How water helps the substrate into the enzyme

December 15, 2020

eyedropper with liquid

When water is present in tiny quantities – much less than in this droplet – it develops special properties. (photo: Roger Ashford, Adobe Stock)

An international research team has investigated water molecules in a tiny cage – and discovered previously unknown properties.

UC Berkeley scientists develop new spectroscopic probe for the secrets of complex interfaces

February 4, 2019


Understanding the detailed nature of complex interfaces has become a quest of profound significance, as it underlies urgently needed advances in many applications, including water purification, desalination, and reclamation technologies, and is vital to central processes in electrochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, biochemistry, and energy conversion. Scientists have developed a new technique to probe interfaces with both surface and element-specific selectivity, demonstrated for the individual graphene layers within bulk graphite.

Introducing our new faculty members and their lab groups

September 3, 2019

Shekar, Schepartz and Zuerch

This year, there will be three new lab groups forming under three new professors. Alanna Schepartz and Michael Zuerch are joining the Department of Chemistry; Karthik Shekhar will be in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In the fall, new professors are often still in the process of moving in and awaiting new lab space setups.

Department of Chemistry welcomes new faculty

May 10, 2019

Alanna Schepartz and Michael Zuerch join the department of chemistry

Matthew Francis, Chair of the Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, announces the addition of two new faculty members who will join the College in July. Alanna Schepartz joins the faculty as the T. Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Chair in Chemistry; Michael Zuerch joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry.

Stephen Leone and Norman Yao receive Keck Foundation funding

February 19, 2019

Stephen Leone and Norman Yao, UC BerkeleyProfessors Stephen Leone and Norman Yao have been awarded a $1m science and engineering research grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation. The two scientists will utilize a new technique, ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy, to address important unanswered questions about the formation of non-equilibrium topological phases.

Congratulations to Jeffrey Long and Daniel Neumark on receiving 2019 ACS awards

January 25, 2019

Jeffrey Long and Daniel NeumarkUC Berkeley College of Chemistry professors Jeffrey Long and Daniel Neumark have been announced as 2019 American Chemical Society (ACS) awardees for their pioneering chemical research. They will be honored at a ceremony at the spring ACS national meeting in Orlando, Florida, March 31–April 4, 2019.

New manganese materials bolster cathode capacity

September 18, 2018

Array of Lithium Ion batteries stacked side by side.The three main components of a lithium-ion battery—anode, cathode, and electrolyte—must all be optimized to produce a safe, low-cost, and high-energy product. The cathode has traditionally been the most expensive piece; it stores energy in ordered crystal structures that are based on costly and rare metals, like cobalt. In contrast, manganese is inexpensive, earth abundant, and non-toxic, but substituting the disordered crystal structures of manganese for cobalt-based structures had long been thought to introduce an energy tradeoff. Now, researchers have delivered outstanding performance using two new manganese-based materials.

Professor Richard Saykally receives Helmholtz International Fellow award

August 7, 2018

Richmond Sarpong research teamClass of 1932 Endowed Professor of Chemistry, Richard Saykally, has been awarded a 2018 Helmholtz International Fellow Award for his research using X-ray spectroscopy to study the detailed chemistry of the global carbon cycle, characterizing the hydration structure and intermolecular interactions in aqueous CO2, carbonic acid, carbonate, bicarbonate, and the calcium and magnesium salts that ultimately form limestone.