F. B. Williams Professor of Chemistry, Director of the First-Year Program
B.A., Ph.D., Rice University


Rob Bachman earned his B.A. and Ph.D. in Chemistry at Rice University with a focus in inorganic, organometallic and organic chemistry. Prior to beginning his faculty career, Professor Bachman worked at the Technical University of Munich as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow investigating the unique chemistry of gold. Professor Bachman's current research focuses on the construction of new metal-containing liquid crystalline materials with interesting, and potentially useful physical properties. He has also been active in a collaborative effort to study the water chemistry of local reservoirs. Professor Bachman teaches a variety of upper level courses in inorganic chemistry, including Inorganic Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, Structural Methods, Materials Chemistry and Advanced Environmental Geochemistry. At the introductory level, he teaches Advanced General Chemistry and participates in the department's General Chemistry program. He has also recently developed interests in the analysis of cultural artifacts and art objects as a teaching opportunity.  

Teaching Interests
Inorganic Chemistry, Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry, Materials Chemistry,  Structural Methods, General Chemistry, Chemistry of Cultural Artifacts

Research Interests

The Bachman research group is focused on how a variety of areas.  We are preparing new potential metallodrugs using synthetic inorganic chemistry.  We are also using synthetic organic/organometallic chemistry approaches to develop novel solar dye molecules with bridged inorganic and organic units.  Our synthetic interests have traditionally been focused on liquid crystalline metal-containing materials (molecular and ionic) for many years.  More recently we have also taken on the analysis of cultural artifacts and art by instrumental methods.

Professional Appointments

  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, 1994-1995, Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow,  2004, University of Bayreuth, Germany
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow,  2011-2012, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany
  • DAAD Fellow,  2011-2012, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany
  • Visiting Associate Research Professor, 2007-present, North Carolina State University

 Honors and Awards

  • Council on Undergraduate Research, 2014-15 National Volunteer of the Year
  • Society of Sewanee Scholars Teacher of the Year, Nominee 2005, 2009
  • Tennessee Science Teachers Association Science Educator of the Year, Nominee 2005
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow
  • Phi Beta Kappa


  • NSF DMR/CHE-0911070 "Guerbet Alcohols as Mesogen Inducing Groups: Synthesis and Characterization of Bipyridine-Based Metallomesogens"
  • NSF CHE-0959401 "MRI-R2: Acquisition of a High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry System"
  • NSF CHE-1126231, “Acquisition of a Multinuclear 400 MHz NMR Spectrometer”
  • Associated Colleges of the South, “The Science of Art and Cultural Artifacts” 
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, "Technical Examination of Two Albers' Paintings"  

Recent Publications

  1. “Structural Analysis of AgI and Au/AgI Nanocomposite Films by Powder X-ray Diffraction:  Evidence for Preferential Orientation” El-Kouedi, M.; Foss, Jr., C. A.; Bodolosky-Bettis, S. A. Bachman, R. E.  Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2002106, 7205-7209.
  2. “Multiple Diastereomers of the Peacock-Weakley Heteropolytungstates, [Mn+(am-P2W17O61](20-n)– (M = UIV, ThIV, CeIII; m = 1, 2).  Syn and Anti-Conformations of the Polytungstate Ligands.  Structures of the α1α1, α1α2 and α2α2 Complexes” OstuniA.; Bachman, R. E.; Pope, M. T.  Journal of Cluster Science200314, 431-446.
  3. “Bismuth Ladder Polymers:  Structural and Thermal Studies of [Bi(OCH2CH2)3N]n and [(BixTb1-x)(O2CCH2)3N·2H2O]n” Whitmire, K. H.; Bachman, R. E.; Thurston, J. H.; Gulea, A.; Stavila, A. O.; Stavila, V.  Inorganica Chemica Acta 2003346, 249-255.
  4. “Simple 4, 4´-dialkyl derivatives of [bpyMS2C6H4] (bpy = 2, 2´-bipyridine; M = Ni, Pt) exhibit thermotropic mesomorphism:  the relationship between structure and phase behavior” Cocker, T. M.; Bachman, R. E.  Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals2004408, 1-19.
  5. “Synthesis and Characterization of Diimine-Diselenolene Complexes of Nickel and Platinum:  Examining the Influence of the Chalcogenide Atom” Dibrov, S. M.; Bachman, R. E.  Inorganica Chemica Acta2004357, 1198-1204.
  6.  “Synthesis, characterization and coordination chemistry of some selenium-containing macrocyclic Schiff bases” Panda, A.; Menon, S. C.; Singh, H. B.; Morley, C. P.; Bachman, R. E.; Cocker, T. M.; Butcher, R. J.  European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry  20056,  1114-1126.
  7. “The Redox Behavior of Fluorinated Gold Thiolate Complexes:  A Potential Mechanism for the Action of Gold Pharmaceuticals” Bachman, R. E.; Bodolosky-Bettis,S. A.; Pyle, C. M.; Gray, M. A.  Journal of the American Chemical Society 2008130, 14303-14310.
  8. “Construction of Luminescent Gold(I) Aryl Thiolates via Isonitrilegold(I) Complexes:  Influence of Synthetic Methodology and the Thiolate Ligand On Structure and Properties”Bachman, R. E.; Bodolosky-Bettis, S. A.  Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 200964b, 1491-1499.
  9. “New Lewis-Basic Organogellator and Metal-Coordination Induced Gelation” Bachman, R. E.; Zucchero, A. J.; Robinson, J. L.  Langmuir201228, 27-30.
  10. “Use of Organic Precursors and Graphenes in the Controlled Synthesis of Carbon-Containing Nanomaterials for Energy Storage and Conversion” Yang, S.; Bachman, R. E.; Feng, X.; Müllen, K.  Acc. Chem. Res. 201346, 116-128.