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Chemical Physics / Physical Chemistry

Physical chemistry at UW has enjoyed a long history of excellence. This tradition continues, as our researchers develop state-of-the-art instrumentation and new experimental techniques. Our broad range of research areas includes a wide variety of modern optical, EPR and NMR spectroscopies, chemical kinetics, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, surface science, materials science, and biophysical chemistry.


Experimental research relies heavily on state-of-the-art instrumentation, which includes NMR facilities that are among the finest in the nation, ultrafast laser systems, transient optical grating instruments, complex ultrahigh vacuum systems for the study of well-characterized surfaces, surface scanning microscopes, a high sensitivity surface calorimeter, and a fast pulsed time-domain EPR apparatus. An array of high-powered computers is used by experimentalists and theorists alike.


Spectroscopic techniques address the picosecond kinetics of photochemically reactive species, the kinetics of excited states of porphyrins in polymer films, excited state dynamics of photosynthetic systems, structures of catalytically active adsorbates on surfaces and the structures and dynamics of biopolymers.


Experimental polymer facilities include several solid-state and solution NMR instruments, EPR spectrometers, a laser light scattering laboratory, and instrumentation for the routine characterization of polymeric materials, including electron microscopy.

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