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ETHistory 1855-2005 | Rückblicke | Departemente | CHAB Chemie | Research |


The hard core of chemical research is the relationship between structure and properties at the molecular level. Various aspects of the concept “Structure” in Chemistry include various levels of theory, synthesis, self-assembly, and spectroscopic methods for structure determination. Under properties, broadly construed, fall reactivity, catalysis, biological activity, materials properties, as well as more complicated functional relationships. Theory and computational methods underlie nearly all aspects of chemical research. While the natural world is a source of ideas and inspiration for chemical research, Chemistry is nevertheless nearly unique among the classical natural science disciplines in that it creates the object of its study. Synthesis prepares molecules that have hitherto never existed, which means that, as structure-activity relationships are validated, new molecular entities can be prepared in a targeted synthesis and engineered to provide specific properties or functions. Most of chemical research is “hypothesis-driven” in this way, but there is also an increasing application of molecular diversity to find new reactivity patterns, which are then reinjected into the cycle of synthesis, analysis, and design. Lastly, Modern Chemistry is broad and interdisciplinary. The links to the research programs of the 38 professors can be viewed in their totality as spanning a tremendous range of activities, which together illustrate the reach of chemical research.

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