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Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanisms

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See PD 18-9102 for the latest version.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


The CSDM Program supports research projects that have strong implications for advancing the foundational knowledge of chemical systems.  The Program supports research on the nature of chemical structure, chemical structure property studies, chemical dynamics, and chemical mechanisms. The CSDM Program is divided into two sub-programs, CSDM-A and CSDM-B.  At coarse resolution, the CSDM-A Program may be seen as encompassing the sub-disciplines of experimental physical chemistry and applied computational physical chemistry, while CSDM-B is the venue for physical organic and physical inorganic chemistry.  The research supported by the two Programs may also be distinguished in terms of whether their goal is to use existing experimental methods and current conceptual frameworks to understand and describe physical processes in molecules and materials that are becoming increasingly relevant in modern applications (CSDM-B), or to challenge the way we think about physical phenomena in chemical systems through the development of innovative experimental approaches and new conceptual models (CSDM-A).  Projects supported by CSDM-A typically involve in-depth analysis of experimental data at the quantum- or statistical-mechanical level, often with an outcome being the modification or updating of the theoretical model.  Projects supported by CSDM-B also rely on theory to interpret structure-function relationships, but tend to focus on the consequence of structure (or changes in structure) on reactivity and other behaviors.

Projects involving nanochemistry or biologically-relevant systems should consult the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry (MSN) or Chemistry of Life Processes (CLP) Programs, respectively.  Proposals for projects whose primary goal is the development of an entirely new instrumental technique, or enhanced performance or understanding of an existing technique may be more appropriate for the Chemical Measurement and Imaging (CMI) Program.  In general, research focused on solid-state chemical processes are not supported by CSDM.  Investigators interested in this area should consult with the Solid State Materials Chemistry (SSMC) Program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR).  Projects for which the primary goal is the development of a practical device are not supported by the CSDM-A and CSDM-B Programs and should be submitted to an appropriate program in the Engineering Directorate.

The following Program Descriptions are intended to guide the proposer to the most appropriate sub-program for her/his research.  


The Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanisms-B (CSDM-B) Program supports mechanistic studies of various chemical processes and chemical property studies.  CSDM-B proposals generally utilize existing experimental techniques as opposed to developing new ones so that the work can focus on new understanding of molecular properties.  The CSDM B program supports research on the consequences of molecular structure on chemical properties and mechanisms.  Topics of interests to CSDM-B include (but are not limited to): mechanistic studies of chemical reactions, and energy- or materials-related processes, the chemistry of reactive intermediates, and the development of molecules with novel chemical properties.  Projects supported in the CSDM B program are diverse, ranging from traditional mechanistic studies, chromophore development for advance imaging and solar applications, to studies relevant to the development of flow batteries and molecular qubits.  Projects in the CSDM B program often involve significant synthetic efforts in order to vary the chemical structures.  

Submissions that address national needs such as sustainability, brain research, quantum information science, and data are encouraged. 


Program contacts

Administrative Program Support: Darren Kimble, dkimble@nsf.gov or (703) 292-7159

Tingyu Li
tli@nsf.gov (703) 292-4949 MPS/CHE
Richard Johnson
ricjohns@nsf.gov Primary Email MPS/CHE

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program