Patty J. Wisian-Neilson

Professor Emeritus



Office Location

309 Fondren Science





Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin, 1976; B.S., Chemistry, Texas Lutheran College, 1971
  • Professor, Southern Methodist University, 1996-present
  • Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University, 1990-1996
  • Assistant Professor, Southern Methodist University, 1984-1990
  • Research Scientists, Texas Christian University, 1979-1984
  • Postdoc, University of Texas at Arlington, 1978
  • Postdoc, Duke University, 1976-1978

Research Interests

  • Inorganic
  • Polymers
  • Synthesis

Our lab focuses on the synthesis, characterization and applications of both cyclic and polymeric phosphazenes, particularly those in which there are two substituents attached to each phosphorus atoms by direct P–C bonds, e.g., [(Ph)(Me)PN]n. We prepare both the cyclic and polymeric phosphazenes with simple alkyl and aryl substituents, R and R', from condensation reactions of N-silylphosphoranimines, Me3SiNP(OPh)RR', and subsequently study synthetic methods for modifying the alkyl and aryl groups attached to phosphorus to facilitate tuning the properties of these materials for potential applications in medicine and engineering.

Selected Publications

1. Tsarevsky, N.; Woodruff, S.; Wisian-Neilson, P. J. "An Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory: Synthesis of Well-Defined Polymers by Low-Catalyst-Concentration ATRP and Postpolymerization Modification to Fluorescent Materials" J. Chem. Ed. 2016, 93, 1452–1459.
2. Bačovská, R.; Wisian-Neilson, P.; Alberti, M.; Příhoda, J.; Zárybnická, L.; Voráč, Z. "Phenylmethyl phosphazene Derivatives for Preparation and Modification of Hydrophobic Properties of Polymeric Nonwoven Textiles"  Reactive and Functional Polymers, doi:10.1016/j.reactfunctpolym.2015.12.013; 2016, 100, 53–63.
3. Mercado, R.-M.L.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, H.; Wisian-Neilson, P. "Synthesis of (Silylamino)phospholenes and Their Derivatives: Synthesis of a New Spirocyclic Phosphazene” Phosphorus, Sulfur Silicon Relat. Elem. 2015, 190, 2194–2206.
4. Kraiter, D. C.; Wisian-Neilson, P; Zhang, C.; Crumbliss, A. L. "Synthesis and Redox Characterization of Phosphazene Terpolymers with Pendant Ferrocene Groups", Macromolecules 2012, 45, 3658-3668.
5. Wisian-Neilson, P. "Polyphosphazenes from Condensation Polymerization", in Biomedical Applications of Polyphosphazenes, Alexander K. Andrianov, Ed., Wiley, New Jersey, 2009, Chapter 10, pp. 155-167.
6. Kmecko, T.; Wang, X.; Wisian-Neilson, P. "Surface Chemical Modification of Poly(methylphenylphosphazene)" J. Inorg. Organomet. Polym. Mater. 2007, 17, 413-321.
7. Cambre, J. N., Wisian-Neilson, P. "Poly(methylphenylphosphazene)-graft-Poly(methyl methacrylate) Copolymers via Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization" J. Inorg. Organomet. Polym. Mater. 2006, 16, 311-318.
8. Wisian-Neilson, P; Jung, J.-H.; Potluri, S. K. "Cyclic and Polymeric Alkyl/Aryl Phosphazenes", ACS Symposium Series 917 "Modern Aspects of Main Group Chemistry", American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2006, pp. 335-346.
9. Jung, J.-H.; Kmecko, T.; Claypool, C. L.; Zhang, H.; Wisian-Neilson, P. "Synthesis and Characterizations of Sulfur-Containing Nongeminal Cyclic and Polymeric Alkylarylphosphazenes", Macromolecules 2005, 38, 2122 - 2130.
10. Jung, J.-H.; Potluri, S. K.; Zhang, H.; Wisian-Neilson, P. "Synthesis and Reactivity of Nongeminally Substituted Cyclic Phosphazenes with Haloalkyl and Thioester Groups", Inorg. Chem. 2004, 43, 7784 - 7791.
11. Jung, J.-H.; Pomeroy, J. C.; Zhang, H.; Wisian-Neilson, P. "Isolation and Characterization of Nongeminal Cyclic Methylphenylphosphazene Tetramers" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 15537-15542.


  • President's Associates Outstanding Faculty Award, SMU, 2013
  • Perrine Prize (Phi Beta Kappa), 2013
  • H.O.P.E. Professor of the Year, SMU, 2012
  • W.T. Doherty Award of the American Chemical Society, DFW Section, 2006
  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers, SMU, 2005-2007
  • Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, SMU, 2005
  • Margareta Deschner Teaching Award, SMU, April, 1995

Courses Taught

  • General Chemistry (CHEM 1303/4)
  • Advanced Inorganic Synthesis (CHEM 5192)
  • Overview of Materials Chemistry (CHEM 6118)

Patty Neilson portrait