Mark Johnson, Ph.D.

Mark Johnson's picture
Arthur T. Kemp Professor of Chemistry
Office: SCL 6
+1 (203) 432-5226

Mark Johnson is the Arthur T. Kemp Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Yale University.  Johnson is known for the development and exploitation of experimental methods that capture and structurally characterize transient chemical species, such as reaction intermediates, using cryogenic ion chemistry in conjunction with multiple resonance laser spectroscopy. Johnson was born and in Oakland, California in 1954 and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in chemistry and from Stanford University in 1983 with a Ph.D. chemistry with Dick Zare.  He was a postdoctoral fellow with Carl Lineberger at JILA/University of Colorado, Boulder, from 1983-1985 and joined the Yale faculty in 1985.  He has served as Chair of APS Division of Laser Science and the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry, and is presently co-editor of the Annual Review of Physical Chemistry.

Professional Background:
1977 B.S. University of California-Berkeley
1983 Ph.D. Stanford University (with Richard Zare)
1983-1985 Post-Doctoral Associate, JILA and U. Colorado, Boulder (with Carl Lineberger)
1985 Joined Yale Faculty
1987 NSF Presidential Young Investigator
1990 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar
1999 Fellow, American Physical Society
2001 Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (J.S.P.S)
2005 Fellow, AAAS
2006 APS Earle K. Pyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy
2007 Yale College Dylan Hixon ‘88 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences
2007-2008 Chairman of the APS Division of Laser Sciencce (DLS)
2008 Yale Science and Engineering Association Award for Basic Science
2009 Elected, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2010 Senior Editor, Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
2010 Program Chair, PHYS Division ACS National Meetings, San Francisco and Boston
2010 Elected, Fellow of the ACS
2012 Humboldt Senior Research Award
2014 ACS Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics
2014 Elected Member, National Academy of Science
2015 Gordon Conference Chair on Gaseous Ions
2016 ACS Symposium Co-Chair (with Zlatko Bacic) in San Diego for Anharmonicity in Floppy Systems
Area of Study: 

Mark Johnson’s laboratory specializes in understanding chemical processes that occur in condensed phases by extracting key species directly from solution, freezing them into well defined geometries and characterizing the potential energy surfaces that govern reactions through precision spectroscopic measurements. This requires design and construction of new types of instrumentation that draw inspiration equally from analytical chemistry and atomic physics. From this effort has evolved a powerful new class of spectrometers that effectively bring an FTIR-like capability to mass spectrometry. With it, he can structurally analyze the wide range of species accessible through atmospheric ionization techniques like electrospray ionization. In essence, he combines multi-dimensional laser spectroscopy with the extreme sensitivity of mass spectrometry to yield a qualitatively new way to follow chemical processes at the molecular level. These methods have provided microscopic pictures of how elementary species like protons and electrons are accommodated by water networks, as well as enable capture key reaction intermediates in both bio-inspired and organometallic catalysis. Although much of his work focuses on the properties of ions, he has also introduced variations that enable composition and size-selective measurements to be carried out on electrically neutral systems, with a notable application to homogeneous water clusters.