Neil Bartlett (born September 15, 1932) is an English-born American chemist.
He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England and educated at King's College, Durham, England, where he received his doctorate.
In 1958 he went to the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, where he made a startling discovery in 1962 when he prepared the first noble gas compound, xenon hexafluoroplatinate, Xe+[PtF6]-. This contradicted all ideas chemists had of the nature of valency, as it was believed that xenon, like all noble gases, was totally inert to chemical combination. (This had been explained by such theoretical treatments as Gilbert N. Lewis' octet rule.) He subsequently produced several other compounds of xenon: XeF2, XeF4, and XeF6. He stayed on the UBC faculty until 1966.
In 1966 he went to the United States, first being affiliated with Princeton University, where he held a chair in conjunction with a position at Bell Laboratories.
In 1969 he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in conjunction with a position at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
In 1973 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society (United Kingdom). In 1979 he was honored as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (U. S. A.). He has also received many other awards and honorary degrees.
He retired from the Berkeley faculty in 1993 and from the Lawrence Laboratory in 1999.