The Institute of Chemistry was among the first several institutes established when Academia Sinica was founded in 1928 inNanking, China. During its first two decades, despite the difficult times of World War II, the Institute managed to grow and contribute to chemistry research in China. In 1949, Academia Sinica was moved to Taiwan, and eventually relocated to the present site at Nankang, Taipei. In 1957, the Institute of Chemistry was reinstated in Taiwan.
Until1970's,earlier research was focused on applied chemistry related to, for example, fermentation, food chemistry and starch chemistry. During this period, the support from the government was limited. It was not until 1980 when the economic situation in Taiwan had been significantly improved that steady progress in research at Academia Sinica was achieved. The Institute of Chemistry has benefited from the economic growth of the island. Many of our colleagues were recruited during this period. In 1983 the Institute was moved in the modern five-story Chien Shih-Liang Memorial Hall, and in 1995 a second eight-story research laboratory was built. Research interests of our colleagues were expanded to organic synthesis, organometallic chemistry, structural chemistry and the chemistry of materials. However, lack of manpower was the major obstacle for research at this Institute. Even under these circumstances, research continued its steady growth.
Since the mid-nineties, the research programs of the Institute have been regrouped into three main areas: materials chemistry, chemical biology and catalysis. Colleagues with backgrounds in synthesis, analytical chemistry and computational chemistry work together on integrative research programs in the above areas