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Research Areas

Molecular Assembly, Materials and Nanoscience

ASU students and faculty are building designer electronic materials with atomic level precision, are constructing molecular level logic devices, and complex nanostructures based on molecular origami, that self-assemble with atomic level control of function, and novel materials for energy conversion and storage.  We are leaders in research on molecular processes in solid and disordered states and in connecting geological materials to molecular processes.

Biological Molecular Science

Structural biology is being revolutionized at ASU using femtosecond nanocrystallography.  Our faculty and students are defining the roles of enzymes and protein complexes with biomolecules that regulate transcription, translation, post-translational modification and energy and proton flow in DNA, in membranes and within cells. We also study the molecular basis of biology in geology and even astronomy.

Molecular Understanding of Disease, Diagnosis and Therapeutics

ASU is at the forefront in describing the molecular basis of disease and critical protein/drug interactions with atomic-scale resolution. We are developing sensors for the early detection of disease, using biophysics and novel analytics for diagnosis diagnose at the atom, molecule and cell level, designing new drugs that target specific metabolic pathways, and are building high-throughout diagnostic arrays for personalized medicine.

Molecular Energy and Catalysis

ASU researchers are world leaders in photosynthesis research and in the development of molecular solutions for energy capture, storage and conversion. We build bio-inspired systems that use light to synthesize ATP and split water, and study catalysts that generate clean fuels.  We develop novel materials for battery, fuel cell and energy production technologies, and even study energy flow in geologic and biologic systems that do not rely on photosynthesis. 

Environmental Molecular and Materials Science

We study environmental molecular processes to protect the earths' most valuable resources, air and water.  ASU has a strong history in connecting chemistry, biochemistry and geology.  We define the materials chemistry of the geosphere, and explore new ways of performing chemical reactions inspired by geomimicry, and how chemistry, biology and geology sustain life on earth, and possibly beyond.


Fundamental Molecular Science

ASU faculty and students are advancing the theory and practice of fundamental molecular science, using state-of-the-art spectroscopy, single-molecule techniques and computational methods.  The molecular properties of condensed matter and the fundamental principles of chemical reactivity are being defined experimentally and computationally.