Yarger Research Group

The Yarger Research Group is a science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) based R&D team directed by Professor Jeffery Yarger.  The Yarger Research Group is typically composed of several high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students associated with the school of molecular sciences (traditional disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry and physics) at Arizona State University (and Argonne National Laboratory).  Prof. Jeff Yarger is also lucky to have several senior scientists and a senior administrative assistant that help direct and manage the group.  The Yarger Research Group has several collaborators and joint research projects.  This page is a general ‘News & Views’ area, where Prof. Yarger posts information and links related of relevance to the general public and his research group.

News & Views

It was Prof. Austen Angell that most drove my interest and decision to move my research group to ASU after establishing my independent research career at the University of Wyoming, Colorado State University and Argonne National Labs between 1998-2005. I was returning to ASU to design and build a state of the art Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) and further build my independent research group in transdisiplinary chemistry, biochemistry and physics. There was one major problem! The new building that was being designed for magnetic resonance and my research labs was way behind schedule. Austen allowed my research group to jointly occupy his established labs and we combine our research programs into the Yarger-Angell Group (YAG). The years (2005-2007) that Austen allowed the YargerLab to combine with his group were some of the best of my scientific career. Below is a group photo taking during this period. Austen was an inspiration and me, my research group and so many scientists around the world. It was my honor to spend time with Austen as a student, as a collaborator, as a colleague, and most importantly as a friend.

Yarger-Angell Group (YAG) in 2007.

X-ray Resources (being used by group)

Since Research Corporation for Science Advancement’s first class of Cottrell Scholars in 1994, these teacher-scholars from across the United States and Canada have been agents of change, making an impact on science, on students, and across academia. This year, we welcome 25 outstanding new Cottrell Scholars in chemistry, physics, and astronomy.
Read about the 2021 awardees here.

The labs silk research was highlighted by the ASU SMS Newsletter – Aug 2020.

PCCP Section (Editor – Yarger)

IJMS (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Impact Factor 4.556 (2020 Journal Citation Reports®)
Homepage: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ijmsjournal
IJMS channel on Twitter (@IJMS_MDPI)

As you already know, our “Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics”
section has made a lot of progress lately. Compared to last year, we can
help to publish more than 15 papers per month, and set up 3-4 special
issues. We believe our section will be promising in the next few years.

This month we have released a new policy, Editorial Member can provide 3
potential authors and we can grant them with full waivers for their
papers in our section. We sincerely wish with your kind support, we can
publish high quality papers from highly expertise authors.

Thank you very much in advance for your consideration and for taking
care of this section.Wish you all the best and please take good care of
yourself and your dear ones.

Kind Regards,

Ms. Sherry Duan
Section Manage Editor
E-Mail: sherry.duan@mdpi.com

I AGREE… Lets Automate our lab, and undergraduate teaching labs in SMS at ASU.
Guy Mullins has a new “OBX” (one button, eXtreme) studio that we should test out!! (in the computer commons building)
Guy Mullins is remodeling and expanding the video, screencasting and podcasting capabilities for ASU ‘Sync’

ASU SMS Community,

Here are a couple of important points for all ASU employees.

Congrats Chengchen

Chengchen Guo is a former graduate student in the YargerLab. We can now say Professor Guo, as he has excepted a position at Westlake University. His contact information is:

Chengchen Guo, PhD

School of Engineering, Westlake University

Shilongshan Road No.18, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Email: guochengchen@westlake.edu.cn

Congrats Midori

Midori King as been an undergraduate research assistant in the YargerLab working on spider silk for several years. She is off to Sonora Quest Labs. Congrats on the new position. Midori’s Linked-In Contact.

Important Links and Reminders related to the ASU YargerLab – ASU and Fall 2020 research and teaching:


As a spectroscopy lab, the YargerLab is intimately involved with light…

The roden crater project is a wonderful example of combining art and science. The YargerLab is supporting this project.

Paul Alivisatos named 2021 Priestley Medalist  

I (Jeff Yarger) worked as a postdoc at UC-Berkeley in the 1990’s and worked jointly with Prof. Alivisatos and Pines on developing NMR methods for nanoparticle molecular level structure determination. I learned so much from both Prof. Alivisatos and Pines, and their groups while I was at UC-Berkeley. Congrats Paul!! Well Well Deserved!!

Many of you will already know about the  #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia protests scheduled for tomorrow, June 10 2020: https://www.shutdownstem.com


IJMS (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Impact Factor 4.556 (2020 Journal Citation Reports®)
Homepage: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ijmsjournal
IJMS channel on Twitter (@IJMS_MDPI)

ASU Yarger Lab Recent Info – COVID19

Lab Safety Plan Approved
You and your team (Yarger and Angell Research Groups) are approved to return to research in the INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BUILDING I building. You may now begin to use the specific rooms that are listed in your lab safety plan: 453J, 453JA, 453K, 453KA, 453M, 453MA, 462, L2-63, L2-63B, L2-63D, L2-69.

Be sure to follow all ASU safety guidelines, your approved safety plan, and monitor this website for any updated information. Thank you for your patience while we worked to ensure the safety of your team and the ASU community at large. 

Ian Gould on 2020-06-04T18:16:42Z. Comments on the approval if any: 
Nancy Gonzales (Dean) on 2020-06-04T20:35:37Z Comments on the approval if any: 
Michael Gaskin on 2020-06-09.

The ASU Knowledge Enterprise (KE) site with up-to-date information on research return to campus


Related the phased return to work of particular interest to staff:  https://cfo.asu.edu/phased-work-plans

Current plans for the Fall semester have been posted on a new web page:


The ASU FAQ page has also been updated with a lot of new information, including the fact that fall break has been cancelled:


ASU provides COVID-19 Training at:



ASU Guidelines:

ASU SMS – Laboratory Practice Guidelines

These guidelines and not official ASU policy – Adjust to your Specific Lab Situation


• Lab work should be performed only on an as-needed basis. As much work as possible should be performed at home, i.e. literature review, data analysis, and writing. After lab work is completed, go home to write-up results, complete notebooks etc.

• Self-screen before coming to campus, monitor temperature, if exhibiting signs or symptoms of covid-19 infection, or if in doubt, stay home!

Social Distancing:

• Social distancing shall be maintained at all times. Lab occupancy should be limited to roughly 1 person per 200 sq ft. Only one person in a small instrument room. Only one person per bench area. Only one person per piece of equipment, such as balances, fume hoods, spectrometers, glove boxes, lab bench, etc. Each person should be given at least 6ft of space around them. Face away from other lab occupants to pass by. If necessary, implement rotating shifts.

• Wherever possible, one door is designated as the entrance to the lab and a different door is designated as the exit.

• Take note of maximum occupancy guidelines in building common spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms as appropriate.


• Wear PPE and wear face masks when physical distancing is not possible and when walking the hallways, using bathrooms and kitchens, etc.

Disinfection and Hygene:

• Maintain hygene practices that include washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, cover mouth and nose when sneezing/coughing, cough/sneeze into elbow, keep work areas clean and wiped down with disinfectant, e.g. 70% ethanol or bleach. Clean your area before you leave for the day.

• Touch surfaces on shared equipment to be cleaned after use with approved disinfecting agents (https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2). e.g. balances, keyboards, instruments, chairs, spray bottles, handles etc.

Contact Tracing:

• Sign in when entering the lab and sign out when leaving to aid contact tracing if it becomes necessary.

Safety Training:

• All lab occupants should complete ASU COVID-19 Training:


The YargerLab has molecular sciences expertise that can be useful in essential research and development related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All YargerLab students, staff, associates and collaborators are encourage to help with fundamental research associated with understanding COVID-19 at the molecular level. This will be critical in the creation of a vaccine and/or a pharmaceutical that offers relief for associated symptoms.

Please check out updates at the following website to get started understanding the molecular basis (components) of COVID-19.

COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 Resources

COVID-19 Challenges

Labroots Coronavirus Webinar Series – April 2020

Random, BUT should be of interest, websites and links

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete – Here’s What’s Next: Story by James Somers

Potential future replacements for Python (The Group is currently encouraged to use Python / Juypter for all scientific data analysis, animation and visualization)

R – Statistical Computing


X-ray Powder Diffraction and Pair Distribution Function
Data Analysis Course

Dates: Mon. June 29th — Thur. July 2nd, 2020

Location: APS Conference Center, Bldg. 402 Lower Gallery

Registration is openhttp://www.cvent.com/d/snq857/4W

This four-day course will teach participants basic and advanced data analysis methods of powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) and total scattering for pair distribution function (PDF) analysis of inorganic materials. The XRD section, running through the first two days of the course, will use the GSAS-II software as the platform to teach Rietveld refinement and solving crystal structures. Topics including phase quantification, size and strain analysis, sequential refinement, indexing, Pawley refinement, etc., will be covered. The PDF section will focus on steps and strategies required for successful collection and reduction of x-ray data for subsequent PDF analysis – from integration to peak fitting to real-space Rietveld refinement. All activities related to the PDF section will be carried out using open-source programs, such as GSAS-II, PDFgetX2 and PDFgui.

Additional Informationhttps://www.aps.anl.gov/Structural-Science/SRS-Courses

NSF Quantum Leap Challenge

Chiral-Quantum Workshop
January 27 – 28, 2020
ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center
1800 I Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006


Prof. Jeff Yarger – Editorial Board.

Here are the achievements of our Section “Physical Chemistry and
Chemical Physics” in November 2019.

1. *Manuscripts*
Submissions in November: 15 (17 in October)
Publications in November: 9 (9 in October)

All submissions till now: 175
All publications till now: 74
Under processing now: 21
All papers published in this Section can be viewed and Downloaded freely at:

2. *New Special Issue*: 1 (2 in October)
Topic: Ion and Molecule Transport in Membrane Systems 2.0
Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. Victor V. Nikonenko (Kuban State University, Russia)
Webpage: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms/special_issues/Ion_Membranes

This special issue is the 2nd Edition lead by our editorial board member
Prof. Nikonenko. The first Edition published 20 papers
(https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms/special_issues/Ion_Membrane). It’s
really a great success.

All special issues in our Section can be found at following link:

3. *New Editorial Board Members*: 0 (1 in October)
All editorial board members can be found at:


Jenny was leading the SMS tent at ASU Homecoming today.



Spider Webs don’t rot


Article coming out with one of the applications of our silk research…


Below is an email from the primary PI’s for a proposal to get a 1.2 GHz NMR system. The Yarger Research Group is a one of the 80 collaborators on this proposal…. AND looks like it was funded!!! Dear NMR Friends,
We are delighted to share with you exciting news: the NSF midscale research infrastructure RI-1 proposal for a 1.2 GHz NMR spectrometer for the National Gateway Ultrahigh Field NMR Center has been funded!

This award is in large part due to the exemplary effort by the NMR community as is reflected by you and the other 80 (!) collaborators on this proposal from across the nation. We were truly humbled by the outpouring of support and the sharing of ideas and projects for which ultrahigh field NMR will be beneficial.

To all of you we would like to extend a big THANK YOU!

We are also indebted to the leadership, faculty, and staff at Ohio State, including the Office of Research, multiple Colleges and Departments, for their extraordinary, continuous support of NMR research, including our excellent research staff and infrastructure.

Until the first ultrahigh field FID can be recorded a few things need to happen first: space in the CCIC NMR suite at OSU where the 1.2 GHz instrument will be housed will need to undergo some renovation and because Bruker Biospin has already received 9 orders of 1.2 GHz instruments in Europe, with the first instrument to be delivered later this year or early next year, production, delivery, and installation of our instrument may take several years.

The successful governance and operation of the National Gateway Ultrahigh Field NMR Center to guarantee optimal scientific output and broader impact will critically depend on your active participation, be it as a user, a member of the Advisory Board, a member of the Users Committee, or a reviewer of a user proposal. We will share updates as the project is moving forward. We also welcome and value your input how this national NMR center can reach its highest impact and count on your active participation. Please help spread the word to our many wonderful NMR colleagues who are not copied on this email.

Once commissioned, the first 1.2 GHz NMR spectrometer in the United States will offer tremendous new opportunities across many areas of molecular and materials NMR science, including of course your own research! We are excited, honored, and committed to work with you and the US-NMR community at large to make the National Gateway Ultrahigh Field NMR Center a success.

With our best wishes,
Rafael Brüschweiler (PI)
Mark Foster (co-PI)
Philip Grandinetti (co-PI)
Chris Jaroniec (co-PI)
Blanton Tolbert (co-PI)

Not just research, but education… Specifically re-inventing online science education and labs…. ASU’s Online Biochemistry Degree.


Chengchen’s paper is getting a lot of views and interest…


MRI at 800 MHz…. We really need to do more with this amazing resource (thanks Dr. Cherry for getting this capability working so well in the ASU MRRC).


One of our collaborators at ASU has a really nice invention for us that live in HOT places!!


Prof. Yarger was a RCSA in 2001, congrats to the 25 New Cottrell Scholars for 2020!

Research Corporation for Science Advancement, America’s first foundation dedicated wholly to science, has named a diverse group of 25 early-career scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy as recipients of its 2020 Cottrell Scholar Awards. Each awardee receives $100,000.

“We are excited to welcome our 2020 class of Cottrell Scholars, 25 outstanding teacher-scholars in the physical sciences from across the country,” said RCSA President and CEO Daniel Linzer.

Recipients, identified as leaders in integrating science teaching and research at a top U.S. research university, a degree-granting research institute, or a primarily undergraduate institution, are chosen through a rigorous peer-review process.

“The quality of the applicants and the many terrific proposals we receive can make it difficult to choose,” said RCSA Senior Program Director Silvia Ronco.  “We look for innovative ideas that are likely to make a positive impact on science and on the education of tomorrow’s scientists.”

Once designated a Cottrell Scholar, several additional levels of competitive funding become available to develop initiatives to enhance science education or promote career growth.

New and established Cottrell Scholars also meet each year to share insights and inspiration at the Cottrell Scholar Conference. This year’s event, to be held July 8-10 in Tucson, Ariz., will focus on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset through research and educational activities.

This year’s Cottrell Scholars are:

Carlos R. Baiz, chemistry, University of Texas at Austin – Molecular Dynamics at Heterogeneous Oil-Water Interfaces and a New Approach to Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Graduate Students

Kateri H. DuBay, chemistry, University of Virginia – Teaching Entropy and Modeling the Sequence-Determinants of Surface-Initiated Copolymerizations

Keary M. Engle, chemistry, Scripps Research Institute – Catalytic Difunctionalization of Alkenes Using Transient Directing Groups

Pengfei Huo, chemistry, University of Rochester – Enabling New Chemical Reactivities Through Polariton Photochemistry

Catherine Kealhofer, physics, Williams College – Nonequilibrium Phonon Dynamics in Two-dimensional Materials

Elena F. Koslover, physics, University of California, San Diego – Physics of Cellular Distribution Networks: Morphology and Transport in the Endoplasmic Reticulum

Kristin S. Koutmou, chemistry, University of Michigan – Chemical Modifications to mRNA Nucleosides: A New Frontier in Gene Regulation

Kah Chun Lau, physics, California State University, Northridge – Data-Driven Solubility Model Development of Concentrated Non-aqueous Electrolytes

Frank A. Leibfarth, chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Organocatalytic Kinetic Resolution Polymerization of Lactones

Huey-Wen Lin, physics, Michigan State University – Unveiling the Three-Dimensional Structure of Nucleons

Song Lin, chemistry, Cornell University – New Catalytic Methods for Enantioselective Electrosynthesis and Introducing Electrosynthesis to College and Graduate Curricula

Britt F. Lundgren, astronomy, University of North Carolina Asheville – Shedding Light on Star Formation Driven Galaxy Outflows across Cosmic Time

Elisabetta Matsumoto, physics, Georgia Institute of Technology – Knotty Knits: Using Topological Constraints to Program Geometry and Elastic Response in Knitted Textiles with Lattice Defects

Sharon R. Neufeldt, chemistry, Montana State University – Combined Experimental and Computational Approach to Improving Nickel and Palladium-Catalyzed Cross-Couplings

Glen D. O’Neil, chemistry, Montclair State University – Neurotransmitter Detection using Light-Addressable Electrochemical Sensors: Investigating the Role of Metal Morphology and Coverage on Sensor Response using Scanning Electrochemical Methods

Peter P. Orth, physics, Iowa State University – Probing Fractionalization and Entanglement in Quantum Spin Liquids: Theory of Two-dimensional Spectroscopy

Cedric Owens, chemistry, Chapman University – Constructing a Better Nitrogenase by Uncovering Protein-protein Interactions That Protect the Enzyme and Expand its Chemistry

Dennis V. Perepelitsa, physics, University of Colorado Boulder – Next-Generation Experimental Probes of Hot and Dense Nuclear Matter

Leslie A. Rogers, astronomy, University of Chicago – Searching for Water in Distant Worlds: Connecting the Atmospheric and Bulk Compositions of Sub-Neptune-Size Planets

Brenda M. Rubenstein, chemistry, Brown University – Advancing Chemistry through Data Science: Catalyst Design via Data-Enabled Quantum Chemistry and Integrating Data Science into the Chemistry Curriculum

Lorenzo Sironi, astronomy, Columbia University – To B or Not to B:  The Birth and Death of Magnetic Fields in the Universe

David A. Strubbe, physics, University of California, Merced – Light-induced Structural Dynamics in Materials: New Theoretical Insight into Ultrafast Phenomena

Claire P. Till, chemistry, Humboldt State University – Scandium and Iron: Parallels in Chemical Reactivity, and Reducing the Opportunity Gap in the HSU Chemistry Department and Beyond

Jesus M. Velazquez, chemistry, University of California, Davis – Achieving Energy Conversion Functionality Through Compositional Modification: The Role of Metal Promotion in Chalcogenide Frameworks

Jessica K. Werk, astronomy, University of Washington – The Observational Signatures of Cosmic Gas Flows in a Hydrodynamic Framework

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