Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
A paper authored by Professor Christopher C. Cummins and Graduate Student Michael B. Geeson was recently published in Science.
Phosphoric acid as a precursor to chemicals traditionally synthesized from white phosphorus Michael B. Geeson, Christopher C. Cummins* Science 08 Feb 2018: eaar6620 DOI: 10.1126/science.aar6620
Abstract: White phosphorus, generated in the legacy thermal process for phosphate rock upgrading, has long been the key industrial intermediate for the synthesis of phosphorus-containing chemicals, including herbicides, flame-retardants, catalyst ligands, battery electrolytes, pharmaceuticals, and detergents. In contrast, phosphate fertilizers are made on a much larger scale from phosphoric acid, obtained by treating phosphate rock with sulfuric acid. Dehydration of phosphoric acid using sodium chloride gives trimetaphosphate, and here we report that trichlorosilane, primarily used for the production of high-purity silicon, reduces trimetaphosphate to the previously unknown bis(trichlorosilyl)phosphide anion. This anion offers an entry point to value-added organophosphorus chemicals such as primary and secondary alkyl phosphines, and thus to organophosphinates, and can also be used to prepare phosphine gas and the hexafluorophosphate anion, all previously available only downstream from white phosphorus.