The mission of CAST is to advance our understanding of how electronic structure and bonding influence the chemical and physical properties of heavy elements that lead to the development of game-changing nuclear technologies that improve energy security, environmental remediation, and train the next generation of nuclear scientists.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting March 22–26, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, August 16, 2020

ACS Fall 2020 National Meeting August 16-20, San Francisco, CA

Personnel Profile

John K. Gibson

John was born and reared in Western Massachusetts, graduating from Longmeadow High School in 1975. He performed undergraduate research at Boston University under the guidance of Prof. Lowell Coulter concerning metal-ammonia phase diagrams that cemented John’s passion for thermodynamics. After obtaining a B.A. in Chemistry (Summa cum Laude) from Boston University in 1979, John headed west to study at the University of California, Berkeley under the mentorship of Prof. Leo Brewer. In 1983 he received a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry based on research involving thermodynamics and high-temperature chemistry of transition metal alloys. From UC Berkeley he moved on to Tennessee to join the Heavy Element Chemistry group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and there he took a shot at actinide chemistry. After a few years learning the actinide ropes via solid state syntheses and becoming captivated by the field, he turned to investigating reactivity of gas-phase actinide ions. The proximity of the High Flux Isotope Reactor at ORNL enabled fundamental gas-phase chemistry studies of 11 actinides from thorium through fermium. In 2007 he returned to Berkeley as a Senior Scientist in the Heavy Element Chemistry group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where he established a transuranic ion trap mass spectrometer capability. Using an electrospray ion source, his research focus at LBNL shifted from small actinide molecules to gas-phase coordination complexes as a route to new bonding motifs and insights into condensed phase processes. He has authored over 200 journal articles, mostly on gas-phase actinide chemistry. In a collaborative project at the Berkeley 88-Inch Cyclotron he recently added lawrencium to his stable of actinide elements studied: so far, 12 actinides and counting with Ac, Md and No not yet on the list but expected. John is an important collaborator in the CAST EFRC center.

Recent Publications