Schrödinger cats and conical intersections
The Mukamel group can predict an outcome of an ultrafast ultraviolet excitation of complex molecules resulting in a passage through conical intersections.  They are world-leaders at non-linear spectroscopy.
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Going for gold
Gold nanowires can activate a credit card or launch a missile. Ervin Meneses, a 17-year old summer intern, grows gold-coated filaments 1,000th the width of a human hair. 
http://ps.uci.edu/news/135
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Undergraduate research at UCI
Dozens of chemistry undergraduate students participate in chemistry research each year and present their results at UROP and other conferences.  Most labs actively seek bright, motivated undergraduates, and many undergrads find opportunities just by talking to professors.
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Chemists discover ozone-boosting reaction
AirUCI is an Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute funded by the National Science Foundation. Director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts and colleagues found new chemistry that increases ozone formation, missing from existing models of choking smog.
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Message from Chair James Nowick

Welcome to the UCI Department of Chemistry! My colleagues and I are committed to providing undergraduate and graduate students with world-class education and training while pushing the frontiers of knowledge through cutting-edge research.
 
Please join us! Explore our website. Partake of classes. Apply to our graduate program. Pursue employment opportunities. Contact our faculty.
 
We welcome our incoming class of 50 graduate students and warmly wish them success in their first steps toward their doctoral degrees.
 
The Department of Chemistry is committed to excellence through inclusion and diversity. We welcome, respect, and are strengthened by our diversity (more)