COSAM » Departments » Chemistry & Biochemistry » About the Department

Welcome to the Auburn University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry!

Vince Ortiz, Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry

My colleagues and I appreciate your interest in Auburn University’s programs in the fascinating fields of chemistry and biochemistry. Our Department offers Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in chemistry and biochemistry that are certified by the American Chemical Society, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in chemistry, and at the graduate level, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has 24 full-time faculty members and is in the process of expanding. There are approximately 90 graduate students and 5 postdoctoral fellows conducting cutting-edge research in the areas of biological chemistry, synthesis methodology, molecular recognition and detection, new material synthesis and characterization, computational chemistry, renewable energy, as well as in the traditional areas of analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.

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Our research laboratories are housed in the Chemistry Building (find campus location here: Auburn Map). A typical laboratory has four desks in addition to fumehoods and bench space. Each floor has a lounge area equipped with the latest audio-visual aids to facilitate interactions among researchers and students. Large lecture rooms on the first floor are also equipped with the latest audio-visual technologies. On Thursday afternoons, students and faculty gather in the lobby for refreshments and conversation before the departmental colloquia, which feature visitors with international reputations and interests that complement those of our faculty.

Our undergraduate laboratory classes are conducted in the Sciences Center Laboratories Building, across the COSAM quadrangle from the Chemistry Building. Our permanent teaching staff comprises experienced professionals who, in collaboration with the faculty, design, maintain, and update the laboratory curriculum from the freshman level to advanced undergraduate courses. Access to specialized equipment provides our majors with valuable experience that is immediately applicable in a variety of professions. Undergraduates are highly encouraged to enhance their education by undertaking research projects in collaboration with the faculty.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry houses a full complement of instruments crucial to the pursuit of chemical research. The Mass Spectrometry Center (MSC) provides analytical services and houses multiple instruments, including LC/MS, Q-TOF, and GC/MS. ESI, APCI, and EI ionization. The Q-TOF premier has a full range of modern mass spectrometric techniques available, including MS, MS/MS, Survey, PID neutral, PID product, MSE, and DDAX scanning methods. The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility houses three high-field NMR instruments (250, 400, and 600 MHz), which provide routine access to 1H, 13C, 31P, and 19F NMR. Virtually all modern 2D NMR techniques such as COSY and NOESY (utilizing HSQC, HMQC, and HMBC experiments) may be performed on these instruments, and nearly all NMR-active nuclei are observable with our selection of probes, including a cryoprobe. A new single crystal diffractometer equipped with a dual anode source that allows structure determination on biological and small molecule samples will be installed in the X-Ray Diffraction Facility later this year. Also available is a powder diffractometer with a wide area detector. A host of spectrometers are available including FT-IR and GC/FT-IR. Multiple capillary gas chromatographs are on hand, including one with an ion-trap detector. Thermal measurements are performed using microcalorimetry and differential scanning calorimetry. UV-Vis, UV-Vis-NIR, and CRAIC UV-Vis fluorescence spectrophotometers, as well as those for magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) experiments are also available. There is a Confocal Raman Microscopy Service Center capable of detecting Raman and luminescence spectra. There are powerful supercomputers featuring

The university library contains all major and most minor chemical journals. Many of these journals are available electronically and can be accessed through computers located in the department. The library contains more than 2.5 million hardbound volumes, 2.1 million volumes in micro format, and 375,000 items in the government documents collection. Scarce and out-of-print materials may be obtained through interlibrary loans from across the nation. Computer-based searches of the chemical literature are available to students and faculty using Chemical Abstracts On Line in the Chemistry Building and the main library. The library holdings catalog also is accessible from our laboratories. thousands of processors, hundreds of GB of RAM, and hundreds of TB of disk space. A glass shop is also available, where chemical glassware can be fabricated, modified, and/or repaired, and a new 3D Printing facility is available to support research and instructional activities.

The university library contains all major and most minor chemical journals. Many of these journals are available electronically and can be accessed through computers located in the department. The library contains more than 3.2 million hardbound volumes, 2.5 million volumes in micro format, and 2.6 million items in the government documents collection. Scarce and out-of-print materials may be obtained through interlibrary loans from across the nation. Computer-based searches of the chemical literature are available to students and faculty using Chemical Abstracts Online in the Chemistry Building and the main library.

Auburn University is a dynamic, comprehensive university with about 25,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. The student population comes from all fifty states, four U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as over 100 foreign countries. The university is located in Auburn, Alabama, a city of 60,000 people that is located 110 miles southwest of Atlanta via Interstate 85. The area is a wonderful place to live and study. Auburn has a moderate climate throughout the year and is surrounded by wooded countryside that is especially attractive in the late fall. A state park is located a few miles from the campus, and the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches are about four hours away. The university, with its celebrated sports facilities and teams, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the Auburn University Theatre and its many concert and lecture series, provides a rich cultural and recreational environment. To appreciate what studying at Auburn really is like, we hope that you will arrange for a visit.

Dr. Curtis Shannon
Andrew T. Hunt Professor and Chairman
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry



Last Updated: 03/07/2018