Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSB is organized into several areas. Biochemistry research centers on the themes of bio-organic and bio-inorganic reaction mechanisms, protein-nucleic acid recognition, nucleic acid structure and dynamics, and membrane transport. Areas of emphasis within the Inorganic/Analytical Division include chemical and biochemical catalysis, photochemical phenomena, nano-technology, and materials chemistry. Materials chemists focus on the synthesis and properties of new multi-molecule arrays such as plastics, films and surfaces. Ongoing organic chemistry research spans all the major areas and encompasses topics such as enzymatic processes, synthesis of biologically important natural products, new asymmetric methods, novel organometallic catalyst development, and much more. Emphasis in experimental physical chemistry includes the energetics, chemical kinetics, reaction dynamics, structure, and nonlinear optical properties of neutral as well as ionic molecules in the gas and condensed phases. The theoretical chemistry group is active in fields ranging from the electronic structure of small molecules and polymers, to developing methods for simulating quantum and statistical dynamics, to surface science, and to biochemistry at both the molecular and cellular level. Additionally, faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry participate in UCSB interdisciplinary research organizations.

The department offers the BA in chemistry, a BS in chemistry or biochemistry, and the MA, MS, and PhD degrees in chemistry. The department offers diverse experiences for students at all levels. From undergraduate courses where students build their own NMR instruments to graduate programs that offer research visits to China; the department excels at novel educational opportunities. Research faculty investigate many fascinating aspects of modern chemistry including research in solar energy conversion using plastics and applications of nanoscience to catalysis.

encapsulated gold nanoparticles are excellent catalysts