Inorganic Chemistry

Featured Research

Biological Applications of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles
Prof. Jeffrey I. Zink
Delivery and Release of Anti-Cancer Drugs into Living Cells
Dr. Zink investigates the way of delivering anti-cancer drugs at cell level, utilizing Nanoimpeller-controlled mesostructured silica nanoparticles under photocontrol.



Inorganic Chemistry encompasses fundamental studies of the properties and reactivities of nearly all of the elements, and the roles of metals in biological systems.

It impacts diverse technologies, ranging from:

  • catalysis and the synthesis of new materials
  • drug design and sensor fabrication
  • synthesis of novel boron and carborane compounds for cancer treatment
  • exploration of new organometallic complexes for synthesis and catalysis
Innovative low-pressure, low-temperature routes for obtaining high-purity ceramic materials are also being developed. New types of monolayers, thin films and polymer membranes are being fabricated and characterized for use in electronics, sensors and separations.


Research into the functions of metal complexes in biological systems is providing new insights into disease processes and strategies for treatments and cures. From synthesis to fabrication, from the nanoscale to living organisms, inorganic research at UCLA combines breadth and innovation.

Our Research Facility

Professor Paula L. Diaconescu

The Diaconescu group designs metal complexes supported by ferrocene-based chelating ligands. All projects under investigation harness ferrocene’s unique electronic properties to impart unusual reactivity in the activation of small molecules and to generate biodegradable polymers.

Professor Xiangfeng Duan

Professor Xiangfeng Duan and his group's interests include nanoscale materials, devices and their applications in future electronics, energy science and biomedical science.

Professor Richard B. Kaner

Professor Richard B. Kaner and his group is interested in all aspects of conducting polymers, ranging from the fundamental science of these materials to their development for a wide variety of applications.

Professor Hosea M. Nelson
Professor Hosea Nelson and his colleagues develop novel methodology aimed at the construction of complex, bioactive molecules. His group utilizes concepts in organometallic chemistry and main group chemistry to facilitate the discovery of new organic transformations. Of particular interest are transformations of simple hydrocarbon substrates through polycyclization processes.
Professor Alexander Spokoyny
Research in the Spokoyny laboratory is devoted towards establishing new synthetic avenues, structural understanding, and applications for inorganic and organomimetic clusters. These efforts will reveal novel and potentially useful solutions to important problems in the field, including: catalysis, energy storage and selective recognition and labeling of biomolecules.
Professor Jeffrey I. Zink
Professor Jeffrey Zink and his research group work primarily in four different areas: excited state properties of large molecules; laser assisted chemical vapor deposition of nano-particles and structures; functional (optical and electrical) nano-structured materials; and nano-machines.