School of Chemistry & Physics



Research within the School is of the highest international standard, and our MSc & PhD degrees are recognized internationally. Our teaching and research equipment is amongst the best in Africa and compares favorably with facilities at the top universities in the world. These include four NMR spectrometers (including 600 MHz with solids probe), a wide range of chromatographic equipment including GC-MS and LC-MS. We also have an extensive range of equipment for inorganic analysis including single crystal and powder diffraction X-ray equipment as well as a range of atomic and molecular spectroscopic instruments.

Research undertaken within the School broadly covers the following areas:

  • Catalysis
  • Quantum Information Processing, Communication and Open Quantum Systems
  • Quantum Nanophotonics
  • Computational Research (both Physics and Chemistry)
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Green Chemistry
  • Material Science
  • Space and Atmospheric Physics
  • Astrophysics
Picture of Dr Olatunde Olatunji

Dr Olatunde Olatunji

Academic Leader: Research | 031 260 7323

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The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) was established in 2006 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). 

It is designed to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation at South African public universities through the establishment of Research Chairs at public universities in South Africa with a long-term investment trajectory of up to fifteen years.

There are two SARChI research chairs in the School of Chemistry and Physics.

Picture of Prof Fanie van Heerden

Prof Fanie van Heerden

Chair of Chemistry of Indigenous Medicinal Plants | 033 260 5886

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NRF A-Rated Researchers

A-rated researchers are unequivocally recognised by their peers as leading international scholars in their respective fields, for the high quality and impact of recent research outputs. Acquiring an NRF rating generates considerable acknowledgement and respect for the individual researchers as well as their institutions.

Picture of Prof Fernando Albericio

Prof Fernando Albericio

NRF A-Rated Researcher | 031 260 3097


Research Space is an institutional repository of the University’s publications. It was developed to increase the visibility, availability and impact of its research output. Take a look at publications from the disciplines within the School of Chemistry and Physics.