W. C. Neely
Professor Emeritus



Phone: (334) 844-6960

Email: neelywc@auburn.edu



Louisiana State University, Ph.D. 1962,

Research Chemist, Chemstrand Research Center, Research Triangle Park, NC 1962-66



Physical chemistry: molecular spectroscopy, plasma discharges, Langmuir-Blodgett films, biophysics, sensors

Current research efforts are in the applications of molecular spectroscopy in these principal areas:

Surface biophysics of Langmuir-Blodgett films with emphasis on molecular binding interactions including those important to sensors; the homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions of oxy-radicals including atomic oxygen and hydroxyl radicals with application to pretreatment of biomass.

Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films provide unique opportunities for obtaining molecular spectra of highly oriented systems since an LB film has the optical characteristics of a two-dimensional crystal. Additionally, the thermodynamics of molecular interactions of dissimilar species in mixed monolayers are readily determined and can be related to observed spectral characteristics of the mixture. These aspects have been exploited to investigate a number of widely different topics. These include study of the differing odorant characteristics of the optical isomers, (+)carvone and (-) carvone where it was found their changes in free energy upon binding to phospholipids was entirely different and so implicated the role of these phospholipids in the olfactory binding process. In other work it was found that the orienting effect of an LB film used as the matrix for valinomycin, a potassium ion binding ionophore, provided the basis for a K+ sensing electrode.

The clean and selective generation of reactive oxy-species by electrical plasma discharge has been exploited using a variety of methods including microwave discharge at moderate and high vacuum and dielectric barrier discharge at atmospheric pressure. These studies have concerned topics including biophysics, to selective etching of semiconductors, and the pretreatment of lignocellulose biomass.

The etching of diamond at low temperatures through the selective generation of a higher excited state of atomic oxygen, O(1S) was demonstrated. Mixtures of singlet oxygen, ground state atomic oxygen, O(3P) and higher excited states, primarily O(1D), have been studied extensively with respect to their homogenous reactions with a variety of organic gases.

Several patents based on these basic research efforts have been granted to Auburn University.



Solomon Yilmaa, Jennifer Cannon-Sykora, Alexandre Samoylov, Ting Lo, Nangou Liu, Jeffrey Brinkere, William C. Neely, Vitaly Vodyanoy. Large-conductance cholesterol–amphotericin B channels in reconstituted lipid bilayers. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, In Press (2006)

Use of acacia gum to isolate and preserve biological material. US Patent 7,022,515 , April 4(2006)

Sykora, Jennifer Cannon; Neely, William C.; Vodyanoy, Vitaly. Thermodynamic characteristics of mixed monolayers of amphotericin B and cholesterol. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2004), 276(1), 60-67.

Sykora, Jennifer Cannon; Neely, William C.; Vodyanoy, Vitaly. Solvent effects on amphotericin B monolayers. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2004), 269(2), 499-502. .

Olsen, E. V.; Pathirana, S. T.; Samoylov, A. M.; Barbaree, J. M.; Chin, B. A.; Neely, W. C.; Vodyanoy, V. Specific and selective biosensor for Salmonella and its detection in the environment. Journal of Microbiological Methods (2003), 53(2), 273-285.

Sykora, Jennifer; Yilma, Solomon; Neely, William C.; Vodyanoy, Vitaly. Amphotericin B and Cholesterol in Monolayers and Bilayers. Langmuir (2003), 19(3), 858-864.

Pathirana, S. T.; Barbaree, J.; Chin, B. A.; Hartell, M. G.; Neely, W. C.; Vodyanoy, V. Rapid and sensitive biosensor for Salmonella. Biosens. Bioelectron2000, 15, 135.

Pathirana, S.; Neely W. C.; Vodyanoy, V. Condensing and expanding effects of odorants (+)- and (-)-carvone on phospholipid monolayers. Langmuir1998,14, 679.

Neely, W.C. Rose, M.F. and Askew, R.F. Plasma etching and patterning of CVD diamond at <100 C for microelectronics applications. Thin Solid Films1997, 304, 245.

Rogers, John W.; Nejezchleb, Allen J.; Rolader, Glenn E.; Federle, Steven P.; Littrell, Donald M.; Neely, William C.; Newhouse, E. Irene. Barrier discharge optimization for nitric oxide destruction. J. Adv. Oxid. Technol1997, 2, 353.

Pathirana, S., Myers, L.J., Neely, W.C.; Vodyanoy, V. Assembly of Cadmium Stearate and Valinomycin Molecules Assists Complexing of K+ in Mixed Valinomycin-Stearic Acid Langmuir-Blodgett Films. Supramolecular Science1996, 2, 149.

"Determination of Reaction Mechanisms in Silent Discharge Plasma Chemical Processing: The Decomposition of Trichloroethylene". Ch 13 in Hazardous Waste Management VI. E.I. Newhouse, W.C. Neely, E.J. Clothiaux, J.W. Rogers. Ed. D.W. Tedder and F.G. Pohland, Am. Academy of Env. Engr. Washington, DC 1996.

Last updated: 07/22/2011