Nicholas Jackson's directory photo.

Nicholas Jackson

Assistant Professor

Primary Affiliation

Artificial Intelligence for Materials


Status Part-time Faculty

Home Department of Chemistry



Address 3209 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography

    Nicholas Jackson is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry. He is an assistant professor. His primary affiliation is Artificial Intelligence for Materials.


    • B.A., physics, Wesleyan University, 2011

    • Ph.D., chemistry, Northwestern University, 2016

  • Honors
    • 2021: Dreyfus Machine Learning in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Award

    • 2021: ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award

    • 2021: 3M Nontenured Faculty Award

    • 2019: University of Chicago Maria Lastra Excellence in Mentoring Award 

    • 2019: ACS PHYS Young Investigator Award 

    • 2019: Materials Research Society Postdoctoral Award 

    • 2015: Northwestern University Presidential Fellowship 

    • 2015: Materials Research Society Graduate Student Silver Award 

    • 2014: Telluride Science Research Center Paul Barbara Scholarship 

    • 2013: Northwestern Lambert Award for Excellence in Graduate Research 

    • 2012: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

  • Research

    Research Interests:

    • Theoretical materials chemistry

    • Coarse-graining and multiscale simulations

    • Charge transport

    • Data-driven and machine learning approaches to soft materials

    The Jackson Lab integrates quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and machine learning to understand the multiscale structure and electronic properties of soft materials. We are focused on the design of electronic properties in soft materials, including conductive, optical, bioelectronic, electrostatic and degradation behavior.

  • 2021

    • Cohen, A.; Jackson, N.E.*; de Pablo, J.J.* “Anisotropic Coarse-Grained Model for Conjugated Polymers: Investigations into Solution Morphologies” Macromolecules, 2021, 54, 8, 3780-3789
    • Jackson, N.E.* “Coarse-Graining Organic Semiconductors: The Path to Multiscale Design,” J. Phys. Chem. B., 2021, 125, 2, 485-496.
    • Li, J.; Pudar, S.; Yu, H.; Li, S.; Moore, J.S.; Rodriguez-Lopez, J.; Jackson, N.E.; Schroeder, C.M. “Reversible Switching of Molecular Conductance in Viologens is Controlled by the Electrochemical Environment” J. Phys. Chem. C 2021, 125, 40, 21862-21872
    • Maier, J.C.; Jackson, N.E.* “Sequence-Controlled Electron Transport in Conjugated Copolymers” Macromolecules 2021, 54, 15, 7060-7069.
    • Rumyantsev, A.M.; Jackson, N.E.; de Pablo, J.J. “Polyelectrolyte Complex Coacervates: Recent Developments and New Frontiers,” Annu. Rev. Condens. Matter Phys. 2021, 12:1.
    • Rumyantsev, A.M.; Jackson, N.E.; Johner, A.; de Pablo, J.J. “Scaling Theory of NetNeutral Sequence-Specific Polyampholytes” Macromolecules, 2021, 54, 8, 3780-3789
    • Sivaraman, G.; Guo, J.; Ward, L.; Hoyt, N.; Williamson, M.; Foster, I.; Benmore, C.; Jackson, N.E.* “Automated Development of Molten Salt Machine Learning Potentials: Application to LiCl” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2021, 12, 17, 4278-4285.
    • Sivaraman, G; Jackson, N.E.* “Coarse-Grained Density Functional Theory Predictions via Deep Kernel Learning” – Submitted – J. Chem. Theory Comput
    • Yu, B.; Rumyantsev, A.M.; Jackson, N.E.; Liang, H.; Ting, J.M.; Meng, S.; Tirrell, M.V.; de Pablo, J.J. “Complex Coacervation of Statistical Polyelectrolytes: Role of Monomer Sequences and Formation of Inhomogeneous Coacervates” – Accepted - Mol. Syst. Des. Eng. 2021, 6, 790-804. (Named an MSDE HOT Article)
    • Yu, H.; Li, J.; Li, S.; Jackson, N.E.; Moore, J.S.; Schroeder, C.M. “Enhanced Intermolecular Charge Transport in pi-Stacked Pyridinium Dimers using Cucurbit[8]uril Supramolecular Complexes” – Submitted – J. Am. Chem. Soc.


    • Bagchi, K.; Deng, C.; Bishop, C.; Li, Y.; Jackson, N.E.; Yu, L.; Toney, M.F.; de Pablo, J.J.; Ediger, M.D. “Over what length scale does an inorganic substrate perturb the structure of a glassy organic semiconductor?” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2020, 12, 26717-26726.
    • Jackson, N.E.*; Bowen, A.S.; de Pablo, J.J.* “Efficient Multiscale Optoelectronic Prediction for Conjugated Polymers,” Macromolecules, 2020, 53, 482-490.
    • Sivaraman, G.^; Jackson, N.E.^*; Sanchez-Lengeling, B.; Vasquez-Mayagoitia, A.; Aspuru-Guzik A.; Vishwanath, V.; de Pablo, J.J.* “A machine learning workflow for molecular analysis: application to molecular melting points,” Mach. Learn.: Sci. Technol., 2020, 1, 025015.
    • Webb, M.A.; Jackson, N.E.; Gil, P.S.; de Pablo, J.J. “Targeted Sequence Design within the Coarse-Grained Polymer Genome,” Sci. Adv. 2020, 6 : eabc6216.
    • Wu, H.; Yu, B.; Ting, J.M.; Meng, S.; Jackson, N.E.; de Pablo, J.J.; Tirrell, M.V. “Spatiotemporal Formation and Growth Kinetics of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles with Millisecond Resolution,” ACS Macro Lett., 2020, 9, 11, 1674-1680.
    • Yu, B.; Rauscher, P.M.; Jackson, N.E.; Rumyantsev, A.M.; de Pablo, J.J. “Crossover from Unentangled to Entangled Dynamics in Salt-Free Polyelectrolyte Complex Coacervates,” ACS Macro. Lett. 2020, 9, 9, 1318-1324.


    • de Pablo, J.J.; Jackson, N.E.; Webb, M.A.; Chen, L-C.; Moore, J.; Morgan, D.; Pollock, T.; Schlom, D.; Toberer, E.; Analytis, J.; Dabo, I.; DeLongchamp, D.; Fiete, G.; Grason, G.; Hautier, G.; Mo, Y.; Rajan, K.; Reed, E.; Rodriguez, E.; Stevanovic, V.; Suntivich, J.; Thornton, K.; Zhao, J-C.; “New Frontiers for the Materials Genome Initiative, npj Comput. Mater., 2019, 5, 1, pp 41.
    • Bagchi, K.; Jackson, N.E.; Gujral, A.; Huang, C.; Toney, M.F.; Yu, L.; de Pablo, J.J. Ediger, M.D. “Origin of anisotropic molecular packing in vapor deposited Alq3 glasses,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2019, 10, pp 164-170.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Bowen, A.S.; Antony, L.W.; Webb, M.A.; Vishwanath, V.; de Pablo, J.J. “Electronic Structure at Coarse-Grained Resolutions from Supervised Machine Learning,” Sci. Adv., 2019, 5 (3); eaa1190.
    • Jackson, N.E.^; Webb, M.A.^; de Pablo, J.J. “Recent Advances in Machine Learning Towards Multiscale Soft Materials Design,” Curr. Opin. Chem. Eng., 2019, 23:1-9.
    • Rumyantsev, A.M.; Jackson, N.E; Yu, B.; Ting, J.M.; Tirrell, M.V.; de Pablo, J.J. “Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences,” ACS Macro. Lett., 2019, 8, 10, 1296-1302.


    • Jackson, N.E.; Webb, M.A.; de Pablo, J.J. “Layered Nested Markov Chain Monte Carlo,” J. Chem. Phys., 2018, 149, 072326.
    • Bowen, A.; Jackson, N.E.; Reid, D.R.; de Pablo, J.J. “Structural Correlations and Percolation in Twisted Perylene Diimides using a Simple Anisotropic Coarse-Grained Model,” J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2018, 14, (12), pp 6495-6504.
    • Kohlstedt, K.L.; Jackson, N.E.; Savoie, B.M.; Ratner, M.A. “Introduction to Organic Semiconductors Using Accessible Undergraduate Chemistry Concepts,” J. Chem. Educ., 2018, 95 (9), pp 1500-1511.
    • Langenberg, M.; Jackson, N.E.; de Pablo, J.J.; Muller, M. “Role of translational entropy in spatially inhomogeneous, coarse-grained models,” J. Chem. Phys., 2018, 148, 094112.
    • Reid, D.R.; Jackson, N.E.; Bourque, A.J.; Snyder, C.R.; Jones, R.L.; de Pablo, J.J. “Aggregation and Solubility of a Model Conjugated Donor-Acceptor Polymer,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2018, 9 (16), pp 4802-4807.
    • Yu, J.^; Jackson, N.E.^; Xu, X.; Morgenstern, Y.; Kaufman, Y.; Ruths, M.; de Pablo, J.J.; Tirrell, M. “Multivalent counterions diminish the lubricity of polyelectrolyte brushes,” Science, 2018, 360 (6396), pp 1434-1438.


    • Antony, L.W.; Jackson, N.E.; Lyubimov, I.; Vishwanath, V.; Ediger, M.D.; de Pablo, J.J. “Influence of Vapor Deposition on Structural and Charge Transport Properties of Ethyl Benzene Films,” ACS Cent. Sci, 2017, 3 (5), pp 415-424.
    • Gagorik, A.G.; Savoie, B.M.; Jackson, N.E.; Agrawal, A.; Kohlstedt, K.L.; Choudhary A.; Ratner, M.A.; Schatz, G.C. “Improved Scaling of Molecular Network Calculations: The Emergence of Molecular Domains,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2017, 8 (2), pp 415-421.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Brettmann, B.K.; Vishwanath, V.; Tirrell, M.; de Pablo, J.J. “Comparing Solvophobic and Multivalent Induced Collapse in Polyelectrolyte Brushes,” ACS Macro. Lett., 2017, 6 (2), pp 155-160.
    • Manley, E.F.; Strzalka, J.; Fauvell, T.J.; Jackson, N.E.; Marks, T.J.; Chen, L.X. “In-Situ GIWAXS Analysis of Solvent and Additive Effects on PTB7 Thin-Film Microstructure Evolution During Spin-Coating,” Adv. Mater., 2017, 29, 1703933.
    • Mosquera, M.; Jackson, N.E.; Chen, L.X.; Schatz, G.C.; Ratner, M.A. “Exciton Absorption by Linear Reponse Methods: Application to Conjugated Polymers,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139(10), pp 3728-3735.
    • Root, S.E.; Jackson, N.E.; Savagatrup, S.; Arya, G.; Lipomi, D.J. “Modelling the morphology and thermomechanical behavior of low-bandgap conjugated polymers and bulk heterojunction films,” Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, 10, 558-569.
    • Yu, J.^; Jackson, N.E.^; Xu, X.; Brettmann, B.K.; Ruths, M.; de Pablo, J.J.; Tirrell, M. “Multivalent Ions Induce Lateral Structural Inhomogeneities in Polyelectrolyte Brushes,” Sci. Adv., 2017, 3 (12); eaao1497.


    • Hartnett, P.E.; Matte, R.H.S.S.; Eastham, N.D.; Jackson, N.E.; Wu, Y.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A.; Chang, R.P.H.; Hersam, M.C.; Wasielewski, M.R.; Marks, T.J. “Ring-Fusion as a Perylenediimide Dimer Design Concept for High-Performance Non-Fullerene Organic Photovoltaic Acceptors,” Chem. Sci., 2016, 7 (6), 3543-3555.
    • Chen, L.X.; Shelby, M.L.; Lestrange, P.J.; Jackson, N.E.; Haldrup, K.; Stickrath, A.B.; Zhu, D.; Lemke, H.; Hoffman, B.M.; Li, X. “Imaging ultrafast excited state pathways in transition metal complexes by X-ray transient absorption and scattering using X-ray free electron laser source,” Faraday Discussions, 2016, 194, pp 639-658.
    • Fauvell, T.J.; Zheng, T.; Jackson, N.E.; Ratner, M.A.; Yu, L.; Chen, L.X. “The Photophysical and Morphological Implications of Single-Strand Conjugated Polymer Folding in Solution,” Chem. Mater., 2016, 28 (8), 2814-2822.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “Charge Transport Network Dynamics in Molecular Aggregates,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2016, 113 (31), pp 8595-8600.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Kohlstedt, K.L.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “A n-Vector Model for Charge Transport in Molecular Semiconductors,” J. Chem. Phys., 2016, 145, 204102.
    • Pandit, B.; Jackson, N.E.; Zheng, T.; Fauvell, T.J.; Manley, E.F.; Orr, M.; Brown-Xu, S.; Yu, L.; Chen, L.X. “Molecular Structure Controlled Transitions Between Free Charge Generation and Trap Formation in a Conjugated Copolymer Series,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120 (8), pp 4189-4198.
    • Shelby, M.L.; Lestrange, P.J.; Jackson, N.E.; Mara, M.W.; Haldrup, K.; Stickrath, A.B.; Zhu, D.; Lemke, H.; Hoffman, B.M.; Li, X.; Chen, L.X. “Ultrafast Excited State Relaxation of a Metalloporphyrin Revealed by Femtosecond X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (28), pp 8752-8764.
    • Storm, F.E.; Olsten, S.T.; Hansen, T.; De Vico, L.; Jackson, N.E.; Ratner, M.A.; Mikkelsen, K.V. “Boron Subphthalocyanine Based Molecular Triad Systems for the Capture of Solar Energy,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 2016, 120 (390), pp 7694-7703.


    • Jackson, N.E.*,^; Savoie, B.M.^; Marks, T.J.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “The Next Breakthrough for Organic Photovoltaics,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2015, 6 (1), pp 77-84.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Kohlstedt, K.L.; Savoie, B.M.; Olvera de la Cruz, M.; Schatz, G.C.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “Conformational Order in Aggregates of Conjugated Polymers,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137 (19), pp 6254-6262.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Savoie, B.M.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “A Simple Index for Characterizing Charge Transport in Molecular Materials,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2015, 6 (6), pp 1018-1021.


    • Savoie, B.M.; Jackson, N.E.; Chen, L.X.; Marks, T.J.; Ratner, M.A. “Mesoscopic Features of Charge Generation in Organic Semiconductors,” Acc. Chem. Res., 2014, 47 (11), pp 3385- 3394.
    • Zheng, T.; Lu, L.; Jackson, N.E.; Lou, S.J.; Chen, L.X.; Yu, L. “Roles of Quinoidal Character and Regioregularity in Determining the Optoelectronic and Photovoltaic Properties of Conjugated Polymers,” Macromolecules, 2014, 47 (18), pp 6252-6259.
    • Fransted, K.A.; Jackson, N.E.; Zong, R.; Mara, M.W.; Huang, J.; Harpham, M.R.; Shelby, M.L.; Thummel, R.P.; Chen, L.X. “Ultrafast Structural Dynamics of Cu(I)-Bicinchoninic Acid and Their Implications for Solar Energy Applications,” J. Phys. Chem. A,, 2014, 118 (45), pp 10497- 10506.
    • Jackson, N.E.*; Savoie, B.M.; Kohlstedt, K.L.; Marks, T.J.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “Structural and Conformational Dispersion in the Rational Design of Conjugated Polymers,” Macromolecules, 2014, 47 (3), pp 987-992.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “Solubility of Nonelectrolytes: A First-Principles, Computational Approach,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 2014, 118 (19), pp 5194-5202.
    • Jackson, N.E.; Heitzer, H.M.; Savoie, B.M.; Reuter, M.D.; Ratner, M.A. “Emergent Properties in Locally Ordered Molecular Materials,” Isr. J. Chem., 2014, 54, no. 5-6, pp 454-466.
    • Savoie, B.M.; Kohlstedt, K.L.; Jackson, N.E.; Chen, L.X.; Olvera de la Cruz, M.; Schatz, G.C.; Marks, T.J.; Ratner, M.A. “Mesoscale Molecular Network Formation in Amorphous Organic Materials,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2014, 111 (28), pp 10055-10060.


    • Jackson, N.E.*; Savoie, B.M.; Kohlstedt, K.L.; Olvera de la Cruz, M.; Schatz, G.C.; Chen, L.X.; Ratner, M.A. “Controlling Conformations of Conjugated Polymers and Small Molecules: The Role of Nonbonding Interactions,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135 (28), pp 10475-10483.
    • Mara, M.W.; Jackson, N.E.; Huang, J.; Stickrath, A.B.; Zhang, X.; Gothard, N.A.; Ratner, M.A.; Chen, L.X. “Effects of Electronic and Nuclear Interactions on the Excited-State Properties and Structural Dynamics of Copper (I) Diimine Complexes,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 2013, 117 (6), pp 1921-1931
    • Savoie, B.M.^; Jackson, N.E.^; Marks, T.J.; Ratner, M.A. “Reassessing the Use of Oneelectron Energetics in the Design and Characterization of Organic Photovoltaics,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15 (13), pp 4538-4547.