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Research

Research Overview

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The chemistry program is one of the largest and most active on the Clemson campus. More than 20 faculty members direct the research of about 100 graduate students, with the assistance of about 15 postdoctoral and visiting scientists. In addition, several faculty members are primarily engaged in undergraduate instruction and chemical education research. Faculty also manage the department’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Resource Center, Molecular Structure Center and computing resources.

The research activities of the faculty include projects in the traditional areas of analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry as well as a very broad range of interdisciplinary and nontraditional areas — polymer and materials chemistry, solid-state chemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, chemical physics, chemical education and other areas.

 

Research Areas and Resources

  • Analytical Chemistry

    Analytical chemistry, sometimes called the science of chemical measurement, offers an attractive combination of curiosity-driven and applications-driven research in chemistry. Chemical measurements are the foundation supporting both fundamental and applied research in nearly all areas of chemical science, and the development of new chemical measurement techniques and improvement of existing techniques continues to drive the progress of chemistry as a discipline.

    Faculty are committed to training analytical scientists with a thorough grasp of both the fundamental science and the range of applications for the analytical techniques that they develop and use. A high level of collegiality also exists in the division, particularly at national conferences such as PITTCON and FACSS, which students regularly attend and make research presentations. A graduate degree in analytical chemistry from Clemson suggests a level of insight and problem-solving skills that goes well beyond the ability to simply perform routine analyses. Research groups in the division are well funded from federal (NSF, DOE, DOD) and private sources (commercial instrument manufacturers, biomedical companies) to support work of both a fundamental and applied nature. Job prospects for graduates from the Clemson program continue to be excellent.

    Chemistry faculty with interests and research related to analytical chemistry include:

    • Jeffrey Anker
    • Chris D. Chouinard
    • George Chumanov
    • Steve Creager
    • Carlos Garcia
    • Ken Marcus

    To find out more about a faculty member and their work, visit the People page.

  • Inorganic Chemistry

    Inorganic chemistry at Clemson University spans a broad range of interests with a common theme of understanding and promoting the richness of the chemistry of the elements. Its boundaries have merged with those of the other traditional sub-disciplines of chemistry as well as many other areas of science to spawn exciting new interdisciplinary areas of research. The inorganic division at Clemson has a strong background in the synthesis and characterization of new compounds and this strength has evolved to include a major emphasis in materials chemistry. Top-level research being pursued by our faculty include:

    • Synthesis of novel ionomer membranes, an exciting new class of materials with considerable promise for electrochemical applications in fuel cells, secondary lithium batteries, and as acid catalysts and ion exchange resins.
    • Solid state chemistry of new inorganic materials that are of electronic, magnetic, catalytic and optical importance, geared toward systematic structure and property correlation studies to determine the origin of unusual physical phenomena associated with metal-insulator transitions, charge density waves, magnetic ordering, and nonlinear optical activity.
    • The development of new synthetic methodologies utilizing supercritical fluids for the preparation and crystal growth of industrially important solid state inorganic compounds. Materials include new optical crystals. laser hosts, wide bandgap materials, ferroics and thermoelectrics. These materials include metal oxides, sulfides, nitrides and lanthanides.
    • Crystal design through the use of intermolecular interactions, such as halogen bonding, to produce complexes which can be used for the interconversion of polymorphic materials and to facilitate solid state polymerization for the production of new and unique porous materials.

    Research in the department is very well funded and places great emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. Students receive a solid foundation in inorganic and materials chemistry and develop outstanding skills for success in careers in academics or the industry. Recent graduates currently have positions at Edwards Air Force Base, ATMI Semiconductors, Corning Glass, Toyota, NASA Langley Research Center, DuPont, Milliken Chemicals, St. Jude, Philip Morris, Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs, the University of South Florida, and the University of Minnesota.

    Chemistry faculty with interests and research related to inorganic chemistry include:

    • Julia Brumaghim
    • Shiou-Jyh Hwu
    • Joe Kolis
    • Bill Pennington
    • Rhett Smith
    • Andy Tennyson
    • Joe Thrasher
    • Thao Tran

     

  • Organic Chemistry

    Organic chemistry research at Clemson covers a wide range of areas including synthetic organic chemistry, bio-organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, polymer chemistry, organic synthetic methodology, organic nano-materials and other areas. Organic molecules and materials offer a richness of diverse structures and functionality. Students who study organic chemistry at Clemson can choose from wide-ranging — and often interdisciplinary — research projects with faculty members specializing in organic chemistry.

    Chemistry faculty with interests and research related to organic chemistry include:

    • Dev Arya
    • Byoungmoo “Boni” Kim
    • Sourav Saha
    • Rhett Smith
    • Ya-Ping Sun
    • Modi Wetzler
    • Dan Whitehead

    To find out more about a faculty member and their work, visit the People page.

  • Physical Chemistry

    Physical chemistry research at Clemson is active in both experimental and theoretical areas. Among the areas of experimental physical chemistry in which Clemson faculty are active are surface chemistry, localized scanning probe microscopy, optics, magnetic resonance, and surface X-ray and neutron scattering techniques. Research into computational chemistry and theoretical physical chemistry and chemical physics is also active.

    Chemistry faculty with interests and research related to organic chemistry include:

    • Brian Dominy
    • Leah Casabianca
    • David Jacobson
    • Jason McNeill
    • Dvora Perahia

    To find out more about a faculty member and their work, visit the People page.

  • Interdisciplinary Chemistry

    Interdisciplinary activities are an increasingly important part of modern chemistry, and the chemistry program at Clemson encourages interdisciplinary activities at all levels. Many chemistry faculty and students participate in joint research projects with faculty and students from other departments.

    Clemson’s interdisciplinary research areas includes the following faculty members. To find out more about a faculty member and their work, visit the People page.

    Nanochemistry/Nano-Materials

    • Leah Casabianca
    • George Chumanov
    • Steve Creager
    • Carlos Garcia
    • Shiou-Jyh Hwu
    • Jason McNeill
    • Dvora Perahia
    • Sourav Saha
    • Rhett Smith
    • Steve Stuart
    • Ya-Ping Sun
    • Thao Tran

    Polymer Chemistry

    • Steve Creager
    • Ken Marcus
    • Bill Pennington
    • Dvora Perahia
    • Rhett Smith
    • Ya-Ping Sun
    • Andy Tennyson
    • Joe Thrasher

    Bioanalytical Chemistry

    • Dev Arya
    • George Chumanov
    • Steve Creager
    • Carlos Garcia
    • Ken Marcus

    Chemical Physics

    • Leah Casabianca
    • Brian Dominy
    • Dvora Perahia
    • Steve Stuart

    Electrochemistry

    • Steve Creager
    • Carlos Garcia
    • Shiou-Jyh Hwu

    Medicinal/Bioproducts/Bio-organic Chemistry

    • Dev Arya
    • Rhett Smith
    • Andy Tennyson
    • Modi Wetzler

    Organic Synthetic Methodology Chemistry

    • Dev Arya
    • Rhett Smith
    • Modi Wetzler
    • Dan Whitehead

    Theoretical Chemistry

    • Leah Casabianca
    • Brian Dominy
    • Dvora Perahia
    • Steve Stuart

    Surface Chemistry

    • Leah Casabianca
    • Steve Creager
    • Dvora Perahia
    • Sourav Saha
    • Steve Stuart
    • Thao Tran

    Solid State Materials

    • Shiou-Jyh Hwu
    • Joe Kolis
    • Bill Pennington
    • Sourav Saha
    • Thao Tran

    Probe Microscopy

    • George Chumanov
    • Jason McNeill
    • Dvora Perahia

    Fluorine Chemistry

    • Joe Thrasher

    Analytical Spectroscopy Research

    • George Chumanov
    • Ken Marcus
    • Computational Chemistry
    • Brian Dominy
    • Steve Stuart

    X-ray/Neutron Scattering Research

    • Bill Pennington
    • Dvora Perahia
    • Thao Tran

    Laser Spectroscopy/Photochemistry

    • Jason McNeill
    • Ya Ping Sun

    Technical Support Faculty

    • Alex Kitaygorodskiy

    Bioinorganic Chemistry

    • Julia Brumaghim
    • Rhett Smith
    • Andy Tennyson

    Biophysical Chemistry

    • Leah Casabianca
    • Dev Arya
    • Brian Dominy

Faculty Research

Learn more about our faculty, including research-active professors. To connect with faculty, visit our departmental directory page.

Department of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry | 235 Hunter Chemistry Laboratory, Clemson, SC 29634