Location: Fourth Floor, West Wing, South Wall, Sequence 1
Source: Professor Bartlett
Sponsor: Donald L. Ward
It was in 1962 that the chemical world was startled by Bartlett's preparation of Xe+[PtF6]-, the first compound of a noble gas (xenon). Until then it was thought that simple valence theory precluded noble gases from chemical combination (though some chemists, i.e. Pauling, had suggested this possibility). Bartlett's work stimulated further study, and other compounds of xenon, krypton and radon are now well-characterized. Much of Bartlett's research involved the oxidizing capabilities of fluorine compounds; he used them to prepare salts of O2+, the pentavalent gold compound Xe2F11+ AuF6-, and the unstable high oxidation state fluorides NiF4 and AgF3, which he used as fluorinating agents.
Bartlett was born and educated in England; after some time at the University of British Columbia (Canada) and Princeton he joined the University of California (Berkeley) faculty in 1969. He has won many awards and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.