Theoretical and computational work at UVa makes use of advanced analytical and numerical tools to investigate phenomena of interest in fields ranging from biology to materials science to astrochemistry.
Surface chemistry focuses on achieving a molecular-level understanding and control of surface chemical reactions that are oftentimes central to the modern technologies that produce chemicals & fuels, semiconductor devices, nanoscale particles & thin films, biomedical devices, immunological therapies, and so on. Consequently, surface chemistry is a common thread of research interest for many UVa chemistry faculty. Spectroscopy enabling the characterization of molecular identity, concentration, and dynamics is another near-universal interest of our chemistry faculty.
Organic compounds are central to biological processes and have many practical applications, including in the pharmaceutical, agriculture, materials, and energy industries. The study of Organic Chemistry can enable a greater understanding of the structure, properties, and function of carbon-containing compounds toward the goal of designing next-generation solutions to societal challenges and increasing our knowledge about the chemistry of life.
Designing, discovering and synthesizing novel materials through atomic, molecular and nanoscale controls is critical to manipulating and significantly improving materials chemical and physical properties.
Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Virginia explores compounds constructed around central elements beyond carbon. Using a variety of synthetic, spectroscopic, and computational methods, research groups are studying subjects relevant to inorganic/organometallic, coordination, bioinorganic, supramolecular, and materials chemistry. The main group, transition metal, rare earth, and alkali/alkaline earth compounds are used to study topics ranging from sensing, catalysis/electrocatalysis, nanomaterials, renewable energy, and small molecule activation to photochemistry.
Research teams in the imaging and sensing area are concerned with developing molecules, materials, analytical methods and instrumentation to detect analytes and probe biological and physical processes. Examples of probe and sensor materials include spin labels and small molecule inhibitors, environment and stimuli-responsive dyes, chiral molecular, supramolecular and polymeric fluorescent sensors, oxygen sensing biomaterials, magnetic and plasmonic nanoparticles, and carbon nanotube electrodes. These materials are used with state-of-the-art technologies based on luminescence, magnetism, ele