Roth, Heinz D.

Distinguished Professor

Heinz D. Roth

Phone: 848-445-5664

E-mail: E-mail

FAX: 732-445-5312

Office: Wright Rieman Labs 384/372

Mail: Chemistry & Chemical Biology, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854


  • M.S. 1961, Dr. rer. nat. 1965, Köln, Germany

Research Summary

Heinz D. Roth and his group are interested in organic reaction mechanisms and elucidate structure and reactivity of short-lived free radicals or radical ions in solution or solid matrices. The structures are characterized by optical methods (including diffuse reflectance, DR), magnetic resonance techniques (electron spin resonance, EPR, or chemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization, CIDNP) and molecular orbital calculations. Thermal or photochemical rearrangements of radical ions are investigated by time-resolved electron or nuclear spin polarization or by trapping reactions. Incorporation of donor molecules into redox- or acid-base active zeolites may lead to cyclization, ring-opening or ring contraction.

Electronic structure of radicals

Electronic structure of radicalsPictorial representation of the spin density distribution of norcaradiene radical cation (bottom) and its SOMO (center) and LUMO (top) calculated by Spartan.





Zeolite-induced reactivity

Zeolite-induced reactivityMolecular model visualizing the docking of 1,2-dithiolane radical cation optimized at the UHF/6-31G* level of theory, inside the straight channels of pentasil zeolite ZSM-5." Research supported by the National Science Foundation". 





Awards & Honors

  • AT&T Bell Laboratories: Member of Technical Staff 1967-1981
  • AT&T Bell Laboratories: Distinguished Member of Technical Staff 1981-1988
  • Visiting Professor: Max-Planck-Institut, Mülheim, Germany, April 1987
  • Visiting Professor: Columbia University, Jan.-May, 1988
  • Visiting Professor: Université Bordeaux I, France, May 1991
  • Visiting Professor: Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, May-July, 1997, May-July, 1999
  • 1997 Iberdrola Award, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain
  • 1997 C. Y. Haas Memorial Award
  • 1998 Fellow, Japan Society for the Advancement of Science
  • International Conference on Radical Ion Chemistry, Peniscola, Spain, Co-chair, Scientific Committee, 1999-2000
  • International Scientific Committee, IUPAC Symposium on Photochemistry, Member 1998-2004, chair 2000-2002


"Structure and Reactivity of Organic Radical Ions", H. D. Roth, Topics Curr. Chem., 163, 131 - 245 (1992).

"Ring-Opening of Vinylcyclopropane Radical Cations With Stereoselective 1,2-Hydrogen Migration" H. Weng, Q. Sheikh, H. D. Roth, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1995, 117, 10655-10661.

"Radical Cations of Ethano-Bridged Dicyclopropyl Systems: Remarkable Stereo-electronic Effects" T. Herbertz, H. D. Roth J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1997, 119, 9574-9575.

"Electron Transfer Photochemistry of Chrysanthemyl Alcohol: An Intramolecular SN2' Reaction" T. Herbertz, H. D. Roth, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1996, 118, 10954-10962.

"Electron Transfer Photochemistry of Tricyclo[,6]deca-2,4-diene: Nucleophilic Capture of a Homoconjugated Radical Cationic System" T. Herbertz, F. Blume, H. D. Roth J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1998, 120, 4591-4599.

"Electron transfer photochemistry of homo-chrysanthemol: intramolecular nucleophilic attack on the cyclopropane ring" T. Herbertz, H. D. Roth, J. Org. Chem. 1999, 64, 3708-3713.

"Photoreactions of E-1-o-hydroxyphenyl-2-phenylcyclopropane"J. Delgado, A. Espinós, M. C. Jiménez, M. A. Miranda, R. Tormos, H D. Roth, J. Org. Chem. 1999, 64, 6541-6546.

"Oxidative Ring Contraction of 2-Phenyldithiane in ZSM-5: Restricted Mobility of 1,2-Dithiolane Radical Cations in Zeolite Channels" H. D. Roth, K. Shen, P. S. Lakkaraju, L. Fernandez, Chem. Commun. 1998, 2447-2448.

"UV-vis and IR spectroscopic characterization of diphenyl disulfide radical cation in acid zeolites and its rearrangement to thianthrenium radical cation" V. Martí, L. Fernández, V. Fornés, H. García, H. D. Roth, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 2 1999,145-152.

"Extended diaryl diselenide radical cations in pentasil zeolite studied by EPR and optical spectroscopy" P. S. Lakkaraju, K. Shen, H. D. Roth, H. García, J. Phys. Chem.A 1999, 103, 7381-7384.

"The Beginnings of Organic Photochemistry", H. D. Roth, Angew. Chem., 1989, 101, 1220-1234; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1989, 28, 1193-1207.

"A History of Electron Transfer and Related Reactions", H. D. Roth, Topics Curr. Chem. 1990, 156, 1-19. 

Research Area(s): 
Organic Chemistry