Professor WONG Ming Wah, Richard

(Head of Department)

B.Sc.(Hons), B. Math., 1985, University of Newcastle; Ph.D., 1989, Australian National University; Postdoctoral Research Fellow, IBM, 1989; Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, 1990-1991.

Contact Information

Office: S8-03-03
Tel: (65)-6516-4320 | Fax: (65)-6779-1691
Email: | Personal webpage


ORCID: 0000-0003-2162-1220
ResearcherID: B-4772-2018


Recognition and Achievements

  • Fukui Medal (Asia-Pacific Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists), 2018
  • Director of Applied Materials-NUS Corporate Lab, 2018 – current
  • Advisory Board member, Adv. Theo & Simul., Asian J. Org. Chem. and J. Anal. & Appl. Pyr.
  • President, Singapore Catalysis Society, 2011 - 2014
  • Chairman, 4th Asian Pacific Conference on Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, 2009
  • Board Member, Asian Pacific Association on Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
  • Outstanding Researcher Award, National University of Singapore, 2002


Research Interests

  • Computational quantum chemistry, organocatalysis, reactive intermediates, hydrogen storage materials, molecular sensors, radical reactions in chemistry and biology, corrosion inhibitors.
  • Weak intermolecular interactions, molecular recognition, materials design for semiconductor industry, computer-aided drug design, chemical informatics & machine learning.


Research Highlight

Ref: Ang, S. J.; Chwee, T.S.; Wong, M. W. Does Halogen Bonding Promote Intersystem Crossing and Phosphorescence in Benzaldehyde? J. Phys. Chem. C 2018, 122, 12441-12447. Based on ab initio excited state calculations on two halogen bonding complexes, benzaldehyde···XF (X = Br and I), we elucidated the effect of halogen bonding (XB) on intersystem crossing (kISC) and phosphorescence (kPH) rates. Our results show that XB reduces the kISC of benzaldehyde and changes the character of T1 from which phosphorescence takes place. The XB induced phosphorescence is predicted. However, the generally accepted assumption that XB enhances spin-orbit coupling and kISC is oversimplified


Representative Publications  

  • Ang, S. J.; Mak, A. M.; Sullivan, M. B.; Wong, M. W. Site Specificity of Halogen Bonding involving Aromatic Acceptors, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2018, 20, 8685-8694.
  • Kee, C. W.; Wong, M. W. In Silico Design of Halogen-Bonding-Based Organocatalyst for Diels-Alder Reaction, Claisen Rearrangement and Cope-Type Hydroamination. J. Org. Chem201681, 7459-7470.
  • Quah, H. S.; Chen, W.; Schreyer, M. K.; Yang, H.; Wong, M. W.; Ji, W.; Vittal, J. J. Multiphoton Harvesting Metal Organic Framework. Nat. Commun. 20156, 7954-7960.
  • Yang, H.; Wong, M. W. Oxyanion Hole Stabilization by C-H▪▪▪O Interaction in Transition State - A Three-Point Interaction Model for Cinchona Alkaloid-Catalyzed Asymmetric Methanolysis of Meso-Cyclic Anhydrides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 5808-5818.
  • Jiang, Z.; Pan, Y.; Zhao, Y.; Ma, T.; Lee, R.; Yang, Y.; Huang, K. W.; Wong, M. W.; Tan, C. H. Synthesis of a Chiral Quaternary Carbon Center Bearing a Fluorine Atom: Enantioselective & Diastereoselective Guanidine-Catalyzed Addition of Fluorocarbon Nucleophiles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 3627-3631.
  • Steudel, R.; Wong, M. W. Dark-Red O8 molecules in Solid Oxygen: Rhomboid Clusters, not S8-like Rings. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 200746, 1768-1771.
  • Wong, M. W. Prediction of a Metastable Helium Compound: HHeF. J. Am. Chem. Soc2000,122, 6289-6290.
  • Wong, M. W. Vibrational Frequency Prediction Using Density Functional Theory, Chem. Phys. Lett. 1996, 256, 391-399. [1024 citations]
  • Wong, M. W.; Frisch, M. J.; Wiberg, K. B. Solvent Effects. 1. The Mediation of Electrostatic Effects by Solvents. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1991, 113, 4776-4782. [1065 citations]