Latest News

New Solar Cell Shows Promise for Harnessing More Sunlight

Moving society toward a greener future hinges on efficient technologies. Silicon solar cells, currently the leading commercial technology in the solar cell arena, reach energy conversion efficiencies of 18% to 22%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means roughly four-fifths of the energy from the sunlight isn’t being harnessed by current commercial photovoltaic technology.

Mechanism of Psychedelic-Induced Neuroplasticity

In a recent publication in Science, the Olson Lab used chemical and molecular tools to elucidate the mechanism of psychedelic-induced neuroplasticity. They found that activation of intracellular 5-HT2A receptors was essential for psychedelics to promote cortical neuron growth. Unlike psychedelics, serotonin is too polar to passively diffuse across cell membranes, and thus, it does not produce the same effects on structural neuroplasticity.

Professor Sheila David Awarded the 2022 Education Award from the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society

Congratulations to Professor Sheila David (@sheiladavidUCD) for receiving the 2022 Education Award from the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (@emgsus).  The EMGS aims to understand and mitigate the impacts of environmental exposures on the genome to protect human health, and strives to promote excellence, diversity and inclusiveness in research, professional development and collaboration. &

In Memoriam: UC Davis Collaborator Professor Makhlouf J. Haddadin

Professor Makhlouf J. Haddadin, American University of Beirut (AUB) – a two decades long collaborator of UC Davis Prof. Mark Kurth – passed away on 21-Sept-2022 in Amman, Jordan. He received a B.Sc. in 1957 from AUB and continued to get his MS degree at AUB working for Prof. Costas Issidorides (who was also a visiting lecturer at UC Davis). Makhluf did his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry with Prof. Alfred Hassner at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1962) and then went to Harvard University for a two years Postdoctoral study with Prof. Louis Fieser. Dr.

Professor Annaliese Franz Appointed to Interim Associate Dean

Dean Estella Atekwana provided an exciting new update on the recent status of filling the Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Planning role in the College of Letters and Science. Dean Atekwana announced that Professor Annaliese Franz of the Department of Chemistry would step in as Interim Associate Dean effective July 1, 2022. 

New Theoretical Method Reveals Polarization Effects of Solvents Over Photoreactions

In a recent publication (Song, Journal of Chemical Physics, 2022) the Song Lab introduced state-averaged complete active space self consistent field (SA-CASSCF) coupled with polarizable continuum models (PCM), a new theoretical method that enables simulating polarization effects of solvents in non-adiabatic excited state dynamics for the first time.

Direct Conversion of Captured CO₂ into Fuel and Chemicals

A recent award from the University of California, Office of the President has established a new multi-campus Research Center focused on development of catalysts, methods and scaled-up prototypes for fundamental knowledge needed to convert captured CO₂ into fuels and commodity chemicals. The collaborative team is lead by UC Davis Chemistry Principal Investigator Prof.

2 + 2 = 3: Making Ternary Phases through a Binary Approach

New work from the Kauzlarich group in collaboration with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory looks to unveil the mysteries of solid-state reactions. The investigation into the formation of Yb₁₄MSb₁₁ (M = Al, Mn, Mg), a high efficiency thermoelectric material, from the elements and binaries revealed a pathway for the direct formation of high purity complex ternary phases in balanced stoichiometric reactions utilizing binary precursors.

Biosynthesis of the [FeFe]-Hydrogenase with an organometallic Fe2S2 cluster bypasses HydG and HydE maturases

In a study recently published in  JACS, collaborative work between Britt lab and Tom Rauchfuss lab (UIUC) presents the evidence that a synthetic organometallic Fe2S2 cluster can functionally replace two radical SAM enzyme maturases HydG and HydE to allow the biosynthesis of the [FeFe]-hydrogenase. This work unambiguously identifies the organometallic Fe2S2 cluster as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of [FeFe]-hydrogenase catalytic H-cluster. 


Toward Programmable Reactivity in Energy Conversion

In a recent Chemistry of Materials perspective article featured in the “Up and Coming” early career scientist special issue, the Velázquez lab shed light on the immense promise of multinary metal chalcogenides as tunable energy materials. These materials have applications in catalysis, advanced multivalent batteries, electronics, and many others.

Ultrafast dynamics of vibrational energy transfer in water

Water is the most abundant yet least understood liquid in nature.  A recent collaborative study published in Nature sheds light on the ultrafast process of vibrational energy transfer in water molecules.  “Hydrogen bonding, the molecular building block that gives water its special properties, is still not fully understood,” said Davide Donadio, professor of chemistry at UC Davis and a corresponding author on the paper.

Machine learning-assisted discovery of chevrel phase tellurides

In a recent JACS article, the Velázquez lab, in collaboration with the Musgrave lab from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder, showcased an interpretable machine-learned descriptor (Hd) capable of estimating decomposition enthalpy (ΔHd) to identify synthetically accessible molybdenum chalcogenides within the Chevrel Phase (CP) family from a set of 205,548 different CP compositions.