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History of the Department of Analytical Chemistry

From the foundation of Charles University in 1348, natural sciences were taught mainly on the Faculty of Philosophy. But teaching of chemistry was bent on the Faculty of Medicine.

J. A. Srinci

The first lecture on chemistry at Charles University was held in 1745 by Prof. Jan Antonín Scrinci (1697-1773). He lectured „Chimiam et Physicam experimentalem“ at oldest University building - Carolinum. Scrinci eked out his lectures with plenty of experiments. They were so intriguing that students from abroad attended Scrinci's lectures from.

J. B. Mikan

In 1758 Scrinci left the faculty and because there is not eligible successor at chemistry lectures 17-years pause occurred. In 1775 Josef Bohumil Mikan (1742–1814) started teaching of chemistry again. He built first chemical laboratory at Carolinum.

In 1810 Mikan was changed by Josef von Freymuth (1786-1819). He established from one Mikan's laboratory whole Institute of Chemistry of Faculty of Medicine. The first lecture of analytical chemistry at this Institute was held by Josef Redtenbacher (1810-1870), the disciple of Justus von Liebig.

V. ŠafaříkIn 1848 the teaching of chemistry was delegated from Faculty of Medicine to the Faculty of Philosophy. The Chemical Laboratory of Faculty of Philosophy was established there. In 1882-1892 it was conducted by notable Czech scientist Prof. Vojtěch Šafařík (1829-1902). He studied the cyanoplatinium and vanadium compounds. He was the first president of Czech Chemical Society too.

Institute of Chemistry on AlbertovFrom 1882 the chemical laboratory was located in Spálená street in Prague 1. In 1904 it was relocated to the new building on Albertov, where it has been up to now.

B. BraunerThe Chemical Laboratory of Philosophical Faculty was divided in 1909 on a few divisions, among them Division of Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry. The division was conducted by Prof. Bohuslav Brauner (1855-1935), the friend of D. I. Mendělejev. Brauner investigated atomic weights and properties of rare-earth elements and their compounds. He wrote very modern book of quantitative analysis (1919).

Later in 1920 the Faculty of Sciences was established and teaching of chemistry was delegate from Faculty of Philosophy to Faculty of Science. After retrial of Prof. Brauner in 1925 the Division of Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry was divided into Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Institute of Inorganic Chemistry.

O. TomíčekThe first head of Institute of Analytical Chemistry of Faculty of Science and also the first professor of analytical chemistry on Charles University was Prof. Josef Švéda (1881-1929), concentrated on gas and forensic analysis. After Švéda's premature death Prof. Oldřich Tomíček (1891-1953) took the chairmanship of the department. Under his leadership the Department was focused on modern volumetric methods, potentiometry and development of indicators. He wrote many well-known analytical books; some of them were translated to English (e. g. Chemical Indicators)

In 1952 the Faculty of Science was reorganised and teaching of chemistry was set on a Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. In this period Prof. RNDr. PhMr. Jaroslav Zýka, DrSc. (born 1922) was the head of the Department. The Department research was concerned to modern volumetric and electrochemical methods. In 1959 the Department was turned back to the Faculty of Science.

In 1971 Prof. RNDr. PhMr. Václav Suk, CSc. was assigned to the head of Department. He was oriented at fluorescence, acid-base and chelatometric indicators. In 1982 he was replaced by Prof. RNDr. Antonín Berka, DrSc.

After revolution in 1989 Prof. Ing. Karel Štulík, DrSc. was elected as the head of the Department. Under his leadership the research was concerned on a modern chromatographic methods.

In period 1997–2003, Prof. Ing. Jiří G. K. Ševčík, DrSc. was the head of the Department.

In period 2003–2008, Prof. Ing. Karel Štulík, DrSc. was the head of the Department again.

In the period 2006–2012, the department was headed by prof. Dr. Jiří Barek. The domain of his scientific work is electroanalytical determination of trace amounts of biologically active organic substances (chemical carcinogens, biomarkers, drugs, pesticides, dyes and others) and the development of new electrochemical sensors and detectors.

In 2013–2018, prof. Dr. Pavel Coufal was the head of the department. He has been focusing on modern separation methods and their miniaturization, also in conjunction with mass spectrometry.

Since April 1, 2018, prof. Dr. Zuzana Bosáková is the head of the department.

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