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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

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Physical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry

PhysicalInvestigations in physical chemistry combine the tools of physics, chemistry, and mathematics to uncover information about processes ranging from the immune response of the body to the structure and reactivity of semiconductor surfaces, from the dynamic motion of proteins to quantum control of chemical reactions, and from the chemistry of the atmosphere to the chemistry of polymeric electronics.

Our studies use many techniques, including molecular beams, NMR and ESR spectroscopies, scanning probe microscopies, flow cytometry, and Raman, non-linear, femtosecond and other laser-based spectroscopies. Many of the research topics in physical chemistry are interdisciplinary and pursued in affiliated research centers, which focus on diverse current topics such as nanoscale science and energy related materials. Our research is greatly enriched by our extensive shared facilities, including the Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF) and the Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), as well as collaborations with colleagues in physics, engineering, biology, and other research areas.


Abruña Electrochemistry, molecular electronics, fuel cells, batteries, electrocatalysis.  Group Website
AnanthQuantum, classical and semiclassical dynamics, charge and energy transfer processes. 
Chan Electronic structure theory. 
Chen Single molecule spectroscopy, metallochaperone protein-protein interaction, nanocatalysis.  Group Website
Davis Experimental studies of bimolecular chemical reaction dynamics, catalysis, combustion and atmospheric chemistry.  Group Website
DeBeer X-ray based spectroscopies as probes of electronic structure in biological and chemical catalysis.  Group Website

Electronic structure theory, quantum and statistical mechanics, ab initio molecular dynamics, density functional theory, intermolecular interactions, solvent effects/solvation, inverse design of novel materials.

Ezra Theory, dynamics of nonrigid molecules and clusters, electron correlation, semiclassical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics.  Group Website
Freed Molecular dynamics and structure by magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  ACERT
Hines Surface science, scanning probe microscopies, nanofabrication, chemical etching.  Group Website
Loring Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, dynamical processes in liquids, nonlinear spectroscopy.
Marohn Pi-conjugated systems, electric force and magnetic resonance force microscopies.  Group Website
Park Synthesis and characterization of carbon nanostructures, nanomaterials-based technology.  Group Website
PetersenSurface non-linear spectroscopy, multidimensional spectroscopy, ultrafast dynamics, and surface structure.  Group Website
ScheragaBiophysical and computational chemistry, protein folding.  Group Website

WidomStatistical mechanics and thermodynamics of phase equilibria. 
WilcoxPhysical and chemical properties of antiaromatic hydrocarbon, computational chemistry
ZaxStudy of novel solid materials using solid state magnetic resonance