David N. Beratan

David N. Beratan

R.J. Reynolds Professor of Chemistry

Office Location: 
5311 French Science Center, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90346, Durham, NC 27708-0346
(919) 660-1526


Dr. Beratan is developing theoretical approaches to understand the function of complex molecular and macromolecular systems, including: the molecular underpinnings of energy harvesting and charge transport in biology; the mechanism of solar energy capture and conversion in man-made structures; the nature of charge conductivity in naturally occurring nucleic acids and in synthetic constructs, including the photochemical repair of damaged DNA in extremophiles; CH bond activation by copper oxygenase enzymes; the flow of charge in bacterial appendages on the micrometer length scale; the theoretical foundations for inverse molecular design - the property driven discovery of chemical structures with optimal properties; the exploitation of molecular diversity in the mapping of molecular and materials "space"; the use of infra-red excitation to manipulate electron transport through molecules; the optical signatures of molecular chirality and the influence of chirality on charge transport. Prof. Beratan is affiliated with the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, as well as Duke's programs in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Nanosciences, and Phononics.  

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 1986

  • B.S., Duke University 1980

Hopfield, JJ, Onuchic, JN, and Beratan, DN. "A molecular shift register based on electron transfer." Science 241.4867 (August 12, 1988): 817-820. Full Text

Onuchic, JN, and Beratan, DN. "Adiabaticity criteria for outer-sphere bimolecular electron-transfer reactions." Journal of Physical Chemistry 92.17 (1988): 4817-4820.

Cowan, JA, Upmacis, RK, Beratan, DN, Onuchic, JN, and Gray, HB. "Long-range electron transfer in myoglobin." Ann N Y Acad Sci 550 (1988): 68-84.

Perry, JW, Stiegman, AE, Marder, SR, Coulter, DR, Beratan, DN, Brinza, DE, Klavetter, FL, and Grubbs, RH. "Second and third order nonlinear optical properties of conjugated molecules and polymers." Proceedings of SPIE-The Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers 971 (1988): 17-24. (Academic Article)

Beratan, DN, and Onuchic, JN. "Adiabaticlty and nonadiabaticity in bimolecular outer-sphere charge transfer reactions." The Journal of Chemical Physics 89.10 (1988): 6195-6203.

Onuchic, JN, and Beratan, DN. "Molecular bridge effects on distant charge tunneling." Journal of the American Chemical Society 109.22 (1987): 6771-6778.

Beratan, DN, Onuchic, JN, and Perry, JW. "Nonlinear susceptibilities of finite conjugated organic polymers." Journal of Physical Chemistry 91.11 (1987): 2696-2698.

Beratan, DN, Onuchic, JN, and Hopfield, JJ. "Electron tunneling through covalent and noncovalent pathways in proteins." The Journal of Chemical Physics 86.8 (1987): 4488-4498.

Beratan, DN. "Electron tunneling through rigid molecular bridges: Bicyclo[2.2.2]octane." Journal of the American Chemical Society 108.15 (1986): 4321-4326.

Onuchic, JN, Beratan, DN, and Hopfield, JJ. "Some aspects of electron-transfer reaction dynamics." Journal of Physical Chemistry 90.16 (1986): 3707-3721.