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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Outten, C. Group


The seven research areas are comprised of faculty who have long excelled in interdisciplinary research.  Their diverse interests are served by core facilities open to all members of the department.

See each individual area of interest for a listing of the participating faculty members.



Analytical chemistry includes applied spectroscopy, environmental processes and fieldwork, forensics and biomedical research.  Project tools include mass spectrometry, laser remote spectroscopy, kinetics, voltammetry, chromatography and multivariate spectroscopy.  Applications include climate change research, resource protection, energy generation, marine and planetary exploration, psychobiology, environmental remediation and homeland security.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The research interests of these faculty encompass all areas of biochemistry including cell and molecular biology, enzymology, spectroscopy, protein crystallography, and bio-inorganic chemistry. 



Environmental chemistry is about understanding the movement and reactions of chemicals in the world and how these relate to society.  Our faculty apply this knowledge to technological problems like the provision of clean drinking water; the fate of toxic chemicals in water, soil and food and global problems like climate change and the effects of ice shelf collapse on the chemistry of the oceans.



The inorganic chemistry division consists of seven groups working in the fields of inorganic chemistry, solid-state chemistry, hybrid materials, organometallics, and catalysis.  Synthetic chemistry and materials characterization are major components of our research.



The research interests of the organic chemistry faculty include organic synthesis, physical organic, polymer, supramolecular, and bio-organic chemistries.


Physical and Theoretical

Research in physical and theoretical chemistry is focused on studies of molecular systems and chemical reactions in homogeneous and heterogeneous environments and on advanced spectroscopy.  The research scope goes from theoretical and computational chemistry to synthesis and characterization of nanophase materials, to processes in solutions, catalysis and surface chemistry.



Synthetic polymer chemistry towards functional, sustainable polymers and polymer nanocomposites enables judicious combinations of new materials with novel properties.  We have a comprehensive suite of polymer characterization facilities to target emerging polymer research programs ranging from biomedical applications, to nanoparticles, and energy storage devices.


Core Facilities

Our dedicated core facilities include NMR, mass spectrometry, powder x-ray diffraction, single-crystal x-ray diffraction, small-angle x-ray scattering, electron microscopy, magnetic measurement and mechanical prototype facilities as well as a Linux computational cluster.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.