Faculty research in the UNM Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology spans a broad range of disciplines and represents cutting-edge topics. Three main branches exist:
- Biological Chemistry is the largest area in terms of faculty numbers, and two prospective hires (Edwards, Asst. Prof in Medicinal/Pharmaceutical) will increase it further. Faculty in this area cover a wide range of sub-specialties and have ongoing or potential collaborative relationships with several other units on campus, including Biology, Center for Biomedical Engineering, the College of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine. The divisions of Biological and Medicinal Chemistry are the 4th and 2nd largest in the ACS as of 2012, and the potential for student recruiting and placement is high.
- Catalysis “The critical importance of catalysis is illustrated by the fact that six recent Nobel Prizes in Chemistry have recognized contributions to catalytic science” (“Catalytic Chemistry Workshop on Defining Critical Directions for the Future” , Friend, et al, 2011) and by the recent NSF Chemistry divisional re-alignment. Catalysis research bridges the traditional areas of organic and inorganic synthesis and mechanism, enzyme chemistry and theory. Catalysis is a particular interest of the UNM Chemical Engineering department and of the Sandia NL Advanced Materials Laboratory group. Adding this focus area to the department’s plan recognizes the strength of several research efforts already present in the department, and should facilitate further collaboration as the program strives for greater national and international recognition.
- Electronic and Photonic Materials Materials chemistry includes ceramics, aerospace materials, catalysts, semiconductors, etc., and has grown enormously over the last 30 years. Recent hires (Grey, Qin, Habteyes) and multi-PI grants (EPSCoR photovoltaic) have focused specifically on electronic materials, which complements other research on campus (CHTM, NSMS) and off-campus (Sandia NL) in New Mexico. Specifically, the harvesting, storing and productive use of solar energy requires improvements in understanding electronic materials and their behaviors; other energy-related technologies should also benefit from fundamental work in this area.
Please see the ‘Find an expert’ section for detailed breakdowns of sub-disciplines.
Faculty research groups support multiple graduate and undergraduate students as well as postdoctoral scholars. Prospective students are encouraged to contact individual faculty members.