Research Areas

 

 

Analytical

Analytical

Our labs work to develop technologies to improve (bio)chemical measurements. Examples of such measurements include: mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and peptidomics approaches, nanocrystal-based optical sensors for bio-sensing applications, microfluidic chips, paper diagnostics, and aqueous multiphase systems that sort molecules by viscosity

Betley | Nocera | Whitesides

 

Biophysics

Biophysics

Our research illuminates new physical tools to better understand biological systems. One recent CCB discovery grants the ability to directly observe gene expression in live cells. We also investigate the interaction of proteins and nucleic acids, the folding of proteins, chromophores, biofilms, and the hydrophobic effect in water

Aizenberg | Aspuru-Guzik | Cohen | Ni | O'Shea | Shakhnovich | Szostak | Xie | Zhuang

 

Catalysis

Catalysis

Catalysis refers, broadly, to the study of chemical catalysts. Researchers determine how catalysts accelerate chemical reactions and select reaction products, and design new classes of catalysts. Our synthetic and physical research groups study both heterogeneous and homogeonous catalysts. Current areas of interest include: how to split water to form oxygen and hydrogen and how to form single metal oxide crystals on surfaces

Betley | Friend | Jacobsen | Nocera | Ritter

 

Chemical Biology

Chemical Biology

Chemical biology combines the rigor and quantitative aspects of traditional chemistry and biochemistry programs with the excitement and medical relevance of modern molecular, cellular, organismic, and human biology. Internationally recognized as a vital interdisciplinary field, it offers an exciting research direction for bright undergraduates. Increasingly, many biological problems demand molecular and quantitative answers that can only be supplied by tools and approaches derived from chemistry, such as single-molecule measurements, single-cell imaging, and the use of exogenous molecules to precisely modulate cellular components

Balskus | Kahne | Liu | O'Shea | Schreiber | Shair | Shakhnovich | Szostak | Verdine | Walker

 

Energy Related

Energy Related

Mechanisms of energy conversion in photosynthetic complexes, in enzymes, and over catalytic surfaces are under investigation in CCB. The production of energy-evolving or energy-interconverting materials ranges from nanostructured biomimetic devices to extended layered compounds suspended over redox sites. Artificial photosynthesis and the creation of anti-biofouling surfaces are among our recent innovations

Aizenberg | Anderson | Aspuru-Guzik | Betley | Friend | Gordon | Keutsch | Nocera | Whitesides

 

Inorganic

Inorganic

Solid-state and solution synthesis, mechanistic studies of proton-coupled electron transfer by laser spectroscopy, and studies of inorganic crystal growth on surfaces and organic monolayers are a sampling of the many activities in the chemistry of the elements ongoing at CCB.

Betley | Holm | Jacobsen | Nocera | Ritter | Whitesides

 

Materials

Materials

The creation of new types of solids and liquids by rational and targeted design, or by incorporating basic principles of biomineralization, occupies several of the CCB groups. Nanowires, thin films, photonic circuitry, regulatory networks, liquid-repellent surfaces, thermally reversible materials, and soft robots all are under investigation in CCB

Friend | Gordon | Heller | Kaxiras | Lieber | Nocera | Park | Whitesides

 

Organic

Organic

CCB's long and illustrious history of accomplishment in the area of carbon-containing compounds is exemplified by pioneering syntheses of the complex molecules palytoxin and vitamin B12. With emphasis on development of new reaction methodology and synthesis of families of molecules ranging from small probes to large compounds with antimicrobial and antibiotic activity, and creation of supramolecular assemblies of relevance to energy conversion, Harvard’s organic chemistry effort continues to be multifaceted and fruitful

Balskus | Corey | Evans | Jacobsen | Kahne | Kishi | Liu | Myers | Schreiber | Shair

 

Organometallics

Organometallics

Studies in organometallic chemistry in CCB involve the design of new transition metal complexes that display specific, targeted functionality such as electron-transfer activity, redox behavior, or variable metal-metal interactions. Such complexes can function as models for biological metal-containing sites or as industrial catalysts, as examples

Betley | Ritter

 

Physical/Chemical Physics

Physical/Chemical Physics

From the elucidation of the properties and behavior of nanostructures to the characterization of the interior workings of individual cells to the  preparation of the first quantum spin liquid, research in experimental physical chemistry and chemical physics is an intriguing and inviting area of study in CCB. Newly developed spectroscopic methods help researchers follow reactions on surfaces, in the stratosphere, in live cells, all the way down to the single photon level, and in so doing help guide further design of new systems

Aizenberg | Anderson | Apuru-GuzikCohen | Friend | Gordon | Heller | Herschbach | Keutsch | Klemperer | Lieber | Ni | Nocera | Park | Shakhnovich | Whitesides | Xie | Zhuang

 

Theoretical

Theoretical

Theoretical chemistry at Harvard covers a broad range of topics from electronic structure theory to protein folding, and brings chemical principles to bear on disciplines not traditionally associated with chemistry, such as evolution and quantum information

Aspuru-Guzik | Cohen | Gordon | Heller | Karplus | Ni | Shakhnovich