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Physical Chemistry

Physical chemistry is concerned with the fundamental principles of chemistry, and serves as the underpinning for all other branches of chemical sciences.

Ph.D. students choose from graduate classes in Molecular Quantum Chemistry, Statistical Thermodynamics, Chemical Kinetics, Condensed Matter Physics, Molecular Dynamics and Biomolecular Simulation, Molecular Spectroscopy.Thompson

Anne Kelley's group focuses on using the inelastic laser-light scattering technique of resonance Raman spectroscopy to study atomic-level details of how molecules interact with light; the nonlinear optical properties of materials; and analytical applications of metal nanoparticles. 

David Kelley's group uses ultrafast optical spectroscopy to examine the optical and electronic properties of semiconductor nanoparticles that have potential in solar photovoltaics and display technologies.GaSe quantum dots on a gold surface, courtesy of Professor Tao Ye.

Tao Ye's group employs scanning probe microscopy to understand how molecules self-assemble at surfaces and interfaces.

Erik Menke's group studies ion transport and electron transfer in non-aqueous electrolytes.Son Nguyen


Son Nguyen’s group studies the photocatalytic mechanism of metallic nanocrystals via chemical kinetic and spectroscopic methods.

Liang Shi's group employs theory and simulation to study heterogeneous molecular systems for energy applications.

Thermodynamic breakdown of solute-mediated changes to protein stability, courtesy of Professor Shahar Sukenik.Shahar Sukenik's lab combines biophysical spectroscopic methods, microscopy, and simulations to study how protein structure and self-assembly are affected by changes to solution composition.

The Thompson Lab combines the techniques of experimental physical chemistry and traditional structural biology to explore the conformational landscapes of protein molecules and identify the structural states and molecular motions that define their biological activities.



Representative Publications