History

iChemLabs was founded in February 2007 by Kevin Theisen to distribute the scientific software he was developing. He initially studied and developed algorithms to simulate nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This research involved the production of scientifically oriented graphical user interfaces, and his interests expanded to incorporate scientific visualization and graphics. Over the last few years, our goals have become more focused:

  1. Provide the Gold Standard in quality and function for chemical publishing software.
  2. Be at the forefront of the next generation of web-based scientific software.
  3. Grow our presence in this industry by providing quality proprietary and open source software solutions to benefit our partners and collaborators.
  4. Focus on compatibility in all aspects: operating systems (Linux fully supported), platforms (netbooks, mobile devices), web services (ChemDoodle Web Components), 3rd party support (Databases, OpenOffice, iWork)

Articles

Kevin Theisen featured in RSC ChemistryWorld
Kevin Theisen featured in the 175 Faces of Chemistry project
Kevin Theisen discusses mobile apps in chemistry with Sarah Houlton of ChemistryWorld
Kevin Theisen featured in NJ.comAlso mirrored by Rutgers University
The Rutgers Daily Targum interviews Kevin Theisen
Kevin Theisen featured in the Big Ten Network’s LiveBIG Campaign
Kevin Theisen represents cheminformatics in the ACS “College to Career” profiles
Kevin Theisen feature interview in the ACS inChemistry magazine
Kevin Theisen interviewed by Rutgers University for prospective students

ChemDoodle

ChemDoodle was released to the market in February of 2008. We wanted to provide an application that was affordable to students and scientists while upholding a rigorous standard of quality. ChemDoodle provided customers with a chemical structure environment that could do much more than other chemical sketchers. Widgets included in the package were tiny applications that provided powerful functionality from database integration, to real time statistics, to template management. The MolGrabber widget provided users with access to the entire PubChem database where returned structures could be dragged right onto the sheet. This widget alone is acclaimed by many to be one of the most useful and innovative functions they have seen in this area of software.

ChemDoodle 2 was launched in June of 2009. This update introduced huge changes to the software and a continuance of our dedication to innovation and quality in this market. One new addition was the ability to change the stroke style of structures for more artistic and less formal diagrams. We also developed an important library, VectorPaste, to allow our Java technologies to transfer scalable vector graphics and metadata to other applications via the system clipboard, an ability previously unavailable to Java developers. To date, ChemDoodle is used in thousands of institutions around the world, from major companies, to government organizations, to high schools.

ChemDoodle 3 was launched in May of 2010. This update was a complete overhaul of the ChemDoodle application, providing performance improvements, graphical improvements and a long list of new features. These new features included the ability to create stunning graphics for your reactions and spectra, the simulation of NMR spectroscopy, tools for creating and customizing ChemDoodle Web Components, storage device chemical searches, complete access to our elemental database and much more. In just a few years, ChemDoodle has become one of the most popular chemical drawing tools available. Its development is actively followed by news sites, blogs and members of the scientific community from around the world.

ChemDoodle 4 was released in August of 2011. Included features were glassware templates, a new Elemental Analysis widget, a beautiful interface, integration with our mobile tools, rendering of implicit hydrogens and more. ChemDoodle is now a universal standard, with tools across desktop, web and mobile devices.

ChemDoodle 5 was released in October of 2012. This update introduced round trip editing for Windows and Linux, in addition to Mac OS X. For the first time, there was now available to chemists a chemical publishing tool that provides round trip editing on all major operating systems. Also added were bezier arrows, mass fragmentation tools, and a fully improved shapes system. ChemDoodle has become the primary choice for universities and companies in over 70 countries. Reviews now name ChemDoodle as the number 1 choice.

ChemDoodle 6 was released in December of 2013. This update provided many new features, including full Windows OLE support, a Mac Quicklook plugin, advanced IUPAC naming with over 20 options, more glassware, carbon nanotube builders, improved graphics and more. Unlike our competitor that works hard to charge customers higher prices, we made sure to avoid a price increase and vehemently oppose tiering our software. We provide all the features in ChemDoodle to all of our users at the same low price. ChemDoodle is now the preferred chemical publishing software in over 80 countries. A major review for ChemDoodle 6 was published in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling.

ChemDoodle 7 was released in September of 2014. This update introduced a brand new interface based on feedback from users over the previous 7 years. ChemDoodle 3D was also introduced with this release for high quality 3D graphics and functions without having to purchase a second application. Other new features included multipage documents, BioArt, Twitter integration and more. And of course, it all works across all operating systems. An opinion review of ChemDoodle 7 was published in Chemistry World.

ChemDoodle 8 was released in January of 2016. We focused on fine tuning the graphics and cheminformatics engines to deliver the best quality software in the industry. Our graphics from ChemDoodle are second to none. The IUPAC naming system was also greatly updated to provide even more support and a wider range of options. We also added full support for high-DPI displays like Retina macs to continue to adapt confirming our dedication to supporting the frequently changing hardware landscape we see today.

Keep up to date with our development by subscribing to our RSS feed. We know you will be impressed.

ChemDoodle 3D

ChemDoodle 3D v1 was originally released in incubator status with ChemDoodle 7, allowing users to view their drawn molecules in 3D. With the release of ChemDoodle 8, ChemDoodle 3D v2 was separated into its own product allowing for even more graphical abilities and support for macromolecular and periodic structures. Finally, in May of 2017, ChemDoodle 3D v3 was the first commercial release of the ChemDoodle 3D software. ChemDoodle 3D allows users to intuitively work with chemical information in three dimensions and create some of the best graphics in the industry. One of the biggest accomplishments is a real time physical simulation built into our system allowing users to build and play with molecules in 3D. In addition to a wide range of graphical options, including shadows, shading, fogging, text and more, users can fully customize their 3D scenes to create the graphics they desire without the need for expensive hardware or expert services.

Cheminformatics on Periodic Systems

In 2008, Mr. Theisen began his PhD work at the University of California at Berkeley. There he began to develop the field of materials informatics. He produced periodic analogues to standard small molecule informatics algorithms, from ring perception, to descriptors, to visualization. He also developed abstract visualization techniques for depicting the void space topology of three-periodic nets, aiding engineering goals. Due to the success of iChemLabs, Mr. Theisen graduated from Berkeley in 2009 with a non-terminal MS in Chemistry and an invitation to return. We continue to collaborate with individuals at UC:Berkeley.

ChemDoodle Web Components

ChemDoodle Web Components were unveiled in August of 2009. This product was based on the budding HTML5 technology, <canvas>. iChemLabs provides this Javascript cheminformatics and web visualization toolkit under the open source GPL license to best serve the community. Included in the library are several components to present chemically-relevant images, animations and interactive components for cheminformatics tasks such as sketchers. The project quickly went viral, being discussed within online communities such as Twitter and FriendFeed. We are currently providing custom development for several collaborators that use this library.

We are also actively pursuing WebGL to provide hardware accelerated 3D graphics natively in the browser. 3D ChemDoodle Web Components were released as an addition to the ChemDoodle Web Component library in February of 2010. The 3D components were one of the first examples of WebGL technology applied to the sciences and excited many working with <canvas>/WebGL, not just chemists. The Khronos Group, which develops the WebGL API, was quick to cover this product and we are happy to inspire other scientific web applications. With the emergence of WebGL and the proof of 3D ChemDoodle Web Components, any software interface previously created in the physical sciences may now be reproduced natively in the browsers. We are optimistic as we watch this technology grow and replace Flash and Java applets.

In the summer of 2010, ChemDoodle Web Components saw two major updates. The first update provided full support for ChemDoodle Web Components on iPhone OS and Android devices. An advanced mapping was included to allow touch events and mobile gestures to work with the mouse event interfaces so interaction is consistent across all desktop browsers and mobile devices. Developers can also quickly link in custom touch events and gestures for web apps targeted directly at mobile devices. The second update provided graphical improvements, performance improvements, and new components to render reactions and spectra. With all of this functionality, the ChemDoodle Web Components library is only 100KB in size! Several organizations, including ChemExper and ChemSpider, have partnered with us to utilize ChemDoodle Web Components in their services, and many websites around the world now use this library to power their chemical graphics engines.

ChemDoodle Web Components saw a major update in January of 2011. This update introduced an all new ChemDoodle sketching component and full access to the ChemDoodle desktop API through AJAX XMLHttpRequest Level 2. Everything was polished, from the API, to the source, to the animation and mobile frameworks. Using the ChemDoodle Web Components, full-featured scientific apps can now be distributed in any medium that supports HTML5 including desktops, browsers and mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Several updates followed in 2011, bringing significant improvements to the spectroscopy components, unique components such as a periodic table, CIF file interpreters, and new 3D graphics including protein ribbon models, nucleic acid cartoons, unit cells and much more.

Another major update was released in December of 2012. This update introduced our ChemDoodle Full Sketcher in addition to the Single Molecule Sketcher. The Full Sketcher provides the selection tools and shape objects that are useful to create complex chemical figures and data. The entire library was reoptimized and the new ChemDoodle JSON format was introduced. Performance in desktop browsers and mobile devices is now more fluid than ever. To date, the ChemDoodle Web Components library is still the only chemistry toolkit that supports mobile devices, and has been so for 3 years.

Continuing to expand upon our powerful interface components, the 3D Editor component was introduced with the launch of v6 of the ChemDoodle Web Components in February of 2014. This new interface allows users to load and save 3D content, control the visualization and make measurements and calculations from an easy to use interface. Other features include Lewis Dot Structures, CML interpretation and further 3D graphics support. The entire package was refactored to simplify its usage and installation. WebGL is now available across all desktop and mobile browsers by default, so there has never been a better time to work with the ChemDoodle Web Components.

In January of 2015, v7 of the ChemDoodle Web Components was released. This version includes many new 3D features. In late 2014, both Android and iOS allowed WebGL into native applications and full support in Mobile Safari and Chrome for Android, allowing the ChemDoodle Web Components to push full hardware accelerated 3D graphics to all the popular mobile devices in use. The ChemDoodle query system was also added to the sketcher, allowing users to define much more complex chemical information. A major review for ChemDoodle Web Components 7 was published in the Journal of Cheminformatics.

ChemDoodle Mobile

ChemDoodle Mobile was released for the iPhone on the Apple App Store in May of 2011. An Android version was released on the Android Market shortly after in September, 2011. We give this app away for free as a gift to our customers. ChemDoodle Mobile is a calculator for drawn chemical structures. It was the first mobile application to simulate NMR and handle spectroscopy. An iPad version for ChemDoodle is also under development, focusing on chemical graphics and publishing. With the release of ChemDoodle Mobile, ChemDoodle is now a universal standard, with applications across all operating systems, in all browsers and on mobile devices.

In 2012, ChemDoodle Mobile became one of the top 5 most popular molecule apps on both iOS and Android with around 50,000 installations on each platform.

In April of 2013, ChemDoodle Mobile 1.4 was released, adding several new calculations, IUPAC name generation and 3D coordinate generation and viewing.

In February of 2015, ChemDoodle Mobile 1.5 was released, adding full 3D graphics support with atom labels!

ChemStack

We introduced the ChemStack product in March of 2015, allowing enterprise products to quickly be created with a stack of high quality, sustainable and portable chemistry technologies. With a focus on chemical search systems, companies can quickly expose their chemical information to their teams and customers with excellent speed and accuracy. ChemStack is also modular, allowing for the quick production of any intelligent chemical system, even if searching is not the priority. An online demo of ChemStack’s capabilities can be found here.

The Future

As always, we continue to pursue our goals. In addition to advancing our main products and collaborations, we are also researching and developing other new projects. We will always strive to reinvent common tools to improve their efficiency and productivity. We are also expanding, so if you are interested in a cheminformatics job, please send us your resume. We believe chemists with computational skills are among the most essential members of the chemistry community and we offer great opportunities. A BA or BS is all we require. If you are interested in working or collaborating with us, please feel free to contact us.