• Each of our three “synthesis” labs has standard synthetic equipment.
  • Each graduate student and post-doc has their own bench and hood.
  • Both traditional and automated column chromatography are used for purifications.
  • Air- and moisture-free techniques are often required in our work.
  • Our two 2-person gloveboxes facilitate air- and moisture-free synthesis.
  • Our new materials are characterized using a suite of instruments – both in house and on campus.
  • Our department has several state-of-the-art instrumentation facilities for walk-on use.
  • Our in situ IR spectrometer is often used for measuring reaction rates.
  • Our three complementary microscopes are used to image gel fibers.
  • Graduate students have an opportunity to mentor undergraduate student researchers.
  • Both formal and informal collaboration among students is encouraged.
  • Our lab has pioneered the synthesis and application of gradient sequence conjugated copolymers.
  • Our lab has pioneered the use of small molecule gels as chemical and biological sensors.
  • Welcome to the McNeil Group

    Our chemical research focuses on the synthesis and applications of organic materials. Our education research focuses on efforts to improve student engagement and learning.

  • Our lab is equipped with 15 desks, hoods and benches.

  • Each of our three “synthesis” labs has standard synthetic equipment.

  • Each graduate student and post-doc has their own bench and hood.

  • Both traditional and automated column chromatography are used for purifications.

  • Air- and moisture-free techniques are often required in our work.

  • Our two 2-person gloveboxes facilitate air- and moisture-free synthesis.

  • Our new materials are characterized using a suite of instruments – both in house and on campus.

  • Our department has several state-of-the-art instrumentation facilities for walk-on use.

  • Our in situ IR spectrometer is often used for measuring reaction rates.

  • Our three complementary microscopes are used to image gel fibers.

  • Graduate students have an opportunity to mentor undergraduate student researchers.

  • Both formal and informal collaboration among students is encouraged.

  • Our lab has pioneered the synthesis and application of gradient sequence conjugated copolymers.

  • Our lab has pioneered the use of small molecule gels as chemical and biological sensors.

Educational Research

  • Sapling 02
  • Sapling 03
  • Rebuild 02
  • Rebuild 01
  • HHMI Photo 01
  • HHMI Photo 02

Our education research focuses on efforts to improve student engagement and learning. Specific project goals include attracting and retaining a diverse body of students to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, moving the department towards more evidence-based teaching, narrowing the gap between varied high-school preparation and college-level introductory courses, and increasing the accessible scientific knowledge available to the masses.

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Chemical Research

Our chemical research focuses on the synthesis and applications of organic materials. Specific materials of interest include conjugated polymers and small molecule gels. Students in the polymer subgroup may work on developing new catalysts, performing mechanistic studies, synthesizing and characterizing sequence-controlled copolymers, or investigating their behavior in solid-state polymer blends. Students in the gel subgroup may work on identifying new gel scaffolds using predictive tools, triggering the gel transition in response to specific analytes, or templating the growth of other materials.

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McNeil Group News

February 2016

Anne’s autobiographical perspective on her career path from early childhood to a faculty member working on molecular gels is now published in the Beilstein J. Org. Chem.

January 2016

Carol Ann Pitcairn joins the REBUILD team as a post-doc – welcome!

December 2015

Danielle Zurcher and Sameer Phadke join team HHMI as post-doctoral scholars in chemistry education research – welcome!