Mark Wrighton is a chemist interested in the basic principles underlying the conversion of solar energy to chemical fuels and electricity.
His work has led to new chemical approaches to the conversion of solar energy to electricity or chemical fuel and the development of new electrochemical devices. Wrighton has also discovered new photoreactions of metal-containing molecules important for homogeneous catalysis. In the field of molecular electronics, he has demonstrated the principles associated with microelectrochemical diodes and transistors, which show promise as new analytical devices. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 articles published in professional and scholarly journals, and he holds fourteen patents.
Since 1995, Wrighton has been Chancellor and chief executive officer of Washington University, St. Louis. He also serves as chair of the Association of American Universities and of the Business-Higher Education Forum. He was a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1972 to 1995, where he held the Frederick G. Keyes Chair in Chemistry, the Ciba-Geigy Chair in Chemistry, and was Provost (1990-95).
Wrighton received a B.S. (1969) from Florida State University and a Ph.D. (1972) from the California Institute of Technology.