Message from the Direction of CQC

Welcome to the Coimbra Chemistry Centre (Centro de Química de Coimbra, CQC; FCT Unit 313) website.

The Coimbra Chemistry Center (CQC) is the primary research unit at the University of Coimbra (UC), in the field of Chemistry. It operates with three main objectives:

  1. Advancing research in key areas of chemistry essential for societal development.
  2. Providing high-level advanced training to both national and international students at Master's, PhD, and Postdoctoral level.
  3. Cultivating collaborations with industries to promote economic growth and create job opportunities, particularly for young professionals.

Established in 1977, the CQC is a multidisciplinary research unit with diverse interests spanning from Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Organic Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Soft Matter, Photochemistry, Biological and Medicinal Chemistries, to research in the fields of Cultural Heritage and Forensic Chemistry.

The CQC is a multidisciplinary research unit comprising 75 integrated researchers with PhD degrees, over one hundred PhD, MSc, and project students, and various associate members from within and outside UC. Its mission is to promote excellence in research in Chemical Sciences by elucidating and controlling molecular mechanisms, developing new fundamental theories, and meeting the evolving technological needs of society through the design and synthesis of new molecular systems and devices. Additionally, CQC is part of the Institute of Molecular Sciences (IMS), an Associate Laboratory with three R&D units, including CQC, Centro de Química Estrutural (UL), and Centro de Investigação em Química da Universidade do Porto.

CQC is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for experimental and computational work, including spectroscopic, chromatographic, thermal and electrochemical analyses, theoretical and computational chemistry and synthesis. It also provides dedicated equipment for studying fast reactions from micro- to femtoseconds, along with clean laboratories for cell toxicity studies and screening of new molecular entities with pharmaceutical relevance.

The CQC's impact extends across various fields, including pharmaceutical formulations, photodynamic therapy, drug design and synthesis, sensors, DSSC systems, catalysis, atmospheric chemistry, protein folding, DNA compaction, membrane permeability, and forensic analysis. These activities have been facilitated by the funding of well qualified personnel through FCT, EU and other national and international sources. Furthermore, the center receives substantial industrial support for its research.

Engagement in collaborative research projects is a keystone of the CQC's activities. The center collaborates closely with other research units within UC, national universities, companies, and institutions, fostering extensive international partnerships with research groups worldwide. As a member of various international networks, including LaserLab Europe, the CQC actively contributes to the Roadmap of Research Infrastructures of Strategic Interest. Moreover, it hosts four Science Platforms at UC, namely the Coimbra Laser Lab, NMR Lab, Cryogenic Facility, and Trace Analysis and Imaging Lab (the latter shared with the Department of Physics UC). Furthermore, the CQC plays an active role as a partner of IUPAC and UNESCO, enhancing its global research network and impact.

Dedicated to the protection and development of intellectual property, the CQC has nowadays 196 patents (requested and/or granted) and has supported the establishment of six start-ups. Committed to training high-level research personnel, the center has been involved in the training of PhD students in the areas of Chemistry and Pharmacy, as well as M.Sc and B.Sc students.

The CQC is actively engaged in  Outreach Activities to share the CQC's knowledge and expertise and to explain the benefits of research activities to the general public, with a particular focus on engaging secondary schools to encourage students to study chemistry.

The Direction of CQC,

J. Sérgio Seixas de Melo, Director

Teresa Pinho e Melo, subdirector

Executive Board

J. Sérgio Seixas de Melo

Associate Professor with Habilitation

Teresa Pinho e Melo

Associate Professor with Habilitation

Our Research Groups





Research Groups







Coimbra Chemistry Centre Day 2021

15 de Dezembro 2021

Auditório da Reitoria da Universidade de Coimbra


Organic Chemistry and Catalysis Seminar

C-X Functionalization by Cooperative Catalysis

Prof. Yoshiaki Nakao, Kyoto University, Japan

27th June 2022, 11 am | Sala C-12 do Departamento de Química