Peter C. Ford

Distinguished Professor

Office Hours

By Appointment Only

Contact Phone

(805) 893-2443

Office Location

4649C PSB-N



Dr Ford joined the UCSB after earning his Ph.D. at Yale and a NSF postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Henry Taube at Stanford. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and of the Royal Society of Chemistry and was a Senior Fulbright Fellow. His awards include a Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior U.S. Scientist Award (1992), the Richard C. Tolman Medal of the ACS (1993), the Inter-American Photochemical Society Award in Photochemistry (2008), the American Chemical Society National Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2013), and the Royal Society of Chemistry Award in Inorganic Mechanisms (2015).  More than 65 UCSB Ph.D.s have earned their degrees while working in his research group. 


Research Group Website:

Research Objective

Our research is concerned with three long-term interests: catalysis, the photochemistry and photophysics of transition metal complexes, and the chemistry of NO and other small molecule bioregulators. A common theme is our interest in reaction mechanisms and in applications of quantitative spectroscopic techniques to investigate these systems.

Our catalysis research is focused on sustainable methodologies for the conversion of biomass to fuels and chemical precursors. We have developed new methods to convert waste materials such as woodchips directly to liquid fuels. The successful utilization of such renewable resources will lower the carbon dioxide burden on the environment.

Photochemical studies in the Ford lab involve the application of nanomaterials such as quantum dots as antennas to collect light and to transfer energy to metal complexes that release certain bioactive agents. The ability to stimulate and control the delivery of such compounds to physiological targets is crucial to the design and implementation of photochemically activated drugs.

The third area of research is concerned with evaluating the quantitative chemical reactivities of small molecule bioregulators such NO, CO, etc with biologically relevant metal centers. Understanding the mechanisms of such systems will provide guidelines for evaluating the known roles and discovering new roles for these species in mammalian physiology.


 Reaction of a Bridged Frustrated Lewis Pair with Nitric Oxide – a Kinetics Study. José Clayston Melo Pereira, Muhammad Sajid, Gerald Kehr, Ashley M. Wright, Birgitta Schirmer, Zheng-Wang Qu, Stefan Grimme, Gerhard Erker, Peter C. Ford J. Am. Chem. Soc.2014, 136, 513-519,

         New Zn(II) complexes with N2S2 Schiff base ligands. Experimental and theoretical studies of the role of Zn(II) in disulfide-thiolate exchange, Mehdi Amirnasr, Maryam Bagheri, Hossein Farrokhpour, Kurt Jo? Schenk, Kurt Mereiter, Peter C. Ford,, Polyhedron, 2014, 71, 1–7.

          Photocatalytic carbon disulfide production via charge transfer quenching of quantum dots. Christopher M. Bernt,  Peter T. Burks,  Anthony W. DeMartino, Agustin E. Pierri, Elizabeth S. Levy, David F. Zigler, Peter C. Ford, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2014, 136, 2192-2195,  (JACS Cover--Feb 12, 2014 issue)

         Mechanisms of nitric oxide reactions mediated by biologically relevant metal centers.  Peter C. Ford, Jose Clayston Melo Pereira and Katrina M. Miranda, Structure and Bonding. 2014 154: 99–136 DOI: 10.1007/430_2013_117

         Catalytic Conversion of Non-food Woody Biomass Solids to Organic Liquids, Katalin Barta and Peter C. Ford, Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 15031512

          Six-coordinate nitrito and nitrato complexes of manganese porphyrin, T. S. Kurtikyan, V. A. Hayrapetyan, M. M. Mehrabyan, P. C. Ford Inorganic Chemistry 201453, 11948-11959.  DOI:10.1021/ic5014329

         Photoreactivity of a quantum dot--ruthenium nitrosyl conjugate. Lilian Pereira Franco, Simone Aparecida Cicillini, Juliana Cristina Biazzotto, Marcos Schiavon, Alexander Mikhailovsky, Peter Burks, John Garcia, Peter C. Ford and Roberto Santana da Silva, J Phys. Chem. A 2014118, 12184-12191. DOI:10.1021/jp5111218

         Photo-controlled release of NO and CO with inorganic and organometallic complexes. Agustin E. Pierri, Dayana A. Muizzi, Alexis D. Ostrowski, Peter C. Ford. Structure and Bonding 2015:

         Dinitrosyl Iron Complexes with Cysteine.  Kinetics Studies of the Formation and Reactions of DNICs in Aqueous Solution, José Clayston Melo Pereira, Alexei V. Iretskii, Rui-Min Han,* and Peter C. Ford*, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2015137, 328-336.

         A PhotoCORM Nano-carrier for CO Release Using NIR Light, Agustin E. Pierri,  James G. Stanfill, John V. Garcia, Nanfeng Zheng and Peter C. Ford, Chemical Communications, 2015, 51, 2072-5. DOI: 10.1039/C4CC06766E