Materials Chemistry

Materials chemistry projects ongoing in our department

  • Development of new surface-based methods for detecting and manipulating biological molecules (bio-chips, bio-electronics)
  • Surface/interface chemistry of microelectronic materials (silicon, diamond, gold)
  • DNA computing (using DNA molecules as molecular computers or memory devices)
  • Molecular electronics (using individual molecules or ensembles of molecules as wires, switches, diodes, and transistors)
  • Synthesis and characterization of electron-delocalized polysilanes (molecular “wires”)
  • Structure and dynamics of polymers (experiment and theory)
  • Photonics
  • Semiconductor-based chemical sensors
  • Synthesis and characterization of organic non-linear optical materials
  • Quantum dots (nanometer-sized assemblies of atoms)

Other materials-related opportunities on campus

The Materials Chemistry Program is administered by the Department of Chemistry in the College of Letters and Sciences. It is intended for students who want a Ph.D. degree in chemistry, but with an emphasis in “materials”.

In addition to the Materials Chemistry Program, students and faculty with interests in ” materials” can further benefit by association with the Materials Science Program (MSP) on the UW-Madison campus. The MSP is a completely distinct, cross-campus program administered by the College of Engineering for students who want a “materials”-oriented degree with a stronger engineering focus. Although the MSP is administered by the College of Engineering, students in the MSP can perform their Ph.D. research with any of the 55 faculty in 12 departments who are members of the Materials Science Program Advisory Committee. The MSP also has a regular seminar series that brings many renowned scientists to speak on their research.

Materials Faculty

Dawei Feng

Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemistry

Samuel H. Gellman

Professor of Chemistry, Vilas Research Professor

Shaoqin Sarah Gong

Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering and Chemistry

Padma Gopalan

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemistry

Robert J. Hamers

Professor of Chemistry, Steenbock Professor of Physical Science

Ive Hermans

John and Dorothy Vozza Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Thomas Kuech

Milton J. and A. Maude Shoemaker Professor of Chemical Engineering, Beckwith-Bascom Professor, and Professor of Chemistry


Joel Pedersen

William A. Rothermel Bascom Professor in Soil Science, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, and Professor of Chemistry

Marcel Schreier

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

John C. Wright

Andreas C. Albrecht Professor of Chemistry

Martin Zanni

V. W. Meloche-Bascom Professor of Chemistry