Shammai Speiser was born in Haifa, Israel, on December 26, 1941. He received the B.Sc., M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees in chemistry from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, in 1963, 1964 and 1970, respectively. His D.Sc. work involved self-focusing effects manifested in nonlinear two-photon laser-induced chemical reactions. It was the first doctoral research in laser chemistry in Israel. It was then reviewed and praised as a pioneering work in laser chemistry, and as a significant breakthrough in Nature 234 (5326), Nov. 26 (1971).
From 1970 to 1971 he worked as a Research Fellow in the Laser Laboratory of the Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion. From 1971 to 1973 he spent a postdoctoral period in the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. In 1973 he joined the Faculty of Chemistry at Technion, where he is presently a Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and was the holder of the Israel Freund Chair of Chemistry. He served as the Head of the Youth Liason Office (1988-1991) and as the Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry (1991-1994), during his tenure as Dean he leaded a major change in the Faculty due to recruiting of 9 new faculty. He served as the Dean of the Division of Continuing Education and External Studies (2033-2009). Between 2003 and 2006 he served as the President of the Israel Chemical Society. He spent short periods as Guest Professor at the University of Essen, Essen, West Germany; Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY; the University of Arizona, Tucson. He did sabbatical years (1979-1980) at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; Allied-Signal (NJ, 1986-1987); at the University of Groningen (1995), at the University of Melbourne (1995), at Kyoto University (1997), at Vienna University (2000), and at the Humboldt University Berlin (2000).
He was awarded several prizes and honors, among them the Klein Prize (1984), the New England Prize (1993),the John van Geuns Lecture-University of Amsterdam (1995), the JSPS Research Prize, Japan (1997), the Taub Prize (2001), and the Medal of Claude Bernard University in Lyon, France (2002).
His current interests are in the applications of lasers in chemistry, photophysics of organic molecules, inter- and intramolecular electronic energy, electron and proton transfer, molecular opto-electronics & nonlinear optics, and molecular electronics. He has published ca. 170 research papers
Spectroscopy, Photophysics and Photochemistry
Laser photophysics and photochemistry: investigating specially designed bichromophoric molecules elucidates the mechanism of short-range intramolecular electronic energy transfer. The transfer efficiency is studied, in solution, as a function of excitation energy, temperature and molecule geometry. Complementary calculations and modeling enable elucidation of the transfer mechanism and relation of the model to existing energy transfer theories. We also study photoconductivity of polymers.
Spectroscopy and photophysical processes in supersonic jets: Using a supersonic beam expansion technique, the spectroscopy and photophysics of bichromophoric molecular clusters and molecules are being studied. The processes under investigation are at an electronic energy transfer, quenching of excited states by molecular oxygen, exciplex formation, and electron transfer processes.
Molecular nonlinear optics, optoelectronics and molecular electronics: We have developed a powerful theoretical model, the nonlinear eikonal approximation, to study practical molecular optoelectronic devices either in a thin film or in waveguide structures, such as optical fibers. Bistable optical devices, spatial light modulators, molecular memory devices and propagation effects in optical fibers have been analyzed in detail. More recently we study molecular structure control of intramolecular electron, proton, and energy transfer processes and their implications in design of molecular switches and molecular scale logic gates.
Laser Material Interactions: In collaboration with industry and the Israel Institute of Metals, we investigate the mechanism of laser-induced deposition of thin films and laser-induced removal of contaminates from silicon wafers.
- S. Speiser and S. Kimel: "Laser-induced photolysis of iodoform", J. Chem. Phys., 51, 5614-5620 (1969).
- R. Katraro, A. Ron and S. Speiser: "Photophysical studies of coronene and 1,12 benzperylene; Self-quenching, photoquenching temperature dependent fluorescence decay and temperature dependent electronic energy transfer to dye acceptors", Chem. Phys. 42, 121-132 (1979).
- D. Getz, A. Ron, M.B. Rubin and S. Speiser: "Dual fluorescence and intramolecular energy transfer in a bichromophoric molecule", J. Phys. Chem. 84, 768-773 (1980).
- M.T. Duignan, E. Grunwald and S. Speiser: "Infrared multiphoton photochemistry of hexafluorobenzene studied by time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy", J. Phys. Chem. 87, 4387-4394 (1983).
- S. Hassoon, H. Lustig, M.B. Rubin and S. Speiser: "The mechanism of short range intramolecular electronic energy transfer in bichromophoric molecules", J. Phys. Chem. 88, 6367-6374 (1984).
- M. Orenstein, S. Speiser and J. Katriel: "A general eikonal treatment of coupled dispersively nonlinear resonators exhibiting optical multistability", IEEE J. Quant. Electron. 21, 1513-1522 (1985).
- S. Speiser and F.L. Chisena: "Optical bistability in dye molecules", J. Chem. Phys. 89, 7259-7267 (1988).
- S.-T. Levy, M.B. Rubin and S. Speiser: "Photophysics of cyclic a-diketone aromatic ring bichromophoric molecules. Structures, spectra and intramolecular electronic energy transfer", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 114, 10747-56 (1992).
- J. Bigman, Y. Karni and S. Speiser: "Electronic energy transfer in bichromophoric molecular clusters", Chem. Phys., 177, 601-617 (1993).
- G. Rosenblum and S. Speiser: "Calculation of intermolecular interaction in aromatic molecular clusters from direction dependent atom-pair potentials", J. Chem. Phys. 102, 9149-9159 (1995).
- Y. Greenwald, G. Cohen, J. Poplawski, E. Ehrenfreund, S. Speiser, and D. Davidov: "Transient photoconductivity of acceptor substituted poly(3-butyl)thiophene" , J. Am. Chem. Soc., 118, 2980-2984 (1996).
- N. Lokan, M.N. Paddon-Row, T.A. Smith, M. La Rosa, K.P. Ghiggino and S. Speiser: “Highly efficient through-bond-mediated electronic excitation energy transfer taking place over 12Å”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 121, 2917-2918 (1999).
- X. Wang, D.H. Levy, M.B. Rubin and S. Speiser: "Supersonic jet spectroscopy and intramolecular electronic energy transfer in naphthalene-(CH2)n-anthracene bichromophoric molecules", J. Phys. Chem., 104, 6558-6565 (2000).
- F. Remacle, S. Speiser and R.D. Levine: "Intermolecular and intramolecular logic gates", J. Phys. Chem. B, 105, 5589-5591 (2001).
- M. Hagesawa, S. Enomoto, T. Hoshi, K. Igarashi, T. Yamazaki, Y. Nishimura, S. Speiser and I. Yamazaki, "Intramolecular excitation energy transfer in bichromophoric compounds in stretched polymer films", J. Phys. Chem. B., 106, 4925-4932 (2002).
- U. Peskin, M. Abu-Hilu, S. Speiser: “Approaches to molecular devices based on controlled intramolecular electronic energy and electron transfer. Electron transfer through flexible molecular bridges by a time-dependent super exchange model”, Opt. Mat. 24, 23-29 (2003).
- H. Salman, Y. Abraham, S. Meltzman, S. Tal, M. Kapon, N. Tessler, S. Speiser and Y. Eichen: “1,3-di(2-pyrrole)azulene: An efficient luminescent probe for fluoride”, Eur. J. Org. Chem., 2005, 2207-2212.
- H. Salman, Y. Eichen, and S. Speiser:” A molecular scale full adder based on controlled intramolecular electron and energy transfer”, Mat. Sci. Eng. C 26, 881-885 (2006).
- T. Nakabayashi, B. Wu, T. Morikawa, T. Iimori, M. B. Rubin, S. Speiser, and N. Ohta :” External electric field effects on absorption and fluorescence of anthracene-(CH2)n-naphthalene bichromophoric molecules doped in a polymer film”. J. Photochem. Photobiol. A: Chem. 178, 236-241 (2006).
- N. Fridman, M. Kaftory, Y. Eichen, and S. Speiser:”Spectroscopy, photophysical and photochemical properties of bisimidazole derivatives“, J. Photochem. Photobiol. A: Chem. 188, 25-33 (2007)
- O. Kuznetz, D. Davis, H. Salman, Y. Eichen, and S. Speiser :”Intramolecular electronic energy transfer in rhodamine-azulene bichromophoric molecule” ,J. Photochem. Photobiol. A: Chem. 191,176-181 (2007)
- O. Kuznetz, H. Salman, N. Shakkour, Y. Eichen, and S. Speiser:“ A novel all optical molecular scale full adder ”, Chem. Phys Letters, 451 , 63-67 (2008)