Department of physical chemistry of Kazan university was re-organized in 1934. Professor Alexei Gerasimov became the chair, with the main work in Kazan Institute of Chemical Technology.
Dr. Gerasimov was reading the course of physical chemistry. He was evaluating students' knowledge assessments with the following marks:
1. “Satisfactory” mark could be given for the student who: a) knows all the fundamental laws and facts of science; b) knows the mathematical formulation of the laws; c) understands its practical value; d) is able to present the material in a clear manner;
2. The rating of “good” is given in compliance with all of the previous conditions and if the student: a) mastered the details of mathematical and logical conclusions of the fundamental laws; b) shows self-dependence and activity in the elaboration of the course;
3. “Excellent” mark is given in compliance with all of the previous conditions and if the student: a) used additional literature; b) is able to present the material in a literary form.
“There is the law of physical chemistry: you cannot pass the exam on the off-chance“ — Dr. Gerasimov was saying to his students.
Scientific work in the field of kinetics and electrochemistry was started in 1936 by aspirants AF Bogoyavlensky, AS Klyuchevich and FF Faizullin with assistants PV Rufimsky and IP Dezidereva. Specialization in physical chemistry started in 1937. Gennady Vozdvizhensky (Associate Professor of Kazan state technological university) was reading the special course of electrochemistry. He organized the first special practicу lab for graduate students.
In 1939 the Department recruited associate professor Alexander G. Repa from the University of Vladivostok. He continued his studies in the field of mutual solubility of salts.
During the World War II, in the autumn of 1941, Academy of Sciences of the USSR was evacuated to Kazan city. Anatoly Kapustinsky became the chair, whose main work was held in the thermochemical laboratory of the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry. His scientific direction was the thermodynamics of electrolyte solutions. The number of Department employees decreased significantly at that time, because of the downsizing. Dr. Faizullin was at the front. The Department was encamped in one small room. Learning was often interrupted due to the departure of employees to agricultural work, firewood sawing, construction of protective strip and trenches digging. There were other domestic difficulties: food cards system, housing problems. However, no one complained, everyone worked with great enthusiasm. The work of Dr. Kapustinsky and Dr. Dezidereva “Thermochemistry of the strontium ion” awarded the Prize of the Academy of Sciences in 1943. After the return of the Academy to Moscow in 1944 Associate Professor AG Repa became the Department chair. The Department has returned to its laboratories in the main building in 1945.
In 1946, Prof. Nikolay Trifonov from the University of Perm was elected as a chair. His scientific direction was the physical chemistry of double liquid systems. FF Fayzullin worked in this area and awarded PhD after the returning from the war. After the long-term disease of Dr. Trifonov his scientific direction has not got the further development and the Department has restored its original direction — electrochemistry (electrodeposition of metals from complex electrolytes and anode metal oxidation).
In 1953, the Chemical faculty has moved to the new building, and the Department has got new laboratories. After the death of Professor Trifonov in 1958, Dr. Faizullin was elected as a chair. He performed a vigorous activity to equip the Department. Almost all the staff, graduate students and aspirants were working for the study of the anodic oxidation of metals in alkaline electrolytes and anode structure of the films using electron diffraction method. Only associate professor LM Kataeva continued development of the structural methods for organic compounds.
In the 1960s, the staff of the Department has grown considerably. Development of the new methods of electrochemical metals machining had a great industrial usage. In the early 60s, there was organized a group of semiconductor chemistry, making joint research with the Institute of Applied Optics.
During his work, Dr. Faizullin trained 25 PhD scientists, 4 of them became professors. The Department became a scientific center well-known in the USSR and other countries. Educational process supplemented new disciplines: structure of matter, quantum chemistry, chemical thermodynamics, theoretical and applied electrochemistry, structure of metals and electrochemistry of semiconductors.
Since May 1972 professor Yury Kargin worked as the Department chair. He organized research work in the field of organic compounds electrochemistry. In particular, the Department studied protonation in the anion-radical reactions and electrochemical reactions of sulfur- and organoselenium compounds, homogeneous and heterogeneous electron transfer reactions. Electrochemical synthesis of phosphorus nitroorganic compounds was also studied. “Polymer” industrial research laboratory and the Faculty of experts retraining have been organized.
During the Dr. Kargin’s work 47 candidates awarded PhD, 4 of them have made the doctoral dissertation (VZ Latypova and EV Nikitin in 1984, AA Chichirov in 1991 and YG Budnikova in 1999). In 1984, Dr. Kargin was awarded a bronze medal of the VDNKh USSR “For the development of an original method for determining of the moisture content in organic liquids and the general management at all stages of the device construction”. In 1988, Dr. Kargin and members of the Department, Professor EV Nikitin and YA Ignatieff awarded the silver “Laureate of the VDNKh USSR”.
Dr. Kargin is co-author of the books “The EPR spectra of organic radical ions” (Wiley, 1980), “Electrochemistry of Organoelement Compounds. Groups I, II, III of the periodic system” (Wiley, 1985) and “Electrochemistry of Organoelement Compounds. Group IV, V, VI of the periodic system” (Wiley, 1986). YA Lisitsyn was awarded the prize and a medal of the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the USSR for the first place in the All-Union competition of 1983/84 for the best work on natural, technical and humanities.
In 1997, Dr. Kargin resigned as the chair and moved to Canada in 2001. Professor Boris Solomonov was elected as a chair. Dr. Solomon started with update of education courses. The goal was deeper study of physical chemistry: thermodynamics, kinetics, catalysis and electrochemistry. Research areas were also expanded: solution thermodynamics, petrochemicals and catalysis, physical chemistry of supramolecular compounds, biophysical chemistry. After the establishment of Federal University and construction of the new chemical faculty building, the Department has considerably expanded, getting large laboratories and the newest scientific equipment.