The University of Maryland in College Park, US has inaugurated a new state-of-the-art chemistry building that will be a hub for quantum chemistry, molecular nanoscience and sustainability research. The $132 million (£106 million), 9756m2 facility will house research on antibody-based therapeutics and HIV vaccine development, new materials and technologies for energy conversion and storage or chemical remediation, developing novel mass spectrometry instruments, and quantum-state controlled chemical reactions under extreme conditions.

Chemistry building

Source: © John T Consoli

The new lab will host researchers working on quantum chemistry, nanoscience and sustainability

‘Our chemistry and biochemistry students and faculty members will have the tools and technologies they need in this new building to take their discoveries to the next level and ultimately improve our world and drive our economy,’ stated Amitabh Varshney, dean of the university’s College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences.

Janice Reutt-Robey, who chairs the university’s chemistry and biochemistry department, said the new building was designed purposefully to ‘enable faculty members and students to share ideas, solve problems and ask new questions about our natural world’. For example, the facility features strict temperature and humidity control, optimal thermal management, regulated airflow and designated collaborative space.