Featured Research by Members

Danny B. Leznoff (Simon Fraser University)

Professor, Inorganic Chemistry.

Research Area: Organometallic and Inorganic Chemistry

Topics: supramolecular coordination polymers, magnetic materials, open-shell organometallics, actinide chemistry, metal-metal bonds

Compounds which contain unpaired electrons can be found throughout chemistry, from the active sites in many proteins to magnetic materials. The variety of spin carriers is impressive: such systems can involve transition metals, lanthanides and organic radicals. We are interested in all aspects of paramagnetic molecules, in particular focusing on the areas of advanced molecular magnetic materials and paramagnetic organometallic complexes.

Molecular Magnetic Materials are a new type of magnetic material composed of molecules rather than metal atoms. This fundamental difference allows us to create types of advanced materials that have 'radically' different properties compared to classical magnets. For example, molecular magnetic materials can be dissolved. They can be highly coloured or transparent. Imagine a luminescent magnet, a chiral magnet or magnetic polymers! These long-term goals have applications in the electronics and computer industries as information storage and display components, as sensors and as molecular switches...


Paul W. Percival (Simon Fraser University)

Professor, Physical Chemistry

Research Area: Muonium Chemistry and its applications to H atom kinetics, organic free radicals and chemistry in supercritical water.

Muonium (Mu) is the exotic atom consisting of a single electron and a positive muon. From a chemical point of view, muonium is a light isotope of hydrogen; its mass is 1/9 that of H. Our experimental program is conducted at the TRIUMF accelerator facility (see also SFU TRIUMF), one of the few places in the world where high intensity muon beams are available. The muon lifetime is short (2.2 µs), and measurements involve particle physics, fast electronics and computers. However, the experimental techniques muon spin rotation (µSR), muon level-crossing resonance (µLCR) and rf-µSR, all have close parallels in conventional magnetic resonance (NMR and ESR).


Dan Bizzotto (UBC)

Professor, Analytical Chemistry

Research Area: Electrochemistry and Electrochemical Techniques

Electrochemical processes form the basis for many chemical phenomena; the purification of metals, the detection method used in some biosensors, the creation of electrical energy in a fuel cell. Study of the chemistry that occurs on an electrode surface requires the use of many electrochemical techniques as well as in-situ spectroscopic and microscopic tools.

Our main research focus is the study of molecular films adsorbed onto electrode surfaces. We investigate how the electric potential changes the nature of the molecules on the electrode surface. We probe these changes using electrochemistry (voltammetry, impedance, chronocoulometry) and in-situ spectroscopies such as FTIR, reflectance, Raman, and fluorescence in addition to AFM. We have also used these techniques to probe the electrocatalytic properties of Pt and Pt - alloy catalysts that may find use in fuel cell applications

Recent Paper: "Influence of Surface Structure on Single or Mixed Component Self-Assembled Monolayers via in Situ Spectroelectrochemical Fluorescence Imaging of the Complete Stereographic Triangle on a Single Crystal Au Bead Electrode", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137 (1), pp 276–288.


Conferences, Meetings & Events

Canadian Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Conferences


The CIC runs regular international meetings for the chemical sciences and engineering, including the CSC, CSChe, and PacifiChem conferences, as well as student conferences. This year Vancouver section is sponsoring The Banff Symposium on Organic Chemistry (Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2015) and the Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference.

Latest News


The Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) maintains the @CIC_ChemInst Twitter account, which is regularly updated with news from the chemical sciences and engineering in Canada. Please consider adding this to your daily Twitter news feeds.

ACCN Magazine


ACCN (L’Actualité chimique canadienne) the Canadian Chemical News, presents national stories from the chemical sciences and chemical engineering sectors.

Published six times a year, ACCN features cutting-edge scientific discoveries as well as the latest innovations from industry. Insightful columns and breaking news stories embrace all aspects of the Canadian chemistry scene: its personalities and companies, government policy and academic breakthroughs.

ACCN’s regular lineup of in-depth feature stories showcases the problem-solving abilities of chemists and chemical engineers and their embrace of the biggest challenges facing society today, from energy, food and water security to advances in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.



Order of Canada and NSERC Award recipients

February 19, 2015: Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Members Recognized for Outstanding Achievements.

Congratulations to these CIC members who are the newest Order of Canada and NSERC Award recipients.

Order of Canada Recipients

Mark Lautens, FCIC, University of Toronto
Christophe Guy, MCIC, École Polytechnique

The Order of Canada, one of our country's highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada's centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

NSERC Award Recipients

The Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering was awarded to Axel Becke, MCIC, of Dalhousie University

The Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering was awarded to Michael Kovacs, MCIC, of Western University, Thomas Ruth, MCIC, of TRIUMF and John Valliant, MCIC, of McMaster University

An E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship was awarded to Aaron Wheeler, MCIC, of University of Toronto

A Synergy Award for Innovation - Category 1: Small- and Medium-sized Companies was awarded to Robert W. Besant, MCIC, of University of Saskatchewan

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awards recognize the work of outstanding Canadian scientists and engineers. NSERC-funded researchers are honoured every year for a wide range of achievements that showcase the high caliber of talent and the innovative research taking place in Canadian universities and colleges.

Chemistry in Society Lectureships

Vancouver Section has been recognized for organizing its regular Chemistry in Society Lectureships...

Our inaugural “Chemistry in Society Lectureship” was held on November 14, 2004. It used some of the proceeds from the CSC 2002 Conference held at The University of British Columbia (Vancouver) that were generously donated to the Vancouver CIC Local Section. The concept of this lectureship was to enable the local section to invite world-class speakers to Vancouver to enhance the public perception of chemistry and its contributions to modern society.

The inaugural speaker was David Harpp, FCIC, professor at McGill University and co-founder of the Canadian Office for Science and Society. Harpp gave an extremely enjoyable presentation entitled, “Symmetry in Art, Nature, Numbers and Chemistry — A Visual Trip,” to over 90 people at the Vancouver MacMillan Space Centre. The following day, he gave a second, slightly more chemistry-focused lecture at Simon Fraser University entitled, “Miracle Materials.” It addressed the history of plastics from the birth of polymer chemistry to the current state-of-the-art. Both lectures were extremely well-attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all. (See full text here)

Both lectures are available at

Daniel Leznoff, MCIC (Simon Fraser University)

The David Harpp Trio. An interesting example of bilateral symmetry in Nature. Left: David Harpp, FCIC. Centre: Image formed by taking the left side of Harpp’s face, generating the mirror image, and combining the two. Right: Image formed by taking right side of Harpp’s face, generating the mirror image, and combining the two.

Past Chemistry in Society Lecturers

Chemistry in Society Lecturers have often presented a first lecture intended for a public audience, and a second lecture intended for an academic audience.

2004 - Prof. David N. Harpp (McGill University)
(i) Symmetry in Art, Nature, Numbers and Chemistry - A Visual Trip, and (ii) Miracle Materials

2006 - Prof. Joe Schwartz (McGill University)
(i) Chemistry - Just for the Love of It

2009 - Prof. Robin J.H. Clark
(University College, London)
(i) The Scientific Examination of pigments in art and archaeology, and (ii) Inorganic Pigments: from Mixed-Valence Compounds to Anatase

2012 - Prof. Geoffrey Ozin
(University of Toronto)
(i) Photonic Color - Lab-to-Market, and (ii) Materialology - Past, Present and Future

Student Chapters

The Student chapters in our section are:
(i) Simon Fraser University,
Chemistry Student Society (SFSS)
(ii) University of British Columbia,
Undergraduate Chemistry Society

Each year, the CIC presents several awards to outstanding students (details).

Student Chapter Merit Awards (details) are offered as a means of recognizing and encouraging initiative and originality in Student Chapter programming in the areas of chemistry, chemical technology, and chemical engineering. One award is given out per Society annually. Submission deadlines are: Canadian Society for Chemistry (April 1), Canadian Society for Chemical Technology (April 1), and Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (June 1).