Materials Science

The Materials Research Initiative aims to advance specific energy, sensing and environmental applications.


Johnstone, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Medicinal bioinorganic chemistry; synthetic inorganic chemistry; nanoparticle drug delivery; inorganic spectroscopy; small-molecule X-ray crystallography; mammalian and microbiological cell culture, infectious diseases

Oliver, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty Undergraduate Advisor
Materials chemistry, microporous materials, polymer templating, self-assembled monolayers for thin film devices


Braslau, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Synthetic organic chemistry, functionalized polymers, internally plasticized PVC to prevent contamination of the environment by Endocrine Disrupting Compounds, new synthetic methodology using free radicals; nitroxides, nitroxide-mediated controlled polymerizations,  designed polymers for applications in nanotechnology 

Physical / Theortical

 Ayzner, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Physical chemistry of organic semiconductors; energy and electron transfer dynamics; conjugated polymer physics; supramolecular assembly; charge transport in organic thin films

Benjamin, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department Chair
Theoretical chemistry, molecular dynamics of chemical reactions in liquids and at interfaces

Chen, Professor of Chemistry and Biochcemistry
Synthesis, characterization, and manipulation of novel functional nanomaterials (metals and semiconductors); their long-range ordered assemblies and related nanoscale electron transfer; applications in fuel cells, photovoltaics and electronic devices

Li, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Materials chemistry, energy conversion and storage, catalysis

Ping, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Theoretical chemistry, materials chemistry, solar energy conversion, electronic structure, optical and catalytic properties of transition metal oxides and interfaces

Zhang, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Design, synthesis, characterization and application of nanomaterials, including semiconductor, metal, and metal oxides; femtosecond laser and optical spectroscopy; ultrafast dynamics in condensed phases and at interfaces; solar energy conversion and hydrogen generation and storage; cancer biomarker detection.

(* Notates lab currently not accepting grad students)