Department of Chemistry


  • Biological Chemistry with a focus on enzymes, nucleic acids, protein folding and misfolding, and physical techniques; with relevance to health and disease, drug discovery, sensors, nanotechnology, ageing and energy research applications.
  • Materials Chemistry including surfaces, interfaces, polymers, nanoparticles and nanoporous materials, self assembly, and biomaterials, with applications relevant to: oil recovery and separation, catalysis, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, crystallization and pharmaceutical formulation, gas sorption, energy, functional materials, biocompatible materials, computer memory, and sensors.
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry including quantum dynamics, modelling soft materials, protein folding and binding, biomolecules in motion, pharmacological activity, molecular switches, redox chemistry, designing bioactive molecule and drugs, chemical biology, crystallography, and simulation of spectroscopic studies.
  • Physical Chemistry including atmospheric sciences, surfaces and interfaces, materials, and physical and chemical aspects of the behaviour of biopolymers and other soft systems.
  • Synthetic Chemistry including complex molecule synthesis, synthetic catalysis, synthetic assembly, synthetic biology and medicine, new technology for efficient synthesis, green synthesis, and preparation of new materials.

Before the new Research Interest Groups, research in the Department used to be divided into the broad areas described below. Modern chemistry is interdisciplinary, so drawing boundaries is virtually impossible. You will therefore find overlap between the research areas. Many members of staff appear in more than one section.

PhDs on some specific projects are listed on the department jobs page. PhD opportunities are not limited to this list. If you are interested in studying for a PhD in any of the areas listed on this page, please e-mail or write to the admissions secretary, saying which areas interest you:

Department Admissions Secretary
Department of Chemistry
Lensfield Road
Cambridge CB2 1EW