Research in Materials Chemistry

"Materials Chemistry" can be defined as the branch of chemistry aimed at the preparation, characterization, and understanding of substances/systems that have some specific useful function (or potentially useful function).  It involves 4 primary components: preparation /synthesis ("How are materials made?"), structure ("How are they put together"), characterization ("How do they behave?") and applications ("What are they good for?"). It integrates elements from all four classical areas of chemistry, but puts an intellectual focus on the fundamental scientific issues that are unique to "materials".

Materials Chemistry largely involves the study of chemistry of condensed phases (solids, liquids, polymers) and interfaces between different phases. Because many of these materials have direct technological applications, materials chemistry has a strong link between basic science and many existing and newly-emerging technologies. While chemistry-focused, the Materials Chemistry Program also serves as a bridge between chemistry and the engineering and life sciences.

Here are just a few examples of some of the many materials chemistry projects that are ongoing in our department.

  • Rational chemical synthesis of nanoscale and nanostructured materials 

  • Development of new surface-based methods for detecting and manipulating biological molecules (bio-chips, bio-electronics).

  • Intermetallic Compounds.

  • New organic or inorganic materials fro electronics, photonics, and spintronics.

  • Surface/interface chemistry of microelectronic materials (silicon, diamond, gold).

  • Organic-inorganic interfaces.

  • Nano-Calorimetry to probe properties of extremely stable glasses.

  • Theoretical studies of soft condense matter.

  • Single-Molecule Techniques to study electronic properties of conjugated polymers.

  • Supercooled liquids/diffusion in thin films.

  • Dynamics in actively-deformed polymer glasses.                                    

  • Ion transport membranes.

  • Synthesis and characterization of new polymeric materials.

  • Semiconductor-based chemical sensors.

  • Synthesis and characterization of organic non-linear optical materials.

  • Coherent multidimensional spectroscopy and its application in investigating materials