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Richard E. Wilson

Group Leader, Chemist


Richard Wilson is a chemist and the group leader of the Heavy Elements Group in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory.  His research focuses on the physical and inorganic chemistry of the actinide elements, in particular protactinium and the transuranium elements.  Richard’s research couples the synthesis, structural, and spectroscopic characterization of actinide molecules and materials, exploring the periodic chemical properties across the actinide series of elements.  The goals of his research are to more fully understand and describe the chemical reactivity, structure, and bonding of the actinide elements to unify their properties with broader periodic table.


  • 2005 -2007 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Heavy Elements and Separation Sciences, Chemistry Division, Argonne National Laboratory
  • 2005 Ph.D.; Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2000 B.S.; Chemistry, State University of New York at Binghamton 


2012 United States Department of Energy, Office of Science, Early Career Research Award

Recent Publications

  • M. Autillo, R. E. Wilson. Molecular Hydroxo-bridged dimers of U(VI), Np(VI), and Pu(VI): [Me4N]2(AnO2)2(OH)2(NO3)4.  Inorganic Chemistry.  (2019)
  • D. D. Schnaars,  R.E. Wilson, Synthesis, structure and vibrational properties of [Ph4P]2NpO2Cl4 and [Ph4P]2PuO2Cl4 complexes.  Inorganic Chemistry. (2018).
  • R. E. Wilson, S. M. DeSio, Valerie Vallet. Protactinium and the intersection of transition metal and actinide chemistry. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-02972-z (2018) DOE Office of Science web highlighthttps://​sci​ence​.ener​gy​.gov/​b​e​s​/​h​i​g​h​l​i​g​h​t​s​/​2​0​1​8​/​b​e​s​-​2​0​1​8​-​08-b/
  • M. Autillo, R. E. Wilson, Phase Transitions in Tetramethylammonium Hexachlorometalate Compounds, (TMA)2MCl6 (M = U, Np, Pt, Sn, Hf, Zr).  European Journal of Inorganic ChemistryDOI: 10.1002/ejic.201700764.
  • Wibe A. de Jong, Phuong D. Dau, Richard E. Wilson, Joaquim Marcalo, Michael J. Van Stipdonk, Theodore A. Corcovilos, Giel Berden, Jonathan Marthens, Jos Oomens, John K. Gibson.  Revealing Disparate Chemistries of Protactinium and Uranium.  Synthesis of the Molecular Uranium Tetroxide Anion, UO4-. Inorganic Chemistry.  2017.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b00144
  • R. E. Wilson, S. M. DeSio, Valerie Vallet, Structural and Electronic Properties of Nb(V), Ta(V), and Pa(V) Fluoride Complexes:  The Influence of Relativistic Effects on the Group V Elements. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry.    DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201600981 2016.
  • T. J. Carter, R. E. Wilson.  Coordination Chemistry of Homoleptic Actinide(IV) Thiocyanate Complexes. Chemistry-A European Journal.  COVER ARTICLEDOI:  10.1002/chem.201502770. 2015.
  • R. E. Wilson, Structure, Phase Transitions, and Isotope Effects in (Me4N)2PuCl6.  Inorganic Chemistry  2015. dx​.doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​2​1​/​a​c​s​.​i​n​o​r​g​c​h​e​m​.​5​b​01288. COVER ARTICLE, Nov 2015
  • P. Dau, R. E. Wilson, J. K. Gibson. Elucidating Protactinium Hydrolysis:  The Relative Stabilities of PaO2(H2O)+ and PaO(OH)2+Inorganic Chemistry.  2015. DOI:  10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b01078
  • S. M. DeSio, R. E. Wilson, An EXAFS Study of the Speciation of Protactinium(V) in Aqueous Hydrofluoric Acid Solutions.  Inorganic Chemistry.  2014, 53, 12643-12649.  DOI: 10.1021/ic502376m