Saint Petersburg State University Institute of Chemistry

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Saint Petersburg State University
Faculty of Chemistry
Established 1929
Dean Irina A. Balova
Location Saint Petersburg, Russia

The Faculty of Chemistry at Saint Petersburg State University is one of the leading chemistry faculties in Russia.[1]


Formally, the Department of Chemistry has been created as a separate entity of Saint Petersburg State University (then Leningrad State University) in 1929. However, the history of chemistry at Saint Petersburg State University began much earlier. First chemistry laboratory and lectures in chemistry were introduced at the University in 1833. One of the first professors of chemistry was Alexander Voskresensky, a doctoral student of Justus von Liebig. Voskresensky largely contributed to the growth of chemistry classes at the University. He initiated lectures in organic chemistry (1843) and promoted first scientific projects. Later, in 1868, the chemistry division hosted then by the Department of Physics and Mathematics was split into three to form the division of organic chemistry led by Aleksandr Butlerov, the division of inorganic chemistry led by Dmitri Mendeleev and the division of analytical chemistry led by Nikolai Menshutkin. Since then, the University of Saint-Petersburg became home to one of the most elite chemistry schools in the country. Many prominent Russian chemists began their career and/or worked there. Among them are Nikolay Zinin, Alexey Favorsky, Lev Aleksandrovich Chugaev, Dmitry Konovalov, Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev, Vyacheslav Tishchenko, Vladimir Ipatieff, Nikolay Semyonov, Boris Nikolsky, Mikhail Shultz.

In the Soviet era, the Department of Chemistry continued to grow with new divisions: colloid chemistry (1939), electrochemistry (1940), chemistry of macromolecular compounds (1944), radiochemistry (1945), physical organic chemistry (1946), theory of solutions (1950), chemistry of natural compounds (1963), quantum chemistry (1967), solid state chemistry (1978).


Historically, some of the first chemistry offices were located in the main building of Saint Petersburg State University called Twelve Collegia. The remainder of these is the Mendeleev museum located on the first floor of the central part of this enormous building.[2][3] In the 20th century, the Department of Chemistry was headquartered at 41/43 Sredniy prospekt on Vasilievsky Island, about one mile west of Twelve Collegia. In the 1980s, most of the laboratories were relocated to a more spacious building in the newly constructed campus in the suburb of Peterhof.


Currently, there are 14 scientific divisions in the chemistry department:

  • Analytical chemistry[4]
  • Chemistry of macromolecular compounds
  • Chemistry of natural compounds
  • Colloid chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Laser chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physical chemistry
  • Physical organic chemistry
  • Radiochemistry
  • Quantum chemistry and chemical physics
  • Solid state chemistry
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics


  1. ^ Donetskaya, S.S. (2007). "The scientific capabilities of chemistry faculty members in Russian universities." (PDF). Eko (Russian: Эко) (4): 131–143. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  2. ^ Trimble, R.F. (1981). "Mendeleev's Discovery of the Periodic Law". Journal of Chemical Education. 58 (1): 28. doi:10.1021/ed058p28. 
  3. ^ Krotikov, V.A. (1960). "The Mendeleev Archives and Museum of the Leningrad University". Journal of Chemical Education. 37 (12): 625–628. doi:10.1021/ed037p625. 
  4. ^ Moskvin, L.N. (2001). "Analytical Chemistry Department of St. Petersburg University". Journal of Analytical Chemistry. 56 (7): 682–688. doi:10.1023/A:1016760826220. 

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