Creating and understanding molecular and nanoscale materials
Materials Chemistry is an interdisciplinary field where students create and investigate novel materials for applications in areas as diverse as energy, sustainability and biology. Our graduate students address these challenges by employing chemical tools and perspectives where a deep knowledge of atomic, molecular and supramolecular structure serves as the foundation. Our advances are demonstrated by excellence in chemical synthesis, characterization, and modeling of functional materials for forefront applications such as solar cell devices, heterogeneous catalysis, and therapeutic drug delivery systems.
Materials Symposium Website
|Bronstein Douglas Flood Li Skrabalak Tait Yu|
Baker Iyengar C Jarrold M Jarrold Raghavachari Zaleski
Probe and control chemical reactions in living cells
Cells transduce and respond to signals through cascades of chemical reactions. Far from the simple kinetic processes we learn from textbooks, these reactions in living cells are linked in complex networks and their spatial and temporal connectivity determines cell behavior. We are interested in analyzing the functional organization of chemical reactions in living cells and developing biomaterials to control cellular signal transduction. Our goal is to apply analytical, physical, and engineering tools to quantitatively study, manipulate, and modify disease processes.
We are interested in creating novel carbon materials for renewable energy applications and optical neuron imaging
We apply physical chemistry principles in designing the materials, organic chemistry in synthesizing the materials and tuning their properties, and spectroscopic techniques in characterizing the materials and devices. Our goal is to develop sustainable ways to use carbon for energy supplies, and new tools to facilitate the understanding of brain functions.
We are interested in organic materials that come together using the principles of self-assembly...
...and can dynamically re-arrange following stimulation using light, electricity and chemical inputs. Our discovery of unexpectedly strong CH hydrogen bonds from easy-to-install triazoles has opened up a whole new class of anion receptors (see figure). We are using them to chelate, transport, regulate and sense chloride, the most abundant anion, for a range of applications involving cystic fibrosis, the nuclear fuel cycle and salty water.
Magnetic nanoparticles with functional shells have received considerable attention...
...because of their promising bioapplications such as biosensors, contrast enhancement agents for magnetic resonance imaging, bioprobes, hyperthermia treatment agents, and magnetically separable catalysts. We synthesize and characterize such core/shell nanoparticles and study their properties and opportunities of their applications.
A long standing challenge in chemistry is to understand and subsequently control...
...the nucleation and growth of inorganic materials to achieve nanostructures with defined size, shape, and composition. Achieving control over these features via synthesis is integral to observing, studying, and manipulating the structure-function relationships of solids. The Skrabalak Laboratory is developing new synthetic strategies which provide such control. This research is coupled with detailed analysis of the chemical processes involved in material synthesis and the development of new methods which capture the transitions between molecular, nanoscale, and bulk materials. We seek to demonstrate the utility of nanomaterials with optimized properties for applications in catalysis, photocatalysis, chemical sensing, and environmental remediation.
The Surface Chemistry Group, led by Professor Steve Tait, is developing self-assembly strategies...
...to produce highly-ordered and functional nanometer-scale architectures at surfaces. These structures have properties that may allow for highly efficient electron transfer interfaces in organic photovoltaic devices and novel strategies for heterogeneous catalysis. State of the art analytical tools are used for characterization: atomic-resolution scanning probe microscopy to characterize surface structures and highly sensitive spectroscopy to detect composition and chemical states of surface species. Current projects in our group are focusing highly robust surface architectures, new interfaces for organic solar cell technologies, patterning of functional organic layers, exploration of new adlayer symmetries, and surface-supported complexes for novel catalysts.
4th year Graduate Student
My decision to attend graduate school to further my academic pursuits was motivated by my interest in the scientific challenge of research and curiosity in understanding the behavior of materials. Specifically, I chose to attend IU because of the quality of education offered in its Ph.D. program, well-equipped research facilities, and interactions with professors and graduate students during recruiting weekend.
At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas for projects under the guidance of my advisor, while having access to other professors and graduate students' experiences. The professors are great individuals who have shown consideration and interest in educating their students, and this has provided a solid foundation for me to grow as an independent scientist. My experiences as a graduate student have been phenomenal and I am very pleased to have chosen IU as my academic home.
“At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I was initially drawn to Indiana by the quality of research and level of science being undertaken in the chemistry department. While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations after seeing it firsthand. During my visitation weekend I was welcomed by the chemistry family and met several graduate students who described their wonderful and challenging graduate experience at Indiana.
Although I was excited to begin working on cutting edge science at Indiana, I was also very excited to move to Bloomington. I've found it is a great college town with lots of things to offer a new resident, such as myself. The community is hilly and beautiful, and has several great restaurants and bars to experience when I'm not working hard in science. Overall, my decision to come to Indiana has paid off greatly, and I'm excited for the years to come in Bloomington
“While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I came to IU's chemistry department after completing my B.S. in chemistry at Allegheny College. I made the decision to attend IU because everything about the university and Bloomington seemed to be all that I was looking for and something extra: the faculty, the facilities, the staff, the arts, the diversity and the restaurants.
After completing my first year of coursework and research, I transitioned to the MAT program to pursue my masters in teaching and become a licensed educator. I have the unique opportunity to also teach undergraduates in the process, which is invaluable experience. I have also appreciated the support from faculty and staff that I have received throughout the transition process. The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.
“The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.”
3rd year Graduate Student
As a third year student at Indiana University, I can't imagine receiving a degree from another institution. When choosing a graduate school, my decision was based on who I would work for, what facilities would be available to me (NMR, MS, etc), and my overall feeling about the department. Here at IU, all of my requirements were met and exceeded. The expert faculty and state of the art facilities have allowed for a collaborative environment with limitless possibilities for my project. I have also been fortunate to travel for conferences and to our collaborating lab in Michigan for experience and interaction with the top researchers in my field. Outside of lab I also enjoy Bloomington and try to enjoy as much of it as I can in my free time. The town is very active with lots of amazing restaurants, trails for hiking/biking, live music on the weekends and fun things to enjoy like the farmers market or our local winery/breweries. Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I am excited to be here for another three years.
“Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Indiana University has been a wonderful place to pursue my graduate studies in analytical chemistry. The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to help and mentor me in my academic pursuits with learning opportunities through both structured and casual conversations with faculty and peers alike. The facilities and cutting-edge research of the University is matched only by the proficiency and friendliness of the staff that enthusiastically assists graduate researchers in their endeavors. From labmates across the room to collaborators across the ocean, I have never found a shortage of knowledgeable people with varied skills, experience, and perspective with whom to discuss your research and successfully tackle the challenges of instrumentation development. Located in a quintessential college town and surrounded by the beautiful, rolling hills of southern Indiana, IU has not only surpassed my expectations in terms of academic and professional development, but also has provided a vibrant environment in which to live.
“The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to mentor me.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Selecting a graduate school is one of the most important choices we make. I consider myself very fortunate to study chemistry at Indiana University. The faculty is inspiring and outstanding in all areas of chemical and biochemical research. They give the full breadth of the subjects and encourage researchers in multidisciplinary thought. The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.
“The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.”
2nd Year Graduate Student
IU chemistry was my program of choice when I decided to return to school after 2 years in the pharmaceutical industry. I was impressed by the diverse faculty and world class research facilities. I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.
The department offers opportunities for multidisciplinary research in a congenial work environment. In my short time here I have fallen in love with the beauty and cultural diversity of Bloomington.
“I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.”