Group Website

Education, Honors, Awards

  • Distinguished Teaching Award, JMU College of Science and Mathematics (2013)
  • PKAL Summer Leadership Institute (2012)
  • NITLE and Academic Commons Community Contribution Award (for VIPEr, 2009)
  • Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge (2008-2009)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, National Institute of Standards and Technology and SUNY Stony Brook (1998-2000)
  • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley (1998)
  • A.B. Princeton University (1993)

Professional Experience

  • Professor, James Madison University (2013-present)
  • Associate Professor, James Madison University (2006-2013)
  • Visiting Researcher, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge (2008-2009)
  • Assistant Professor, James Madison University (2000-2006)

Research Interests

  • Materials synthesis and the factors that affect product formation
  • Hybrid inorganic-organic frameworks derived from azoles
  • Novel solution-based routes to new materials
  • Laboratory development for the undergraduate curriculum
  • Web 2.0, discipline-based faculty development, and student learning through VIPEr: Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource

Research Description

Research in the Reisner group involves the synthesis of hybrid inorganic-organic frameworks that have properties similar to nanoporous zeolites that are used extensively in industry for the separation of gases, water purification, and hydrocarbon cracking. Our current focus is on framework materials derived from tetrakis(azolyl)borate and hydrotris(azolyl)borate ligands. We are particularly interested in determining how synthetic conditions affect the topology of the hybrid framework that is crystallized from a given reaction mixture. This knowledge can be used to help develop more rational synthesis of hybrid framework materials. These materials have the potential adsorb and separate CO2 from gaseous waste streams.

Students conducting research in the Reisner group have the opportunity to synthesize and characterize new framework materials. Students learn a variety of synthesis techniques including the manipulation of air-sensitive compounds and solvothermal synthesis. Common characterization techniques include powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), thermal analysis (TGA and EGA-IR), NMR (1H and 13C), microscopy (SEM), and IR spectroscopies. We collaborate with other institutions to do single crystal X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, and gas sorption studies.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Reisner, B. A.; Smith, S. R.; Stewart, J. S.; Raker, J. R.; Crane, J. L.; Sobel, S. B.; Pesterfield, L. Great Expectations: Using an analysis of current practices to propose a framework for the undergraduate inorganic curriculum. Inorg. Chem. in press. DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b01320
  • Raker, J. R.; Reisner, B. A.; Smith, S. R.; Stewart, J. L.; Crane, J. L.; Pesterfield, L.; Sobel, S. B. Foundation coursework in undergraduate inorganic chemistry: Results from a national survey of inorganic chemistry faculty. J. Chem. Educ. 2015, 92, 973-979. DOI: 10.1021/ed500624t
  • Raker, J. R.; Reisner, B. A.; Smith, S. R.; Stewart, J. L.; Crane, J. L.; Pesterfield, L.; Sobel, S. B. In-depth coursework in undergraduate inorganic chemistry: Results from a national survey of inorganic chemistry faculty. J. Chem. Educ. 201592, 980-985. DOI: 10.1021/ed500625f
  • Reisner, B. A.; Vaughn, K. T. L.; Shorish, Y. L. “Making data management accessible in the undergraduate chemistry curriculum.” J. Chem. Educ. 2014, 91, 1943-1946.  DOI: 10.1021/ed500099h
  • Mandernach, M. A.; Shorish, Y. L.; Reisner, B. A. “The evolution of instruction delivery in the chemistry curriculum informed by mixed assessment methods.” Issues Sci. Tech. Lib. (ISTL)2014, 77. DOI: 10.5062/F46H4FDD
  • Holland, S. K.; Dutter, M. R.; Lawrence, D. J.; Reisner, B. A.; DeVore, T. C. “Photoelectrochemical performance of W-doped BiVO4 thin films deposited by spray pyrolysis.” J. Photonics Energy. 2014, 4, 041598. DOI:10.1117/1.JPE.4.041598
  • Jamieson, E. R. Eppley, H. J.; Geselbracht, M.; Johnson, A. J.; Reisner, B. A.; Smith, S.R.; Stewart, J. L.; Watson, L. A.; Williams, B. S. “Inorganic Chemistry and IONiC: An Online Community Bringing Cutting-Edge Research into the Classroom.” Inorg. Chem.2011, 50, 5849-5854. DOI: 10.1021/ic2006919
  • Bennett, T. D.; Tan, J.-C.; Moggach, S. A.; Galvelis, R.; Mellot-Draznieks, C.; Reisner, B. A.; Thirumurugan, A.; Allan, D. R.; Cheetham, A. K. Mechanical properties of Dense Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks: A High Pressure X-ray Diffraction, Nanoindentation and Computational Study of the Zinc Framework Zn(Im)2, and its Lithium-Boron Analogue, LiB(Im)4. Chem. Eur. J. 2010, 16, 10684-10690. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201001415
  • Reisner, B. A.; Eppley, H. J.; Geselbracht, M.; Jamieson, E. R.; Johnson, A. J.; Smith, S.R.; Stewart, J. L.; Watson, L. A.; Williams, B. S. Building an Online Teaching Community: An Evolving Tale of Communication, Collaboration, and Chemistry. In Enhancing Learning with Online Resources, Social Networking, and Digital Libraries; Belford, R.; Moore, J.; Pence, H.,Eds.; ACS Symposium Series 1060; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC , 2010; pp. 309-330. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2010-1060.ch016
  • Geselbracht, M. J.; Reisner, B.A. Inorganic Chemistry Learning Objects for Use in the General Chemistry Curriculum. J. Chem. Educ. 2010, 87, 756-757. DOI: 10.1021/ed100366m
  • Reisner, B. A.; Williams, B. S. Visible Teaching: Moving from a Solitary Practice to a Community Endeavor. J. Chem. Educ. 2010, 87, 252-253. DOI: 10.1201/ed800104t
  • Benatan, E.; Dene, J.; Eppley, H. J.; Geselbracht, M. J.; Jamieson, E. R.; Johnson, A. R.; Reisner, B. A.; Stewart, J. L.; Watson, L. A.; Williams, B. S. JCE VIPEr: An Inorganic Teaching and Learning Community.  J. Chem. Educ. 2009, 86, 766-767. DOI: 10.1021/ed086p766
  • Benatan, E., Dene, J., Eppley, H., Geselbracht, M., Jamieson, E., Johnson, A., Reisner, B., Stewart, J., Watson, L. and Williams, B. Come for the Content, Stay for the Community,” in "Innovative Practices for Challenging Times. Academic Commons.  Published online, September 2009.
  • Johnson, A.; Benatan, E.; Dene, J.; Eppley, H.; Geselbracht, M.; Jamieson, E.; Reisner, B.; Stewart, J.; Watson, L.; Williams, B. The Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource:  An Online Teaching Materials Repository and Interactive Social Networking Environment for Inorganic Chemistry Educators, in EDULEARN09, Proceedings of the International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona, Spain, July 6-8, 2009; IATED, Ed. (
  • Benatan, E., Eppley, H. J., Geselbracht, M. J., Johnson, A. R., Reisner, B. A., Stewart, J. L., Watson, L. and Williams, B. S. IONiC: A Cyber-Enabled Community of Practice for Improving Inorganic Chemical Education.  J. Chem. Educ. 2009, 86, 123. DOI: 10.1021/ed086p123.2
  • Augustine, B. H.; Caran, K. L.;. Reisner, B. A. An Evolutionary Approach to Nanoscience in the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum at James Madison University. In Nanotechnology in Undergraduate Education;. Pacheco, K. A. Ed.; ACS Symposium Series 1010; American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C., 2009; pp. 19-48. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2009-1010.ch003
  • Corsepius, N.C.; DeVore, T. C.; Reisner, B.A.; Warnaar, D.L. Determination of the coefficient of thermal expansion using variable temperature X-ray diffraction. J. Chem. Educ. 2007, 84, 818-821. DOI: 10.1021/ed084p818
  • Augustine, B. H.; Reisner, B. A.; Caran, K. L., The Nanoscience Undergraduate Education (NUE) Program at James Madison University. Proc. Mat. Res. Soc. 2006, 931, 13-18.
  • Mattox, A. C.; Rickey, D; Reisner, B.A. What happens when chemical compounds dissolve in water?  An introduction to the MORE thinking frame. J. Chem. Educ. 2006, 83, 622-624. DOI: 10.1021/ed083p622
  • Gemmill, W. R., Smith, M. D.; Reisner, B.A. A tetrahedrally coordinated cobalt(II) aminophosphonate containing one-dimensional channels. J. Solid State Chem. 2005, 178, 2658-2662. DOI: 10.1016/j.jssc.2005.05.035

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