Ana de Bettencourt-Dias

Ana de Bettencourt-Dias

Susan Magee and Gary Clemons Professor of Chemistry she/her/hers


Ana de Bettencourt-Dias received her ‘licenciatura’ (MS equivalent) in Technological Chemistry from the University of Lisbon in 1993, and her ‘Dr. rer. nat.’ (PhD equivalent) in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Cologne in 1997 with Prof. Thomas Kruck. In her graduate work, she isolated new titanium complexes as single source precursors for the chemical vapor deposition of TiN thin layers. She joined the group of Prof. Alan Balch at UC Davis in 1998 as a Gulbenkian postdoctoral fellow, where she studied the electrochemistry and structure of fullerenes and endohedral fullerenes. In 2001 she joined the faculty at Syracuse University and started her work on luminescent lanthanide ion complexes. She moved to the University of Nevada, Reno, as associate professor in 2007 and was promoted to professor in 2013. Her research centers on light-emitting compounds and coordination chemistry of the f block of the periodic table. She served on the editorial advisory board for Inorg. Chem. from 2013 to 2015, and has been a managing member of the editorial board of the Journal of Rare Earths since 2014. She was program chair of the 2011 and conference chair of the 2014 Rare Earth Research Conference, organizes the lanthanides and actinides symposia at the national meetings of the American Chemical Society and was the 2019 Chair of the Division of Inorganic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. She served as the Associate Vice President for Research at UNR from 2015 to 2019. She returned to being a full-time faculty in July 2019, and is now the Susan Magee & Gary Clemons Professor of Chemistry.

About the Susan Magee and Gary Clemons Professorship

Mackay School of Mines graduate Gary Clemons '81 (earth science) and his wife, Susan Magee Clemons, established two endowed professorships in chemistry and physics to recognize professors who spark students' curiosity and creativity and motivate them to pursue careers in the fields of chemistry and physics. Established: 2012. (College of Science)

Research interests

  • Coordination chemistry and photophysical properties of lanthanide ions
  • Singlet oxygen generation
  • Separation chemistry of lanthanides
  • Luminescent compounds
  • Single molecule magnets


  • 1993 - Licenciatura (MSc) in Technological Chemistry from the University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1997 - Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Cologne, Germany

Selected publications

  • Monteiro, J.H.S.K., Hiti, E.A., Hardy, E.E., Wilkinson, G.R., Gorden, J.D., Gorden, A.E.V., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., ‘Up-Conversion Luminescence in Molecular Cyano-substituted Naphthylsalophen Lanthanide(III) Complexes’, Chemical Communications 2021, DOI: 10.1039/d0cc08128k.
  • de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Rossini, J.S.K., Sobrinho, Josiane A. ‘Effect of the aromatic substituent on the para-position of pyridine-bis(oxazoline) sensitizers on the emission efficiency of their Eu(III) and Tb(III) complexes’, Dalton Transactions, 49, 17699-17708, 2020.
  • Johnson, K.R., Lombardi, V.C., de Bettencourt-Dias, A.‘Photocytotoxicity of Oligothienyl-functionalized Chelates that Sensitize LnIII Luminescence and Generate 1O2’, Chemistry – A European Journal 26, 12060-12066, 2020. Designated as a Hot Paper.
  • Johnson, K.R., Vittardi, S.B., Gracia-Nava, M.A., Rack, J.J., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., ‘Luminescent Lanthanide Complexes with a Pyridine-bis(Carboxamide)-Bithiophene Sensitizer Showing Wavelength-Dependent Singlet Oxygen Generation’ Dalton Transactions, 49, 6661-6667, 2020.
  • Johnson, K.R., Gracia-Nava, M.A., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. ‘Thiophene-derivatized pyridine-biscarboxamide as a sensitizer for LnIII luminescence and 1O2 generation’ Journal of Luminescence, 224, 117309, 2020.
  • Johnson, K.R., Vittardi, S.B., Gracia-Nava, M.A., Rack, J.J., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. ‘Wavelength-dependent singlet oxygen generation in luminescent lanthanide complexes with a pyridine-bis(carboxamide)-terthiophene sensitizer’, Chemistry-A European Journal, 26, 7274-7280, 2020. Designated as Hot Paper.
  • Monteiro, J.H.S.K., Fetto, N.R., Tucker, M.J., Sigoli, F.A., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. ‘Carbazole-based  EuIII and YbIII complexes with high two-photon absorption cross-section and viscosity-sensing with one- and two-photon luminescence’ Inorganic Chemistry, 59, 3193-3199, 2020.
  • de Bettencourt-Dias, A.; Beeler, R.M.; Zimmerman, J.R. ‘Secondary Sphere Chloro- LnIII Complexes with a 1,3,5-Triazine-based Ligand Supported by Anion-𝜋, 𝜋-𝜋 and Hydrogen-bonding Interactions’ Inorganic Chemistry, 59, 151-160, 2020. Special issue on Innovative f-Element Chelating Strategies, chosen for supplementary cover.
  • de Bettencourt-Dias, A.; Beeler, R.M.; Zimmerman, J.R. 'Anion-p and H-Bonding Interactions Supporting Encapsulation of [Ln(NO3)6/5]3-/2- (Ln=Nd, Er) with a Triazine-based Ligand' Journal of the American Chemical Society, 141, 15102-15110, 2019.
  • Johnson, K.R.; de Bettencourt-Dias, A. '1O2 Generating Luminescent Lanthanide Complexes with 1,8-Naphthalimide-based Sensitizers' Inorganic Chemistry, 58, 13471-13480, 2019.
  • Yang, W., Monteiro, J.H.S.K., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Catalano, V.J., Chalifoux, W.A. 'Synthesis, Structure, Photophysical Properties, and Photostability of Benzodipyrenes', Chemistry-A European Journal, 25, 1441-1445, 2019.
  • Monteiro, J.H.S.K, Dutra, J.D.L., Freire, R.O., Formiga, A.L.B., Mazali, I.O., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Sigoli, F.A. 'Estimating the individual spectroscopic properties of three unique EuIII sites in a coordination polymer', Inorganic Chemistry, 57, 15421-15429, 2018.
  • de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Tigaa, R.A. 'Sensitization of near-infrared LnIII [Ln = Yb or Nd] ions using water-soluble, band gap tuneable 3-MPA-capped CdS nanoparticles' Journal of Materials Chemistry C 2018 6, 2814-2821.
  • Monteiro, J.H.S.K., Sigoli, F.A., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. 'A Water-soluble TbIII Complex as Temperature-sensitive Luminescent Probe' Canadian Journal of Chemistry 2018 96, 859-864. Invited contribution for special issue of the Electron Donor-Acceptor Interactions Gordon Research Conference.
  • Monteiro, J.H.S.K., Machado, D., de Hollanda, L.M., Lancellotti, M., Sigoli, F.A., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. 'Selective cytotoxicity and fluorescence imaging of cancer cells with a dipicolinato-based EuIII complex' Chemical Communications 2017 53, 11818-11821.
  • Tigaa, R.A., Aerken, X. Fuchs, A., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. 'Coordination and sensitization of EuIII and TbIII ions by functionalized polycarbonate-based materials' European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2017 44, 5310-5317. Invited contribution for special issue on Luminescent Materials.
  • Tigaa, R.A., Monteiro, J.H.S.K., Silva-Hernandez, S., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. 'Sensitized LnIII-centered emission using fluorescent carbon dots' Journal of Luminescence 2017 192, 1273-1277.
  • Tigaa, R.A., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. 'Synthesis and characterization of two tritylthio-derivatives: 1-bromo-3-tritylthiopropane and 2-(tritylthio)-ethanediol' Journal of Chemical Crystallography 2017 47, 233-240.
  • Tigaa, R.A., Lucas, G.J., de Bettencourt-Dias, A. 'ZnS Nanoparticles Sensitize Luminescence of Capping-Ligand-Bound Lanthanide Ions' Inorganic Chemistry 2017 56, 3260-3268.
  • Monteiro, J.H.S.K., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Sigoli, F.A. 'Estimating the Donor-Acceptor Distance To Tune the Emission Efficiency of Luminescent Lanthanide Compounds' Inorganic Chemistry 2017 56, 709-712.
  • de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Rossini, J.S.K. 'Ligand design for luminescent lanthanide-containing metallopolymers' Inorganic Chemistry 2016 55, 9954-9963.
  • Bosshard, G.Z., Brito, G.A., Monteiro, J.H.S.K., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Mazali, I.O., Sigoli, F.A. 'Photophysical properties of asymmetric and water-soluble dinuclear lanthanide complexes of poly glycol chain functionalized benzoic acid derivative: Experimental and theoretical approaches' RSC Advances 2016 6, 101133-101141.
  • Hammoud, H., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Monteiro, J.H.S.K., Rossini, J.S., Schmitt, M., Bourguignon, J.-J., Welter, R., Mameri, S. 'Unusual O-Bridged Symmetric Quinoline-Based Ligand for the Formation of Luminescent Mono-Aqua Lanthanide Complexes' ChemistrySelect 2016, 1, 6618-6622.
  • Yang, W., Monteiro, J.H.S.K., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Catalano, V.J., Chalifoux, W.A., 'Pyrenes, Peropyrenes, and Teropyrenes: Synthesis, Structures, and Photophysical Properties', Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2016 55, 10427-10430.
  • Monteiro, J.H.S.K., de Bettencourt-Dias, A., Mazali, I.O., Sigoli, F.A., 'The effect of 4-halogenobenzoate ligands on luminescent and structural properties of lanthanide complexes: experimental and theoretical approaches', New Journal of Chemistry 2015 59, 1883-1891.

Dr. de Bettencourt Dias's Google Scholar profile

Dr. Ana de Bettencourt-Dias in the news

Learn more about Dr. Ana de Bettencourt-Dias in these articles where she and her research are featured.

China’s Monopoly on Rare Earth Elements Tightens With Purchase of US Mine—Seeker
Seeker logo
A whole new world for rare earths—Chemical & Engineering News
Rare earth minerals in piles.

Robotics Day 2017 featuring Dr. Ana de Bettencourt-Dias

Prof. Dr. Ana de Bettencourt-Dias opens the main event of the Robotics Day organized by the Autonomous Robots Lab.