Materials Chemistry, Ph.D.

On Campus

Materials Chemistry Periodic Table

In today’s complex industrial world, the strict divisions between chemistry, biology, and engineering no longer hold. Now more than ever, we need scientists who can navigate easily across these boundaries.

With this in mind, the PhD in Materials Chemistry program cultivates an interdisciplinary exchange between students and faculty. Together you collaborate on the latest in cutting-edge research — from the synthesis of polymeric materials to properties of synthetic and biological macromolecules. Our faculty specializes in the integration of biotechnology to create catalysts, sensors, and macromolecules for a variety of uses.

As a materials chemistry student, you’ll examine how combinations of molecules and materials result in different properties. You’ll see how this knowledge leads to the synthesis of new materials, with applications in superconductors, artificial organs, and other devices.

abu dhabi

Abu Dhabi Global Fellow Program

Applicants to this degree program may be eligible to participate in the Abu Dhabi Global Fellow Program

Curriculum

To obtain a Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry at the School of Engineering, you must complete 75 credits as described below.

Each doctoral candidate must complete a minimum of 75 credits of academic work past the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum of 36 credits of dissertation research, to complete the PhD in Materials Chemistry program. A minimum of 30 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree (not including PhD dissertation and non-dissertation research credits) are required in chemistry or related subjects. Of the 30 credits, 12 are to be taken as part of the required graduate core courses in Materials Chemistry, 6 are from student seminars, a chemical information course, and lab safety, and 12 are taken as electives. For electives: at least 2 electives (6 credits) are to be chosen from approved CM courses, 6000-level and above. The remaining electives need to be selected in consultation with and with an explicit approval from the materials chemistry graduate adviser. In addition to the required coursework, attendance is required at departmental colloquia.

To meet graduation requirements, students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, excluding dissertation credits, and must not obtain a grade of C or lower in more than two required core courses.


Physical Chemistry

3 Credits Statistical Thermodynamics and Kinetics CM-GY7043
This course covers statistical mechanics for chemical systems. Also covered are ensembles, partition functions, thermodynamic functions, applications to various systems, including non-ideal gas, gas of diatomic molecules, polymer, surface phenomena, chemical equilibria, biophysics and reaction kinetics.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate physical chemistry and physics or adviser’s approval.

Organic Chemistry

3 Credits Physical Organic Chemistry CM-GY9033
This course covers molecular structure and bonding. Also covered are stereochemical and conformational principles; theories of bonding; physical parameters of stable and reactive molecular states; and applications in biochemistry and polymer chemistry.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate organic chemistry or adviser’s approval.

Analytical Chemistry (1 of the Following 2)

3 Credits Principles of Spectroscopy CM-GY8023
This course covers rotational, vibrational and electronic states of atoms and molecules. Also covered are the interaction of radiation with atoms and molecules; molecular symmetry; rotational and vibrational spectroscopy; and electronic spectroscopy.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate physical chemistry or adviser approval.
3 Credits Organic Spectroscopy CM-GY8073
This course covers structure elucidation by joint applications of spectroscopic techniques such as proton and carbon-13 magnetic resonance, infrared and mass spectroscopy and other methods.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate organic chemistry or adviser’s approval. Prerequisite: CM-GY 9033.

Inorganic Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, or Biochemistry (1 of the Following 3)

3 Credits Advanced Inorganic Chemistry CM-GY6013
This course covers theories of bonding in inorganic compounds. It introduces group theory as applied to molecular orbital and ligand field theories. Also covered are spectra of inorganic compounds and non-aqueous solvent. The transition to metal chemistry is introduced.
Prerequisite: Adviser’s approval.
3 Credits Biochemistry I CM-GY9413
This course covers structure and function of biological macromolecules: proteins, nucleicacids, polysaccharides. Also covered are enzymatic kinetics, mechanism and control.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate biochemistry or adviser’s approval.
3 Credits Synthesis of Macromolecules CM-GY7723
This course covers organic aspects, including chemistry of monomer and polymer formation; modern mechanistic analyses of reactions; stereochemistry of polymer structures; forces of stereo regulation; condensation, free radical (bulk, suspension, emulsion, solution), ionic, ring-opening and non-classical polymerization reactions.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate organic chemistry or adviser’s approval.


At least two electives (6 credits) must be chosen from approved CM courses, 6000-level and above. The remaining courses may be chosen from other graduate programs with the approval of the graduate adviser in Materials Chemistry.


1.5 Credits Seminar in Chemistry I CM-GY9731
This course covers chemical topics of current interest and is presented by participating students, staff and outside speakers. One semester is required for MS chemistry students; three semesters required for PhD candidates.
1.5 Credits Seminar in Chemistry II CM-GY9741
This course covers chemical topics of current interest and is presented by participating students, staff and outside speakers. One semester is required for MS chemistry students; three semesters required for PhD candidates.
1.5 Credits Seminar in Chemistry III CM-GY9751
This course covers chemical topics of current interest and is presented by participating students, staff and outside speakers. One semester is required for MS chemistry students; three semesters required for PhD candidates.


1.5 Credits Information Sources for the Chemical Sciences CM-GY5021
This course is a hands-on introduction to methods and tools for searching and includes both electronic (CD-ROM and online) as well as print databases. Students may emphasize topics related to their research. Graduate students are required to take this course.


Chemical Colloquium CM-GY9710

must be taken each semester


Chemical Laboratory Safety CM-GY5040
This course discusses problems of health and safety in chemical laboratories, including how to work safely with dangerous chemicals. This course must be completed by graduate and undergraduate chemistry students before they begin laboratory research.


PhD Dissertation in Materials Chemistry CM-GY999X
This course requires original experimental or theoretical research, guided by a chemistry faculty member), that may serve as basis for a PhD. The minimum research registration requirement is 36 credits. Registration is required each semester consecutively until students complete adequate research projects and acceptable theses and have passed required oral examinations. A research fee is required.
Prerequisite: Passing grade in RE-GY 9990 Phd Qualifying Exam
Research in Materials Chemistry CM-GY998X
Research course for PhD students prior to passing the qualifying exam.

Up to 9 credits of CM-GY 998X Research in Materials Chemistry can be included here


Students must also pass a comprehensive qualifying examination in materials chemistry and present a doctoral dissertation. The qualifying exam is given once a year. Additional details on the qualifying examination will be provided by the graduate adviser.