Skip to main content

Chemistry News

Artist's rendering of an exploding Buckyball. USC/Holly Wilder.

Bucky-Balls Become Buckybombs

March 27, 2015

1996, a trio of scientists won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of Buckminsterfullerene — soccer-ball-shaped spheres of 60 joined carbon atoms that exhibit special physical properties. Now, 20 years…

Ray Irani’s gift also establishes the Ghada Irani Chair in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Photo courtesy of Occidental Petroleum Corp.

Irani Pledges Support for Residential College

March 2, 2015

USC Trustee Ray Irani Ph.D. ’57 has pledged $20 million to the university, of which $15 million will create the Ray Irani Residential College at the new USC Village. The additional $5 million will endow two faculty…

Peter Kuhn presented his “no cell left behind” approach to detecting and characterizing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood during a Dean's Special Lecture on Jan. 26. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Better Cures, Better Care

February 5, 2015

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., USC Dornsife’s Peter Kuhn was sitting in a restaurant when a server walked up to him and said simply, “Thank you for saving my mother’s life,” before walking…

Soon to become a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Mark Thompson invented the molecules that make the colors red and green appear on the Samsung phone’s screen. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Thompson Hailed as Innovator

December 16, 2014

USC Dornsife’s Mark Thompson will become a new fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), an elite group of innovators that includes 21 Nobel laureates from around the world. Thompson and two other USC…

Matthew Pratt's research aims at understanding and stymieing cancer. Photo by Susan Bell.

Recognition for Pratt’s Work

November 18, 2014

Six years into his career at USC Dornsife, Matthew Pratt is on a roll — gaining attention for cutting-edge research aimed at understanding and stemming cancer. Pratt’s research focuses on glycosylation, the…

Chemistry major Beatriz “Abril” Lopez-Bermudez works in the laboratory of Brent Melot, assistant professor of chemistry (right). Melot’s team is researching ways to produce safer, higher-voltage and more compact batteries. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Big Boost for the Bench

October 9, 2014

For Beatriz “Abril” Lopez-Bermudez, advancing energy efficiency is a cause near and dear. Growing up in Ayotla, a suburb of Mexico City, her family home and entire neighborhood were often without electricity for…

G.K. Surya Prakash of chemistry has worked in fluorine chemistry for 25 years. Recently, his research proved the existence of a long-lived form of the trifluoromethanide anion, which many chemists considered impossible. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Chemists Dispel Long-held Notion

September 26, 2014

In a recent study, USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute chemists have dispelled a long-held notion regarding the ubiquitous fluorine-containing trifluoromethyl group. The trifluoromethyl group is significant in chemistry…

Chemistry professors Mark Thompson, left, and Karl Christe will receive awards from the American Chemical Society for their groundbreaking research during a ceremony in March 2015.

Thompson and Christe Lauded by ACS

September 4, 2014

Two USC Dornsife Department of Chemistry professors are set to receive awards from the American Chemical Society (ACS): Mark Thompson, the 2015 ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials, and Karl Christe, the 2015 ACS Award for…

Freshman Danyal Brink is at once avid athlete, sports fan, curious chemist and quoter of Latin. Photos by David Sprague.

Fusing Fun with Diligence

September 2, 2014

In an oversized white lab coat, khakis, polo shirt and gloves, Danyal Brink looks like a kid in an adult world. At 17, he’s delighted to be turned loose with electrodes and magnets and cylinders and spectroscopes for…

Andrey Vilesov of chemistry and physics found that quantum vortices, or whirlpools, form in spinning helium nanodroplets in unprecedented quantities. Photo by Rico Mayro Tanyag.

Discovery in Helium Droplets

August 28, 2014

Liquid helium, when cooled down nearly to absolute zero, exhibits unusual properties that scientists have struggled to understand: it creeps up walls and flows freely through impossibly small channels, completely lacking…