Matthew Polinski, Associate Professor

Matthew Polinski


University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, Ph.D., 2013
Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA, B.A., 2010


Chemistry 115 – Chemistry for the Sciences I Lecture and Lab
Chemistry 116 – Chemistry for the Sciences 2 Lecture and Lab
Chemistry 251 - Inorganic Chemistry Lecture
Chemistry 452 – Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Lecture and Lab
Chemistry 482 - Advanced Topics in Chemistry Lecture
Chemistry 492 – Chemical Research 1
Chemistry 493 – Chemical Research 2
Chemistry 494 - Advanced Chemical Research

Research Interests

My research is in the areas of nuclear and synthetic solid-state inorganic chemistry, which bridges between inorganic, physical, engineering, and materials science. Our primary focus is to expand upon the fundamental chemistry of the f-block elements which are positioned deep within the periodic table. The f-block elements are comprised of two groups: (i) the Lanthanides – which are mostly non-radioactive and used in many facets of modern technology and (ii) the Actinides – which are all radioactive and used primarily for energy applications. Many actinides, such as Berkelium, Californium, and Einsteinium, must be prepared and obtained from nuclear reactors, often times requiring Congressional approval. Very little chemical information is known regarding these elements due to their intense radioactivity, short half-lives, and zero natural abundance. The ability to predict and understand the chemical and physical properties of these exotic elements depends on a better understanding of their fundamental chemistry, much of which is currently unknown. Moreover, what little is known about these elements is often in opposition to what is observed elsewhere on the periodic table. My group and I, along with collaborators from other major research institutions and National Laboratories, seek to probe the electronic structure of the f-block elements by preparing and studying materials containing these scarce elements. The overall goal is a better understanding of the complex and esoteric chemistry observed at the end of the periodic table so that materials with tailor and designed properties can be produced. Our work has been published in well-respected journals including Science, Nature Chemistry, and a recent article in Inorganic Chemistry that featured a BU graduate as first author.


Cross, J. N.; Lee, T-H.; Kang, C-J.; Yao, Y-X.; Cary, S. K.; Stritzinger, J. T.; Polinski, M. J.; McKinley, C. D.; Albrecht-Schmitt, T. E.; Lanata, N. “Origins of the Odd Optical Observables in Plutonium and Americium Tungstates” Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 6508-6518.

Dovgan, J. T.; Polinski, M. J.; Villa, E. M. “Synthesis, Characterization and Structural Comparisons of the First Neodymium(III) Sulfite-Acetate Structure.” Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem. 2019,645, 31-35.

Parker, G. T.; Albrecht-Schmitt, T. E.; Polinski, M. J.; Wang, S.; Diwu, J. “Plutonium Halides” The Plutonium Handbook, 2nd Ed. 2019, American Nuclear Society, Accepted.

Poe, T. N.; White, F. D.; Proust, V.; Villa, E. M.; Polinski, M. J. “[Ag2M(Te2O5)2]SO4 (M = CeIV or ThIV): A New Purely Inorganic d/f-Heterometallic Cationic Material” Inorg. Chem. 2018, 57, 4816-4819.

Dovgan, J. T.; Polinski, M. J.; Mercado, B. Q. M.; Villa, E. M. “pH Driven Hydrothermal Syntheses of Neodymium Sulfites and Mixed Sulfate-Sulfites.” Cryst. Growth Des. 2018, 18, 5332-5341.

Cary, S. K.; Galley, S. S.; Marsh, M. L.; Hobart, D. L.; Baumbach, R. E.; Cross, J. N.; Stritzinger, J. T.; Polinski, M. J.; Maron, L.; Albrecht-Schmitt, T. E. “Incipient Class II Mixed Valency in a Plutonium Solid-State Compound” Nature Chem, 2017, 9, 856-861.

Silver, M. A.; Cary, S. K.; Johnson, J. A.; Baumbach, R. E.; Arico, A. A.; Luckey, M.; Urban, M.; Wang, J. C.; Polinski, M. J.; Chemey, A.; Liu, G.; Chen, K-W.; Van Cleve, S. M.; Marsh, M. L.; Eaton, T. M.; van de Burgt, L.; Grey, A. L.; Hobart, D. E.; Hanson, K.; Maron, L.; Gendron, F.; Autschbach, J.; Speldrich, M.; Kogerler, P.; Yang, P.; Braley, J.; Albrecht-Schmitt, T. E. “Characterization of Berkelium(III) Dipicolinate and Borate Compounds in Solution and the Solid State” Science. 2016, 353, 888.


M. J. Polinski (PI) “Exploration of Low Valent Metals Synthesized Under Hydrothermal Conditions”, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Research and Scholarship Grant, $4,000

M. J. Polinski (PI), “Synthetic Investigations of Low Valent Lanthanide-Based Materials Derived from in situ Hydrothermal Reduction”, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Research and Scholarship Grant, $15,000.

Professional Awards and Honors

Provost’s Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarly Activity, 2019
Bloomsburg University Faculty Recognition Award for Research, 2019
American Chemical Society Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry, 2016
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Influential Professor Award, 2016, 2018, and 2019

Service Activities

Faculty Professional Development Committee - Chair
General Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator
Dept. of Chemistry Curriculum Committee
Dept. of Chemistry Search and Screen Committee
Dept. of Chemistry Five Year Review Committee
Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) Ambassador
Dept. of Chemistry Seminar Coordinator
University Forum Representative

Reviewer for Radiochimica Acta
Reviewer for Inorganic Chemistry
Reviewer for Crystal Growth and Design
Reviewer for Journal of Luminescence