OSU has an active materials research community encompassing departments in the Colleges of Science and Engineering. Interactions extend to local companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel. Through interactions with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, students can join a vibrant innovation community.  Unique education, internship, and funding opportunities support the successful translation of basic research to commercial products.   Students can earn an MS degree in materials science engineering (MSE) en route to a Ph.D. in chemistry, pursuing a Ph.D. degree in materials science is an additional option.

Regular Faculty

Paul Cheong - computational study of mechanisms, selectivities, and reactivities of bio, organic, and transition metal catalysts and reactions

Chong Fang - Ultrafast spectroscopy on novel materials and functional biomolecules.  "The interplay between chemistry, physics, and biology greatly facilitates the ultrafast spectroscopic advances in the molecular vibration domain, which include the newly developed FSRS (femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy) and 2D IR (two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy).  In our lab, the real-time structural snapshots of functional biomolecules 'in action' offer unprecedented mechanistic insights on the intrinsic timescale (10 fs-1 ps) critical for their specific functions."

David Ji - Tackle the challenges of strategic materials and key electrochemical processes for energy storage and conversion devices.

Douglas Keszler - Synthesis and study of new inorganic solids. “We study new thin-film and bulk materials and chemical processes of interest for semiconductor manufacturing, transparent electronics, solar cells, and other emerging solid-state electronic and energy devices.”

Wei Kong - Spectroscopic methods for studies of chemical reaction mechanisms. “We are interested in using electronic spectroscopy to investigate photochemical and photophysical properties of two types of materials: biologically related species such as nucleic acid bases, amino acids, their oligomers, and their polymers, and nanomaterials such as quantum dots.”

Michael M. Lerner - Nanocomposites and intercalation chemistry. “We are exploring syntheses, structures, and properties of intercalation compounds and layered nanocomposites. Applications of interest include rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors, and structural materials.”

May Nyman - Pushing the frontiers of aqueous metal-oxo cluster chemistry with applications in environmental challenges and a sustainable energy future.

Marilyn MackiewiczResearch in the Mackiewicz group is at the chemistry-biology interface bridging several fields of chemistry with biology and engineering. Our research is centered around 4 major themes that include: 1) designing nanoscale materials using green synthetic approaches for biomedical and environmental applications, 2) studying nanoparticle-biological interactions and nanotoxicology, 3) developing diagnostic assays and systems to monitor disease states and therapeutic response and 4) systems for imaging and targeted drug delivery. Our long-term goal is to advance our bench side chemistry to translational applications in cancer, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. We have developed platform nanotechnologies that allow us to explore a variety of biomedical, environmental, and industrial applications. Concurrently, we and our collaborators work to test these platforms in a variety of translational applications. In addition, we study the nanotoxicological effects of the new materials developed and their nanoparticle-biological interactions to advance their designs and overcome translational barriers that limit their use in vivo. Our research involves partnerships developed between Portland State University (PSU), Oregon State University (OSU), Casey Eye Institute, Devers Eye Institute, and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) to achieve our long-term research goals and advance our technologies forward into new directions.

Kyriakos Stylianou - The "Materials Discovery Laboratory" (MaD Lab) research focuses on the generation of porous materials; namely metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for advanced applications.  They intend to develop synthetic strategies to functionalize their pore surface with specific groups in order to enhance interactions with targeted molecules and test their potential towards the capture and utilization of CO2, photocatalytic, and as sensors.

Mas Subramanian - Designing new inorganic solid-state functional materials for emerging applications in electronics, solid-state energy conversion, and other areas.

Adjunct Faculty

Janet Tate - program focuses on thin films, including oxides that are transparent conductors, sulfide electroluminescent films, and oxide high-temperature superconductors.

Emeritus Faculty

Glenn Evans - Physical chemistry of complex fluids. “Current research focuses on statistical mechanics of self-assembling systems in fluids. Topics include the aggregation of water in ambient and atmospheric environments, the formation of network liquids, dendrimer growth and termination, and micelle self-assembly using mathematical and computational tools.”

Joseph W. Nibler - Chemical physics, applications of linear and nonlinear forms of laser spectroscopy “We use high-resolution FTIR and coherent Raman spectroscopies to study structures and dynamic properties of simple reactive molecules and radicals, as well as of weak complexes and nanoclusters formed in cold molecular beams. Examples include species such as CH3, SO3, C3O2, and clusters such as (CO2)n and (N2)n.”

Arthur Sleight - Synthesis of new inorganic solids and the elucidation of structure-property relationships of inorganic solids, especially oxides. “Currently under investigation are oxides that contract on heating along with transparent oxides that are good electrical conductors.”

Philip Watson - Surface chemistry. “We use scanning probe microscopes and direct recoil spectrometry to understand the role of surface processes in the synthesis of thin-film materials, catalytic reactions, and the formation of biominerals. Our current focus is the investigation of the nanoscale structure and kinetics of thin films formed from solution.”


Gilbert Hall, the Ag & Life Sciences Building, and the Radiation Center house chemistry research and administrative offices with separate undergraduate teaching labs located in Gilbert Addition. Facilities are available for the synthesis of solids as powders, thin films, and large single crystals. A complete range of facilities is available for characterizing the structure and properties of solids. This includes four X-ray diffractometers for determining structures, an atomic force microscope, and extensively shared instrumentation in the College of Engineering and the Physics Department. A number of pulsed and CW laser systems are used in our research labs. These include an optical parametric oscillator and dye lasers giving tunable radiation from the UV to the infrared as well as a Coherent anti-Stokes Raman system with a state-of-the-art spectral resolution of 0.001 cm-1.

Graduate Program

  • Graduate students in good standing receive year-round support through a combination of research grants and departmental funds.
  • 2005/2006 annual graduate stipend is $18,000 plus the cost of tuition, totaling over $30,000.
  • Seminar series, including the Linus Pauling Lectures, brings internationally recognized guest speakers to OSU.
  • Coursework is tailored to students' interests.
  • Students interested in academic careers can participate in a mentoring program for teaching.
  • Graduates find careers in academe, governmental and industrial labs, and small high-tech research companies.
  • Applications are accepted throughout the year. No fee is required.



Corvallis is a small university town of 50,000 an hour-and-a-half drive south of Portland in the beautiful Willamette Valley. Summers are mild with temperatures of 85°F, clear blue skies, and low humidity; winter lows seldom dip below 32°F. The Pacific Northwest is famous for rain which results in lush green forests and farmland. Residents enjoy microbrews, strong coffee, and local wines with their unique Northwest cuisine. Within an hour’s drive, a parade of volcanic peaks marches through the Cascade Mountains offering rugged terrain for hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing, and water and snow sports. The Pacific coast is a pleasant 50-minute drive to the west.