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Department of Chemistry Physical Division

Physical Chemistry

Welcome to Physical Chemistry!

Research in the physical chemistry division is highly focused upon the use of spectroscopic techniques and theoretical methodologies to understand fundamental chemical processes across multiple length and time scales. Topics investigated by our faculty include: protein signaling, chemical reactions on surfaces, electron transfer, ab initio electronic structure, the design of new technologies, and biomolecular machinery.

News & Events

Welcome to Assistant Professor David Lee!

Professor Lee’s research program utilizes in-situ ultra-high-vacuum Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) in the investigation of chemical changes that occur when material surfaces interact with light and with gas-phase reactants. Multiple techniques, including molecular beams, pulsed laser stimulation/photolysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, are employed associatively with STM in these projects from the perspective of fundamental experimental physical chemistry. More specifically, we are interested in studying (1) how graphene respond upon the bombardment of reactive gas-phase species, (2) how different metal surface structures facilitate photon-induced alkane surface polymerization and (3) in-situ surface photodissociation of simple organic molecules on various metal oxides.

New Funding

Congratulations to the following faculty who have recently received new funding to support their transformative research programs:

Jim Brozik – “Guide Star Imaging: Shedding Light on Ligand Gated Ion Channels”  from the AFOSR.

Aurora Clark (in collaboration with Sue Clark) – “Recycling of used nuclear fuel: An experimental and computational investigation for removal of metal ions of interest using supercritical carbon dioxide systems” from Terra Power


Student Perspective

“Since my arrival to WSU — from Florida — there has been nothing but friendly, helpful people more than willing to go out of their way to help me get on track as a new grad student. The graduate students and faculty seem to be such a tight-knit group that it makes being far away from home very easy.”

–Catherine Trejo, 1st year Ph.D student