Coppens Named Fellow of AAAS

Release Date: December 3, 1993 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Philip Coppens, Ph.D., distinguished professor of chemistry at the University at Buffalo, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest federation of scientists. Fellows are those members of the AAAS who have made significant contributions toward advancing science.

Coppens has done pioneering work using X-ray diffraction techniques to study the nature of bonding between atoms in molecules and crystals. He has used complex mathematical techniques to develop an X-ray method of "seeing" the electron clouds that surround atoms and hold them together to form molecules. His methods are now considered to be classic standards for such analysis and are being applied in laboratories across the world.

A UB faculty member since 1968, Coppens recently was elected president of the International Union of Crystallography. He also is principal investigator for the State University of New York beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source, located at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.

In 1989, Coppens' research team was the first to determine the nature of small atomic distortions in certain types of high-temperature superconducting crystals, which affect the temperature at which the materials become superconducting.

Recently, he and his postdoctoral research associates completed the first diffraction study ever done of a molecule in an electronically excited state. Such experiments give novel information about the way molecules behave in chemical reactions.

Coppens is the principal author of the book "Synchrotron Radiation Crystallography," published last year by London: Academic Press, one of the first books describing the use of highly intense X-ray beams from a synchrotron source in crystallographic experiments.

He has served as president and vice president of the American Crystallographic Association, and served several terms as a member of the U.S. National Committee for Crystallography of the National Academy of Sciences. A corresponding member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, he has authored or co-authored 200 technical papers and articles.

He is a resident of Williamsville.

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