The biennial Cecil L. Brown Lectureship was established by NJ-ACS in 1969 to bring a distinguished chemist to a local university in the North Jersey area. Past recipients of this lectureship include seven Nobel laureates as well as many other towering figures in chemistry.

This lectureship was named after Cecil L. Brown, who spent his entire professional career at Esso (which later became Exxon) and chaired NJ-ACS as well as the Petroleum Division of national ACS in the 1950s. He was also the Chairman of the Esso Research Contributions and Research Grants Committee. During his chairmanship some 400 grants were made to 60 colleges and universities. As an administrative member of the Esso Education Foundation, he helped carry out a special $1.5 million program for the improvement of science and engineering teaching in New Jersey. He was a strong a proponent of having world-class chemists visit and work with students. Through the Cecil L. Brown Lecture, it is fitting that his name continues to be associated with excellence in chemical education in our area.

Past Recipients

2011 Louis Brus
2009 Robert Langer
2006 Robin Hochstrasser
1998 Ronald Breslow
1996 Peter B. Dervan
1994 Dudley Herschbach
1992 Kyriacos Nicolaou
1990 Joseph Laskowski
1988 Paul Bartlett
1986 Sir John Vane
1984 Alexander Rich
1982 Herbert C. Brown
1980 Melvin Calvin
1979 Leo Sternbach
1978 Robert Lawrence & Kurt Frisch
1976 Max Tischler — Fall
1976 James Roth — Spring
1975 Anthony M. Trozzolo
1974 Burt Christensen
1973 Linus Pauling
1972 Robert Reid
1970 Vladimir Prelog
1969 Paul Flory

2011 Cecil L. Brown Lecture

The 2011 Cecil L. Brown Lecture will be held at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at the Fiber Optics Auditorium on the Busch Campus of Rutgers University, Piscataway NJ, followed by a reception.

The 2011 Distinguished Lecturer is Professor Louis Brus, Institute Professor at Columbia University.

Professor Brus has a BA from Rice University and a PhD from Columbia University, both in Chemical Physics. As a Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy, he worked in the solid state and chemistry divisions of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. In 1973 he joined the research area of Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, where he became Distinguished Member of Technical Staff. He returned to Columbia in 1996, where he is now S. L. Mitchill Professor of Chemistry. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and in 1998 was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gordon Conferences. He was originally trained in gas phase spectroscopy and kinetics. In the 1980s he explored basic ideas and colloidal methods for semiconductor nanocrystals (Qdots) that exhibit quantum size effects. His present interests include carbon nanotubes and graphene, chemical applications of local electromagnetic fields, and solar energy nanoscience. He has received the APS Langmuir Prize, the ACS Chemistry of Materials Prize, the OSA Wood Prize, the inaugural Kavli Prize in Nanoscience, and the NAS Prize in the Chemical Sciences. For further details of Professor Brus’s work, visit

Award Lecture: “Electron Correlation in Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene”

Abstract: We explore the fundamental nature and dynamics of excited electronic states in graphitic carbon materials. In semiconducting carbon nanotubes, near-infrared two photon luminescence excitation spectra quantitatively reveal very-strongly-bound exciton excited states. Electron-electron interactions are compared among CdSe nanocrystals, graphene, and carbon nanotubes. The independent contributions of screening and dimensionality are analyzed. Electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom are significantly coupled in graphene. The metallic versus molecular nature of single sheet graphene is strongly affected by charge transfer doping by adsorbed molecular species. Asymmetric doping in bilayer graphene can open a band gap, as revealed by the Raman spectra. Optical absorption bleaching and Raman Fano lineshapes are observed in few layer graphenes very highly doped by adsorbed alkalis.


Cecil Brown Lecture Registration

Registration is currently open for the lecture and reception on October 4, 2011.

If you need more information or have questions, please contact Joseph Potenza at

  • There will be a reception following the lecture. Please pre-register using the form on the right to help us keep track of our attendees.
  • Click here for directions to Rutgers University.
  • Campus parking generally requires a permit, but arrangements have been made for participants to park without permits in Lots 54, 51, 67, 59, and 68. Parking lots are also shown on the campus map.
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