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At McMaster, a broad range of interests guides our researchers in their pursuit to understand the make-up of the world around us. Physical chemistry bridges the gap between the theories and techniques of modern-day physics and our understanding of chemical systems. Using advanced characterization and computational methods, physical and theoretical chemists work to unravel the phenomena that govern all aspects of the physical world. 

Physical chemists apply and develop advanced characterization techniques to a diverse range of topics – energy storage materials for electric vehicles, biologically relevant proteins to understand degenerative diseases, complex surface properties and photo-induced molecular transformations. Theoretical chemists work to establish quantum mechanical methods to improve our understanding of all aspects of chemistry right down to the nature of chemical bonding.

McMaster’s state-of-the-art facilities enable the design and discovery of both experimental and computational methods to advance knowledge across all branches of chemistry. Areas of specialty include:

  • Quantum mechanics and computational chemistry
  • Advanced magnetic resonance techniques
  • Optics and photo-induced transformations
  • Synchotron-based x-ray methods
  • Surface chemistry

Our researchers:

Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology | McMaster University has 7 registered members
Paul Ayers
Professor, University Scholar, Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Chemistry
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Research Interests:

Mathematical methods, conceptual tools, and computational software for molecular modelling; New electronic structure theory methods; Concepts in quantum chemistry; Machine learning for chemical property prediction

Randy Dumont
Associate Professor
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Research Interests:

Quantum and semiclassical molecular dynamics; simulation of NMR spectra

Gillian Goward
Professor and Chair
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Research Interests:

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging of Materials for Alternative Energy Storage & Conversion; Lithium Ion Batteries & Fuel Cells

Adam Hitchcock
Professor
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Research Interests:

Materials analysis by synchrotron based soft X-ray microscopy, instrumentation, fuel cells, in situ methods, electrochemistry, magnetotactic bacteria, 4D imaging

Peter Kruse
Associate Professor
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Research Interests:

Surfaces, interface and low-dimensional materials; their electronic and chemical properties; doping, mobility and pattern formation; applications in corrosion inhibitors and water quality sensors

Giuseppe Melacini
Professor
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Research Interests:

Pre-clinical molecular pharmacology of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer; intrinsically unstructured amyloidogenic proteins: protein kinases & signaling; functional protein dynamics and allosteric regulation; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Kalai Saravanamuttu
Associate Professor
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Research Interests:

Sol-gel chemistry; self-assembly; photonics and photo-induced transformations

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Chemistry & Chemical Biology