Physical Chemistry

Physical Division

About Physical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry is the application of fundamental laws and methods of physics to understand chemical structure and processes. Research in the department encompasses many fundamental applications with a strong interdisciplinary focus. The research in the department includes studies of the light-induced photochemical events in pigments and proteins in photosynthesis and vision; solar energy capture; optical and structural properties of nanoparticles at the single particle level; large-scale quantum chemical methods for protein structure and function; computation of structural and electronic properties of enzyme reactions; and atomistic simulations of monolayer protected nano-clusters.

The physical chemistry groups in the department use a wide range of modern experimental and computational techniques, including steady-state and ultrafast time-resolved optical spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, directed evolution to optimize proteins for device applications, molecular dynamic simulations of proteins and biomaterials, quantum chemistry techniques, Raman scattering, and plasmonics.

Associated Faculty


Harry Frank

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus

CHEM A-213


Jie He

Assistant Professor

CHEM A-319

Rebecca Quardokus

Rebecca Quardokus

Assistant Professor

CHEM A-410


Jing Zhao

Associate Professor

CHEM A-413