College of Chemistry

Jay Keasling talks to Japan's NHK World about Synthetic Biology

August 14, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

Jay Keasling, Professor, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and JBEI’s Chief Executive Officer, was featured in NHK World’s interview program “Direct Talk”. Keasling, a pioneer of synthetic biology, talks about the impact that this interdisciplinary technology can have in people’s lives as well as addresses its safety concerns.

How carbon-14 revolutionized science

August 12, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

The discovery that carbon atoms act as a marker of time of death transformed everything from biochemistry to oceanography – but the breakthrough nearly didn’t happen. Martin Kamen had worked for three days and three nights without sleep. The US chemist was finishing off a project in which he and colleague Sam Ruben (B.S. ' Chem; Ph.D. '38, Chem), had bombarded a piece of graphite with subatomic particles. The aim of their work was to create new forms of carbon, ones that might have practical uses. Willard Libby (B.S. '31, Chem; Ph.D. '33, Chem) of Chicago University figured out that the radioactivity generated by carbon-14 could be exploited to tremendous advantage.

David Limmer awarded Department of Energy Early Career Research Program funding

August 7, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science has announced this year’s selection of scientists to receive Early Career Research Program funding. David Limmer, UC Berkeley Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been chosen as one of 73 scientists from across the country for his project entitled: Understanding and Controlling Photoexcited Molecules in Complex Environments.

Reticular chemistry in all dimensions

August 6, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

In a new virtual collection from ACS Central Science, recently published articles about new research into reticular chemistry are highlighted. Omar Yaghi, The James and Neeltje Tretter Professor of Chemistry, pens the introduction.

Some of the topics covered in the issue include: electric field response of MOFs; PolyCOFs; porous aromatic frameworks; improving the mechanical stability of MOFS using chemical caryatids; computational design of functionalized MOF nodes for catalysis; porous molecular solids and liquids; and rapid, elective heavy metal removal from water by MOFs/polydopamine composite.

UC Berkeley Chemists and the Periodic Table

January 9, 2019

The 1969 Discovery 104 Team Dimitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist who in 1869 wrote out the known elements (of which there were 63 at the time) on cards and then arranged them in columns and rows according to their chemical and physical properties is considered the father of the Periodic Table. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this pivotal moment in science, the UN has proclaimed 2019 the International year of the Periodic Table. Seen here is the element 104 discovery team in 1969.

Alumna Yuan-Tsan Chia donates $1.1 million to the College of Chemistry

September 4, 2018

Yuan-Tsan ChiaDr. Yuan-Tsan Chia (M.A. Chem ’55, Ph.D. Chem ’58) has left a bequest of $1.1 million to the College of Chemistry in honor of Professor Robert Connick who she studied with for her Ph.D. Chia was the first woman to join the Central Research Department at DuPont working there for more than thirty years. She obtained a number of patents, collaborated on noteworthy projects including improvements to the manufacturing processes for synthetic fibers, plus development of various Teflon and Kevlar applications.

2019 Reaxys PhD Prize winners announced

July 30, 2019

2019 Reaxys PhD Prize winnersFive UC Berkeley Ph.D. students have been announced as finalists of this year's Reaxys PhD Prize. The Prize celebrates innovative and rigorous research by ambitious young chemists. The Review Committee examined over 360 entries from around the globe to arrive at the 45 finalists.

Alum explores the costs of doing business in space

July 30, 2019

The cost of doing business in spaceThe world already benefits greatly from space technology, especially in terms of communications, positioning services, Earth observation, and economic activity related to government-funded space programs. With an explosion of more than 2,000 commercial space companies, including those building communications satellites, orbital launch vehicles, and rovers for the Moon and Mars, the world’s commercial space capabilities are quickly expanding beyond our satellite industry,

College History

Original Chemistry Building 1897 between mining and the library

First dedicated chemistry building (in the middle) between the first mining building on the left and the library on the right; c. 1897 photo by William Letts Oliver, or his son. courtesy Bancroft Library.