About the department

The Department of Chemistry has a rich history of excellent research and inspirational teaching.

Dainton Building

Research spans chemical biology, light-matter interactions and theory, polymers, materials and nanoscience, and supramolecular chemistry and catalysis. This provides the basis for a substantial and varied portfolio of research grants, collaborations with industry, and research institution partnerships.

Our talented undergraduate and postgraduate students are supported by more than 40 academic staff, plus teaching staff, who are committed to helping our students understand complex chemical theories, and how to apply them in the lab.

The courses our undergraduate students complete are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, so that they can graduate with all the skills they need for a career in science.

We are also committed to inspiring the next generation of science students through a regular programme of activities for local schoolchildren in the Kroto Schools Laboratory.

Nobel Prize winners

The following scientists either worked or studied in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield.

Lord Porter of Luddenham FRS
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967

Lord Porter (Professor of Physical Chemistry 1955-66) shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1967 with Ronald G.W. Norrish and Manfred Eigen for their discovery of flash photolysis, a technique which enabled chemists for the first time to measure the speed and mechanism of certain reactions that occurred too quickly for detection by conventional methods.

Sir Richard Roberts FRS
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993

Sir Richard (BSc Chemistry 1965, PhD 1968) shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 with Phillip Sharp for their discovery of "split genes", thereby disproving the long-held theory that genes in plants and animals were made up of continuous segments of DNA. This has important biological, medical and evolutionary consequences.

Sir Harry Kroto FRS
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996

Sir Harry (BSc Chemistry 1961, PhD 1964) shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley for discovering a new form of carbon, "buckminsterfullerene", which stands alongside the two other well-defined forms, diamond and graphite.

Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart FRS
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016

Sir Fraser (ICI Research Fellow then Lecturer 1970-1978; Reader in Chemistry 1981-1990) shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Bernard L. Feringa for the design and synthesis of the world's smallest molecular machines.

Find out about Sir Fraser's return visit to our department

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.