Research

Research in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech is innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary. Nearly all of our research activities extend beyond conventional boundaries, embracing engineering, biology, medicine and agriculture. The strength of these initiatives has been recognized nationally for many years by the continual presence of special funded programs. Faculty in our department form cross-disciplinary relationships with researchers across campus, the nation, and the world.

Research Areas

Analytical

Analytical chemistry is a strong program in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech. Our research covers the frontier advanced NMR, FTIR, laser and X-ray spectroscopy. Researchers are tackling some of the most puzzling fundamental questions in the energy and environment field. The analytical cluster also enjoys partnerships with a number of national laboratories. 

Drug Discovery, Chemical Biology, and Medicinal Chemistry

The area of drug discovery, including chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, has been a major focus at Virginia Tech for several decades. Students and faculty in this group from a core component of the Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery, which integrates dozens of research groups across campus interested in drug design, development, and delivery.

Energy Sciences

Energy Sciences is a rapidly growing area in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech. Our faculty, postdocs, and students are tackling some of the most pressing energy challenges that our Earth faces, ranging from energy harvesting, conversion, and storage. The program enjoys an excellent international reputation in designing novel inorganic and organic energy materials, advanced characterization, and fabrication of novel energy devices. Students are exposed to a world of collaborative opportunities across the globe. 

Inorganic

Virginia Tech Chemistry is the home for interdisciplinary inorganic chemistry research. Researchers in this cluster explore the chemical and physical properties of inorganic compounds at all length scales, from small molecules to bulk materials. They are particularly passionate about understanding and improving the properties for catalysis, bioinorganic, magnetism, batteries, and solar cells. Faculty, postdocs, and students enjoy collaborations with national labs, international institutions, and companies. 

Nanoscience and Nanomedicine

Virginia Tech offers one of the most comprehensive nanoscience programs in the country. The research covers the design and discovery of nanomaterials, with research topics ranging from synthesis, characterization, processing, to fabrication of nanomaterials for focused application areas such as energy and health care.

Organic

Research in organic chemistry at Virginia Tech covers several areas, including physical organic chemistry, organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology. The organic groups are tight knit, frequently sharing chemicals and instruments and helping each other move projects forward. Several faculty members in this group are part of the Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery, which integrates dozens of research groups across campus interested in drug design, development, and delivery. 

Physical

With both basic and problem-focused science represented, the Physical Chemistry division is a microcosm of the fruitful dichotomy that is the Chemistry Department at Virginia Tech. Our faculty in the Physical Chemistry division address a wide span of problems, ranging from polymer characterization and analysis, to new techniques to solve the electronic Schrödinger equation.

Polymer

Virginia Tech boasts one of the best polymer chemistry research and teaching enterprises in the world. Internationally recognized as leaders in polymer research and pedagogy, the polymer division faculty lead a diverse research program with emphases on additive manufacturing, polymer drug delivery, high-performance materials, sustainable polymers, biomedical materials, polymers for energy applications, and novel polymer chemistry.

Theory and Computational

Virginia Tech is home to a dynamic community of students, postdocs, and faculty working in theoretical chemistry, with research topics ranging from the very fundamental to the technologically relevant. Special areas of focus involve massive parallelism for high performance computing, accurate theories for molecular property simulations, low-scaling approaches for electron correlation, molecular dynamics simulations, and new methods for strongly correlated systems.

      • Diego Troya
      • Diego Troya

        Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry and Theory and Computation

      • Edward Valeev
      • Edward Valeev

        Professor of Physical Chemistry and Theory and Computation

      • Professor Daniel Crawford
      • Daniel Crawford

        University Distinguished Professor of Physical Chemistry and Theory and Computational

      • Nick Mayhall
      • Nicholas Mayhall

        Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry and Theory and Computation

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      • Valerie Welborn

        Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry and Theory and Computation