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200 Years of Carolina Chemistry

April 9, 2018

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In April, Carolina chemistry will celebrate its 200th birthday. A key secret to reaching this venerable milestone and achieving an international reputation has been to invest in generations of promising young scientists like Bo Li and to provide them with the tools they need to thrive. Today, young scholars continue to work alongside foundational members of the department — people like Royce Murray, who has been on the faculty for 58 years.

Developing polymers that mimic chameleon skin

March 29, 2018

Biological materials have complex mechanical properties that are difficult to reproduce using synthetic materials. An international team of researchers, led by UNC-Chapel Hill chemist Sergei Sheiko, has produced a biocompatible synthetic material that behaves like biological tissues and changes color when it changes shape — like chameleon skin. The research appears in the March 30 issue of Science.

Generating Power Like Plants

January 11, 2018

When plants absorb sunlight, they convert carbon dioxide into energy-rich organic compounds. What if humans could do the same thing? What if we could pull CO2 out of the air and use it to build organic molecules? This revolutionary idea is still just that — an idea. But organic chemists at UNC are laying the groundwork for turning it into reality.