemical Instrumentation Program, and Educational Projects in Chemistry).

    NSF-Presenter at 2001 Principal Investors' Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) meeting, Arlington, VA, 2/8-9/2001.

    National Science Foundation's workshop, Partnerships: Building a New Foundation for Innovation, held 6/18-19/2001, in Arlington, Virginia.

    NSF-MRSEC Panel-A panelist for FY 2000 finalist in competition.  Arlington, VA, 5/9-11, 2000.

    NSF-Innovation Workshop: A working group on Partnerships for Innovation,  Arlington, VA, 3/9-10/2000.

    NSF-New Funding Opportunities: A workshop for Physical Chemists.  Co-chair of sub-panel dealing with "Educating Tomorrow's Chemist and non-Chemist."  Keystone, CO, 9/18-20, 1998.

    NSF-European Commission Workshop in Leuven Belgium: Participated in the development of a cooperative research program involving US & European scientists & engineers that aims at expanding materials limits with the purpose of contributing to the development of future technologies, 12/10/96-12/15/96.

    National Institutes of Health MARC Review Committee, 1993-1996

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