About the Department

Sitting directly on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, with views of the Channel Islands to the south and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north, UCSB’s department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a uniquely attractive combination: cutting-edge, world-class research in an unparalleled physical setting.

Our department consists of 35 faculty, 130 graduate students, 30 postdoctoral researchers, and 28 staff members, all dedicated to exploring the frontiers of chemical science.  All branches of chemistry are well represented, including materials, inorganic, organic, physical, theoretical, analytical, and biochemical. We also feature a strong collaborative research environment, an ethos which is fostered by the creation of many interdisciplinary research units, including the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), the Center for Bioengineering, the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids (CPOS), Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM) Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) and the Institute for Energy Efficiency. In support of these activities, the department features a full complement of state-of-the-art research instrumentation, including a large fleet of NMR spectrometers, an X-ray crystallographic facility, and a materials characterization facility. The department also maintains a machine shop, a glass shop, a mass spectrometer facility, and two stockrooms.

 By any metric UCSB Chemistry and Biochemistry is one of the top programs in the country.  Over the period 1997-2007 UCSB ranked 8th in the world in its citation impact in chemistry and the department ranked 22nd in the National Research Council rankings.  The faculty includes two Nobel Chemistry prize winners (Walter Kohn, 1998, and Alan Heeger, 2000) and a half dozen members of the National Academy or Royal Society.  Overall the UCSB campus ranked 4th in the US in terms of total number of citations 2005-09 in the US, and was ranked 7th in the world in 2011 by the Centre for Science and Technologies Studies at Leiden University and 11th in the US in 2010 by Washington Monthly.