Mark Juhasz

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair

Hall of Science 352
509-527-5207 (phone) 509-527-5904 (fax)

Biography

Associate Professor Mark Juhasz joined the Chemistry Department in 2009. He teaches courses in Organic Chemistry, Advanced Synthesis Techniques, and Physical Organic Chemistry. Before coming to Whitman, he taught as a visiting faculty member at Colby College and at Allegheny College. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Riverside, where he worked with carborane anions and the world's strongest acids as a graduate student in the lab of Professor Chris Reed. Professor Juhasz received Whitman College's A. E. Lange Award for Distinguished Science Teaching in 2015. 

Professor Juhasz's team of student researchers at Whitman investigates ways to prepare new molecules constructed from a stable core cluster of boron atoms. These molecules have potential uses as drugs, agents for specialized medical imaging techniques, catalysts for industrially-important chemical reactions and advanced electronic materials. 

Professor Juhasz enjoys running, biking, cooking and spending time with his family.

Ph.D. Chemistry
University of California, Riverside
2005

M.S. Chemistry
University of California, Riverside
2001

B.A. Chemistry
Wittenberg University
2000

Associate Professor Juhasz's research explores molecules built from clusters of boron atoms, known as boranes, and clusters that contain a mix of boron and carbon, known as carboranes. Many applications of these molecules have been predicted, but their use is currently limited because few methods exist for preparing carborane and borane-based molecules. Jahasz's research program aims to develop synthetic methods for preparing new borane and carborane-based molecules. Past and ongoing investigations in his lab include cross-coupling reactions of carboranes, an efficient iodination method for boron clusters and the use of microwave irradiation for preparing new boron clusters. This work employs organic and inorganic synthetic chemistry techniques and is ideal for collaborative research with undergraduate students. 

Before coming to Whitman, Juhasz worked on the synthesis of the world’s strongest acid (over a billion times stronger than sulfuric acid) and the development of an NMR spectroscopy-based method for measuring the strength of extremely strong acids. He also studied carbocations, fleeting intermediates in organic chemistry reactions and isolated the first crystals of a vinyl carbocation—a molecule that had eluded chemists for over 50 years.

“Cyanation Methods for Boron Cluster Anions,” Juhasz, M. A.,  American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, 2020, Philadelphia, PA, USA. (presentation published online at https://doi.org/10.1021/scimeetings.0c00853) 

“Exhaustive Cyanation of the Dodecaborate Dianion: Synthesis, Characterization, and X-Ray Crystal Structure of [B12(CN)12]2–” Kamin, A. A.,Juhasz, M. A.* Inorganic Chemistry, 2020, 59, 189-192. doi:10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b03037

“Microwave-promoted reactions of the CB11- carborane anion,” Juhasz, M. A., 255th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, 2018, New Orleans, LA, USA.

 “Microwave-assisted iodination: Synthesis of heavily iodinated 10-vertex and 12-vertex boron clusters” Juhasz M. A.,* Matheson, G. R., Chang, P. S., Rosenbaum, A. R., Juers, D. H., Synthesis and Reactivity in Inorganic, Metal-Organic, and Nano-Metal Chemistry,2016, 46 (4), 583–588. doi:10.1080/15533174.2014.988819

A. E. Lange Award for Distinguished Science Teaching, Whitman College, 2015

Demmler Award for Teaching Innovation, Allegheny College, 2008 

Outstanding Teaching Assistant, University of California, Riverside, 2001 

Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship, University of California, Riverside, 2000 

James T. Gregory Award for Potential in Chemistry Research, Wittenberg University, 2000 

Outstanding Organic Chemistry Student Award, Wittenberg University, 1998